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How do I introduce anal play into my relationship? Introducing anything is easier and more enjoyable if you can comfortably talk about sex, so start there. It's also a plus to know about how anal touch and penetration feels from the receiving end, so if your goal is to be the giver, try receiving using toys or your fingers so you are more aware of the receiver's experience. The receiver is always in charge during anal--to prevent sudden discomfort, they get to say when, how fast, how much--and this may reassure your partner too. Finally, if your partner tries anal experiences solo, both of you will begin your experiences with information–a big plus!
I want to try this but I’m nervous about poop. Lots of people share this worry–but it's really easy to rinse out the rectum and remove any fecal material there. Try one of the douche items we carry; use clean, lukewarm water (wrist temperature, like you'd check a baby's bottle). Wait a little before playing, since sometimes extra water will come out after the first rinse. For extra comfort, use towels, absorbent pads or a washable throw like the Fascinator to protect your sheets and raise your confidence.
I want to try anal on my boyfriend but he calls it “gay sex.” It's ironic that anal sex is so gendered and so associated with one kind of sexuality, because virtually everyone has an anus and thus the potential to like anal play! There is nothing about that experience that is dependent on a person's gender or orientation–and people can love it (or not be fond of it) regardless of their identity. We think your boyfriend needs to recognize this as a bias, and explore a little on his own–he might decide he wants to play with you after all!
Doesn’t anal sex hurt? Only if you're doing it wrong! Learning about and practicing "relaxation, lubrication and communication" will help avoid painful anal experiences; this is also why we say that the receiving partner is in charge.
How is a dildo different from a vibrator? A dildo generally does not vibrate; it is designed to give internal stimulation. (Some dildos do have that ability, and you can always add a vibrating ring to your dildo to add vibration capabilities too.) And a vibrator vibrates! Some vibrators can be used internally, making them akin to dildos, but many of them are designed just for external use.
Are there different dildos for anal vs. vaginal play? Yes and no. Some dildos are great for enjoying either way, but to be safe for anal insertion, a dildo (or any other toy) must have a base. Otherwise you run the risk of it slipping all the way inside, and once that happens, they are extremely challenging to retrieve. (Especially with lube on your hands!) If you have a lovely dildo without a base, reserve it for vaginal play, or possibly to display as artwork on your mantel.
What makes a dildo a strap-on? A dildo becomes a strap-on when it is... strapped on! That means it's attached to a harness, usually by protruding through an opening that lets the dildo be worn on the pubic mound (though there are some harnesses that hold the dildo in other ways, and some that let you wear the dildo on other parts of your body, like on the thigh). If you have a harness with a hole cut out for the dildo, you will want to make sure the base is big enough to keep it secure so it can't wobble around or slip out.
Is a glass dildo dangerous? The glass dildos that we carry are absolutely safe to use by hand! Most are similar to glass cookware and built to withstand daily use–but a glass dildo should not be used in a harness because it is completely rigid and an errant thrust might bruise or otherwise hurt the receiving partner. We do recommend that if you ever drop your toy on a hard surface, even if it does not break or crack, you retire it to a cushy life as a sexy paperweight. In this case the dildo may not resist changes in temperature the way an intact toy would.
What if I have sensitive skin/allergies? Choose a lube with fewer ingredients and fewer chemical preservatives; some of the organic choices might be a better fit for you, but remember that if a lubricant has an ingredient you are sensitive to in food (like an oil, or even fruit essences in flavored lubes) it might give you problems genitally too. Also, make sure your sensitivity isn’t actually to latex! Some condom-and-lube users blame the lube for irritation when they’re really sensitive to the condom itself.
Is silicone safe in the body? While any person might find an ingredient in lube doesn’t agree with them, silicone lubricant has a good reputation and seems to be non-irritating to most users.
Do people need lube if they’re turned on? It’s a myth that a person who’s aroused is always wet enough for comfortable penetration–many things can affect how wet we get, including hormones, stress, hydration, whether we smoke, and more. Lube adds slickness and comfort regardless of those things and we think it’s a fabulous addition to any sex play. And of course the anus doesn’t lubricate even when arousal is high.
Are desensitizing lubes safe? What about warming/tingling lubes? We do not recommend using desensitizing lubes or creams. They’re frequently sold with the promise they’ll make anal sex safer–but masking discomfort during anal could result in damage. All these specialty lubes contain chemicals we don’t recommend inside the body; sensation lubes can be fun for external play, but please keep wipes on hand in case you need to take them off if the sensation becomes too intense.
Which lubes are best for anal? Generally, thicker lubricants work best for anal play because they provide some extra cushion. Silicone and oil-based lubricants are also popular for anal sex because they don't dry out. (Remember that oil and latex aren’t compatible, but you can get non-latex condoms if you enjoy oil-based lube.)
Does it hurt to wear a cock ring? Cock ring use should not cause any discomfort, and if you find that it does, it is likely the wrong size and/or fits you incorrectly. It should be snug, but not tight.
Can I try my partner’s vibrator on my penis? You can–with their consent! The clitoris, penis, and anal opening are all richly endowed with nerves that sense vibration, and many people (of all genders) enjoy the sensation vibration creates. You may find that you respond most strongly to vibration at the head (especially the frenulum), but it can feel great on the shaft as well.
Do you have anything that will make my penis bigger? We do not carry any products that are advertised as making penises grow permanently larger, because we are not at all convinced that they both work as promised and are safe. Pumps will often temporarily enlarge the penis (though it may feel softer than an ordinary erection). For adding length and/or girth to your penis during partner sex, we carry extenders. (We also recommend you talk to your partner about whether they want to experience a "larger you"--many people assume bigger is better, but that is not everyone's preference.)
How do I discuss using toys with my partner? Penis toys can be great fun when used solo, and with a partner. Bringing up toys is much like suggesting other sexual options and types of play–be positive, find out what your partner might like to try also, don't have the discussion in bed or when either of you is stressed or too busy. If you are hoping to use the toys to help with erectile issues or for other reasons of sexual health, it's best to disclose this so your partner can understand and support your goals. (And if you haven't mentioned such issues to your MD, please do so!)
sexual health & wellness.
My doctor suggested I strengthen my kegel muscles, how do I do that? Your Kegels, also known as PC (pubococcygeal) muscles or pelvic floor muscles, make a sling between your pubic bone and tailbone. Having good pelvic tone is important for health, and we talk about these muscles all the time because they are closely associated with the sensations of orgasm! To exercise, find them (it's the muscles you use to stop peeing, so you can easily locate them while you're on the toilet). Tighten those muscles and then relax them; do up to 30 reps a day, unless your doctor has given you different instructions. Be sure to do the relaxation part of the exercise too--don't just tighten them! If you want a device to help you do the exercises, see our pelvic floor products here
Why is prostate stimulation good and how often should it be done? Prostate stimulation can be an erotic experience, but in addition to that, it can massage the prostate, which may have benefits for health. It can clear out excess fluid and release pressure; it may help some cases of enlarged prostate (BPH) or mild prostatitis. It should not be used in cases of acute prostatitis or cancer, and Good Vibrations does not recommend it as a health practice, since we do not offer medical advice.
Will CBD products alter my mental state if I use them? If you are not using a product that includes THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, you should not notice the kind of intoxicating mental effects ("getting high") that are typically associated with cannabis. CBD products must have less than 0.3% THC, and pure CBD will have none. Some users will prefer full-spectrum CBD products, which means that it includes all the chemicals found in the plant; in that case, look for CBD derived from hemp, which is bred to be very low in THC. (If you are subject to drug testing, you should only use pure CBD; in that case, buy carefully.)
Are hybrid lubes good for vaginal and anal play, or should I buy specific types of lube? Hybrid lubes are great for all kinds of play, but some people may find they prefer different lubes for different purposes. Different types of lubes offer varying levels of slipperiness, and some people want it as slick as possible... while others might like just a bit more friction. This is personal preference--so if a lube works for you and is safe for any accoutrements (that is, no oil with latex, and no silicone with silicone toys), go ahead and use it!
Are there any products to increase my drive, and are they safe? Many products are sold at adult stores (and elsewhere) that purport to increase sex drive. Sometimes known as aphrodisiacs, these products are not regulated, and in some cases it's not even clear what they contain. We are not assured that these are both safe and effective, and we don't carry them. There are also many kinds of food that have been called aphrodisiacs, including oysters, asparagus, chocolate, and other tasty items. Unless you're allergic, there should be no harm in trying these out, since the one thing researchers think might work when it comes to libido-boosting foods and potions is the placebo effect.
Is it safe to use lubricants if I’m pregnant, or trying to get pregnant? Using a lubricant should be safe in a healthy pregnancy unless your doctor recommends otherwise. Water-based lubricants used during pregnancy should be free of flavorings and sensation-altering ingredients (like heating and cooling additives). It's recommended that you avoid petrochemical ingredients, parabens and oils, too. For those trying to conceive, some lubricants have shown (in lab research) to slow sperm motility or otherwise effect the ability of sperm to fertilize the egg. Avoid the ingredients mentioned above (though some oils seem to be OK for those trying to conceive), plus silicone, glycerin, and any ingredients you are sensitive to.
Will I become desensitized if I use a vibrator too often? Addicted? Ruined for other types of sex? These are common beliefs–but no! "Vibrator addiction" is basically a pretty judgmental way of saying a person really loves their vibrator and feeling pleasure–and there's nothing surprising or over-the-top about that. The fear of desensitization is linked to the fact that a strong vibe can make you feel numb if you use it for a while, but this is related to pressure. Just as your hand can fall asleep when you lean on it, a vibrator pressing against the clitoris can push blood out of the organ and temporary (not permanent!) numbness can follow. And the idea that vibrator use makes it impossible to respond or orgasm any other way is a myth. The grain of truth here? Many people did not have orgasms before getting a vibrator and learning to have them–but if the same things continue to happen during partner sex as before (not enough arousal or clitoral stimulation, commonly), they will still find orgasm in that context elusive.
How do I introduce vibrators into partner play? Many vibrator fans assume their partner won't like the toy that helps them have an orgasm--never thinking it might please their partner just as much! Step one of this introduction is being comfortable about having and using a vibe in the first place. There's nothing to be self-conscious about! Step two is feeling comfortable talking about sex together--and if you don't feel comfortable now, you can if you practice! Just start by discussing sex in general; as that starts to feel easier, chat about your sex life together. Talk about things you might want to try–and soon enough you'll be saying, "I want to try a toy with you!"
How do I clean my vibrator? A waterproof vibrator is very easy to clean--wash it off with mild soap, rinse thoroughly with water. If it's not waterproof, you'll need to take care and cover the battery compartment or charger connection, and perhaps wipe off the soap rather than rinse it. (Don't leave soap or other cleaning agents on the toy! Those don't belong on intimate items and could be irritating next time.) You can also use toy wipes or cleaning spray. Clean your vibrator between uses.
What kind of lubricant should I use with a vibrator? If you are using an external vibrator you may find you don't want lubricant (but try some to see if you like it--many do!). For internal play, lube is a great addition (and for anal, it's a must). Use the lube you like best, but be aware that silicone lube isn't recommended for use with silicone toys (it can damage the surface in some cases).