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How To Give a Toy as a Gift

By: Carol Queen, PhD

GiftsYou're making a list! You're checking it twice! Give them a sex toy, they're naughty AND nice!

Every year we hear from holiday gift-givers who want to know what the year's best sexy gifts are. And we have plenty of information to share--we carefully curate our products and know when our favorite companies or brand-new entrepreneurs launch a winner. Suggesting awesome toys is not the hard part! The challenge is...who gets what? And who should maybe not get a sexy gift from you at all?

The answer to that last question largely boils down to this: Do you know them well enough to know whether they might want a sex toy (or related gift) in the first place? 

When you give someone a toy it's a kind of intimate act, whether you have a sexual relationship with them or not. If you do, it could seem like an extension of that relationship. If you want to increase your intimacy, it might open that door...or step across a line. If you are close enough to a person to have inside info about their interest in toys, that's a safer bet than just imagining they'd probably want one, or that you could be that special person who introduced them to sex toys. 

And even if you are sure you have a relationship that toy-gifting would enhance--do you know what they'd like? 

We've curated a list of some of our favorites for the season, and we invite you to peruse it. The perfect gift might jump right out! But if not, think about what you know about your gift recipient. Are they a vibrator fan? Are they into kink? Have they mentioned a type of toy or brand they've really liked?  

Let's say you're getting a gift for your partner. You know they're open to getting a sexy present from you--but they haven't dropped any heavy hints to tell you what. After you've checked the erotic poetry magnets on the side of the fridge for a new poem that might clue you in--and found nothing!--here are some things to consider. Are there kinds of sex they especially like or fantasies they've shared with you? It's not too late to talk more about sex, you know! Partners who have an easy rapport talking together often give each other plenty of information. Have you done The Three Lists and shared them with each other? That's an awesome exercise that gives you so many clues that might help you find something perfect to play with. And of course there's the old "If you could think of one kind of sex toy you'd want to play with, what kind would it be?" That's a great hint--now make sure you know their favorite color if you really want to please. 

Let's also consider what's versatile. Some kinds of elegant bondage gear make sexy outfits sexier--whether or not you actually get into BDSM. An air toy that provides clitoral suction can be used on the nipples too. If you know they enjoy penetration, pick a toy that could be fun and safe for vaginal or anal. Cute Little Fuckers toys are super-versatile because they are designed to be used by anybody, with any body, anywhere on the body. Plus they're cute! That sounds like a good option, right? 

And add a nice bottle of lube to whatever you select! Skip the silicone if you chose a silicone toy.

Here's how you might not want to choose a sexy gift--unless you have received a clear message from your boo that it'd be cool: Don't give your partner something that turns you on unless you are quite certain it'll turn them on just as much. It's not about acting out your fave porn scene with your fave person, though that is a sweet idea in the abstract. IRL, it could really feel like pressure. That's not the spirit of giving. 
If you're just not sure, we have two words: GIFT CARD. This is honestly a perfect gift for those people you know would love a toy, erotic book, or something else we carry, but whose intimate life you're not familiar enough with to choose something you're sure will be what they want. Let them choose their own ideal toy. 
And even if you know what they'd love, give them their gift privately. Unless you and your polycule all open sexy gifts under a sex-positive tree, don't give a gift to be opened in a group. That might be beyond your giftee's comfort level...or others in the fam or friend network. Don't invite in intimacy that might not be wanted, even if it's not happening between you and your gift's recipient! And that goes double/triple/one hundred times if you're workmates. Please, we implore you, skip getting a sex toy as a gift at your workplace's holiday exchange.  

"Puh-leeeeeez, we know that!"--you may really think no one would do that. But every year we get asked what toy would be best for a workplace Secret Santa. And the answer is simple: For that party, none.

For your lover, your spouse, your bestie, your erotic book club members...we for sure have something they would love. Let us know if we can help you out with more information!