Vibrators: Providing a healthy, natural, and safe way to practice self-care and improve your health.
This article was created in partnership with Sweet Vibrations.
When I think of the term “sexual self-care,” there’s a lot that comes to mind. I think of times when I’m stressed out with work and school and need a release of endorphins. I think of the times when I’m traveling alone on vacation and want to mentally escape into my wildest fantasies. Self-care in a sexual sense is about fulfilling my basic desires as a human being and having a deeper, mental connection to my body.I’ve found that there’s no better way to do this than through masturbation, and better yet, masturbation with sex toys.
I won’t even lie. The mere thought of using a vibrator used to overwhelm me. Any time I walked into a sex toy store, I’d see a huge vibrator on display with multiple parts and automatically feel like there was too much going on to even bother using it. Besides, buying a vibrator isn’t like shopping for a cute outfit to wear at a party or special holiday event. You can’t just take it to the dressing room, test it out, and decide if it’s right for you.
So, why masturbate with sex toys at all?
For starters, masturbation is the safest form a sex one can have. You can’t get pregnant or contract any sexually transmitted infections from pleasuring yourself. There are also many health benefits associated with masturbation. Rachel Hoffman, LCSW, a clinical social worker who specializes in sex and intimacy, explained to me, “Masturbation can increase endorphins, promote blood flow, reduce stress and promote better sleep. Masturbation can also aid in the treatment of some sexual dysfunctions. Lastly, it feels good, is pleasurable, and can lead to an all-around more positive mood.”
There are many pros to masturbation in general and sex toys are an option to enhance and diversify the experience. Toys can spice things up and make masturbation less of a monotonous ritual and more of an exploration of the lengths your bodily pleasure can go. The different types of toys also provide the benefit of helping you get to know your body and what sensations you enjoy.
Can I use sex toys with a partner?
Vibrators and other sex toys aren’t just for solo play. Sure, self-care is about focusing on you, but it doesn’t have to be limited to activities you do by yourself. It can also be utilized during sex acts with other people. To incorporate vibrators during partnered play, Hoffman advised, “They or their partner can hold the vibrator during sex (oral, anal, or vaginal) at the location where they feel most pleasure. For example, during oral sex, a vibrator could be used to stimulate the clitoris. If you are unsure where you or your partner feel pleasure in regards to using a vibrator, try an exercise where you take turns massaging the other, incorporating a vibrator at various points. Make sure to communicate throughout to determine what areas are most pleasurable.” Sexual self-care creates the space for you to tell your partner that you want to incorporate sex toys so you can explore yourself while they’re exploring you and ultimately maximize your mutual pleasure to the highest peak.
How should I choose a vibrator?
When it comes to deciding on a sex toy, vibrators are a great place to start. Hoffman pointed out that the “right” first vibrator depends on the individual, whether or not they’re in a relationship, and whether they find more pleasure from clitoral or G-spot stimulation. “I recommend the tuLips from Sweet Vibrations as a first vibrator, particularly if someone is nervous and is unsure what they are looking for. They are small, simple, inexpensive, and get the job done,” she shared. “If [the individual] wants more of a dildo-type vibrator, I love MysteryVibe and Lioness. The WeVibe is great for long-distance relationships as well.”
My vibrator experience:
I took note of Hoffman’s recommendation and decided to try thePixie and tuLips vibrators from Sweet Vibrations. These would be the first vibrators I have ever used and writing this article was the perfect excuse (not that I needed one). What initially appealed to me was that they were straight-forward and easy to understand; I didn’t need to look at the instructions in order to figure out how they worked. This was especially important to me considering I was a sex toy novice.
So, what did I think?
I enjoyed the different speeds and motions both the Pixie and tuLips provided because they were so unique. Some of the speeds were a powerful sensation ideal for rubbing the labia and other speeds were perfect for teasing in terms of clitoral stimulation. tuLips especially has a distinctive design that allows for a snug feel by slightly pinching the tips of the vibrator against the clitoris.
Also, as someone who travels a lot, often the only things I have with me are my carry-on duffel bag and purse rather than a large suitcase. Recently I decided to pack the vibrators in my carry-on bag and I was afraid that they’d be a problem when getting through airport security. Luckily, the TuLips and Pixie vibrators weren’t an issue for me considering their hand-held size and power lock feature so that it doesn’t turn on during airport security.
The biggest plus of all is that they’re sold at an affordable price range. Let’s be real. Vibrators are cool, but nobody wants to pay an arm and a leg for one. Sweet Vibrations even includes a complimentary lifetime warranty on all of their products.
Now that I’ve gotten a new perspective on sex toys, I’m excited to explore my desires in new ways. I want my orgasms to reach their highest sensations whether that’s through using vibrators after a long, stressful day, setting aside some time just for exploration purposes, or incorporating them into foreplay with my boyfriend. Sexual-self care is a journey and the more I understand about my sexual preferences, the better I’ll be able to take control of the pleasure that my body deserves.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
To learn more about getting started with sex toys, check out tabú’s Guide to Sex Toys!
Illustrations by Leonor Carvalho
Tatyannah graduated from UNC-Greensboro in 2018. She is now a sex blogger, travel enthusiast and educational presenter with the Center for Positive Sexuality. To stay up to date with her future workshops and presentations about sexuality, follow her on Instagram @taty_kaloni_k.