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Sex Toys and Real Men

A Primer on the Pleasures of Love Instruments
By Al Link and Pala Copeland

Open up your minds and your bodies guys, sex toys are moving into the mainstream. They're buzzing their seductive ways into the bedrooms of the nation, and also into any number of pockets, panties, and purses. Your girlfriend may already have a vibrator and just hasn't told you about it! Items that used to be considered only for the kinky or the inadequate are now part of the knowledgeable lover's sexual toolkit. Available not long ago only in sleazy shops run by equally sleazy owners, love toys have come up in the world. They're now offered in classy boutiques with knowledgeable and relaxed staff, via sensuous mail order catalogues, and at discreet, well-stocked Internet sites. Making your first foray into the pleasures of toy-land can be a fun and friendly, sex-positive experience.

When you do decide to make the leap to technically enhanced sex, use these three considerations to help guide you through the multitude of toys available: function, form and cost.

Function: What exactly do you want to do with your new plaything? Do you want something that vibrates? Will it be for external use only or for penetration play too? Is it for solo-sex, pleasuring a partner, or share and share alike? Do you plan to take your toy on road-trips or outdoor excursions?

Form: How do you want your toy to look and feel? Do you want something that's a realistic model of your favourite body parts or are you interested in a more abstract design? What type of texture turns you on - soft, hard, slippery, fluffy? How about size, shape and weight? And of course colour - flesh-toned, day-glo green, multi-hued?

Cost: Toys range from fairly inexpensive to very pricey. As in all things you get what you pay for, however in this case it's a good idea to begin your experimenting with lower-end models. Finding a toy that's right for you may take a few shotsJ. Once you do make the perfect match you can move up to higher quality.

Here are a few basic love tools to start stocking your toy-chest.

Vibrators and Dildos

These are not the same thing. Both can be pleasurable for either men or women. Essentially, vibrators are motorized toys that shake, quiver or undulate. In short, they vibrate. Some are for external use only while others can be used internally. Dildos are non-vibrating toys designed for insertion, either vaginal or anal. However lots of dildos are in the shape of penises and many of them include vibrators - vibrating dildos.

Vibrators come in an endless variety of shapes, sizes, colours and materials. They can be electrical (plug into a wall outlet and may be rechargeable), may have remote control up to 50 feet away, or they can be powered with batteries. Electric vibrators provide a better quality alternative to battery-powered vibrators, with stronger vibrations, warrantees, and durability, but at much greater expense. Battery powered vibrators tend to be more versatile, more portable, offer softer vibrations, and are less expensive. Hard plastic battery vibrators tend to be louder than soft rubber vibrators. If it is important to be very quiet, keep this in mind. Most people seem to find the hard plastic vibrators better for external stimulation and the soft rubber vibrators preferable for internal stimulation, because the hard plastic transmits stronger vibrations than the soft rubber. Prices range from about $20 to $200 and more.

Some vibrators like the Venus Butterfly may be worn discretely under a woman's clothing and no one can tell they are there. This can add a very interesting variation to standing in line at a bank or grocery store! Some are waterproof and can be used in the bathtub. There is one that plugs into the cigarette lighter of your car (useful for those long boring drives). There are even battery operated vibrating panties. Interesting gift ideas for the right woman!

One vibrator called the Dragon Lady automatically changes rotation direction. The Pink Pachyderm has gyrating head, quivering tusks, and a tickling tail. The Fireworks vibrates and rotates with firework lights. A popular variation of the clitora/vaginal vibrator is The Tongue by Lady Calston, a Canadian manufacturer. There are other "Tongue" manufacturers as well. Here are the notes for a high quality Japanese model: "The 8 inch long Tongue twirls, spins, flicks and wiggles with multi-speed vibrations, while it rotates a full 360 degree circle. Dual controlled by Japanese high tech quality integrated chip controller." Holy high tech, Batman! The name suggests a certain feel of the material that The Tongue is made of, as well as the motions this vibrator is capable of making. Very popular as well are vibrating eggs and bullets that can be inserted into the vagina or anus. Vibrators aren't just for women, men enjoy good vibes too! For new heights of pleasure try using a vibrator to stimulate the shaft of the penis, the testicles or the anus. Some vibrating toys, like the Vibro Sleeve Pump, are designed just for men.

Dildos, dongs and cocks may be representational or highly abstract. There are rubber dongs (usually black or beige), and some have wires inside so if you bend them they will hold the new shape. Rubber cocks can actually be carved to any shape you want after you get them home. You will have to use a condom after you carve them because they will flake apart, but they are so inexpensive that you can afford to use them up rapidly this way. Jelly cocks are soft, slippery and smooth, and come in every possible color. They are also inexpensive, but are not of equal quality to cocks made from silicone. Both ordinary rubber and jelly rubber are porous materials, so if you are sharing your dildo, or using it vaginally and anally, you'll need to use a condom to keep it clean. On the other hand, silicone is a unique material manufactured by a vacuum process that increases the density of the atoms in the rubber to create a special feel on the non-porous surface. Silicone cocks will not only last much longer, but they can actually be boiled for sterilization, which you cannot do with rubber or jelly dongs. Most silicone cocks are handmade by small manufacturers. Cocks are also made from metal (usually gold or silver), and glass.

There is a new synthetic "cyberskin" material with the look and feel of a real penis. This material simulates the softness of skin and the rigidity of erectile tissue - truly a feat of engineering and quite an advance over the older rubber based products. Some cocks are actually molded from the erections of real men, for example John Holmes the legendary porn star whose character was featured in the Hollywood hit, Boogie Nights. One dildo variation has two probes, one for the vagina and the other for the anus, so you can simultaneously probe both areas. There are dildos specifically designed to reach the G-spot. They have a crook in the end, so that when they are inserted into the vagina, the crook can be turned to exactly the right angle to reach the Goddess spot and drive her wild with excitement.

Generally we recommend average size dildos, close to the size of an average sized penis. Most penises are 5-9 inches in length when fully erect. Huge size is not usually any advantage unless the woman has an unusually large vagina. The average woman will not appreciate a giant sized dildo. It is a good idea to start with a smaller model and work up to larger only when you know your partner would appreciate the larger size. Skill, technique, and heart opening (making an emotional connection) are the really important factors rather than size. Of course this is true of your penis as well. Prices for dildos range from $10 for one that might only last a few months, to $200 for beautiful hand-blown solid glass models that would last a lifetime, and could be a fashion statement displayed on your coffee table!

For a number of reasons a man may be reluctant to introduce vibrators and dildos into his love play. He may be worried that it means he isn't a good enough lover to bring his partner pleasure on his own. Or he might be afraid that his ladylove would develop a deeper relationship with her mechanical pet and leave him out in the cold. But a man who is confident enough about his own sexual prowess to dare bringing sex toys into play will likely find a happy, satisfied partner. It's difficult to stimulate the clitoris, which is the hot spot for most women, during intercourse and until a man has learned to delay ejaculation he likely won't be able to continue thrusting long enough for his partner to experience vaginal orgasm. The skilful use of sex toys alternated with loving touch of tongue, fingers and penis can help her open to new worlds of ecstasy.

Anal Toys

Although there still remains a certain societal taboo about anal sex the anus is a highly erotic zone. It's rich in nerve endings and is included with the genitals in the contractions of orgasm. For men anal play has the added bonus of prostate stimulation, which is not only highly pleasurable but very healthful as well. Some heterosexual men worry that going anywhere near the anus during lovemaking implies homosexuality. Remember that sexual orientation is defined not by what you do, but by who you do it with. Just as there are heterosexual men who love anal intercourse, both as giver and receiver, there are gay men who don't engage in anal play at all.

If you're at all inclined to explore anal stimulation be sure to use lots and lots of lubricant. The vagina is self-lubricating but the anus is not. Breath deeply to help you relax any muscle tension, and let your partner know with words or sounds how it feels for you. There are excellent books and videos to introduce you gently to the topic. Two excellent videos are: "Nina Hartley's Guide to Anal Sex" and "Bend Over Boyfriend".

Besides vibrators and dildos for anal play you may want to explore anal plugs and anal beads. Anal plugs, which have a flared base to keep them safely in place while you're making love, give a pleasurable feeling of fullness as well as stimulation from movement. One interesting variation is the inflatable model. This is especially desirable if you are just beginning to explore anal play. There is also a two-person double-sided model, so both partners can be anally stimulated at the same time. The Recto Prostate and G-Spot Stimulator is excellent for reaching the prostate. Prices start at under $10 and go up to about $100.

Anal climax beads are available in small, medium and large size. The small beads are about the size of cranberries. The beads are strung together with a pull ring at one end and 8-10 beads on a string. These beads are inserted into the anus of either the man or woman during lovemaking and are withdrawn slowly or quickly at the exact moment of orgasm. This has the delightful effect of noticeably prolonging the orgasm and increasing its intensity. Be very careful, gentle and playful when inserting the beads to avoid discomfort. Use lots of lubricant. This might take some getting used to, but is definitely worth trying. It is an excellent tool to help men learn to surrender and let go, allowing their lover to take charge completely. Combine this with tying the man's hands (a common fantasy of men) and it will be quite an experience for him. Anal beads are quite inexpensive, about $10.

Cock rings are straps or rings that encircle the base of the penis and the scrotum. Put them on before you commence lovemaking and once you are erect the blood will be restricted from leaving the penis, helping to maintain an erection and creating pressure that can be very pleasurable. Cock rings come in leather, denim and plastic and most are adjustable. There are variations that fit around the man's penis and also stimulate the woman's clitoris and anus. Some are equipped with vibrators, others with ball spreaders. Begin your experimentation with rings that have Velcro or snap closures for quick removal in case sensations become too strong. Prices start at about $10.

Sex Toys and Safety

There's a simple rule to follow for safe sex with your toys: if you use your toy for penetration of any kind, dress it up in a condom and add lots of lubricant. This reduces risk of any infection plus helps your toys last longer. The only exception to this is with toys made of silicone that can be sterilized by boiling in water. Note, bleach cleans but does not sterilize sex toys.

Making a Purchase

There are more and more tasteful sex toy stores making their appearance all across the country, but if there isn't one in your neighborhood or you'd prefer anonymity for your purchase check out this USA sex toys web site:

http://www.sextoyfun.com/a455p35

They ship worldwide and you'll find a wide selection, plus helpful hints on using your sex toys safely, comfortably and with lots of satisfaction.

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