Many Joys of Sex Toys: The Ultimate how-to Handbook for Couples and Singles

Many Joys of Sex Toys: The Ultimate how-to Handbook for Couples and Singles

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by Anne Semans

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Ignite your sex life with 100 easy-to-learn sex toy techniques!

Sex toys are coming out of the drawer to take their rightful place on bedside tables everywhere. This illustrated, definitive guide will show you how to choose, buy, and have a creative blast with your sex toys. Anne Semans, coauthor of the classic sex manual, The Good Vibrations Guide to


Ignite your sex life with 100 easy-to-learn sex toy techniques!

Sex toys are coming out of the drawer to take their rightful place on bedside tables everywhere. This illustrated, definitive guide will show you how to choose, buy, and have a creative blast with your sex toys. Anne Semans, coauthor of the classic sex manual, The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, lays out the top toy techniques like recipes in a cookbook, step by step, complete with tips for spicy variations. And to whet your appetite for improvisation, she has included ten delicious erotic tales, each starring a sex toy.

Learn how to:

Add a vibrator to your favorite sex position
Find your G-spot or prostate
Have multiple orgasms
Add a buzz to oral sex
Give a better hand job
Liven up solo sex
Get comfortable with anal sex

Whether you’ve got a craving for adventure or you simply want greater sexual satisfaction, you’ll return to The Many Joys of Sex Toys again and again.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Three books on sex toys appeared in 2003. This newcomer shines by specializing in how to use them. In 25 short chapters, it describes toys incorporated into solo sex, coupled sex, G-spotting, light bondage, cybersex, underwater sex, and massage. Semans (The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex) is a veteran toy seller, and her experience shows in beginning chapters on sexual anatomy/response, safe sex, and partner communication. Ten toy erotica stories add spice. The last chapter about savvy shopping and a fine resource list round out the work. Also good, Sadie Allison's shorter Toygasms has a do-it-yourself toys section but fewer resources. Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah's Sex Toys 101 features gorgeous toy photos but reads like an enhanced product catalog and is more suitable for aficionados. Anne Hooper's Sex Toys couples toy photos with activities and "test drive" quotes useful but brief and with too much hype. With more about users than toys, Semans's book is the most substantial, best for beginners, and recommended for public libraries. Martha Cornog, Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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SEX TOY JOYS: Why You Should Try a Sex Toy

A reporter once asked me for an analogy that would illustrate why someone would want to use a vibrator. I replied, "Using a vibrator to get off if you're used to your hand is a lot like driving a car with an automatic transmission after you've practiced on a stick shift. It's a lot less work, so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride." Of course, if you've never driven a stick, that analogy does nothing for you, so you'll just have to read the rest of this chapter. Here, in a nutshell, are five great reasons why you should try a sex toy.

Sex Toys Make Some Things Easier

It's easier for many women to have an orgasm with a vibrator; it's easier for women to get clitoral stimulation during intercourse with a vibrator; it's easier to reach the G spot and the prostate with a sex toy; it's easier to prolong an erection with a sex toy--the list could go on and on. The beauty of making things easier during sex, as in the car analogy above, is that you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Instead of worrying about whether you're going to come or if you're going to come too soon, you can relax and focus solely on the pleasure at hand.

Sex Toys Help You Break Out of a Routine

Do you require a certain stroke to masturbate, a particular position to orgasm, or a just-so lick during oral sex? Sex toys can expand your range, offering certain types of stimulation that hands or tongues can't. A penis sleeve might tickle your fancy, a strap-on vibrator might free you up to try different intercourse positions, or a small vibrator might add a delightful extra buzz to your next blow job. Think of sex toys as adding more entrées to an ever-expanding sexual buffet. And if you enjoy the food as sex metaphor, bear in mind that food itself works well as a sex toy. If you have any doubts, read the sexy and hilarious erotic story, "Thanksgiving with the In-laws."

Sex Toys Inspire Sexual Confidence

By picking up a sex toy and pressing it to your genitals, you are taking responsibility for your sexual needs and desires. In a culture where we learn very little about sexual pleasure, this act alone is impressive. Rather than waiting passively for someone to fulfill all your sexual needs, you take matters into your own hands. As a result, you learn more about your sexuality, you gain greater self-confidence and expertise, and you're more likely to have satisfying sexual encounters in the future.

Sex Toys Spice Up Partner Sex

As I mentioned in the introduction, despite their reputation as singles' playthings, sex toys actually enhance partner sex play by enabling you to do certain things you might not otherwise be able to--whether it's a vibrator adding just the right clitoral stimulation during intercourse or a butt plug that makes coming from prostate stimulation possible. Over the years I've heard from hundreds of couples who describe toy experiences that changed their lives--whether they discovered a new erogenous zone, learned to climax together for the first time, or enjoyed a renewed passion because of a sex toy.

Sex Toys Make the Mood

You'll discover that certain types of sex play beg for some sex toy accessories. That back caress may feel even better when it's given with a warming oil, that kiss may resonate even more deeply if your hands are tied to the bedposts, and that cyber fling might short-circuit your computer if you're wearing a vibrator. Adding sex toys can incite your imagination and lend just the right spark of adventure to your love life.


Even with all these great reasons to try sex toys, most people still harbor a few reservations about trying them. I've found that a little information and encouragement go along way toward relieving those anxieties, freeing people to explore this new realm of erotic pleasure.

Sex Toys Are Only for People Whose Sex Lives Need Help

The fact that sex toys have been referred to as "marital aids" and "sexual aids" for so long has done much to further this myth. The word "aid" implies that you should only use one of these toys if you need to fix something that's broken. But a woman who finds that a vibrator helps her have an orgasm more easily is not broken, nor is a man who discovers that a cock ring helps his erection last longer. Individual sexual response falls on a vast continuum, and it fluctuates over one's lifetime. If we measured sexual performance against one single ideal, we'd all end up broken at some time in our lives, and who needs to walk around under that cloud? I've always been a fan of the term "sex toy" because it reminds me not to take sex too seriously--it's hard not to smile when there's a butterfly vibrating one's clitoris. Sex is unpredictable, exciting, elusive, messy, and playful, and sex toys make a natural addition to this wonderful mix.

Sex Toys Are Unnatural

This stems from the belief that proper sex should involve only the equipment that you were born with. If you're strict about this, sex is bound to get a little boring. Forget the sexy lingerie, the romantic movie, the candlelight, the satin sheets, or the massage oil. All these things contribute to our experience of sex and are no more "natural" than sex toys, yet most folks don't have a problem with them. If you want something organic, take a tip from our ancestors, who fashioned dildos out of stone or wood. Or just lighten up! I'm not suggesting you play with bioengineered corn, for heaven's sake.

Guys Don't Use Sex Toys

In general, when it comes to sex toys, men tend to fall into two camps: those who think (1) toys are an insult to my manhood, or (2) I like 'em, but I'll never admit it. To illustrate, let me tell you about my first boyfriend, who falls squarely into camp number one. When I went to my twentieth high school reunion and told him that I sold sex toys for a living, he replied, "I don't need those things, I'm huge." Of course my reply was the time-honored "It's not what you have, but what you do with it that matters, and sex toys let you do a whole lot more with it." But what he said reflects the attitude of many men: in the bedroom you shouldn't need anything more than what you were born with, otherwise it's a sign of failure, inadequacy, or downright wimpiness. Which is just a load of bull, especially when you stop to consider that men's other "toys"--fast cars and power tools--are often viewed as signs of virility. So take a chance on a toy and show the world what a sexually adventurous guy you really are.

If I Use a ______, People Will Think I'm a _____

"If I use a butt plug, people will think I'm gay." "If I like dildos, then I must be a lesbian." "If I want to tie my partner up, I must be a dominatrix." These are just sexual stereotypes that will only hinder your sexual curiosity and growth. One thing I learned working at a sex toy store is that all kinds of people have all kinds of sexual tastes, and they absolutely cannot be neatly compartmentalized based on sexual orientation. Sure, lots of lesbians like dildos, but so does the woman who wants to have a dildo in her vagina while her husband anally penetrates her. Not all gay men like anal sex, just as not all heterosexual women like giving blow jobs. Your desire to try out a pair of wrist restraints doesn't mean you're headed for a career in SM, it just means you have a healthy sexual inquisitiveness! Your sexual identity defines who you are, not your sexual practices. So quit worrying what the Joneses might think, and just do what feels good.

Sex Toys Are for Losers, Loners, or Geeks

If you've paid any attention to pop culture recently, you'll know this stereotype is on its way out. Vibrators, which seldom appeared in TV or movies, and then only as fetish objects or punch lines for jokes about lonely women, are finally gaining some respect. Witness the popularity of shows like Sex and the City, and the way its female characters rhapsodized about their toys (sending sales of two popular vibrators, the Hitachi and the Rabbit, sky high). One day while reading Vibe magazine I ran across a quote from rapper Ice T about how he likes to use his favorite vibrator (the Pocket Rocket) on the ladies. Who'd have thought that sex toys would one day rise above their ignoble past to become positively hip! But you needn't be a trendsetter to enjoy sex toys, just open-minded. Chances are, if you buy one today, you'll have something in common with your favorite celebrity, the parent at the PTA meeting, or the girl, like me, who discovered their sweet charms one lazy summer.

If you started this chapter with any reservations about using sex toys, I hope they are now banished from your mind. Enjoying great sex requires letting go of sexual insecurities and just focusing on what brings you pleasure. And sex toys are just waiting to expand your potential for pleasure.

TOYS FOR ALL SEASONS: Basic Sex Toy Styles

Does the term "sex toy" conjure up images of flesh-colored plastic dongs? If it does, it's because these were the standard-issue sex toys for decades. But within the last twenty years, changes in toy material and technology, as well as in consumer's tastes, have resulted in a dazzling array of toys. You can buy a dildo that looks like it's made of marble, a vibrator shaped like a bunny, a harness that could double as sexy thong underwear, or a butt plug that looks like a flower. True to the adage, "find a need and fill it," the adult industry has come up with a device that'll stimulate, prod, soothe, or tingle any sexual itch you might have.

Navigating this sea of sex toys can be rather overwhelming until you realize there really are only a dozen or so basic styles of sex toys. Once you understand what the toy is designed to do, you can look for variations that will suit your particular position, aesthetic, or whim. In this chapter I'll describe various styles of toys, explain their purpose, and offer tips on choosing between similar models. But don't worry about retaining it all, because in the Play section, I recommend a specific toy to use for each activity. In some cases, I've chosen a brand name (see sidebar, page 15), but in other cases I refer to one of the generic toy styles below, since any of the models within that style will do. Of course, you are free to experiment with any toy you desire, and I encourage you to do just that. You'll also find tips in the Shop section that can help with selection, especially if you're looking for quality toys.


Vibrators come in all shapes and sizes--some look like handheld mixers, some like fake penises, some like eggs, and some like animals. Some are waterproof, some glow in the dark, some talk back. They are powered either by batteries or electricity, and deliver more intense stimulation to the genital area than a hand, a penis, or a mouth.

Vibrators have long been recommended to women learning to have orgasms, but they are by no means exclusively a woman's toy. Men enjoy the feel of vibrations on their genitals, and couples use them to enliven partner sex. Vibrator orgasms--which can be more intense and easier to achieve--are so enthralling that they soon become a regular part of a person's sexual repertoire.

Most people think of vibrators as long, penis-shaped toys, because that's what they looked like for so long. Unfortunately, this misleading vibrator shape has created endless confusion and resulted in disappointing toy experiences for thousands of women. The phallic-shaped toy suggests vaginal insertion, but since most women orgasm from direct clitoral stimulation, a dildo-style vibrator can prove disappointing unless it's pressed against the clitoris. Fortunately, there are plenty of styles on the market today, so whether you have orgasms from clitoral or vaginal stimulation, or a combination of the two, you can find the right toy for the job.

Basic Vibrator Styles

Clitoral Vibrators

Any vibrator can stimulate the clitoris, but some accomplish this much better than others. Perhaps the most well-known is the Hitachi Magic Wand, a massager with a phenomenal word-of-mouth reputation. It packs a very powerful vibration and is often recommended to preorgasmic women, but it's loud and large, which intimidates some first-timers. (It's not intended for insertion, so don't let the tennis ball-size head scare you off.) Coil-operated vibrators are a quieter, smaller alternative (Wahl makes a popular model); they look more like handheld mixers than anything remotely sexual. Both toys run on electricity and provide direct, focused vibration to the clitoris. Battery-powered clit vibrators come in all shapes and styles, but some of the more popular models (see illustrations) are the Bullet, the Pocket Rocket, Natural Contours, and the Fukuoku 9000--a vibrator that slips over the fingertip!

Vaginal (Insertable) and G Spot Vibrators

These are the most traditional-looking dildo-type vibrators; they appeal to women who want a vibrator that can be used both vaginally and clitorally. Some resemble a penis while others are smooth, but you'll find many variations in texture, color (including glow-in-the-dark), and subtle features (nubs or ridges). Vibrators with a bend toward the tip are designed specifically for G spot stimulation, the most popular of which is a somewhat generic adult toy that goes by many names (Classic G, Nubby G, Crystal G). It's made of clear jelly rubber, curves near the tip, and features a ring of jelly fingers around the base designed to stimulate the vaginal opening (see illustration).

Dual-Style Vibrators

The Japanese improved on the dildo-type vibrator by inventing an insertable toy that also sports a clitoral branch, so you can enjoy both vaginal and clitoral (or vaginal and anal) stimulation at the same time. Since realistic sex toys are banned in Japan, these toys are crafted in the likeness of animals and sea creatures, with the Rabbit Pearl and its cousin, the Rabbit Habit, being the most famous. There are many knockoffs of this style, but the Japanese-made toys tend to be a higher quality than those made elsewhere.

Hands-free Vibrators

Imagine vibrating underwear and you get the basic concept behind hands-free vibrators. A clitoral vibrator is attached to a G string or thong-style panty, with the vibrator positioned right over the clitoris. The vibrator is often shaped like a butterfly, sea creature, or some other tiny critter. This is also a great toy when you want a little extra clitoral stimulation during intercourse. Remote-controlled versions make this toy especially fun for adventurous partner sex.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

ANNE SEMANS is a veteran of San Francisco’s groundbreaking sex toy shop, Good Vibrations, and has spent twenty years helping people from all walks of life safely and comfortably explore the erotic possibilities of sex toys. She is the coauthor of The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, Sexy Mamas, and The Woman’s Guide to Sex on the Web, and coeditor of the erotic anthology, Sex Toy Tales. She lives in San Francisco.

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Many Joys of Sex Toys 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
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Ian McDonald More than 1 year ago
My girlfriend loves the tips i have learned here.
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