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8 Common Masturbation Myths — Debunked!

8 Common Masturbation Myths -- Debunked!

May is National Masturbation Month! In years past we’ve talked about the benefits of masturbation, switching up your routine, and how to get comfortable with masturbation. This year, we wanted to cover masturbation myths.

We all know by now that masturbation isn’t going to give you hairy palms or cause blindness, but there are still myths out there that are harder to shake. Here are 8 of the most common masturbation myths we’ve heard — and why they aren’t true.

1. Masturbation is a substitute for sex with another person. Aspartame is a substitute sweetener for folks who can’t have or don’t want real sugar, and many people out there think of masturbation in the same way as aspartame — a substitute for when someone “can’t get the real deal.”

Masturbation isn’t a temporary stand-in or a step down from “real” sexual activity, though. It is a normal and healthy part of sexuality and sexual expression, and plenty of people who regularly have sex with others still choose to masturbate. Just because it is often a solo act doesn’t mean it isn’t a type of real sex. In fact, masturbation has many of the same benefits partnered sex offers (stress relief, mood boosting, fighting insomnia, feeling good about your body, etc.) but also allows you to take your sex life into your own hands — literally! Masturbation is 100% the real deal and can be just as sexually satisfying as sex with partners — sometimes even more so.

2. Masturbation doesn’t deserve as much attention as your partnered sex life. Many people, especially those socialized as women, are taught that anything we do that centers ourselves is considered selfish. That kind of thinking often leaves us as the last person we take care of in our own lives, which means many people learn how to please partners but have little to no idea what works for their own bodies. Not only can that feel disempowering, but it can also make it harder to communicate with sexual partners who want to help us feel good or reach orgasm. If we devote energy to our solo sex lives and set aside time for self-pleasure, we feel more empowered all around and we also have better partnered sex because we can let other people know what we want or how we prefer to be touched.

3. There is a wrong way to masturbate. While asking around about masturbation myths, one thing that kept coming up was that a lot of people grew up thinking there was only one “correct” way of masturbating. For people with vulvas, they often thought that anything outside of lying on their backs and masturbating with their fingers was “wrong,” and for people with penises, they thought that jerking off with one hand while sitting or standing were the only “normal” ways to touch themselves.

However, people masturbate in all sorts of ways — humping pillows, using sex toys, playing with their butts, masturbating on their stomachs, rubbing everyday objects on their genitals, cutting holes into foam mattresses and going to town — and they’re all normal! The only wrong way to masturbate is if you’re doing it in a way that violates another person’s consent (such as masturbating on a crowded bus). Beyond that, explore, have fun, and if you’re sticking anything in your ass, make sure it has a flared base or loop for easy retrieval!

4. Masturbation with fingers/hands only is “more pure” than with sex toys. Nonsense! When it comes to masturbation, it’s all about discovering what feels good and works for you personally. While many people love using their hands and fingers, billions of people all over the world, past and present, have used sex toys. For as long as humans have been humans, we’ve used objects to give ourselves and others pleasure, and there is nothing unnatural or impure about it. Some people can’t use hands/fingers to touch themselves and have a much easier time using toys, while others may simply prefer the texture, shape, or vibration that toys offer, and tons of people love having the option to choose based on their mood. However you decide to play is all good if it’s working for you.

5. If you use vibrators too much, you won’t be able to orgasm without them anymore. Firstly, using a vibrator can help many people orgasm who have difficulty reaching orgasm otherwise. Some of those people may continue to use a vibrator every time they want to have an orgasm and others are able to train their bodies and get off manually after toys have helped them become more easily orgasmic. Both are fine!

For those who were climaxing on their own without the help of toys and then started using vibrators, most report that they generally like to switch things up and sometimes get off with vibrators and sometimes get off in other ways. They choose what works best for them in the moment, and many people are into having a variety of options. Then again, many people are also into efficiency, and vibrators can be very efficient! So, some people will choose to grab their vibrator nearly every time, but it doesn’t mean they can’t reach orgasm without them anymore. It just means they might be favoring how easily orgasms come to them with vibration.

If you’re nervous that you’ve been relying on your vibrator too much, try taking a break from vibes for a few days and using your hands. It might take a little while to retrain your body to respond to sensations that aren’t vibration, but if you were able to come before without vibration, you should be able to come again without it.

6. If you have a partner, masturbation is cheating. Taking care of yourself and being in touch with your own body is important. Masturbating alone, even if you’re viewing porn, is not cheating. If your partner feels threatened by your masturbation habits, have a conversation about why. Perhaps they are worried that you will not have desire left for them if you masturbate (which is another myth – the great majority of masturbators still like having sex with their partners even when they masturbate often) or perhaps they feel insecure because the porn you watch leaves them wondering if you are desiring someone or something else.

If masturbation is causing issues in your relationship, communicate openly and compassionately with each other about concerns and insecurities and find a way to make sure you’re sharing physical intimacy with each other regularly.

7. Masturbation is just “a means to an end” and should be over with quickly rather than indulging in it. The great thing about masturbation is that you’re in charge, so it can last as long as you want it to last! That may mean getting off in under two minutes with a Womanizer before heading to work, or it may mean a weekend getaway where you spend most of it naked and touching yourself in as many ways as possible. Just like partnered sex, masturbation can be anything from a quickie to a full weekend of romance and savoring sensations.

If you’re a person who is often goal-oriented (i.e orgasm focused) when you masturbate, try switching it up every once in a while by slowing down and taking some extra time to explore your body in new ways and treat it as an act of self-love and self-care. 

8. Masturbation can only be done alone. While most people think of masturbation as something to do alone, it absolutely doesn’t have to be a solo act! Mutual masturbation, where two (or more) people are masturbating together, can be incredibly hot and has tons of benefits. Besides being very sexy to watch/hear, it can be a wonderful way to learn how someone else likes to be touched and a way of showing off your own preferences. Mutual masturbation is also great because it offers an alternative to penetrative play and is a low risk activity in terms of pregnancy and STI transmission. If you’ve never tried it before, consider giving it a chance. You may find that masturbating with or for someone else is one of your new favorite ways to enjoy sex!

Have you heard of any other masturbation myths that we didn’t cover? Feel free to leave them in the comments. Happy Masturbation Month, everyone!


How to pick out porn

Finding the porn DVD or video that can turn you on, give you new ideas, or help get you off is not always an easy task. After all, the world is full of many different types of porn — and it’s not all created equal.

In The Smart Girl’s Guide to Porn, author Violet Blue suggests “creating a picture of what you hope to find in your porn, just as you’d order a meal in a restaurant.” So, start by asking yourself (and your partner, if you’re watching together) what sounds appetizing, and go from there. Want to see women in charge? A real life amateur couple who remind you of you and your sweetie? Anal sex? Whatever moods you might be feeling, jot them down. Then make a second list of things you don’t want to see. Do you get turned off by facial ejaculation? Distracted by vintage fashion or hairstyles? Not a fan of movies that have plots or try to be funny? Take note. This will help you narrow down your choices.

You can also ask yourself what style of film you like in general. Do you prefer movies with big budgets, set designs, and special effects? Maybe you would want to check out a film like Pirates. If you’re into documentaries or educational films, try watching an instructional porn film. Do you usually pick movies from the LGBT section on Netflix? Try one of the films from the queer porn section on our website!

Just like at a restaurant, if you don’t exactly know what you’re in the mood for, you can at least start by ignoring the things you don’t like. If you don’t eat meat, you would likely ignore the section of menu labeled “surf and turf” and search for menu items suitable for a vegetarian. The same idea can be used for pornography. For example, if what you’re hoping to avoid are the things you have seen in mainstream adult movies over and over again, try a different genre! Consult Erika Lust’s guide book Good Porn and then pick out some women-directed or indie adult films for a better fit. 

If you’re still overwhelmed by choices, use your eyeballs. If you’re in a store or online ordering DVDs, pay attention to what’s on the cover. We’re visual creatures, especially when seeking porn, so pay attention to that first impression you get from the DVD box or picture on the computer screen. If you think the people on the cover are all hot babes or you are drawn to the filmmaker’s aesthetic, that can be a good sign! If you’re turned off by the images on the front, skip that film. It may be true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but DVD covers and porn thumbnails aren’t books. It’s okay to base your porn selection on what is visually appealing to you.

Still undecided? You can always consult recommendations and reviews. Figure out which films have won awards or get positive reviews online. This is often how people choose which movie to go see in theaters, right? It may work for finding yourself some incredible porn too! Some of the DVDs we carry that have won industry awards are:

Whatever you end up deciding, go into watching with an open mind, a bottle of lube, and a fully charged sex toy! Even if every scene doesn’t do it for you, exploring pornography can expand your horizons, increase libido, and help you discover and share kinks safely. Whether you love a movie and want to watch it again and again, or you turn it off after the first two minutes, getting in touch with what turns you on and sparking conversations with partners about their desires and fantasies is always a win.


Guide to STP (stand-to-pee) devices

PstylesSummer is here and during such an outdoorsy season, stand-to-pee devices (STPs) are more sought after than ever! STPs make it possible for any person with a vulva to pee standing up — no more hovering awkwardly over porta potties at concerts or leaving your butt bug-vulnerable when camping. STPs can also be essential to a trans person wanting to use a urinal discreetly and comfortably. Thinking about where and when you are going to be using your STP can help steer you toward the perfect one for your needs.

We carry quite a few STP devices and prosthetics, all of which are non-porous and therefore easy to clean. The pStyle, for example, is an inexpensive option and relatively simple to use. When placed under the urethra, it serves as a funnel for the urinary stream. Because the pStyle is made of rigid plastic, many people find it easier to use than softer silicone STPs — however, it cannot be folded up for transport. The pStyle comes in a variety of different colors, and we have several super cute carrying cases to choose from!

Fenis and Mr. Fenis

Want a softer STP? The Fenis and Mr. Fenis are fairly inexpensive silicone options. Mr. Fenis comes in flesh-like tones and has a realistic head at the end of the shaft. (Although Mr. Fenis looks more realistic, it is not meant for packing.) Both the Fenis and Mr. Fenis are very pliable, making them foldable and portable, but you want to be sure the base is cupped securely against the body to prevent any dribble.

Model DIf you’re looking for something more realistic that can double as a packer, the Model D and Model D Sport are good options. They are essentially the same product, but the Model D has slightly larger balls. These products are made of silicone, come in several skin tone colors, and don’t require any attachments to be used as STPs. For packing, the Model D and Model D Sport can fold down to create a natural-looking bulge. The Slingshot Harness is specifically designed to hold these models securely in place. However, packing undies like the Spareparts Pete (or even just snug-fitting briefs or boxer briefs with a pouch) can work fine; you might just want to take extra precaution that everything is properly adjusted. As with any packer, pick a size that works best for your body and think about how much of a bulge you want making an appearance.

Sam the STPSam the STP by New York Toy Collective is the newest addition to our STP collection and can serve as both a packer and STP. It’s made of medical grade silicone, yet softer than the Model D and Model D Sport, and therefore easier to fold up if you don’t want to be packing. Sam has a wide open base that extends down to the balls, making this STP fairly straightforward to use. Since the base of Sam needs to connect with the body, any sort of packing underwear or harness that is open at the back would work fine with this model.

Before using any STP in public, we recommend trying it out in the shower to get a feel for how it works. Some STPs take a little practice to gauge how much urinary flow control you’re going to need to prevent any spills or dribbles. As always, we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about any of our products. If you’re local, pop into the shop so you can see them for yourself!


Guide to masturbation sleeves

Most masturbation sleeves sleeves are built on a simple premise: to enhance the stimulation that one gets from their hand. Many, though, go above and beyond that duty, adding unique textures, supple materials, and stimulating suction to the equation. However, don’t let the term “masturbation sleeve” restrict you — like any sex toy, sleeves can be enjoyed solo or with a partner.

We believe a good, solid masturbation sleeve is a great addition to one’s sex toy arsenal. But what are the differences between the sleeves, and how do you choose the right one for you?

First, ask yourself the questions below. Then keep your answers in mind as you read about the different sleeves we carry. Each sleeve has its own pros and cons, and each satisfies certain requirements while eschewing others.

  • What’s my budget? The range is vast. $8.50 at the cheapest; $149 at the most.
  • Do I want texture, and if so, what kind? You’ll find everything from bumps to ridges to indescribable textures within these sleeves. If you’re not sure, it could be best to grab a sleeve that’s reversible (the Tenga EggsSidekick #1Sidekick #2, and Maven all are) so you can try a smooth texture as well and figure out which you prefer.
  • Do I want suction? Sleeves with closed ends provide suction, and some of the higher-end toys, such as the Fleshlights and Tenga Flip Holes, even have adjustable suction.
  • Do I want to be able to feel my hand? This sounds like a strange question, but it’s really not! If you use a sleeve with a case, like the Fleshlight and Tenga Flip Hole, your hand won’t contribute much sensation. Some people love this, as it helps them fantasize better. Sleeves without cases allow the pressure and motion of your hand to come through, which is good if you like to create your own pressure or engage in a unique stroking motion.
  • How discreet do I need it to be? The Tenga Eggs are the smallest and most portable, while the Fleshlights masquerade as flashlights. Just depends on what kind of discreet you need.
  • Do I want a partner to use it on me? If so, you’ll probably want a toy that’s more lightweight.

Vibratex makes a couple inexpensive sleeves that are great for beginners. The Sidekick #1 and Sidekick #2 are basic, elastomer sleeves. The Sidekick #1 is 5 1/2″ long and contains nubs, while the Sidekick #2 is 4 1/4″ long and adorned with ridges. The Sidekick #1 is closed on one end, whereas the Sidekick #2 is open on both. Closed sleeves tend to provide more suction. Sleeves that are open on each end are great for folks who don’t like suction, don’t want a lot of stimulation on the head of the penis, and/or want to combine a sleeve with a blowjob.

The Maven is more spendy, but it’s the thickest and longest (7″ long) of Vibratex’s sleeves, giving it more of a plush feel and providing more of an engulfing sensation. It also has a soft finish that adds to the experience. The Maven is closed on one end and is decorated with bumps, but the bumps are more subtle than those in the Sidekick #1.

Tenga Lover's Egg

Tenga Eggs are the perfect introduction to sleeves. At just $8.50 each, they’re an inexpensive way to experiment and see what you like. Made of incredibly stretchy elastomer, Tenga Eggs are meant to be pulled down over the penis. Each one has a different inner texture according to the pattern on its packaging. There’s everything from dots to triangles to waves — and even hearts.

Tenga Eggs are self-contained and even come with a pouch of lube, so they are excellent for popping in a bag during your travels. Although Tenga Eggs were designed as one-time use toys, they can be reused a few times if they are handled with care.

Tenga Flip HoleOne unique feature of the aforementioned sleeves is that they can all be turned inside out if you find the inner texture to be too intense. These sleeves are also great if you want to feel the motion or pressure of your hand as you use them. For that reason — and because they are so lightweight — they are ideal choices for partner play.

Tenga’s more heavy-duty sleeves are called Flip Holes. The Flip Holes contain the most intricate textures of all the sleeves we carry. They’re like little mazes! Each color of Flip Hole contains a different inner texture, but the Flip Hole Black is the tightest and most intense of the three.

At 7″ long and 3 1/2″ wide, the Flip Holes are hefty enough to be substantial, but not as big as regular-sized Fleshlights. They each have three “buttons” on the top and bottom that can be used to adjust suction and pressure in various locations, which can be a fun feature especially in the hands of a partner.

Each Tenga Flip Hole also comes with a stand that doubles as a drying rack during cleaning. And speaking of cleaning, the Flip Holes are by far the easiest sleeves to clean, because they open up completely.


Fleshlight is one of the most recognizable names in the entire sex toy industry, and for good reason: they make some of the highest-quality masturbation sleeves around. Fleshlight sleeves are crafted out of a patented phthalate-free material called Superskin that is incredibly squishy and life-like. Some of the sleeves are pink, while others are semi-transparent. The semi-transparent sleeves coupled with the clear cases make the Fleshlight Ice products some of the only sleeves in which the user can view the penetration as it happens.

Fleshlights come in an array of inner textures. The Fleshlight Pink Lady Stamina Training Unit is the most intensely-textured Fleshlight we have; its narrow and bumpy tunnel is meant to replicate intercourse so it can “train” the user to last longer. The Fleshlight Vibro Pink Lady is the only Fleshlight that vibrates, thanks to three included bullets that fit into the sleeve.

The Fleshlight Flight is one of their newer products, and it’s smaller than the typical Fleshlight. If you want all the pleasures of a Fleshlight in a more compact package, the Flight is an excellent choice.

Fun Factory Cobra LibreAnd finally, Fun Factory Cobra Libre is in a class all its own. Not really a sleeve, but not just a vibrator, this rechargeable toy is built to stimulate the head of the penis with its strong vibrations. Its tunnel is not very deep, so this is not a toy that will surround most penises entirely. But if you love vibrations and head stimulation, the Cobra Libre is where it’s at!

Once you choose the sleeve of your dreams, don’t forget to pick up some lube to go along with it. Thinner lubes are easiest to use with sleeves, as they can penetrate all the crevasses. Try Blossom Organics, or read our Lube 101 post for more tips on choosing a lube.

Also be sure to take a look at our sex toy cleaning guide so you’re equipped with all the proper info for cleaning and storing your new toy!


Guide to sex toys during menopause

In our culture, menopause is often painted as an unpleasant, even ominous stage of life that will bring nothing but trouble. And while it is true that menopause is accompanied by many uncomfortable symptoms, it is a phase that also holds some hidden potential. Menopause is a great time for a rebirth — for a relearning of what feels good to you and how you would like to experience sexuality in your later years.

It can be challenging, to be sure. Menopause comes with many symptoms that impact one’s ability to enjoy sex. A decline in hormones causes the vaginal tissues to become thinner and less elastic, and decreased blood flow causes diminished sensation and lubrication. Along with mood swings and hot flashes, this can result in difficulty with arousal, decreased pleasure with penetration, inability to climax, and an overall lack of desire for sex.

All of these issues are entirely normal. But this is where a person must become proactive. Doctors, therapists, and sex educators are in agreement on one point: the more sexually active you can stay as you go through menopause, the better. A partner is not required. Masturbation works just as well. The bottom line is that regular penetration and stimulation can improve vaginal elasticity, promote healthy blood circulation to the tissues, and heighten pleasure.

With dedication, commitment, and lots of lube, your sex life can continue to thrive throughout menopause — and beyond.

(Note: Your doctor or OBGYN will be able to give you more tailor-fit suggestions for dealing with the many symptoms of menopause, including options for hormone therapy, counseling, sex therapy, etc. It is best to check with your doctor first to make sure there are no underlying health issues.)

Lube, always lube

Sliquid Satin and Yes water-based

Lubricant is perhaps the most important thing we sell for menopausal folks. As estrogen levels fall, the cells in the vaginal lining produce less moisture when stimulated. The lining also becomes thinner, drier, and more susceptible to irritation and tearing. Even people who have never needed lube may find that their body simply does not create enough natural lubrication anymore. Lube can help immensely.

Yes water-based and Sliquid Satin are two water-based lubes that can be used both during sexual activity and as daily moisturizers. Satin contains a seaweed extract that is said to lock in moisture, while Yes contains a flax extract which bolsters mucous membranes. Both contain aloe vera and are meant to mimic the body’s natural lubrication. You can even get pre-filled Yes applicators or Lube Tubes, which are great for depositing lube where it’s needed most: internally.

Another option might be Yes oil-based. Made with cocoa and shea butter, it has a softer, silkier feel than water-based lubes, and will absorb nicely into the skin when its primary job is done. You can even layer water-based lube on top of it, which prevents the water-based lube from drying up too quickly. Oil-based lube, however, can degrade latex, so it should not be used alongside barriers such as condoms and gloves.

Silicone-based lubes are another possibility, but with a few caveats. They are not the best option for daily moisturization — and they’re not compatible with silicone sex toys. They are, however, extremely long-lasting, and can greatly reduce friction during penetration. Read more about the varieties of lube in our guide.

Dilators and how to use them

Dilators are cylindrical objects that come in varying sizes and are inserted vaginally to gently acclimate the vagina to penetration. They are extremely useful tools not just for those experiencing menopause, but also folks who have gone through chemotherapy, are on some medications, are grappling with certain types of pelvic pain (such as vaginismus), or just want to improve the ability of their vagina to accommodate certain sizes.

Painful penetration is common with menopause. The thinning of the vaginal walls causes diminished elasticity and muscle tone, tightening of the vaginal opening, dryness, and sometimes even a shortening and narrowing of the vaginal canal. These elements lead to discomfort during penetration. Thankfully, sustained use of dilators or other toys can help restore the vagina to a more elastic and robust state.

Berman Dilator SetWe have a couple dilator options. The first is the Berman Dilator Set, which is made of body-safe ABS plastic. It consists of a vibrating handle and three sizes of attachment ranging from .75″ in diameter to 1.5″ in diameter. It also comes with a soft nubby sleeve, in case you want to experiment with some texture. The added vibration can help the muscles relax.

If you’d prefer something squishier, there’s the Tantus Silk series. These slightly curved 100% silicone dildos come in three sizes ranging from .75″ in diameter to 1.5″ in diameter. We also have other silicone dilators in the shop we can show you. Those start at the size of a pinky and gradually get larger.

The important thing to understand is that the largest size is not always the end goal. The end goal is simply comfortable and satisfying penetration, whatever that means for you.

Some dildos, though not marketed as dilators, could serve the same purpose. The Vixen Creations Spur and Mistress, for instance, are both fairly small and made of soft silicone. The Mistress even comes with a little bullet for some added vibration.

Insertable vibrators can also help aid in the journey toward pleasurable penetration, as they can massage the delicate tissue with their vibration. The Bswish Bgee is nice and thin; the LELO Liv is rechargeable and silky smooth, with a range of vibration intensities. Ultimately, any insertable toy that is comfortable for you can be useful in expanding the vagina’s capabilities.

Here are some tips for using dilators/toys to ease into comfortable penetration. Of course, the experience will differ greatly from person to person.

  • Find a comfortable and private location in which you can breathe easy and take your time.
  • Aim for arousal, either by touching your clitoris/labia, and/or fantasizing, watching a DVD, or reading erotica, whatever works for you. Arousal will relax the muscles and elongate the vagina.
  • Apply a liberal amount of lube to both the dilator/toy and the opening of the vagina.
  • Focus on relaxing all parts of your body, especially your pelvic floor muscles. Breathe deeply and, if it helps, visualize your vagina in a state of softness, opening to accept the toy.
  • Angle the tip of the toy downward a bit, as this will help steer it under your pubic bone. Then slowly insert it vaginally as far as you’re able without experiencing pain.
  • If you feel a stretching sort of pain, pull the toy out slightly and focus on the area that is comfortable. When that area is relaxed, you can push the toy in more.
  • Once the toy has become comfortable for you (which may not be for several sessions), experiment with different movements. Increase the depth of penetration, or rotate the handle. Move the toy back and forth. Turn on the vibration.
  • After one size of toy has become quite comfortable on several separate occasions, feel free to size up. If the next size hurts, return to the previous size for a bit. Don’t rush it.
  • Always listen to your body. If at any point you experience serious pain, slowly pull the toy out and take a rest. You can always try again tomorrow.
  • Settle into a routine with your dilators/toys. The more regularly you can do these exercises, the easier it will become, and the more benefits you can reap.

Kegel exercisors

Je Joue Ami kegel ballsWhile kegel exercises can be beneficial to folks of all ages, they can especially assist those going through menopause. The drop in estrogen levels that accompanies menopause can cause a decrease in muscle tone and pelvic floor relaxation. This effect can be reversed with kegel exercise.

Kegel exercise consists of voluntarily and repetitively contracting and relaxing the PC muscles.  Regular kegel exercise increases blood flow to the vagina and can have a variety of worthwhile effects, such as heightened sensitivity, stronger orgasms, and greater response to G-spot stimulation. The more the PC muscles are toned, the more they can relax, thus improving your chances of pain-free penetration. Strong PC muscles also help with urinary incontinence.

Kegel exercises can be done without the aid of a toy (read our guide for techniques), or with a toy in place to provide resistance and added stimulation. We carry several sets of kegel balls, but our top choice for older folks would be the Je Joue Ami set. These balls are covered in squishy, seamless silicone, which is important when sensitive, thin vaginal tissue is involved. With the set, you can start with the lightweight ball and work toward the heaviest.

Books and DVDs

There are many literary and visual resources to help you through menopause, such as Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause.

The fabulous senior sex educator Joan Price has two books — Naked At Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex and Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty — which feature personal stories as well as advice from sex therapists, health professionals, counselors, and more. We also carry Sex Over 50, which debunks myths about sexuality and aging. In the same vein, there’s Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 60.

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability is an invaluable resource to anyone with pain, illness, disability, or a chronic condition. If you suspect that your sexual pain is due to something other than just menopause, pick up When Sex Hurts and tell your doctor.

That’s not all!

EroscillatorLet’s not forget the important role that vibrators can play in this process. To combat a decrease in sensitivity, you can try a strong wand-style vibe such as the Hitachi, Bodywand, MagiC wand, or Mystic Wand. Some folks have found that the deep, penetrating oscillations of the Eroscillator are very effective. Or, an ergonomic and versatile rechargeable vibe might be better: perhaps the LELO Mona 2 or Jimmyjane Form 4.

Your experience of sensation may change during and after menopause, which can open up new doors. Experiment with a stimulating gel or a clitoral pump to increase blood flow to the clitoris and enhance sensitivity. Or check out sensation toys such as feather ticklers and the Wartenberg Pinwheel. Use a blindfold to add an element of surprise and heighten the sensation even further.

With a partner, there are countless ways you can keep things interesting (and thus help your body follow along): spend more time on foreplay, initiate sex at a different time of day than usual, watch a DVD together, experiment with a new position, engage in roleplay, introduce sensual massage, try cock rings, or even sign up for one of our many workshops to learn something new together.

The usual stay-healthy tips also apply to those going through menopause: eating well, drinking enough water, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising can always improve your (sex) life. Exercise especially has the potential to increase your energy, enhance your mood, improve your self-esteem, and yes, even boost your libido. It’s the endorphins!

Above all, aim for variety and nurture a sense of adventure and positivity. Make a commitment to yourself to maintain an active sex life as you age, and follow through on that promise. Although menopause can be difficult, it can also be an opportunity to explore your sexuality in a whole new way.


How to become comfortable with masturbation

May is Masturbation Month, which always gets us thinking about how we can help folks celebrate. In 2011, we listed the numerous ways masturbation is beneficial to your emotional and physical health. In 2012, we gave you some ideas for trying something new during your usual masturbation routine.

This year, we’re going with a different approach. We’d like to give some tips to folks for whom masturbation doesn’t come as easily. If, for any reason, you find masturbation difficult, not pleasurable, or simply dull, we hope these tips can steer you down a happier path.

  • Unlearn negative thoughts. No matter where you picked up any negative cultural scripts that play in your head surrounding masturbation, banish them. There is absolutely nothing shameful or wrong about masturbation. Read our post about the benefits of masturbation; among other things, masturbation can boost your mood, relieve stress, fight insomnia, and strengthen your sexual relationship with yourself and others. Once you unpack and undo the negative messages, they won’t be able to hold you back anymore.
  • Read an empowering book or blog, such as Big Big LoveTranscending AnatomySex for One, The New Male SexualityGender Outlaws, or For Yourself, which address body image issues as well as sexuality. There are also more matter-of-fact guides specifically about orgasm, such as Becoming Orgasmic and The Elusive Orgasm. If you have dealt with any sort of trauma, Healing Sex is an irreplaceable resource.
  • Watch an empowering (and hot!) film. Erika Lust’s Barcelona Sex Project and Buck Angel’s Sexing the Transman show folks having authentic solo pleasure. For more of an instructional film, try Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Female Orgasm, which includes a workshop portion followed by several partnered scenes.
  • Do kegels. Kegel exercises, aside from strengthening the PC muscles (and thereby improving orgasms), can also help you get in tune with your body. These exercises can be done at any time, or you can purchase a specifically-designed kegel exercisor. Read our guide for more info!
  • Don’t masturbate when you’re in a bad mood. A negative mental state will impact the experience and only cause frustration. If you’re stressed, preoccupied, upset, or feeling guilty, it can be difficult to feel sexual pleasure, let alone orgasm. So when you’re ready…
  • Relax and get comfortable. It’s important to feel safe and at ease — whatever that means to you. That might mean taking a bath, playing music, and lighting a candle, or it may just mean blissful silence and a set of freshly-washed sheets. In any case, get rid of distractions as best you can: turn off your phone, lock the door, and send the kids and pets away! Preparation, aside from setting a comfortable scene, can help build anticipation and excitement for what’s next.
  • Explore your body, not just your genitals. There are many more erogeneous zones to stimulate! Begin by stroking and caressing your ears, neck, arms, nipples, hips, thighs, perineum… wherever your hands take you.
  • Spend time on arousal. When you’re aroused, your body will become far more sensitive and receptive to touch. So fantasize, watch porn, and/or read erotica to get the blood pumping first. Then, by the time you touch your genitals, your body will be primed for pleasure.
  • Lube is your friend. Lube can enhance masturbation quite a bit. Stroke 29 and Boy Butter H20 are specially formulated for stimulating a penis, while Yes and Sliquid Sea are wonderful for vulvas. You could also try a stimulating gel. When applied to the clitoris or head of the penis, Stimulating O Gel or ON Clitoral Arousal Balm can bring sensation to the area, helping you focus.
  • Follow what feels good. Despite what Cosmo may have you believe, there is no formula here. Everyone’s different and will respond differently to stimulation. Vary your speed, rhythm, pressure, and grip, as well as the location you’re pleasuring. There are some great alternative masturbation techniques for trans women and trans men. Try various positions — on your back, sitting up, on your stomach — as sensations will change. Take your time. You will find that certain techniques trigger more pleasure than others. Follow those cues!
  • And don’t overthink it. It’s really important not to let stressful thoughts creep in and sabotage you. At the same time, don’t completely zone out and disconnect from the experience. Strike a balance.
  • Introduce a toy. Sex toys can provide sensations that fingers often aren’t capable of. We have a guide to buying your first vibrator that can give you an idea of what’s out there. Other options include dildos, sleeves, and anal toys. Any of these can help enhance masturbation and add variety.
  • Orgasm isn’t always the holy grail. Constantly worrying about orgasm will distract both your mind and your body, which will work against you. If you can accept that you may not always have an orgasm, it will relieve the pressure you put on yourself.  Think of masturbation as pleasure for its own sake, not just an end result.

How to choose your first vibrator

PicoBong AkoSo you want to buy your first vibrator — or replace a crappy old one. It seems like a daunting task, we know! And there are certainly a ton of options out there. But it’s not as difficult as it seems, and believe us, it can be fun and exciting once you’ve been pointed in the right direction. That is what we’re going to do here!

When choosing your first vibe, a lot depends on which part of your body you want to stimulate. Do you want clitoral stimulation only? Penetration only? Or do you want an insertable toy that can double as a clitoral vibe? Perhaps you want a dual stimulator, like a rabbit, for simultaneous penetration and clitoral stimulation? Making a decision on this front will narrow the field right off the bat!

BambooUnderstanding which types of stimulation you prefer can be helpful as well. Do you like direct and pinpoint stimulation, more widespread stimulation, or the option for either? Pressure or a light touch? Are you pretty sensitive, or do you crave a lot of stimulation at once? It’s okay if you’re not sure about these questions, as some vibes have a whole range of vibration intensities and options that won’t lock you into just one way of using them. Besides, you’ll learn more about what you like once you find a good toy to experiment with.

Some shops still carry toys made of questionable and potentially unsafe materials — but not us. By shopping with us, you’ll know that whatever toy you choose will be body-safe and phthalate-free. Without all the mystery meat materials clogging up our inventory, there are two non-porous vibrator materials to choose between: plastic and silicone. Plastic is hard and smooth; it transmits vibrations very well and provides excellent pressure if you want it. Silicone is a softer, more plush material. However, different manufacturers utilize silicone in different ways. Fun Factory toys, for instance, are some of the more squishy, whereas silicone-coated toys from LELO, PicoBong, and Jimmyjane are velevety but tend to be quite rigid.

We-Vibe TouchYour budget will probably come into play early on in your search for the right vibe. In general, battery-operated toys are cheaper than rechargeable ones, but they also require you to purchase batteries often. If you’ve already experienced the untimely death of a cheap toy, it may reassure you to know that many rechargeable vibes come with warranties. We also carry a few vibes that plug into the wall, and those range in price from $60 to $199.

While not always true, the type and number of batteries that a vibrator uses can be indicative of its vibration strength. A vibe that uses watch batteries, for instance, is not going to have the kind of power as a vibe that takes C batteries. If you’re able to visit us in person, you can pick up each vibe and feel its power for yourself.

Almost all vibrators can be used for clitoral stimulation, so if that’s what you’re after, there is a lot of range in terms of size, shape, and power source. There’s everything from the 2-inch Power Bullet to the foot-long Magic Wand Rechargeable. Obviously, some of these are more discreet than others! If you’re looking for a vibe that can blend into its surroundings, check out the Lipstick Vibe or LELO Mia 2 (USB rechargeable and can pass as a jump drive).

Bnaughty Vibrating BulletMini vibes are a popular choice for beginners because they are small, discreet, and easy to hold. Corded bullets like Silver BulletBnaughty, and Silk Touch Egg are especially simple to operate, as you control vibrations using the power pack. (Plus, you can quickly and cheaply spruce up your bullet or pocket rocket by grabbing a sleeve: the Rabbit Sleeve, Dandelion Sleeve, or Pixie Sleeve.) A good, dependable mid-range mini vibe is the PicoBong Ako. Some great rechargeable mini vibes are the LELO Siri 2, Jimmyjane Form 2We-Vibe TouchLELO Mia 2, and Minna Limon.

Some toys are exceptional at enhancing certain masturbation techniques. For instance, if you like rubbing your clitoris with your finger, there are vibes that can add buzz to your usual routine. The Dame Fin and Play With Me Finger Vibe actually strap to your fingers, while the Jimmyjane Form 3 has a thin, vibrating silicone membrane that your finger can control. Do you often masturbate to music? Well, the OhMiBod Club Vibe 3.OH lets you feel the music!

Sqweel 2If you know what kind of sensation you enjoy against your clitoris, there are some unique vibes to consider. If you like flickering, look at the Sqweel 2 or Sqweel Go. If you prefer a gentle back and forth, try the Eroscillator. If you like suction, consider the Womanizer. If you want your clit to be surrounded on both sides, the Jimmyjane Form 2 and Duet Flex can do that.

One special category of vibrators is wands. These powerful clitoral toys are characterized by their shape, which was originally meant to help relieve back and neck pain. Today, they are used for pleasure as well, they vary in size tremendously, and they have different power sources. Some, like the Hitachi and Bodywand, have large heads and strong vibrations that provide deep, penetrating stimulation on a large surface area, which some people love. Others, like the Mystic Wand and Shibari Mini Halo, are smaller but just as powerful. One perk about wands is that many can accommodate attachments, turning them from solely clitoral vibes into insertable and dual stimulation ones.

On the other hand, if you’re very sensitive or you’ve previously tried a strong toy and didn’t enjoy it, we carry vibes with softer, milder vibrations, such as the Bcute Pearl, Pop Vibe, and Rain. You’ll find that many rechargeable toys, especially those from LELO, start off on a pleasingly low first level, which can be increased if needed.

LELO Mona 2If you’ve never had an orgasm, you’ll probably want a toy with a large range of vibration strengths so you can play around and discover exactly which level you like. The PicoBong Ako, OhMiBod Lovelife Cuddle, and LELO Mona 2 are perfect for this purpose.

A lot of vibes with long shafts can be used both internally and externally. These toys are awesome options for a beginner, as they allow for the most amount of experimentation. The Easy GliderZizo, and G Slim Satin Touch are a few versatile battery-powered vibes. In the rechargeable category, there are vibes like the LELO Liv 2 and OhMiBod Lovelife Cuddle. When considering insertable toys, always keep size in mind. You don’t want to end up with something bigger than you can handle! So measure whatever you generally use for insertion — both girth and length — and use that as a guide.

On the hunt for a vibe you can use during sex? You’ll want one that’s small or thin enough to fit between two bodies. Vibes with longer shafts are actually good for this purpose, as they can reduce the strain on your hand and fingers. Or you could try the couples-oriented We-Vibe Sync.

If your main concern is exploring your G-spot, then you’ll want a vibe with a pronounced and/or curved head. Some inexpensive options are the G Slim Satin TouchBgee, and Beau. More high-end choices include the LELO Gigi 2, We-Vibe Rave, and LELO Mona 2. There are also some vibrating dildos and non-vibrating dildos that are ideal for G-spot play. Learn more about picking out the perfect G-spot toy in our guide.

KayaAnd how about the two-in-one toys? The Her Name is Rio kit comes with one motor and two silicone shapes, one for clitoral stimulation and one for insertion. Or, some folks find the idea of a dual or rabbit vibe especially appealing, as they offer simultaneous internal and external stimulation. The downside to these toys is that they are very anatomy-specific, and their abundant stimulation may feel overwhelming to beginners. The upside is that when a rabbit really works for you, it can become your go-to toy. One small and non-intimidating dual vibe is the Butterfly Bliss. Kaya is also a nice introductory rabbit. Get the in-depth low-down on rabbit vibes in our guide.

There’s just one final factor you should consider when choosing your first vibrator: aesthetics! Your sense of style will probably guide you anyway when you’re browsing our shop, but be sure to listen to it! You’ll be much more likely to use a toy that you find visually appealing.

Still feeling boggled? Come to our recurring class, The Joys of Toys!, in which we cover everything you need to know about delving into the big wide world of sex toys.


How to create and share a wish list

Want to give someone a not-so-subtle hint about the sexy items you’ve been coveting? Or maybe you just need to make a private list of the toys you’re saving up for? Use our online store’s wish list feature! You’ll have the option of keeping your list all to yourself, or sharing it with a friend (or several). Here’s a quick walk-through to show you the ropes.

First, you’ll need an account in our online store. If you already have one, just go to our site and click “LOGIN” at the top of any page. If you do not have an account yet, click “REGISTER” instead.

After you create your account, you will be redirected to your account page. You’ll notice a small icon in the upper right — click that if you need to edit your account information (name, address, etc.). Otherwise, follows the links within your account to create a wish list. You will end up here:

You must fill out every field on this page to create your wish list. You can even click the tiny arrow at the upper left of the description box to get more formatting options, such as bold, italic, and linking. Then click “Save.”

You will now be sent to your wish list page. From here, you can click “Edit” in the upper right hand corner to change any of the stuff you just specified. We’ll get to the “Invitees” area in just a second — but first, you need to add some toys to your list!

Navigate to the product page of the item you’d like to add, then click the “add to wish list” link right under the “ADD TO CART” button.

A dropdown box will appear; choose your newly-created list from there, as well as your size and color options, if applicable. Then click “Add.”

Now you can add more things to your wish list, or even create multiple wish lists if you’d like. To access your lists, click on “MY ACCOUNT” at the top of the any page, where you’ll find a link to your wish list. It will look a little something like this:

Finally, we’ve come to the exciting part — inviting someone to view your wish list, and potentially purchase something for you! NOTE: Do not invite anyone to your wish list that you wouldn’t want to know your address. 

Click “Add Invitee” at the the bottom of the wish list. Two boxes will appear. Put the person’s name in the first box, their email address in the second, and click “Save.” This will not notify the person about your wish list until you click the envelope icon under “Send Email.” Your recipient will then get an email that looks like this:

They will be able to use the password you specified to access the wish list. If they choose to buy something from your list, the checkout page will automatically fill in your address as the shipping address, so make sure the address in your account stays up to date.

That’s all there is to it! Now get out there and start wishing!


How to choose a harness

Photo by Aslan Leather

If you don’t own a harness, it’s a great thing to add to your sexual arsenal. People of all genders and orientations can wear them, and people of all genders and orientations can enjoy the pleasures of being penetrated by a partner wearing one.

Harnesses open up a whole world of possibilities, too, giving you the tools to explore activities like pegging, double penetration, penetration independent of an erection, safer sex, and experimentation with different sizes, shapes, and textures of dildo.

There’s a lot to consider when picking out a harness — it’s sort of like finding the perfect pair of jeans. Of course, you want a harness that excites you and makes you feel sexy, but you also want stability, fit, comfort, and compatibility with your favorite toys. Don’t worry! We’re about to cover all the bases.


The two main styles of harness are the one-strap and two-strap, but they have some stiff competition these days in the form of underwear style harnesses and thigh harnesses. There are also a few harnesses out there designed specifically for those with penises.

One-strap (thong/G-string style): True to the name, one-strap harnesses fit much like a thong — with a strap running between your legs. This style of harness is easy to put on and take off, and you tend to feel the weight and movement of the dildo more. Because of the way the strap lays, it can cause friction and pressure against your clitoris, butt crack, and/or balls, which can feel either stimulating or annoying, depending on the person. But the middle strap has a bonus use: it can hold a butt plug or vaginal toy securely in place!

Two-strap (jock strap style): This style of harness has adjustable straps that wrap around your upper thighs, right under your butt. The biggest benefit to this design is that it leaves your genitals free — creating many possibilities for stimulation. Two-strap harnesses tend to provide more stability and more control during thrusting, and they also won’t cause chafing if used for longer periods of time. If genital access is important to you, this is a good style to choose.

(If you can’t decide between the one-strap or two-strap styles, the Commando and Simple Harness can be worn as either!)

Underwear style: This modern and fun style of harness looks more like underwear than anything else — and that’s the appeal. Underwear harnesses are very comfortable, form-fitting, and awesome for packing (wearing a non-biological soft penis) and playing. The Sasha and Tomboi currently lead the pack in this department. The downside to underwear style harnesses, however, is that they are not adjustable, so getting the perfect fit is essential.

Thigh harnesses: Perfect for having sex in a sitting up position, thigh harnesses allow one partner to straddle the other’s leg. Perhaps the most versatile style of harness, thigh harnesses are not just for thighs — they can also be strapped onto chairs, pillows, or other stable objects to make your dildo hands-free. Thigh harnesses are an ideal choice for those with mobility issues, including pain in the hips or lower back. We carry thigh harnesses made of leatherrubberelastic, and neoprene. One of them even vibrates!

Folks with penises can use any style of harness, of course, but the Deuce and Menage a Trois Double Penetration Harness & Dildo Set are specially designed to accommodate a penis and balls.


Leather: A classic material choice for harnesses, leather has a telltale smell that many associate with strapping it on. It is a durable material with a sensual, buttery feel. Aside from offering a secure fit, leather actually softens and molds to your body over time. However, leather harnesses should not get very wet — and cannot be fully disinfected. They must be cleaned with a damp cloth and antibacterial soap (or a leather cleaner), then thoroughly wiped dry. With proper care, however, leather harnesses can last many, many years.

Aslan is the cream of the crop company to produce leather harnesses, and their Jaguar is one of the most popular harnesses of all time — so popular it comes in a one-strap style as well! Aslan also guarantees all their harnesses for life.

Rubber: Rubber is a solid and form-fitting material that provides some flexibility, but doesn’t breathe as much as leather and fabric do. Unlike leather, it is waterproof, so you can use it in any watery locale you desire — the only thing we don’t recommend is frolicking in the ocean, as the salt can rust the metal. You can also jump in the shower after you use it to rinse it off (just be sure to wipe the metal parts dry). The Rubber Jock is an excellent two-strap rubber harness, while the Slick G is a good one-strap.

Fabric: Harnesses made of nylon, spandex, and other fabrics, like those made by Spareparts Hardwear, have been gaining traction in recent years, as they are both comfortable and hygienic. Fabric harnesses are great for water play and, because they don’t have any metal or leather parts, can be thrown in the washing machine or hand washed. They are also vegan-friendly. If you travel a lot, fabric harnesses are an ideal choice, as they are very lightweight and will not set off any metal detectors!


Strap adjusters, buckles, D-rings, and more

Harnesses are fastened a variety of ways: with plastic strap adjusters, buckles, D-rings, and fabric straps, depending on the harness. Harnesses with plastic strap adjuster s– like the Simple Harness — can be adjusted with a quick, one-handed tug (think backpack straps), so they’re easier to fix during sex and a piece of cake to take on and off. However, strap adjusters may loosen with a lot of movement.

Harnesses with metal buckles and D-rings — like the Crystal Blue Jaguar — are more sturdy and will never jiggle loose. Waist buckles are fastened the way one puts on a belt — once you find the right hole, you’re set. Metal D-rings are used to adjust the leg straps.

Some harnesses opt for adjustable fabric straps adorned with velcro. The JoqueDeuce, and Theo are adjusted this way (although Joque and Deuce also have plastic strap adjusters on the leg straps). Once you secure your straps, they will stay that way, and you’ll be able to step into your harness like a pair of underwear.

O-rings and dildo considerations

The O-ring is the ring or hole at the front of the harness that the dildo threads through. Some harnesses have a permanent O-ring, while others offer a snap-out, removable O-ring that can be swapped for various sizes. The O-rings on all the harnesses from Spareparts are permanent but flexible, to accommodate dildos from up to 2″ in diameter (and even thicker with some tricks!). Some harnesses, like the Slick GRubber Jock, and Undercover Jock, have built-in O-rings that do not stretch.

If you already have a favorite dildo you’re planning to use in your harness, it’s imperative that it fits through the O-ring! Measure the thickest part of your dildo by wrapping a measuring tape around it and dividing that number by 3.14. This gives you the diameter of the widest part of your dildo, and you’ll need an O-ring that is that diameter or larger. Measure your dildo’s base as well, as you’ll want an O-ring that is smaller in diameter than the base — so the dildo won’t slip out.

Want to use a heavy or especially small dildo in your harness? Spareparts makes an amazing little device called the O-Stabilizer Ring. This donut-shaped foam ring allows you to easily anchor dildos or widen the bases of  them. An O-Stabilizer Ring usually rests behind your regular O-ring, but it can also be used on the shaft of a dildo to limit the depth of penetration.

Keep in mind that some harnesses include a barrier or panel between your skin and the dildo. Some people love the sensation of the dildo pressing against their skin and genitals (especially if it vibrates!), while others experience pinching and pubic hair pulling. If you plan to use a double-ended dildo, you will want a harness with no panel or a panel with an O-ring cut-out.

If you’ll be using many different dildos, especially of varying sizes, you’ll want a harness with an expandable O-ring, or you’ll want to buy a set of O-rings.

Additional stimulation options

Up the ante on the stimulation front by acquiring a vibrating dildo like the Mistress or Wilde, which will transfer vibrations to both the harness wearer and the person being penetrated.

Or perhaps you’d like a harness with built-in support for a vibe? The Joque, Theo, Tomboi, and Sasha all have internal pockets where mini vibes can be tucked, while the Vibrating Leather Harness, Vibrating Velvet Harness, and Vibrating Thigh Strap On go a step further by including a vibe for their pockets.

A popular option is to use a double-ended dildo so that both participants are penetrated simultaneously. Some double dildos, like the Nexus Junior and Senior, are specifically designed to be used in a harness. Others, like the Tango and Share, are actually designed to be used in lieu of a harness, but can be used successfully in some harnesses.

The harness wearer can also achieve stimulation through anal play, or by using a shorter dildo, like the Little Hottie, as a vaginal plug. If you have a Jaguar harness, you can snag the Double Up Dildo Cuff to hold your toy in place.


You’ll want your harness to be snug — but not too tight or uncomfortable. We carry all the sizes that our harnesses are available in, so you can find anything from a 20″ hip measurement to 65″. Certain harnesses, like the Joque and Theo, are particularly well-suited to larger hips. Harnesses are meant to sit low on the hips, so measure around your hips when establishing your size.

If you’re in the Portland area, you can visit us and try on harnesses over your clothes in our dressing room. There you can ensure that the harness is tight enough to securely thrust with (but not so tight that it pinches), and that the dildo will rest in a desirable spot against your body. Otherwise, you can always call or email us with specific questions about sizing!


If you’re new to strap-on play, you may want to start out with an inexpensive option to test the waters, such as the Latigo Leather Harness, Vibrating Velvet Harness, New Comers Harness & Kit (which comes with a dildo to get you started!), or Thigh Harness.

It can be hard to take the plunge into more expensive harnesses, but it helps if you consider it an investment. Higher-end harnesses are often more comfortable, stable, and durable. They are infinitely adjustable as well, and over time, they will conform to your body and become like a second skin.

Bonus resources!

Need some inspiration for your strap on adventures? Our bookshelves contain The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Strap On Sex and The Big Book of Sex Toys, while our DVD selection includes Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Pegging and Nina Hartley’s Guide to Strap-On Sex.

  Guides      , ,  

How to find and stimulate the prostate

The prostate gland is an integral part of the male body’s sexual and reproductive anatomy. Located just below the bladder, its job — along with the seminal vesicles — is to produce most of the fluid that makes up semen. Lately, though, it’s becoming known as a lot more than that. It’s becoming known as the pleasure center it can be.

You’ve probably heard the prostate described as the “P-spot” or “male G-spot,” and it’s true that the prostate and G-spot have a lot in common. Both engorge and expand when a person is turned on; both produce a “need to pee” sensation due to their proximity to the urethra; and both respond to similar stimulation techniques — firm pressure, curved sex toys, and strong vibration.

About the size of a walnut, the prostate can be stimulated by inserting a finger or toy about 2-2.5″ inside the anus and curling it toward the front of the body. Beginners often use fingers for prostate stimulation because they are so dexterous. Using a finger, the giver can actually feel for and locate the prostate, and they have complete control over their finger’s precise movements. Of course, sex toys are also a great way to explore the prostate (especially solo), but this guide will focus on using a partner’s fingers to find and stimulate your prostate for the first time.

Why massage the prostate?

Prostate stimulation feels very unique, and it produces powerful sensations that you are not likely to feel during other types of sexual activity. As it is separate from pleasure in the penis (unless, of course, you add penis stimulation to the mix), prostate massage allows you to enjoy bliss and sexual energy without ejaculating.

And yet, because of the prostate gland’s bodily purpose, stimulation of it can feel somewhat like impending ejaculation. Obviously, this is very pleasurable, sometimes even overwhelmingly so. Folks report that orgasms triggered by prostate stimulation feel different, more full-bodied, even longer and more powerful than penis-focused ejaculatory orgasms.

But that’s not all — prostate massage is also good for your health! It can increase blood flow (which in turn brings in oxygen and removes waste products from your cells), wipe out blockages and trapped fluids in the prostate gland, relieve muscle tension, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, help you develop an awareness of how your prostate feels (so that if you develop an infection or irritation, you can pinpoint it), and of course, intensify sexual response. In fact, some people report firmer erections, stronger orgasms, and even the ability to have multiple orgasms after engaging in regular prostate massage.

Banish myths from your mind

There are several myths we’d like to dispel immediately. Especially this one: enjoyment of anal penetration has nothing to do with your masculinity or sexual orientation. It simply means you like anal penetration!

Many folks are worried about the perceived messiness of anal play, but that isn’t as big of an issue as you’d think. The rectum is merely a passageway for the digestive system. As long as you eat enough fiber and have regular bowel movements, there won’t be much fecal matter hanging around the rectum.

Remember, as well, that stimulating your butt on your own terms will be nothing like the prostate exams you get from a doctor. Medical prostate exams are meant to be clinical, not sexual, so don’t let your experiences with them deter you from trying something new.

Arm yourself with the essentials

Now you’ll need to set aside some time to explore your prostate, either solo or with a partner. It’s very important that you not feel rushed. Also, set aside some lube! The anus is not self-lubricating, and lube makes anal penetration feel better. Thicker lubes, like Sliquid Organics Gel, are popular for anal play because they add cushioning, but check out our Lube 101 guide for in-depth info on choosing the right lube.

If you’d like, you can take a bath or shower before play, which is a great way to both get clean and relax. You may also want to pee, as stimulating the prostate can make you feel like you need to urinate. While certainly not necessary, some folks find it comforting to rinse their anuses out with a squeeze bottle enema a few hours prior to anal play. Remember to use only water in your enema, and keep it at a warm (not hot or cold) temperature.

You don’t want any rough skin or sharp edges in your butt, so the giver should trim and file their nails prior to play. Or they can use gloves or finger cots to smooth out their fingers and make clean-up a snap.

Getting down to business

Begin with whatever turns you on, whether that is reading erotica, watching porn, rimming, oral sex, or anything else. Massages are also particularly good, as they can relax you. Take your time, because the more aroused you are, the more sensitive and accessible your prostate will be.

Yes, if our advice about prostate massage (and all anal play, really) had to be condensed into just one word, it would be relax. Relaxation is absolutely key, because anal play isn’t about stretching or widening the anus, but rather relaxing it open. The anus is actually made up of two rings of muscle: an outer ring, which is easy  to clench and unclench, and an inner ring, which is more difficult to control.

Therefore, your frame of mind can influence much of how you experience anal play. If you feel stressed, worried, or unable to calm down, your butt will follow suit by tightening up. Likewise, if you feel happy and prepared, you will be in the best possible state to experience anal penetration.

Choose a position that feels most comfortable for you, and allows you to — you guessed it! — relax. Lying on your back with a pillow (or the Jaz Motion) under your butt is probably the most popular position for beginners, as it lifts your hips up. You can also lay on your stomach, prop yourself up on your elbows and knees, lean against a wall, or stand with one foot on a chair (that one is good for solo play).

Your partner should begin with some teasing and external stimulation, rubbing your perineum and inner thighs and massaging the external anal muscle. Focus on your breathing and take slow, deep breaths. Don’t forget the lube, and lots of it!

When you are ready, have your partner lightly press the pad of their index or middle finger against your anus. As you exhale, let their finger be drawn inside. They should keep their finger still and refrain from any in-and-out movement, allowing your butt to get used to the sensation. Next, they can gently massage the inside of your anus, using small circles, up and down, side to side motions, or whatever feels good to you.

Always go slow, as slow as you need to go. Your partner should make it a priority to check in with you often, and you should communicate with them openly about what’s working and what’s not. Tell them if you’d like more or less pressure, or slower or faster strokes. If something feels uncomfortable, let them know. Don’t be afraid to add more lube! (And if you feel pain at any point, stop the action and take a break.)

Now you can have your partner curl their finger toward your belly and feel along the upper wall of the rectal lining for a round bulb of tissue that feels firm and spongy. That’s the prostate! Your partner may be able to feel it, or you may notice that it feels different when touched. Using the pad of their finger — not their nail — they should stroke the spot with an upward “come here” motion.

If you start to feel like you need to pee, you are actually doing things right! The prostate surrounds the urethra, so stimulation of it sends a signal to your brain that you need to urinate. With time, this sensation should become less uncomfortable, but for now, try to just relax into it.

Have your partner experiment with different massage techniques, such as stroking, pressing, and rubbing the prostate. Firm pressure tends to be better than light strokes, but always communicate. If you’d like, ask your partner to use their other hand, a vibrator, or their mouth on your penis or testicles as they massage your prostate. But don’t worry if you don’t want anything else stimulated, or if you don’t have an erection. That’s also fine!

If this is your first time being penetrated anally, a finger or two may be more than enough. Also, while some men find prostate play to be an incredible rush the first time they try it, remember that you may not have such a strong reaction immediately. It is completely normal for anal penetration to feel more odd than pleasurable if you are new to it. Your body may just need time interpret the sensation as erotic. The important thing is to continue experimenting and playing, getting comfortable with the sensation, and learning what does it for you.

Further exploration and learning

If you’d like to try a toy, or if you’re playing solo and can’t quite reach comfortably, some excellent beginner’s prostate toys are the Aneros Helix, LELO Bob, and Fun Factory Bootie. After more experimentation, you may find that you really like the sensation of a vibrator against your prostate, in which case we recommend a toy like the Vibratex Pandora or LELO Billy.

We have an entire guide on how to choose an anal toy, so check that out for more guidance on toys. Just remember, use only toys with flared bases anally.

Want to read up on anal play? Pick up Jack Morin’s groundbreaking book, Anal Pleasure & Health (now in its fourth edition!). Want to see prostate massage in action? Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men or Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Pegging can give you some great tips, and sometimes seeing the action visually can be very useful… and hot!


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She Bop is a women-owned sex toy boutique specializing in body safe products and education. Our mission is to promote healthy and safe sexuality by offering quality products and educational workshops in a fun and comfortable environment. She Bop welcomes people of all genders and sexual orientations.

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