Let’s talk sex. More specifically – let’s talk female self-pleasure. Searches for sexual wellness are up an astounding 130% across the globe, showing how the world is toppling the taboos around sex.
For centuries, open sex talk amongst women was kept to a minimum. For many, it was favourable to brush our sex life under the carpet – particularly when discussing the act of self-pleasure. But with 12,702 orders of sex toys in 2021 in the UK alone (an incredible 6685% increase since the pandemic in 2019), we’re learning to break the bias and do away with modesty once and for all.
Here’s the thing: female self-pleasure is NOT a shameful act. It can be empowering, liberating, and quite frankly, mind-blowing! It makes sense to learn exactly what makes you tick. After all, how can you expect a partner to know how to coax you to climax if you’re not 100% sure yourself?
Some have been surfing the sensual wave for years now, and still manage to find new horizons to explore. For others, the world of sex toys and personal play is entirely new territory, waiting to be discovered. Whatever your level of expertise in the ménage-à-moi department, every woman should own a sex toy that works for her – like a glass slipper in a modern-day (adult) fairytale.
From advanced to beginners and everyone in between, we ask our favourite Sexperts what to look for in a sex toy. Intense orgasms: Pending…
New to the world of sex toys and unsure where to start? Don’t panic! Personal play can be a big step for first-timers. It’s important to remember that personal play is exactly that – personal. It’s about what works for you.
1) Pleasure Mapping
“Forget what you think you should like and focus on discovering what you do like,” explains Sexpert and TV presenter, Jess Wilde. “Spend time exploring your entire body, not just your genitals. This is known as Pleasure Mapping and will give you an idea of what types of toys could work for you.”
For pleasure mapping, a small, single-speed vibrator like the So Divine Pleasure Vibrating Finger Stimulator is a great place to start. It fits around your finger, perfect for exploring your sweet spots!
2) Start Small
Once you’ve discovered what gets your body going, you should look for toys that tease and target your pleasure zones. The LELO Gigi 2 Vibrator has a petite, curved silhouette that’s perfect for clitoral and g-spot stimulation. Gigi 2 is a great introductory devices – it isn't intimidating for one, PLUS has a range of settings to suit a wide variety of desires.
3) Chasing Orgasms
Wondering how to reach orgasm for the first time? Every woman is different, so it’s key to listen to your body. It’s also useful to consider the type of sex toy you’re using, as a number of women struggle to orgasm from penetrative sex alone.
Clitoral stimulators offer targeted pleasure to the magic spot – like So Divine’s Irreplaceable Clitoral Suction Stimulator, equipped with 11 pulsation settings for personalised thrills. The LELO Sila Sonic Massager worships your clitoris with a wide suction mouth and eight modes of vibration – great for beginners on the hunt for their perfect pleasure pattern!
4) Learn to Love Lube
For self-pleasure beginners, lube should be your first point of call. “I recommend lube for everybody, no matter their age, gender or experience level,” declares Jess. Lube provides a little ‘slip’ in the bedroom and can be used during couple or solo sex. “You should always check the ingredients before using a new lube to make sure there is nothing in it that you are sensitive to. If in doubt, do a patch test on your inner arm 24-hours before play.”
Water-based lubes are a firm fan-favourite across the sexsphere. “They are compatible with all toy materials and condoms, and will easily wash out of fabrics and off of toys post-play.” So Divine’s Classic Water-Based Lubricant features a vegan, body-safe formula and is suitable for vaginal, anal and oral sex.
If you’re a little more experienced with sex toys but are looking to expand your horizons, you’re in the right place! Now you know your way round your body, opt for a toy that’ll satisfy your sensual creativity.
1) 2-for-1 Pleasure
If dual stimulation sounds like your kind of thing, look for devices that do (you) more – like rabbit massagers. LELO’s INA™ 2 Rabbit delivers intense clitoral and g-spot stimulation all at once, starring eight pleasure settings to excite your senses and intensify your bliss. Complete with a curved silhouette and nine pulsating passion patterns, the So Divine Self Pleasure Rechargeable Rabbit Vibrator boasts three speeds and powerful vibrations to deepen your internal and external play.
2) Anal Toys
Intrigued by anal toys? Butt plugs are a great place to begin. So Divine’s Sweet Sensation Butt Plug is completely flexible and perfect to use alongside other toys, designed to take your play to dizzying new heights. Alternatively, spice it up with the So Divine Vibrating Butt Plug. This unisex anal toy offers an extra buzz with three speeds and seven pulsating patterns to guide you to a body-shaking climax.
3) Try New Techniques
Jess suggests trying new techniques with your toys to build excitement in your ménage-à-moi sessions. “Going hands-free can be a great way to try something new with your toys. Instead of holding the toy and moving it manually, you can discover a whole new realm of pleasure by moving your hips and body instead.”
Choose a toy with a suction cup for hands-free riding, like the So Divine Glorious Dildo. Featuring real-skin technology and a ribbed shaft, fix the base to a secure surface and take control of your own pleasure.
Wand vibrators are perfect for refining your grinding technique. Power your play with LELO’s Smart Wand 2 Handheld Massager, featuring 10 massage patterns and a large, vibrating head for hands-free pleasure. It’s easy to find your perfect rhythm with the So Divine Wicked Game Wand Vibrator; customise your speed and pulsation pattern to suit your personal wants and needs. Plus, its dual-ended design is perfect for couple’s play!
4) Discover Together
Speaking of couples play…
If you and your partner are looking to get creative in the bedroom, sex toys are the way to go. “Any toy can be used as a couples toy if you put your mind to it,” Jess reveals. So Divine’s Addicted Remote Control Love Egg excites at home and on-the-go. Insert the vibrator and give the remote to your partner to control – three speeds and seven passion patterns will leave you both spoilt for choice as you come closer to an exhilarating climax.
Use the brand’s Vibrating Love Ring during sex to enhance both your pleasure. The clever toy is worn around the base of the penis for mutual stimulation during penetration, crafted with tactile bobbles around the bullet to help intensify your orgasm.
1) Double the Fun
Mastered your toy techniques but hungry for more? Try combining your toys into one dual-action play session. “Double-penetration can be very pleasurable expert-level play,” Jess reveals. To climb to a hair-raising climax, insert a penetrative toy – like So Divine’s Discreet Dildo – and an anal toy at the same time. The 6-inch dildo is shaped to hit your g-spot with every stroke, while the So Divine Silicone Butt Plug maximises your play with its shaped, tapered head.
2) Train your Body
Perfect for pro pleasure-seekers, discover how to intensify (and multiply) your orgasm with the LELO Beads System Plus. Six interchangeable, insertable spheres provide gentle kinetic vibrations that tune with your body’s movements, helping to build stronger, longer climaxes. This one's perfect for when you're confident and intimately in-tune with yourself!
3) Take Care
If you are making the decision to push beyond your sexual comfort zone, always remember to pace yourself in the bedroom and build up to more intense toys. Jess explains, “Sometimes our minds can get carried away and encourage us to do things that our body isn’t quite ready for yet. Fantasy is a powerful thing that can really amp up pleasure and arousal, and helps us to discover new things but remember to always listen to your body during playtime.”
Listening to your body is advice we could all benefit to hear. It’s fine to tweak, change or stop what you’re doing if it doesn’t feel as enjoyable as you imagined in your head. “It’s better to pause play, take things back a step, and reconsider your next step rather than push forward and injure yourself physically or mentally.”
Also, as a pro in solo-sex, you probably already know you’re going to need lube – and lots of it. So Divine’s Classic Water-Based Lubricant lends itself to all sexual endeavours, while the LELO Personal Moisturizer can be used with your toys to enhance and assist your self-pleasure.