According to Marie Claire half of the British population own a sex toy. That might sound like a lot, but let’s face it, that is still millions of people who are missing out!

Hands up if you masturbate? Hands up if you like to orgasm? Keep your hand up if you like to incorporate a gadget into your playtime? If your hand is down then, why not? Do you just not fancy it? (That’s ok). Are you feeling a bit shy about what to get? Or do you feel clueless about your choices?

Let me guide you…

What sex toy is right for me?

You should ask yourself 4 questions:

What do I like? Clitoral pleasure, vaginal penetration, a bit of both? Or maybe you like to play with your backdoor (you’re not the only one by the way). 

Who is this for? You may want a toy specifically for solo use or you may want something a little more couple-friendly. Your partner may not appreciate you whipping out a 12-inch dong for example, so you need to think of their needs too.

When am I going to use it? This might sound odd but not everyone wants to buy a sex toy for use in the bedroom. You may want something flight friendly, something you can slip into your handbag or perhaps you’re looking for something special to take to your next swinger party. Maybe you just want a good old fashioned vibrator to slip into your bottom drawer.

What is my budget? Sex toy prices vary considerably. You don’t have to spend £100s to get a good vibe but if you really want to treat yourself then go for it! You’re worth it.

Where do I go from here?

You have answered the questions so you now have a good sense of direction when researching your toy.

For clitoral lovers:

Your choices are vast and you will need to hone in on what tickles your fancy.  Clitoral vibrators focus purely on the clitoris, you can either enjoy a vibrating vibe or one that gently sucks on your love button. Trust me, these are super special. 

Wands are great for clitoral stimulation that packs a punch but is also easy to hold and uncomplicated to use.

For vaginal penetration:

You may want to spoil yourself with a dildo. A dildo is typically non-vibrating and comes looking like the real deal. You need to consider size, girth, colour and detail (veins and foreskin). If you’re unsure then the average penis size is around 5.5 inches so this may be a good place to start. 

If you would rather have something less penis-looking then there are a plethora of vibrators to choose from. Again, these come in various sizes but they’re usually really pretty to look at (not that a penis isn’t pretty but you know what I mean).

For the best of both worlds:

You have heard of the rampant rabbit right? If not give it a little google (go incognito if at work!). These gadgets are just divine. They feature a shaft for vaginal play and the rabbit shaped head (think ears) vibrate and tickle your clitoris).

For anal play:

Oh anal toys, now this is where I light up. I love butt toys. I will give you a brief rundown to whet your appetite as I could go on forever…

Butt plugs – These might seem strange. They are tapered and egg-shaped. You insert them in your bum for intense pleasure. A butt plug gives you a feeling of exquisite fullness that turns your orgasm from a 10/10 to an 11/10. 

Anal beads- Sadly underrepresented in the anal world. Anal beads are a string of beads or spheres that you insert inside of yourself to a level you’re comfortable with. Pull them out at whatever speed tantalises you although I recommend slow and steady.

Inflatables– okay, okay! Maybe I am going too far here. Inflatables are not for the faint-hearted but if you enjoy the above you may want to take things up a notch so I just wanted to put inflatables into the back of your mind. I’m nice like that. 


I would recommend lube for all sexual activity, not only does it make sex easier, it makes sex more FUN and I include self-love in that. If you engage in anal play then lube is imperative as your anus does not self lubricate and you really don’t want to damage your back door.

You can get lube that warms, lube that tingles, delicious lube (pina colada anyone?) and even lube that moisturises. Have fun with it. Though you must bear in mind the type you get needs to be compatible with your toy…

Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

Silicone lube: Silicone lube is great if you want something super slippery and long-lasting. Be warned though, it is tricky to wash off. Do NOT use silicone lube on silicone toys. You will damage the surface and create a happy home for bacteria to live in.

Water-based lube: Good for condom use and suitable for most sex toys. However, you may need to reapply as they quickly turn tacky. Easy to wash off though.

Oil-based lube: Not to be used with latex condoms. However, it is long-lasting and great for shower sex and can double up as massage oil. They are also safe to use with most sex toys.


Keeping your new best friend clean is super important. Wash your toy in a cleaner after every use, let it completely dry and store in an airtight container. Make sure your cleaner is suitable for the material on your toy too. Here’s a handy guide if you are feeling unsure.

I’m too shy to buy.

I get that, I really do. Just think though, I sell sex toys every single day. I live and breathe sex toys. Do you really think I, and all the other sex-toy shop workers, bat an eyelid at you treating yourself? We want you to find something that will make your toes curl. We would love to help you find something that suits your very particular tastes. There is NOTHING to be embarrassed about. 

Besides, you can shop online. Most shops offer discreet packaging or you can have it delivered to work if you have a nosy mum or housemate.

If you’d like to chat with me, my inbox is always open. Here at The Big O we strive to get people talking about their sex life. Our mission is to grant people bigger and better orgasms and the only way we can do this is by communicating our needs.

So I bid you adieu and look forward to hearing from you.

About the Author

Clare C runs the online sex shop, The Big O. She is on a quest to embolden women to experience pleasure free from shame. She also wants to open up the conversation around sex that is still a taboo for many people. You can read more of her work over at her blog here. She has also written for us before, have a read of ‘The Wonderful World of Fetish Clubs’ for a curious peak into a little known world.

Check out The Big O’s website and socials 


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