Black Friday has passed and Cyber Monday just happened. Some of you spent your time huddled on sidewalks waiting for frightened store employees to unchain the front doors of Best Buy/Target/Urban Outfitters. Others of you stayed in bed bundled in blankets while clicking around those stores' Internet equivalents. (Smarter.)
Regardless of your shopping method, it's clear there's only one thing on everyone's mind.
Butt sex Holiday gifts. It's not easy to find the perfect nick-nack for Gramps but it's even more difficult to discover the perfect present for the woman in your life who could use a bit of a boost in the bedroom - or the man in your life who doesn't know what he's missing.
Once you've figured out what a dildo does and why a cockring can be cool - here's a handy how-to guide for beginners - it's time to narrow down the choices. Sound intimidating? It is!
So we've whittled down the choices, having mucked through piles of penis-shaped products, boring books, and more than a few lascivious lubricant varietals to bring you the five best erotic items to introduce into your intimate repertoire. And we've specially chosen pieces that will be nonthreatening and maybe even FUN for you and your partner to try together!
1. Hot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight!
Written by sex podcaster Emily Morse and AfterDarkLA contributor (and spunky sex educator) Jamye Waxman, "Hot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight!" is sex-ed self-help meets graphic novel, and we mean that in the best way.
Many sex position or how-to books are full of text, black-and-white fonts with shady drawings that may (but more often not) inspire readers to practice what the pages preach. But often it feels more as though you're sitting with your lab partner poring over a 101 textbook rather than bonding with your lover and learning how to spice things up.
So Waxman and Morse swooped in with their friendly, colloquial writing and teaching styles and supplemented their technical terms with huge, colorful rotoscoped photos of real couples performing the various tips they outline. It's easy to read, fun to look at, and its erotic comic book styling makes it a no-brainer for bedtime reading.
2. Liberator Flip Ramp
The idea of sex furniture turns many people away, as the term often is associated with a kinky lifestyle. But what many don't realize is shapes like these are made merely to make sex easier, especially for those of us with any kind of back, hip or joint problems. And though we all know certain sex positions "do it" for us more than others, it's not always easy to maneuver ourselves into them - especially if we've had a particularly stressful day, or a hard workout, or we're just damn tired.
Liberator makes unassuming - and comfortable - shapes that help lift our bodies, hoist our hips, and in some cases deepen penetration. That makes for more satisfying sex without the extra work that some of us are too lazy to do.
The Flip Ramp is one of many shapes that help make G-spotting easier, doggy style more pleasant for women (the support under our pelvises alleviates pressure on our knees, for one), and are covered in a soft, machine-washable cloth that feels great against bare skin.
And the colors and styles don't have metal clasps, handcuffs, dildo holsters, or other accessories that scream "sex deviant!" so you can leave these shapes out in the open without offense. But if you ever get to the point where those attachments sound more appealing than appalling, there's a Black Label that has restraints attached for easy on, off and oh yes!
3. Studio Collection Lipstick Vibe
Vibrators are a sex essential, and don't let your brain or lover try to convince you otherwise. As we've previously reported, about 75 percent of women are biologically incapable of having a vaginal orgasm (i.e. coming from getting railed) and without the aid of some clitoral diddling an orgasm from intercourse doesn't always happen. And that's OK - you're not broken, he's not "doing it wrong," it's just not an every-time guarantee.
But when you want to try out something mechanical to stimulate that pleasure zone while you're having sex, it's important to pick a tool that's not only powerful and easy to use, but also won't freak out your partner or wake the neighbors when you press the "on" button.
So we found The Screaming O's collection of three-speed vibrators that are cleverly disguised as cosmetics. It's not the first time we've seen a lipstick or brush with a secret motor inside but these jump to the top of the list because of how close they are to the real thing.
No hard plastic tips here - the Studio Collection Lipstick is made of soft silicone that moves with you as you use it and glides over your skin. It has enough strength to get your motor going but doesn't give off the telltale sound that lets the world know you're using a sex toy. (We know that because we used one of these last night.)
And bringing a small vibrator into your sex life, especially one that looks as unassuming as the rest of the stuff in the medicine cabinet, can truly take things to the next level without intimidating your lover. Remember - they're not replacements. They're enhancements.
4. Shunga Body Painting
We've all tried massage oils, candles and lotions to bring some sensual foreplay into our sex lives. And they're great. But if you (or your lover) aren't the most adept with your hands - or your lover's got tight muscles that just aren't easy to knead - this kind of erotic play might lose it luster if you do it too often.
Enter Canadian company Shunga, which makes natural body products that enhance sexual sensation as well as make sex more fun. They even have a couples kit that lets you and your partner lube wrestle without making a huge mess or fools out of yourselves.
But we're highlighting the Body Painting, three flavors of icing that let you doodle on each other with a paintbrush (or your finger), and if you're unhappy with the resulting masterpiece you can just lick it off and start over.
Chocolate tastes the best, in our opinion, but there's Strawberry Champagne and Vanilla for you cocoa-phobes. So when you're in the mood to touch each other but not feeling the masseuse vibe, bring out some edible body paints and see where your artsy side can take you.
Lubricant. It's a sex essential that some of us still steer clear of for fear of being deemed "kinky" or "broken." Studies even show that women enjoy sex more when lube is involved - it's a simple fact. Women's bodies make our own, sure, but depending on how hydrated we are, how aroused we feel, or how much sex we've been having, the amount of natural "juice" we emit can vary drastically.
Lube, regardless of its source, is what makes sex feel good. Less friction and easier/faster/smoother penis/object insertion makes for little-to-no chafing and irritation, which then makes for a happier post-O-face glow. So why on earth would you NOT want to keep lube around at all times?
There are so many kinds out there and there isn't just one variety we'd recommend. We simply recommend you all have at least one bottle and know what you're buying.
Water-based lubes are the most body-compatible, as its base is the same substance that makes up around 60 percent of our bodies. Some have flavors but watch out for the ingredients that make them taste sweet. Some sugar derivatives - such as glycerin - can irritate our sensitive vaginas so just beware as you test them out.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Because it's water-based, however, you'll need to keep the bottle nearby to reapply as you go at it. Friction creates heat and the more you fuck, the more will evaporate from your nether regions and result in a tacky feeling. No harm done, just be ready to squirt some more on.
Silicone-based lubes are appealing for their thinner, glide-like texture. You don't have to reapply this stuff as often as water-based lubricants, and some couples like the smooth, warmer texture. Silicone lube also can be used to massage your skin, as it won't leave a sticky residue.
Just beware that most toys made of silicone will react poorly to silicone lubricants, so if you're bringing one of those sex tools into the bedroom, bring out the water-based bottle.
And if you're in the running for some butt sex, give both kinds a try. Some like the thickness of water-based lube for anal protection, while others like the less goopy feel of silicone. It's preference, people, and there's only one way to figure out yours. TRY IT!