November 15, 2010

Q&A: Embarassed About Buying Sex Toys, Sex Toy Parties

Dr. Debby Herbenick answers a question from a female reader who wants to buy a sex toy, but isn't sure how or where to get one.

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Question: I’d like to buy a vibrator, but I have no idea how to go about getting one. I’m too embarrassed to go into a store and pick one out, but I’m also hesitant about buying one online, as I bought one off a website recently that totally didn’t work for me and I don’t want to waste more money! Can you give any advice about how and where to get vibrators?

What a great question! Many women and men wonder where they can buy vibrators or other sex toys. Not everyone feels comfortable shopping in an adult bookstore, and even if they do, not all stores are equipped to display sexual enhancement products in a way that helps consumers to learn more about them.

Purchasing Vibrators

When it comes to vibrators specifically, women and men are often curious about the size, material and texture of the toy, as well as its volume or intensity. Some people prefer very strong vibration whereas others prefer light vibration.

Then there are toys with multiple speeds or certain speed patterns, such as those that pulse. These are the types of issues that are better addressed in person, particularly for women and men who are new to toys.

Sex Toy Parties

In the past 5-10 years, in-home sex toy parties have become one way that an increasing number of women have been learning about and purchasing vibrators and other sexual enhancement products such as dildos, personal lubricants, and massage products. In-home sex toy parties are usually run in a way that connects the women who sell the products with a woman hostess who invites her own women friends or co-workers to come to her house and enjoy the party.

In this way, some people have described in-home sex toy parties as being similar to Tupperware or Mary Kay parties, but they happen to sell products related to sex, rather than kitchen tools or make-up. An advantage of these parties is that women can touch and turn on many of the sample products so that they can get a better idea of the size, material, texture, volume and intensity of the vibrator they are considering buying.

Woman-Oriented Adult Bookstores

That said, there are also an increasing number of woman-oriented adult bookstores.

In Chicago, one will find Early to Bed, Tulip and G Boutique. In San Francisco, there’s Good Vibrations. And in New York and Seattle, Babeland.

These stores are among a growing trend of female-friendly shops that sometimes look more like boutiques than stereotypical adult bookstores. They are often well-lit, are sometimes in prime retail space, and tend to be staffed with female employees who are often both comfortable and knowledgeable about sexual enhancement products.

Recommended Reading

There are also two books that you may find helpful as you explore more about toy options including The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex and another book called Sex Toys 101.

In short, there are a range of options for learning more about sexual enhancement products, including vibrators.

Next Question: What Are The Chances She Is Pregnant?

I met a girl at a party and things got heated. I was in my boxers and she was naked. I never penetrated her and I didn’t ejaculate, but I noticed a little pre-cum on my boxers. I made contact with it and later fingered her after wiping my hand off. I had not ejaculated in 4 days. Is there any risk of pregnancy involved here?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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