How to Buy Your Partner Surprise Sex Toys
Ask almost any person on Reddit, Quora or another internet forum if you should buy your partner surprise sex toys, and the answer will be an all-caps, red-lettered "NO." Their argument is sound: How can you know what your partner wants if you don't have a conversation first?
Fair. But there is a time, place and correct way to buy your partner a surprise sex toy. I've received them from partners and been pleasantly pleased. Granted, the gift did come after I had talked about something I was interested in trying or a specific toy I wanted to buy.
Whether or not your partner is explicit about what she wants, the key is to make the best educated guess you can. If you focus on her fantasies and desires over your own, you can find a toy she'll love, experts say.
Know what she likes
The most foolproof way to buy your partner a surprise sex toy is to use cues from your discussions. For example, if she has talked about wanting to experiment with anal penetration, a slim butt plug (and lube) may be a good place to start, said Edwina Caito, the head writer and podcast personality at Bedbible.com, a product review site based in Denmark.
"Remember that it's her fantasy," Caito added.
If she hasn't been verbal about what she likes, you can make an educated guess from nonverbal cues.
"If you notice they like it when you hold their wrists down or specific tongue movement during oral or pinching their nipples, you better believe there's a toy for that," said Melanie Cristol, the founder and CEO of Lorals Oral Sex Undies, based in Los Angeles.
Don't be afraid to talk to store owners
Once you have a specific toy in mind, visit your local sex shop. If you're intimidated, you're not alone. The visual feast includes many silicone-molded shapes, dildos, vibrators—perhaps even a few black leather chains in the corner. Where on Earth do you start?
If you feel lost, talk to the salespeople. Tell them your budget, what category you're looking for and any other details. The more specific you can be—say, a rabbit vibrator under $50—the easier it is for them to point you in the right direction.
"Any shop owner, online or brick and mortar, will be more than happy to help and give you pointers, whether you have a small idea or none at all. It's important not to feel intimidated by the wide range of toys in front of you," said Kristen Tribby, the director of marketing and education at Fun Factory, a sex toy manufacturer with offices in California and Germany.
When in doubt, go versatile
Certain sex toys are kind of infallible. Most women start with a bullet vibrator made of silicone or stainless steel that they can use externally on the clitoris. A low-risk toy like this may be a good introduction to sex toys if she doesn't have any.
Tribby recommends something insertable—just err on the side of caution when it comes to size.
"If you think your partner isn't sure what they like, get them something versatile and affordable, such as a smooth silicone vibrator," she said. "It's great for penetration and feels amazing on the clit, too."
Why not get a toy you can share?
Something you can share, such as a cock ring, can take some of the pressure off when buying a sex toy as a gift. Instead of saying, "Hey, honey, here's this toy for you. I hope I didn't totally miss the mark," the conversation turns to, "Hey, let's experiment with this toy together." It's a win-win.
Caito recommended a cock ring with a clitoral stimulator attached, adding that you can last longer during sex and she can enjoy the benefits of clitoral stimulation.
"As a result, your chances of achieving the sought-after mutual orgasm skyrockets," she explained. "There are also small, flatter-shaped vibrators that are perfect for slipping between two bodies."
Don't forget about safety and sex toys
Whether you're considering buying her a bullet vibe, an insertable vibrator or a cock ring you can share, remember to choose body-safe materials. A body-safe toy is nonporous, so it doesn't harbor bacteria and cause infections over time.
"Just because a toy looks fun doesn't mean it is safe. Stick to medical-grade silicone, hard plastic, stainless steel, borosilicate glass, ceramic or polished wood. Avoid toys made from jelly, porous materials, those that contain phthalates or that simply smell strange," said Sarah Melancon, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist based in Southern California and the sexuality and relationships expert for SexToyCollective.com.
If you're buying her a little treat for her rear end, look for something with a large base or a safety ring on the end so it won't get lost inside her butt. A trip to the emergency room definitely isn't sexy.
Try something that doesn't vibrate
Many nonvibrating sex toys also can make for a wonderful gift if you're unsure of what to get. You can engage her senses with chocolate body paint, a feather duster (not the ones for cleaning), a light leather flogger and many other props.
"Sexy accessories are a great way to build up to more intense toys and are a lower-cost way to shake up your sexual routine," Cristol said. "Get creative with a quality pair of restraints, a set of latex undies for oral sex, a silk blindfold or maybe even a clitoral stimulant cream. Sex toys go far beyond just the ones made of silicone and motors, though those are great, too."
You could even put together a kit that includes a few experimental items and let her choose one or two each time you have sex.
It can be intimidating to buy your partner a surprise sex toy, especially after combing through internet forums and reading about how you shouldn't do it. You can do it, though, once you've considered what she likes, her fantasies and something you can both enjoy.