Guest Blogger
Cara Sutra

"Award winning sexpert and writer, editor of critically acclaimed e-zine and active sex toy tester."

 

Cara Sutra is a sex expert and writer best known for her multi award-winning e-zine, CaraSutra.co.uk. This popular and regularly updated blog is home to a variety of sexuality articles and advice as well as opinion pieces, sex toys reviews and a personal journal.

Having worked in and written for the adult industry for a number of years, Cara is no stranger to all facets of sexuality including the evolution of cultural attitudes and the changing needs of men and women. Drawing on her own experiences whether in relation to sex, sex toys or kink, Cara is always ready to share her advice with anyone who has questions about sexual or relationship issues.

In her personal life, Cara lives in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside enjoying all the adventures life has to offer. Her long term partner, meanwhile, despairs at the mountain of sex toys, high heels and corsets taking over the house.

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Sex toys in the 21st Century:
Building a collection to be proud of

Do you own any sex toys? It’s a question which you may feel perfectly able to answer in the privacy of your mind, but imagine that question being put to you by a friend or colleague out loud.

I’ll ask again. Do you own any sex toys?

How would you respond? Depending on the situation, you may feel within your rights to tell the inquisitive person to mind their own business. However if it’s part of a friendly chat, would you react with confidence or flush with embarrassment?

My own recent media and press outing as a ‘professional sex toy tester’ who has ‘15 orgasms a week’ has highlighted that even here in the 21st century there is still a certain stigma attached to sex toy users. The labelling of shame and the adoption of embarrassment by many who enjoy vibrators and dildos is somewhat at odds with the view of those attending home sex toy parties. Sex toy party attendees are seen as fabulous, fun and flirty, even if the party games and post-fun purchases usually benefit from an alcoholic beverage or two.

This contradictory cultural attitude leads one to wonder whether sex toys are even needed at all. Why are sex toys so popular? We all know how sex works; why would we need anything extra?

Modern life brings with it an ever evolving range of lifestyle accessories which are designed to assist us in everyday tasks, as well as improving our quality and enjoyment of life. You might own the latest touch screen device from which you can instantly message friends, snap a photo and share to your social media accounts, or video important family moments. Perhaps you choose to relax with your internet enabled home entertainment system from which you can browse and download any of the hundreds of thousands of movie releases and TV series available. From web based and other electronic technology to comfortable personal transport and even domestic home appliances, there’s a product out there to help make your planned task easier as well as more effective and enjoyable.

If every day activities are benefitting from rapid development and new technology, we can safely assume that accessories to improve our enjoyment of sex and orgasms are experiencing similar attention. Sex, masturbation and the maintenance of a healthy libido are natural, enjoyable and usually highly sought after areas of life for most adults. Intense research and conscientious development in the field of sex toys was always inevitable.

Every year, the sex toys industry welcomes new styles of products and many updated models to the sex toys spectrum, with designers and manufacturers constantly attempting to achieve pleasure perfection in the view of sex toy shoppers all around the world.

Attitudes are slowly shifting from shame and embarrassment to a greater acceptance of sex toys as a normal and acceptable part of adult life. It’s taking a great deal of time though, and further education is required to help allay the doubts and fears of many. Some insist on viewing masturbation as a threat to a healthy sex life and the use of sex toys as replacing the role of couples sex in a relationship. I’ve been heavily quoted as saying, “sex toys are the seasoning to a sex life, not a replacement” and I fully stand by that ethos.

Once you realise and acknowledge that you can be a proud sex toy owner and user regardless of the misinformed labels of a diminishing few, you can begin to build a sex toy collection you can be proud of. Everyone’s perfect sex toy will be different, with one person’s favourite vibrator completely missing the mark for somebody else. We all have a different physiology and it would be naive to think there is one ideal sex toy for a man, woman or couple.

With the help of forward thinking, sex positive sex toy shops such as Ann Summers as well as the expertise and experience of various sex toys testers’ reviews, you can make confident decisions when it comes to your sex toy purchases. Here’s a few ideas which you may find helpful when it comes to buying your first sex toy, or adding to your existing toy box.

If you like vaginal penetration

If you’re not used to sex toys and vibrators, you may wish to start with a flexible, non-vibrating toy such as a silicone dildo. Once you are ready to introduce vibration, try a petite classic vibrator such as a ‘Lady Finger’ or this classic phallic silicone vibrator. Twisting the base allows you to select your perfect vibration speed.

For specific G-spot location and pleasure, look for specially designed dildos and vibrators with a cleverly angled tip. This will stimulate the G-spot area inside the vagina and heighten the intensity of your experience. Try this G-spot vibrator.

If you like clitoral stimulation

Contrary to popular belief, most women do not orgasm through vaginal penetration alone. Stimulation of the clitoris is a much more effective way to reach climax for many women. With this in mind, there are a variety of clitoris stimulating vibrators available, ranging from gentle and discreet to sheet clenchingly powerful.

Bullet vibrators are easy to hold in the hand, quiet during use and a great size to slip into a handbag or case while travelling. They can also be held between bodies during sex, or used over his shaft and testicles, to add a unique and enjoyable dimension to couples foreplay and sex. A hot tip is this best selling RO-160 bullet vibrator.

Best of both

Rabbit vibrators are still incredibly popular, even though it’s been 16 years since that episode of Sex and the City. Beware though; rabbit vibrators can be quite heavy to wield if you’re not used to them, as well as noisy and overwhelmingly powerful. If you really can’t do without a rabbit vibrator in your beginner’s sex toy collection, try a light weight one first before progressing to full size styles. Rampant Rabbit - The Mini One is budget friendly, made with skin safe, high quality silicone, is waterproof and has 7 whisper quiet functions to discover.

Butt plugs: the bottom line

Anal stimulation and using butt plugs is an enjoyable part of many people’s personal sex lives, whether men or women. The anal entrance is naturally tight and inside there is thin skin lining the anal canal. It’s important to go slow and to use water based lubricant when you experiment with anal stimulation, whether using sex toys or during sex with your partner. There are also area specific anal lubricants available.

A great beginner’s anal sex toy is this Anal Intro Finger. It has a loop at the end so you can safely keep hold of it, and with a petite size and smoothly tapered form it won’t cause discomfort or stress. Move up in size with the Small Silicone Butt Plug with a safety friendly tapered base.

Once you’re comfortable with anal stimulation, you can select from many sizes and styles of butt plugs and even enjoy anal vibrators and beads.

For the boys

Sex toys aren’t just for women. Men can upgrade from the traditional ‘sexy handshake’ and enjoy the luxurious pleasures of top of the range textured male masturbators and strokers.

Fleshlight is perhaps the best known of all male masturbators, while Pulse 2 by Hot Octopuss has enjoyed international acclaim as a revolutionary way for the boys to play.

Prostate pleasure

The prostate is a small walnut shaped gland which is found underneath the bladder, next to the rectum in men. Stimulation of this special gland using specially designed anal sex toys is not  only highly arousing but also reports incredible health benefits. Prostate massagers stimulate the prostate and some also vibrate, often leading to an amazingly powerful orgasm.

Sex toys you can use together

Yes, there really are sex toys you can use with your partner! Couples sex toys are not limited to the use of bullet vibrators during sex, or a voyeuristic thrill watching them ‘at it’ with their latest sex toy.

We Vibe offer C shaped vibrators which are remote controlled and fit inside her vagina during couples sex, allowing both partners to experience the pleasure of vibration during lovemaking. LELO Ida and LELO Tiani 3 work in similar ways, with SenseMotion technology allowing you to control the vibrations with a tilt or shake of your hand.

Let’s get kinky

Ready to take your bedroom roleplay to the next level? With the launch of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie for Valentine’s Day 2015, more than ever before are interested in discovering the big deal about bondage.

Bondage sex toys range from beginner’s bondage kits to wilder kinky accessories, so start with whatever you feel is comfortable for your relationship. There are soft teasing restraints, blindfolds, spanking paddles and floggers - all of which can spice up your sex life and bring back a sense of adventure to your bedroom.

Let’s keep working to make the world’s attitude to sex toys entirely positive and accepting. Enjoy experimenting with different styles of sex toys, until you settle on your personal favourites. Sex toys aren’t just good for a giggle, they’re good for your sex life and happiness levels too.