This year, with dining establishments at limited capacity, travel bands in order, self-isolation orders in full-effect, your usual go-to gifts (restaurant vouchers, fancy-schmancy suitcases, and concert ticks), would flop.
So, there’s never been a better time to go the saucy route and give ~the gift of pleasure~ with a pleasure product.
Read on for everything you need to know about gifting a sex toy.
Consider Your Giftee First
Buying a pleasure product without taking the pleasure-seeker into account is like buying condoms without considering the size of the penis or dildo. So, before you go on a shopping spree, decide who's going to be on the receiving end.
Keep in mind: “A sex toy is really only an appropriate gift for someone you’ve talked about sexual things and sex toys with in the past,” says clinical sexologist Megan Stubbs, Ed.Ds. “A sex toy is not a gift you want to give a stranger or co-worker.”
Typically, a sex toy is only a kosher gift to give a boo, BFF, or blood.
If you've already used sex toys together before, odds are you’ve already talked about other toys you might want to try. Make it simple for yourself and get the toy your boo’s already been lusting over.
If it's your first time, Dr. Stubbs recommends keeping it simple with a bullet vibrator like the Le Wand Baton or the Le Wand Bullet. “For a first-time toy, something small and cute that vibrates and can be used on a wide variety of body parts.”
Here’s the thing, because it’s generally best *not* to surprise your partner with a sex toy, if you are planning to get them a sex toy without a conversation first, she recommends sharing info as you give the gift.
You might, for instance, hand your partner the wrapped present and say:
- “I read in a magazine that this is the most sex toy for vulva-owners in 2020. I know we haven’t talked about or used sex toys together much before, but I wanted to get you something that would bring you pleasure so I went out on a limb and got this.”
- “So… this is an R-rated gift. I really love watching you touch your clit while I'm inside of you. I thought it might be fun to try using a vibrator on your clit instead of your fingers.”
Another option is to write a little explainer in the accompanying card:
- “Something to make you orgasm while I’m away next week…”.
- “I read in an article that this toy could give someone that best orgasm of their life and I want you to experience that.”
Your Best Friend
You’ve got two options here.
First, get them something similar to a toy or sensation they already know they like. Know they like pinker in the stinker? Get them a finger-shaped butt plug like the b-vibe Snug Plug 2. Know they enjoy nipple stimulation? Consider the Le Wand Deux.
Second, getting them something they’ve expressed interest in. For instance, have they ever said, “I just really think I’d love oral-anal” or “I keep meaning to get a vibrator I just don’t know where to start”? If so, consider a toy like the b-vibe Rimming Plug Petite and Le Wand, respectively.
Both options, as Dr. Stubbs puts it, ensure that you “won’t get a spanking bench for someone who really just enjoys clitoral stimulation or a string of anal beads for someone who’s not interested in trying anal.”
First and most importantly, ask yourself if this family member would be open to receiving a sex toy as a gift from a fellow family member.
If your gut is telling you their reaction would be one of anger, embarrassment, shame, frustration, or similar, opt-out. (Consider getting them some bath and beauty products with a bottle of lube).
If you suspect they’d be grateful for the first, consider all the things you know about the recipient.
Are they single or in a relationship? If they’re in a relationship, ask yourself if you want this to be for both of them.
Do they live in a big home? Alone? If so, you probably can get them something as big as The Cowgirl.
How to choose a sex toy to giftNow that you've decided who to gift, now the question is what to gift. Here, three main things to consider.
1. Experience level
“For someone new toys, you’re going to want to opt for something small and cute that vibrates and can be used on a wide variety of body parts,” says Dr. Stubbs. For example The Le Wand Grand Bullet.
“When it comes to anal toys, size is probably the most important factor to consider,” says Dr. Stubbs.
You can't give a beginner an XL pleasure product or vice versa. It'll end up being too big, not pleasurable enough, and effectively, unusable. *Sigh*.
Size Recommendation Special Features Small b-Vibe Snug Plug 1 This beginner plug features a lil weight inside the jostles slightly when you move for increased stimulation. Medium b-Vibe Petite Rimming Plug This bum plug features a string of rotating beats in the neck of the base that’s designed to simulate oral-anal. Large The Cowgirl Sex Machine! This rideable vibrator, this is the one gift to rule them all.
For the record: The size of external toys is less about experience and more about preference.
There are body-safe pleasure products available at every price point. So, don’t feel like you need to drop a lot of dough—you don’t.
This is especially important to keep in mind if you share a bank account with the giftee.
“It’s pretty hard to experience pleasure if you’re stressed,” Dr. Stubbs says. “And if your partner is stressed about how much of your shared pot you spent on a sex toy, they will be stressed.”
Your move: Before investing in an expensive sex toy make sure your partner consents to having that hunk of money removed from the pot.
When to gift a sex toy
“There’s not necessarily a wrong event or holiday to gift someone a sex toy,” says Dr. Stubbs. But unless you’re at a sex toy exchange shindig, bachelor or bachelorette party, or celebrating at a sex club, you probably want to give the gift in private, she says.
Admit it: Your sister won’t be thrilled to get your little surprise for her with your nieces and nephews in the room. Ditto goes for your parents, in-laws, or grandparents.
Another option: Go with a gift card
Did you know that most sex shops and sex toy retailers—The Cowgirl included—have a gift card option? If you know you want to get someone on your list a toy but have no idea what to get them, Dr. Stubbs recommends going that route instead.
“A gift card gives someone the financial means they need to invest in their sexual and sensual selves,” she says, “without necessitating that you two talk in-depth about the receiver's sexual tastes and preferences.”
Another perk: The staff at sex toy shops and retailers are trained sex educators who will be able to help your giftee pick out a product that best-fits their pleasure needs.