February 14th 2018
Sex & Gynae
The sex toys we feel no shame about having on our bedside table
February 3rd 2020 / 0 comment
Gone are the days of burrowing your sex toys deep in your sock drawer, these ones deserve pride of place in your bedroom
For my 30th birthday I asked my friendship group for an Edge of Ember necklace, another of the gang was gifted an APC handbag, and one asked us to team up to buy her a Womanizer vibrator. We thought nothing of it and clubbed together the money to buy this life-changing sex toy.
Only on reflection did I stop to consider how such a request would have been met earlier in our twenties - only a few years ago we never would have dared voice our desire for sex toys. We’re not prudes, openly talking about everything from waxing preferences to the prowess of our partners, but solo sex was a topic we kept you ourselves.
“With the new wave of sexual wellbeing and empowerment being experienced by our generation, sex toys are being taken out of the seedy category in which we have historically held them,” agrees Dr Elesha Vooght, in-house sexual wellbeing doctor at pleasure positive sex toy brand Kandid. “We are now able to view sex toys as tools to enhance our own and others' pleasure, and more importantly, as TOYS. They’re fun, allowing us to tap into our more playful instincts.”
“Media has helped to open this discussion around sex toys. From the famous Rampant Rabbit scene on Sex and the City to the modest bullet on Sex Education, they’re becoming a normalised part of our sexual repertoire. Furthermore, the push to understand pleasure and orgasm, specifically that experienced by women, has given sex toys the forum they need to flourish. The more we engage in open communication around pleasure, the more space we will have to talk about all aspects of our sexuality, including toys.”
Here are the sex toys making waves in our world right now...
French sex toy brand Smile Makers aim to put female pleasure at the forefront of our minds, normalising the perception of female sexuality with a collection of beautifully designed toys that look more like Foreo face tools than sex toys. The Ballerina (named thusly as it's the shape of a ballerina's pointe shoe) was in development for over three years; it's made from a combo of silicone gel and polished silicone that come together to create a texture that feels like human touch. The shape was designed to arouse the three key parts of the female vulva; the top of the tool stimulates the clitoris gland, the body of the tool massages the labia, and the lower point delivers vibrations to the vaginal opening - what a trio!
Kandid is on a mission to bring adult toys into the mainstream as an inclusive and shame-free sexual wellness tool. The company's founders Josh and Greg are aiming to tackle the stigma around sexual pleasure and want to change judgemental attitudes, particularly for the LGBTQIA+ community. The products are delivered in discreet, gender-neutral packaging - nobody would be able to tell what's inside (very handy, seeing as I had mine delivered to my parental home...)
With a collection of gender-neutral and couples' toys, The Rumbly One is our top pick. It's a vibrating love egg that you insert into your vagina to make foreplay the main event. Wear it to dinner, hand over the remote to your partner and have them switch it on as and when they fancy - going out just got a whole lot sexier.
Lelo Sona Cruise Black, £119
Founded in 2003 with the belief that everyone should be able to enjoy personal pleasure to the fullest, luxury Swedish brand Lelo offers high-end vibrators, massage candles and condoms, but we're most taken with the Sona vibrator. It uses sonic waves instead of conventional vibrations to stimulate the clitoris, offering an entirely new orgasm experience with a prolonged climax after a sensual build-up - ideal for when you want some serious me-time.
We most recommend this baby to the oral lovers out there - close your eyes and it feels almost exactly like you've got another person in bed with you (and if you do want to close your eyes, rest assured you'll still find your way around this toy - the buttons are easy to locate and use.)
Dame Eva II Quartz, £122
This little guy reminded us of a Mandrake from Harry Potter when we first saw it, but now we're more intimately acquainted we can't help but feel very fondly for it. Created by Dame (not to be confused by the reusable tampon people), the brand aims to close the pleasure gap between men and women with toys to help you focus on intimacy—with yourself or with a partner. The little arms tuck under the labia while Eva II sits on top, giving you clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex.
Unbound Bean, £33.50
I promise it's not just the colour of this that attracted me to it - though the fact that it's in my fave hue doesn't hurt... Unbound creates female-orientated sex toys that allow women and femmes to explore their sexuality, and while the Bean may look simple it packs a pleasurable punch. There are six vibration settings, all you need to do is find your favourite and rotate the pebble until it hits just the right spot. The fact that it's the same shape as Chanel hand cream makes this a handbag-friendly option that you wouldn't feel weird about going through airport security with.