Know how to spot or smell a bootleg
While they might not be hawked on Canal St, sex toys have knockoffs too. And people are less likely to speak out if they get a counterfeit or faulty product, which only allows the problem to persist. As Church notes, “nobody tweets when something goes wrong with their sex toy.”
If you’re trench coat and wig are at the cleaners, and you just can’t bring yourself to walk into a store, know that buying online presents its own set of risks. Church advises “making sure [the toy is] coming from the toy company or direct distributor. A lot of third-party websites like Amazon and eBay have zero regulation. There are toys out there with the exact same packaging and design, but the quality is lower.” That being said, Babeland and Forbidden Fruit have websites, as do many premier sex toy shops, so make those your first stop.
When it comes to jelly toys, knockoffs will reek of gasoline or something that smells like weed, but not in a good way. These products may have been produced with chemicals that aren’t body safe. So sniff it before you stick it. Another important note: toys marked as “novelty” are not intended for bodily use.
Sex toys are not a gateway drug
You’re not going to get addicted to your vibrator or fleshlight. Relax. “Are you going to work? Are you dealing with your life?” asks Church. If so, using your toy to unwind doesn’t mean you need to stage an intervention.
“People worry they’re going to get desensitized by their vibrators too,” Church explains. Rest assured, ladies and gents, that’s not going to happen, even with frequent use. Church says that people may get used to reaching orgasm in a certain way, whether that be with a toy or in a certain position, but she also notes that “our bodies and minds are elastic, and they’re constantly evolving.” So if you’re feeling a little too reliant on a specific toy, change it up and be patient. Your body will take the hint and adapt.
Sex toys aren’t meant to take anything, or more specifically anyone, away from the experience. Your dildo is not “some bionic cock” that’s going to put your boyfriend “out of work,” as Church put it. Sex toys are all about adding to a sexual experience, whether it be a solo session or a couple’s retreat.
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Julia Reiss is a writer and standup comedian who got tired of her vibrator always wanting to be the little spoon. Follow her sexual misadventures and neurotic musings on Twitter: @thereisspiece. For upcoming performances, make sure to check out her website www.iamjuliareiss.com.