A sex toy is any object or device that is primarily used in facilitating human sexual pleasure. This term can also include BDSM apparatuses, sex furniture, sex swings, fisting sling, Bonkum, or angled cushions and shaped pilows. The most popular Sex Toys are designed to resemble human genitals and can be classified as vibrating or non-vibrating. Sex toys usually do not include contraceptives, pornography, or condoms.
A related "softer" term is adult toy. Another related term is marital aid, often used as a euphemism for sex toys, although marital aid is broader as it can also be applied to drugs and herbs marketed as supposedly enhancing or prolonging sex.
In many areas, such as some U.S. Southern states, the sale of sex toys is either regulated or prohibited, though enforcement is rare. Nonetheless the laws are on the books and these laws prohibiting or regulating "obscene devices" occasionally take center stage. As recently as 1999, an assistant attorney general in Alabama commenting on a case involving sex toys and discussing to what end the devices are used was quoted as saying there is no "fundamental right for a person to buy a device to produce orgasm]". It is also common practice for someone to move a motor home near a proposed sex shop as a means of protest to prevent the shop from opening where the law prohibits an "adult" establishment within a certain distance of a dwelling.
There are organizations that assist those who sell sex toys to stay within legal limits and provide them with news, legal updates and assistance. One such organization is NASAE- National Association For Sexual Awareness & Empowerment
Types of sex toys
- "Pocket pussies" or "vaginas" or "masturbators" are modeled to accept a penis for simulated intercourse. They can be shaped like vaginas, anuses, or anything with a hole for penetration.
- Cock-rings in their most basic form enhance and prolong a man's erection by keeping blood inside the penis. A man may wear a cock ring because he has erectile difficulties, or because he likes the particular sensation of tightness and engorgement that wearing one provides. Some models include a protruding clitoral stimulator, designed to tickle the clitoris during sex. Others vibrate, either vibrating the ring itself, or in a popular 'Dolphin' variant using two removable bullet vibrators to provide stimulation to the testicles and clitoris. Some cock rings have vibrators attached which can be worn to stimulate a partner during sexual intercourse, especially in the scrotum or perineum.
- A triple crown is a cock ring that has additional rings for restraining the testicles. In orgasm, the testicles usually retract towards the body before ejaculation. A triple crown changes and intensifies the sensation of orgasm by forcing the testicles to stay away from the body.
- A cock harness is a more elaborate harness designed to be worn around the penis and scrotum. Its intention is similar to that of a cock ring. Often associated with BDSM activities such as cock and ball torture.
- A ball lock is an ordinary padlock fastened around the male scrotum, separating the testicles away from the penis and not removable except by key or combination.
- A penis sleeve is a cylindrical device that is placed on the shaft of the penis, with the aim of increasing stimulation for the person being penetrated. They often have soft bumps intended to provide further stimulation.
- A hand teddy is a miniature piece of women's lingerie that is worn on the dominant hand.
- A penis extension is a partially hollow device like a very short dildo, with the hollow end placed on the end of the penis, intended to increase the effective length of the penis, again for the benefit of the person being penetrated. These are generally worn with condoms to prevent them from falling off during use.
- A docking sleeve is a cylindrical device similar to a penis sleeve, but is open at both ends, so that two men can dock".
Vaginal / Clitoral stimulation
- The rabbit vibrator of which there are 100s of variations is without doubt the most popular ladies sex toy in the world popularized by the television series "Sex and the City". It comprises of an insertable shaft which often has additional functionality, such as rotation and internal beads or a thrusting action. Attached to the shaft is a vibrating clitoral stimulator. For most rabbit vibrators this comes in the form of "bunny ears" which sit either side of the clitoris.
- A dildo is a non-vibrating device which is used for sexual stimulation of the vagina and/or anus. Godemiche is an old word for a dildo in the shape of a penis and scrotum.
- A double-ended dildo is a long, usually flexible dildo with both ends designed for penetration. It allows for mutual penetration between two persons.
- Vibrators are vibrating devices intended to stimulate the nerves of the body. Vibrators intended for sexual use are often dildo-shaped, although they also come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, allowing internal as well as external use. Vibrators Usually Measure 5 to 7 inches in length and 1 inch wide to mimic the size of an actual penis. Vibrators to be used for anal stimulation are typically smaller.
- Ben wah balls are hollow metal balls, are inserted vaginally, and can be worn inside the vagina for extended periods of time. The internal rolling is said to enhance orgasms, and enable women with vaginal difficulties to reach orgasm.
- Kegel exercises, also known as vaginal barbells, are designed to improve muscle tone in the pelvic floor, and can be used for sexual pleasure as well as enhancing vaginal response.
- Glass sex toys are becoming common. These are made from Pyrex glass that provide a very strong solid object. Glass dildos are commonly used with lubrication because this combination offers very low resistance.
- Butt Plugs
- Anal Beads
Medical devices sometimes used as sex toys
- Speculum can be used to stretch a vagina or anus.
- Medical devices such as Wartenberg wheels and disposable sterile needles are also used in some BDSM practices.
Flesh-like materials used in sex toys
- Silicone is soft and lifelike, warms up quickly to body temperature, non-porous therefore easy to clean (with mild soap and water, or boiled for sterilization).
- Cyberskin, also known under other brand names, is currently the closest emulation of real skin. This relatively new material is made of silicone and plastic. It is very porous, making it necessary to clean it very thoroughly (with antibacterial soap and water).
- Jelly is a cheaper, rubber-based material, quite porous, often translucent. It is sometimes scented to mask its strong rubber odor.
- Latex rubber is commonly used. It is cheaper, very porous, but might be allergenic to some people.