If you’ve read a single post on my site, you already know more about sex toys than I did when I started buying them about five years ago. If you’re here, you must be interested in silicone—the only1 body-safe sex toy material that can also be soft.
Long before I started writing a Silicone Dildo Guide that eats my free time, I knew nothing. As I’ve hinted on my Body-Safe Toys short guide, my first toy purchases were off Amazon—where buying sex toys is a minefield even today, and was especially dangerous five years ago. (These were the days when Prime was just starting to catch on.) At the time, I lived in Little-Town-on-the-Prarie USA, where we didn’t even have a Target, much less a sex shop. Also, I had a lot of sexual shame to tackle. These days, I’m e-mailing sex toy manufacturers left and right to ask how firm their dongs are, but back then, buying any sex toy was a covert operation for me.
I’m glad those times of ignorance and shame are behind me, but I’ve decided to write about the first sex toys I bought with the goal of making you laugh, and hopefully of making you more aware how many quality toys are out there. You don’t have to settle for crappy toys, even if you’re on a budget!
Toy #1: The Purple “Butterfly” Vibrator
Not surprisingly, my first sex toy was also the worst fit for my body. Because all women like dual-stimulation vibrators, and they also love cutesy purple things, amirite? *sarcasm* (If you are a vulva owner who likes purple vibrators that are shaped like animals, then I mean no offense here; these toys are just not me.) It came up toward the top of an Amazon search for “vibrator” or “sex toys,” I can’t remember, and it was so cheap—like $3 cheap!
Now I know that, while you can find cheaper dildos (even under $30) that are still body-safe—and there are more of these now than five years ago, for sure—cheaper often doesn’t mean better when it comes to sex toys. You have to pay a little more than $10 or $15 to ensure that you’re getting something quality that you can fully sanitize and use for many years. My first vibe, sadly, had some kind of squishy jelly coating all over it, and the “butterfly” section was especially sticky.
Plus, it was a dual-stim vibe, something I’ve now learned that I hate. These toys aren’t necessarily bad: lots of people do like both clit stimulation and vaginal stimulation at the same time. I’m just not one of these people. And even if I were, this jelly butterfly’s internal arm was way too firm (and too short) to hit my G-spot while also massaging my clit.2
Ick. Even though I still had no clue about body-safe toys, I realized that the clit-tickling part of the butterfly vibe was really irritating for me. So I went for another Amazon gem: an insertable pink whirlygig, for lack of a better word.
The Pink Whirlygig
Because I still thought that all women must like vibrators, all the time, I went for another option from the cheap-Chinese-crap bag of delights that a search for “vibrator” yielded back then. My next purchase was a ridgy vibrator that looked something like this, but with sharper curves. (Little did I know that one day all my ridgy, vibrating dreams would be fulfilled by the Tantus Echo Super Soft.)
It was plastic—it’s possible it was body-safe, but unlikely—but the vibrations were seriously sub-par. Plus, it was so straight that I couldn’t stimulate myself how I wanted (since now I know I’m all about forward curves in my G-spotting toys).
It’s a sad day when you buy a new sex toy that you can’t orgasm from. I realized that, besides the vibrations being awful, I didn’t find the pink whirlygig interesting because it was so abstract. Next, I had to work up the nerve to buy something cock-shaped. Still not realizing that toy quality was an issue, I went for more cheap vibes.
My First Cock-Shaped Toys
The two penis-looking vibrators I got next were my most exciting sex toy purchase so far (if only I knew about material safety, I definitely wouldn’t have been as excited). One was a harder material—some kind of plastic, possibly with a PVC coating. The other had a firm, vibrating core with a jelly/”realistic-feel” type material made of who knows what over that. Again, the firm one proved boring to me, but I did enjoy the jelly-sleeve one. In a way, it was like a dual-density silicone dick because of the firm plastic core covered by a softer exterior.
Still, though, it didn’t bend like a cock. Craving more girth, I googled “realistic dildo” and happened upon a big, thick, PVC suction-cup dildo from that huge buyer of Google-promoted-ad space, Adam & Eve. At the time, I thought that $35 was a big investment for a dildo! And I liked my PVC dong, despite the plastic-y smell. (Again, I knew nothing.) A few months later, I got pregnant with my second child (which killed my libido), so, thankfully, I never used the big PVC dildo again. (In case you’re wondering, I have found a good body-safe replacement.)
The Moral of the Story: I Lucked Out
I was lucky to not get any type of bacterial infection or chemical burn from the series of unsafe, poor-quality vibes and dildos I bought.3 Because I’m the kind of person who always wants more and better, I eventually discovered body-safe toys while I was searching for something better. Specifically, I discovered Dangerous Lilly’s site, and then Epiphora and many, many more great bloggers. I soon started buying from the awesome SheVibe. After that I was happy to discover that there are a few sex shops, like Peepshow Toys and Vibrant, that only stock quality, body-safe toys. (And tons of other options: see my Where to Shop Guide for a listing of sex toy sellers I trust.)
But Not All Silicone Is the Same!
Still, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses after my big discovery—I had to figure out what I liked in silicone toys, since by this point I knew that plain, nonvibrating dildos were what really interested me. (Especially ones with suction cups!) So I went with a Colours Pleasures dildo because it was cheap and realistic, with a suction cup. I wasn’t expecting this toy to feel exactly like a penis, but I was unprepared for just how firm the coronal ridge was. (Thankfully, within the last year NS Novelties has realized that there are others like me who prefer softer dildos that are still realistic and suction-cupped.) I wasn’t head-over-heels for my first realistic body-safe dildo.
I decided to try again, and the ridgy texture of the Maia Kendall drew me in. But still no luck—this dildo was inflexible, and the top ridge was was too pointy for my taste.
Then I found dual-density dildos, and I was ecstatic. My first dual-density silicone cock was the VixSkin Maverick, a great toy that I had a lot of fun with (even though, in the end, I did find the head a bit too squishy). I did take me a lot more review-reading, shopping around, and yes, purchases for me to discover my current favorite toys, like the Tantus Uncut #1 and Echo Super Soft; New York Toy Collective Ellis (review coming soon); BS Is Nice Nude; and the Split Peaches Rivetor for when I want lots of stimulation. Plus, I discovered fantasy toys in the process—that’s a whole ‘nother story! It’s been a journey, and I did make a number of purchases I was unhappy with, but I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun along the way.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my tale, and that my Silicone Dildo Guide might help you be better informed before you buy. Good luck finding your dream toys, and happy fucking!
- Blush Novelties is now saying that they make PVC toys that are both phthalate-free and nonporous too; I’ll believe it when I see a nonbiased chemical analysis. “Better skeptical than sorry” is my motto now.
- See Lilly’s and Epiphora’s posts about how finding the right dual-stim (rabbit) vibe can be problematic for many people.
- This post by Lilly of DangerousLilly.com on reactions to jelly sex toys gives some of the many horror stories that readers have sent her.