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Sex Toy Buying Guide

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Sex toys are prolific! They range from the cheap to the ridiculously expensive. From reputable brands to knock-offs to independent producers. They are made of so many materials it is hard to catalogue. They are different sizes, shapes, powers, remote controlled, bluetooth options and more! So, how do you know what toys are body safe, going to work, worth their price, and more?

Make Sure They Are Body Safe

Sex toys are made of all sorts of materials. Some are safe to insert into various orifices’, some are not. Some are safe to share with partners, some should be dedicated to one person. Here is a quick guide to materials.


Phthalates are chemicals known to cause cancer. Because sex toys are used on areas which are both delicate and prone to tears, toys with phthalates are dangerous. While they are used less these days in sex toys, make sure your toy is listed as phthalate free. If you have questions, contact their manufacturer.

Jelly Toys

Jelly toys are abundant, especially with low-cost and novelty manufacturers. Jelly toys are porous and can harbor bacteria and dirt. They can never be fully cleaned. Avoid them.


Many toys today are made from silicone and many more are said to be made from silicone. Body-safe medical grade silicone is safe for internal use and can be sterilized. Lots of less reputable vendors will say some are made out of silicone when they are mixed with other products as well.

Silicone is a nonreactive, nonporous material which can be fully sterilized. This means toys made of silicone are GREAT for sharing because you can sterilize them. It also means a properly sterilized toy will not transmit STIs and reduces the chances of yeast infections or irritation.

Silicone ranges from silky soft to relatively firm. Depending on if your toy is just covered in silicone or the entire thing is made of silicone, the level of firmness may differ. Toy companies often state the toy is silicone when only the outer cover is silicone. Look at the toy’s description. If it has internal working parts, the internal parts are not silicone BUT the outside may be.

If a toy says it is silicone AND is from a reputable dealer (Blush novelties, WeVibe, nJoy, etc.) their sites tend to be accurate. Knock-off sites and Amazon retailers will often call a toy “silicone” when the silicone has been mixed with other chemicals. If you toy feels like it has a slick residue or “moist” when you take it out of the package, chances are it is not pure silicone.

The flame test. When a toy like a dildo or butt plug claims to be pure silicone it should hold up to being heated. If you use a kitchen blow torch (the kind used for crème brulees) and heat your toy for 10 to 15 seconds, it should not run or melt. This is not 100% effective in detecting additives, but it is a pretty good check.

Do Not Use Silicone Lube with Silicone Toys.

Hard Plastic

Many toys contain various types of hard plastic. Hard plastics are nonporous and can be cleaned and sterilized. It is cheaper than silicone, although not as durable. It is a good option for starter toys.


Glass toys are amazing! They are both beautiful and a great choice for nonporous toys. They can be fully sterilized. They hold both heat and cold well for temperature play. They are also really pretty.

Glass is very firm. This means they won’t bend or give when inserted. These toys are great when a firm hand is desired.

Glass toys are solid. They won’t shatter when dropped. However, they may chip if they hit a hard surface (making them unusable for the most part).


Metal toys are also a great choice. They are nonporous and can be fully sterilized. They are firm and hold heat and cold like glass toys do. The nature of metal means that most metal toys will be cool to the touch at room temperature. You may wish to warm them up a bit before playing.

Metal toys tend to be heavy since most are made of solid metal. This can be very enjoyable for some people! However, when trying your first metal butt plug, I suggest you go smaller than your silicone choices simply because holding a pound of metal in your bum is a much more intense sensation than the few ounces a silicone toy of similar size. Metal toys often list their weight, which is a good guide!


Various crystals (rose quartz, jade, obsidian, etc.) are made into sex toys. While they may be pretty to look at, these toys are porous. This means they can never be fully cleaned. When dirt, yeast or bacteria get into these tiny pours, they multiply making the toy unhealthy. Because of the nature of the pours, soap and water cannot get in there to kill the bacteria. These are not a great option for sex toys.


Sex toys come in a range of sizes, from tiny to huge. Finding the right toy means finding out what works with your body.

For dildoes and butt plugs, experimentation works! Start on the smaller size for the toys. If they feel too small, go up a bit. Because silicone toys can be expensive, starting with a hard plastic toy to check for sizing and moving up is a good option.

If you are sticking something in your butt, remember that the base should be significantly bigger than the widest insertable part. Your bum can get greedy when turned on and try and suck up the toy!

Anal training kits are a great first choice for butt plugs. They generally come with three or four plugs beginning at the size of a finger and getting bigger. These kits allow you to start small and work up over time.


If you have limited use of your hands or wrists or have arthritis, you may want to chose toys which are designed to work with your limitations. Some toys are specifically designed to work with the natural movement of hands and wrists, often coming with curved handles or rotating joints.

Going to your local high-end sex toy store will give you a chance to handle the samples of the toys. Finding handle sizes which are comfortable, whether larger or smaller than standards, it will help for longer term use.

Remote control toys are also a great option for people with limited hand and wrist motions. If you can insert or position the toy and then run it with a remote control, you may find extended use more comfortable.


There are thousands of toy reviewers online (including me)! We all have our own take on sex toys. Read several reviewers and find ones who like the same type of toys you do. Many of us talk about sensations, sizing and use. Once you find a trusted source or two, see what they are saying about the toys you are interested in trying.

I recommend the following reviewers:

and of course ME!

Where to Buy

Buy directly from the manufacture’s site. Folks like Lelo, WeVibe, nJoy, and LoveHoney have easy-to-use online sites. When ordering from the manufacturer you know you are getting their toy and not a knock off.

Frequenting independent and small producers is also a great way to get unique and fun toys! I especially like FunkitToys and Bad Dragon.

If you are looking for cheaper ways to try out toys, check out Squeaky Clean Toys. This is a site where people sell used sex toys which have been fully sterilized. Many of the higher end toys like Lelo, WeVibe, and LoveHoney are available for discount prices. If you are unsure about how much you want a toy, give them a try here.

Auntie Vice’s Top Picks!

sex toys on a yellow background

Photo by Anna Shvets on

My favorite toys are well-made, hold up over a lot of use, and provide a variety of stimulation. Consider these options

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