Sex Love / Sex

6 Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Considering an Open Relationship

6 Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Considering an Open Relationship

You might then try a more challenging boundary—maybe asking a not-so-close friend not to text you after 10. Finally, you can raise the stakes further still by telling your partner what you are and aren’t comfortable with when it comes to an open relationship. “It’s an ongoing practice that eventually will feel easier with time and repetition,” Dr. Pitagora says. They also note that if you have a hard time expressing your needs and boundaries in relationships, individual therapy can be extremely beneficial.5. How do you deal with jealousy?Whether you’re monogamous or nonmonogamous, jealousy is one of those very human emotions that can creep up even when you don’t necessarily expect it. If you’re opening up your relationship, however, you’ll have to be willing to dissect the heck out of those feelings and contemplate the ways your jealousy might be a problem.For instance, do you lash out with aggression, or become insular and unwilling to discuss your feelings? Or maybe you ignore those feelings entirely and pretend everything is okay while they eat you up inside? All of these reactions are signs that your jealousy could get in the way of the healthy communication required for a successful open relationship.“Jealousy, like all emotions, contains valuable information about something we need to heal from or some need that’s not being met,” Dr. Pitagora explains. The reality of a newly open relationship is that it might bring jealousy to the forefront, but ultimately this can give partners an opportunity to reflect. Slowing down, contemplating your feelings, and collaborating with your partner is a healthy approach to jealousy, and you can also practice it in advance of opening up a relationship, they add.For example, maybe the thought of multiple partners makes you feel insecure about the strength of your primary partnership, and dedicated couple time might help ease that discomfort. Or perhaps you realize that you’re feeling undervalued, and a more even distribution of household chores would help you feel more appreciated before you consider an open arrangement.6. Do you rely on other people to validate your worth?Self-acceptance is being marketed to us left and right these days and there’s a lot of noise out there about how you need to love yourself before you can love somebody else (or multiple somebody elses, in this case). But that journey isn’t typically linear, and you don’t necessarily have to “love yourself fully” (whatever that means) before you welcome other types of love into your life.“Humans need other humans to live, and feeling validated through love from others is healthy, regardless of one’s level of security,” Dr. Pitagora explains. In fact, feeling loved or validated by others can ultimately increase personal feelings of self-worth, they say, in a psychological phenomenon known as positive “reflected appraisals”—when people perceive someone else’s appraisal of them as positive, their self-perception can become more positive, too.That said, “if someone is completely reliant on someone else’s love and validation for a feeling of self-worth, that can be problematic, in that they may not be able to function if that other person is no longer available to provide love and validation,” Dr. Pitagora says. “And if working on self-compassion feels really uncomfortable to someone, I would say it’s likely they fall into that category.”Basically, you shouldn’t necessarily rely on someone else (or multiple partners) for your entire sense of self-worth or fulfillment, but there’s no shame in craving more love and validation from others. And if that love and validation come in the form of an open relationship that feels good to all parties involved, then ethical nonmonogamy might be your happily ever after.As Dr. Pitagora puts it, if both partners feel that an open relationship could help satisfy some of their unmet emotional and/or physical needs and “a couple has good communication practices in place, a foundation of trust, and a willingness to put in the hard work that usually takes place in the beginning of a nonmonogamous learning curve, then I say go for it.”Related:

How to Actually Meet Someone Without Dating Apps

How to Actually Meet Someone Without Dating Apps

Another way to tweak your usual routine to increase your odds of meeting a match? Commit to regularly making a little room in your schedule for new experiences—even if it’s only a few hours each month. “Set a goal to do something you normally wouldn’t every other week or every month, say, where you could potentially meet someone in person,” Chlipala suggests. “Whether it’s attending a networking event, an alumni group outing, or meeting up with friends at a festival—the idea is to make a point to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities than usual.”Look (and act!) like you’re open to meeting new people.Both Chlipala and Johnson agree that open and welcoming body language is key to being approachable. If you’re out and about listening to Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” on repeat with AirPods in, you’ll probably look like you’re busy and don’t want to be bothered (which, fine, in this case, is probably accurate). However, being more in the moment and aware of your surroundings can both communicate to others that you’re open to conversation and allow you to notice (cute!) people around you—people you might want to talk to. Chlipala says that people have become so reliant on apps and the comfort of being on the other side of their phone, they often fail to capitalize on the opportunities in front of them.Earbuds and headphones aren’t the only way to close yourself off to possible romantic connection. Talking only to your friends at parties and keeping your head in your phone on public transportation or in a checkout line can send the “I’m not interested” message, too, says Johnson. That’s not to say you can never get lost in a true crime podcast on a walk, or that you always have to be open to chatting up strangers, but being aware of the vibe you’re giving off may help you increase your chances of finding a mate in the wild.From there, start with low-stakes small talk.You don’t have to chat with strangers about the weather (though, to be fair, climate change makes for stimulating conversation), but exchanging pleasantries or witty remarks when the opportunity arises can be a great way to meet new people and get more comfortable interacting with someone you’re attracted to. Regularly striking up conversations is about developing the mindset of looking for opportunities to make a connection wherever you go, Chlipala explains. Sometimes that might pan out into a date, sometimes (most times, even!) it won’t, but you won’t know unless you try, she says.“It’s important to honor where you are with your comfort level, though,” Chlipala says. “If the idea of talking to someone you find super attractive makes your palms sweat, practice with a stranger, acquaintance, or colleague—someone you feel neutral toward—until you get more confident.” This can look like a playful comment about a snack in someone’s cart at the grocery store, or asking a friend of a friend what dishes or drinks they recommend at a restaurant bar.Work through your fear of rejection.Being rejected by an avatar on an app can be less painful than getting turned down by a real-life human, so brace yourself for the fact that dating in person might sting more than you expected it to. But also remind yourself that you will not be every person’s brand of fun, just like not every person you meet will be what you’re looking for. If a fear of rejection is holding you back from in-person connection, Chlipala suggests building up resilience by continuously putting your situation in perspective.

The 14 Best Amazon Prime Day Deals on Sex Toys You Can Shop Now

The 14 Best Amazon Prime Day Deals on Sex Toys You Can Shop Now

We’re mere weeks away from Amazon Prime Day 2022, but if you don’t want to wait, there are excellent sales already on best-selling sex toys (not to mention home and kitchen, tech, fitness, and beauty products). Whether you could use a solo voyage, want to explore a new sensation with a partner, or could use relaxation in your life ASAP, below we’ll answer your questions about the best Amazon Prime Day sex toy deals—and highlight some of the standout discounts on popular vibrators, cock rings, dildos, and more that we’re seeing right now.When is Amazon Prime Day 2022?The official dates were just announced and, according to Amazon, Prime Day 2022 will take place July 12 and 13. These are the usual dates for Prime Day from previous years (aside from 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Even though Prime Day is a few weeks away there will likely be a series of early-access deals for Prime members in the lead-up.What competitors and retailers have Amazon Prime Day sex toys on sale?As can be expected, Amazon has big price drops on best-selling sex toys from big-name brands like Womanizer, Lelo, Satisfyer, and We-Vibe. Additionally, you’ll also find major markdowns and limited-time sales on all types of vibrators (clitoral vibrators, bullet vibrators, rabbit vibrators, G-spot vibrators, wand massagers), sex toys for men (like dildos, butt plugs, strokers, and strap-ons), and sex accessories from competitor brands Lovehoney, Babeland, Mysteryvibe, Womanizer, and Jimmyjane.What are the best sex toy deals?Below, we’ve rounded up the best sex toy deals running in the weeks leading up to Amazon Prime Day. We’ll be updating this page with all the best sex toy deals before and during the sale event—whether from Amazon or from other competing retailers. Amazon Prime Day sex toy deals might come and go in a flash so be sure to check out if you really want something and find it. Read on for expert-recommended, on-sale sex toys that will take you to new heights at a fraction of the going price.

The Best Sex Toys for You, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

The Best Sex Toys for You, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

Astrological signs may differ in terms of personality traits, but every sign likes feeling good. You just have to find the best sex toy for your Zodiac sign. While you could go out and sample vibrators, massagers, and other sex toys at random, letting the stars guide your choices can help narrow the field—and get more in touch with your astrological identity along the way. Here, we’ve highlighted some of the very best sex toys for your Zodiac sign to try out, based on your individual sign’s likes, dislikes, and preferences. With these delightful devices, you don’t need a horoscope to know you’ll see stars. AriesRuled by Mars, you’re a passionate fire sign who doesn’t shy away from speaking directly (even if you come off as a little intense). That intensity likely extends to the bedroom, where you’ll be well-served by a powerful wand vibrator like the Doxy, widely considered one of the most powerful wands around, or a rabbit toy that not only vibrates but actually thrusts, like Fun Factory’s Stronic Bi Fusion rabbit vibrator.  AmazonDoxy Hand Held Personal MassagerLovehoneyFun Factory Stronic Bi Fusion Rechargeable Thrusting Rabbit VibratorTaurusWhere some impatient signs like to go, go, go, Taureans know that good things come to those who wait. That’s why we’re recommending you add a massage candle to your foreplay ritual—this option from SELF’s own sexual wellness line, made in partnership with JimmyJane, smells amazing and can go directly onto skin for a luxuriously sensual massage. For the main event, go for a rumbly wearable toy like the Lelo Tor, which works just as well as a cock ring as a finger vibrator—and can work in the water (a key detail for bubble bath-loving Bulls). LeloLelo Tor 2Not a fan of powerhouse vibes (*cough* wand vibrators *cough*)? The LELO Tor 2 may be a better vibrating couple’s ring option. Also made of high-quality silicone, the Tor 2’s vibrations are, as Sloane says, “less rumbly, less noticeable, and more buzzy than the Pivot.”GeminiYour Mercury-ruled sign can change gears on a dime—and you need a toy that’ll keep up with your whims. Enter the flexible, versatile, Unbound Bender. Fantastic for internal or external use, and pliable enough to hit all your sensitive spots, it’s an excellent toy for anyone prone to changing their mind. Meanwhile, Sharevibe’s Vibrating Double Dildo shares your love of multitasking, with a shorter bulb and a longer dildo that pair up for dual stimulation for couples, plus a design that can work on its own or with a harness as a strap-on. Fun FactoryFun Factory Sharevibe Vibrating Double DildoCancerAs a water sign ruled by the maternal, emotional moon, you’re a little more in-tune with your feelings than most, Cancer. And, while sex toys can inject all kinds of fun into your sex life, you’ll particularly enjoy ones that up the intimacy, too. Take a blindfold for a whirl with your partner and enjoy the increased feelings of trust and delectable anticipation that follow. Partnered or solo, a finger vibrator can make every touch more exciting—and encourage you to explore and take things nice and slow.LeoRegal, generous, and magnetic, Leos like to get as good as they give—so that means you expect nothing short of all-encompassing pleasure from your toys. We like the We-Vibe Nova 2 for powerful, blended orgasms: Where the short external arm stimulates your clitoris, the longer, internal arm hits your G-spot. The Tilt plug can work as a G-spot toy or a prostate massager, and either way its self-warming feature helps you relax right before blowing your mind.VirgoIf you know someone who has a quick fix or correct answer for just about everything, that person is probably a Virgo. In honor of your sign’s dedication to optimization, we strongly recommend you pick up a sex pillow (if you don’t already have one). The Liberator Wedge is a bestseller for its ability to help couples find their perfect angle, especially during missionary. Aneros also knows a thing or two about perfecting and refining: The silicone Helix Syn Trident is a sex toy for men that stimulates four erogenous zones, works hands-free, and has a self-pivoting design. Don’t forget the water-based lube!AnerosAneros Helix Syn TridentAmazonLiberator Wedge Intimate Sex Positioning PillowLibraWhen your sign is ruled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty, you know you have an eye for aesthetics. That’s why we’re recommending Dame’s Pom external clitoral vibrator, which hums and pulses like a dream while looking lovely and discreet, too. But it’s not all about appearances for you, Libra. If you’re in a relationship, a toy that heightens the pleasure for both parties, like the remote-controllable We-Vibe Sync Chorus, will appease your diplomatic ways (your astrological symbol is the Scales of Justice, after all).ScorpioScorpios can’t resist a little intrigue, and that can translate to some playful teasing behind closed doors. The Thorn Double Finger Pinwheel pricks and tickles wherever you touch, waking up your entire body in preparation for things to come (if you want to up the ante, nipple clamps will also do the trick). With a whopping 12 levels of intensity, the Womanizer Duo lets you go achingly slow or cut to the chase while enjoying internal and external stimulation. AmazonThorn Double Finger PinwheelAmazonWomanizer Duo Rabbit Vibrator MassagerSagittariusSpontaneity, thy name is Sagittarius. If you’re ready to have some fun but don’t want to waste time fiddling with a charger or running to your nightstand, there’s a whole world of household items that can stand in for standard sex toys, like, say, a sturdy silicone spatula. Or, if you are planning ahead, slip the remote-controlled We-Vibe Moxie into your underwear for an external massage anywhere and everywhere. Particularly adventurous Sags can give their partner control of the We-Vibe app.Williams SonomaWilliams Sonoma Silicone Spatula With Stainless-Steel HandleCapricornHardworking earth sign that you are, you admire and prioritize efficiency in just about all areas of your life—without sacrificing quality, that is. That’s why the best sex toy for your Zodiac sign, Capricorn, is one that’s well-made but gets right to the point. For G-spot stimulation, that means opting for Lelo’s powerful, tantalizingly curved Gigi 2. For clitoral stimulation, the obvious and overwhelmingly reliable choice is the Satsifyer Pro 2, a luxe clitoris suction toy that can work without your hands.LeloSilicone G-Spot Toys: Lelo Gigi 2AquariusPerhaps the most innovative air sign in the Zodiac, Aquarians will most definitely appreciate some versatility—and a futuristic edge—in their sex toys. Egg vibrators are a wonderful place to start: They resemble bullet vibrators and work stunningly well for external stimulation, but can reach and massage the G-spot with ease (especially the Lovense model below, thanks to its insertable length). And, yes, the Njoy Pure Wand looks like a beautiful sci-fi dildo, but it backs up its form with a major function. It comes highly recommended as both a G-spot and P-spot powerhouse. AmazonLovense Lush 2 Bullet VibratorShe VibeNjoy Pure Wand Double Ended Stainless Steel DildoPiscesImaginative and prone to dreaming, our Pisces friends simply must meet Princess Puppypuss from Cute Little Fuckers. You can use it as a butt plug or a bullet vibrator—either way, it injects some adorable levity into your playtime. A little more serious but wholly appealing to your Neptunian penchant for escapism is the Lelo Ora 3, a highly realistic oral sex simulator. Simply lay back, summon up your favorite fantasy, and let the 12 unique settings of vibration and rotation take you away.Related:

So, Uh, What’s a Sex Blanket? Plus 14 Comfortable, Discreet Options to Consider

So, Uh, What’s a Sex Blanket? Plus 14 Comfortable, Discreet Options to Consider

When it comes to sex, generally, the wetter it is, the better it is. The humble, underrated sex blanket exists for good, wet sex, and removes the stress of having to clean up a mess worthy of a janitorial crew. Whether you’ve heard of using a blanket for sex or it’s your first time learning about the concept, we spoke to sex experts for a crash course in all things sex blankets, from why they’re helpful to what to look for when shopping for one. The good news? Everyone can benefit from one.“No matter who you are, what your sexual orientation is, or what kind of sex you engage in, there is no way around experiencing some sort of fluid,” sex and relationship therapist Malika O’Neill, LPC, and founder and CEO of the Pleasure Collective, LLC tells SELF. “With fluids may come a big mess, some of which a washing machine cannot remove. This is where waterproof blankets come in handy.”Here’s everything you need to know about sex blankets before your next wet and wild sex session.What is a sex blanket? And why are they helpful?A sex blanket is a blanket you use during self-pleasure or partner play to keep your sheets and other surfaces clean and dry, because, well, nobody wants to lay in a wet spot. “Waterproof blankets for sex are a great thing to have in your sexual toolkit because they can take the stress off of making a mess during sex,” Gigi Engle, certified sex educator and author of All The F*cking Mistakes tells SELF.Lovehoney sex expert Dr. Megan Fleming mentions that using one of these blankets is also a more hygienic option, especially if you don’t usually wash your bedding immediately after sex. There could be semen, lube, oil, sweat, or fecal matter on the sheets that can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Throwing a blanket or towel down can nix the need for the post-sex dash to the washing machine. “Really great sex, where you can stay in the moment and embrace pleasure, relies on a feeling secure and grounded,” says Engle. “If you’re panicking about having to wash the sheets afterward, it can be a buzzkill. So, having a blanket that is made for sex can be helpful to bridge that mental gap.”When should you use a sex blanket?You can use a sex blanket any time you have sex if you’d like. There’s no wrong time to use one, but they’re especially helpful during especially wet, messy sex. “If you’re a squirter, or you’re experimenting with food kinks, or using oil, lube, or massage candles, a waterproof blanket is going to be helpful,” says Dr. Fleming. What’s more, Engle notes that they’re excellent for anal and period sex, which often comes with post-coital clean-up. “They can make sex feel more accessible for people who would want to have sex, but choose not to because of the hassle in the aftermath,” she says.“To me, beyond just being a practical addition, the whole idea of a sex blanket is that when you put it down, it’s kind of like your play space—it’s almost symbolic,” says Dr. Fleming. “It could be sort of like a ritual, where you and your partner decide what kind of intimate experience you want to have together.”What should you look for when buying a sex blanket?Before buying, O’Neill advises measuring your mattress and cross-checking the measurements of the blanket. “These blankets usually are in throw form and may not cover the entire bed or the surface you are using, so you may want to purchase two,” she says. She also says to be aware of any fabric or skin allergies, since you’ll be getting very intimate with the blanket.Above all else you want a waterproof sex blanket so that moisture doesn’t seep through to your sheets or other porous surfaces. The best sex blankets usually have multiple layers, so look for well-constructed stitching or folded hems for durability. You should also ensure that your blanket is machine washable. There are other features to look for that are less imperative, but still nice, like color and pattern options that match your decor and don’t look like obvious sex blankets. Pet blankets do the job too—and often come with a lower price tag than made-for-sex blankets—as long as they’re waterproof, and not just water-resistant.Ahead, we found 13 absorbent, discreet sex blankets to try that are supremely waterproof and stain-resistant, so that you can get messy without the worry. To shape our picks, we used guidance from the pros, scoured reviews, and took note of the guidelines above, so that you can feel confident about your purchase. 

The Maude Vibe Is the Sex Toy I Didn’t Know I Needed

The Maude Vibe Is the Sex Toy I Didn’t Know I Needed

Despite writing about sex toys for my job, I’ve personally struggled to find a vibrator that I really, really liked. The ones I’ve tried were distractingly loud, clunky in design, and with too many settings for me to focus on the experience itself. As a single person, sex toys for couples were nice to read about but did not get much testing from me. Plus, I had my hand, and I’ve always thought a hand was enough to get the job done! It’s intuitive and highly portable. It took a pandemic to make me finally break down and give vibrators a try again. After a two-year stretch sans intimate touch from another person, a global epidemic descended (remember that? Oh wait…) in which physical contact became a life-threatening offense. By the fall of 2020, like many solo people, I was incredibly sexually frustrated horny. I was horny, okay? I could hear my neighbors in the apartment above me going at it like unneutered dogs, and that didn’t help. The show Normal People definitely didn’t help (Paul Mescal, call me). In 2021, a shadow turned me on. That’s all I’ll say about that. As reliable as my hand was, my imagination began outpacing my fingers, so I bought a couple of different vibrator models; one that resembled a penis more accurately than felt comfortable, followed by a suction vibrator that was about as loud as a fighter jet (which led to using earplugs while jiggling my jelly bean—not sexy). Both vibrators left me teetering back in Hand Camp. That is until the Maude Vibe came into my life.Writing about sex toys for SELF, I’ve covered Maude, an award-winning, expert-recommended sexual wellness company, at length, without trying its products myself. I was a teeny bit skeptical of such a trendy-seeming company, but when Maude offered to send a sample of its OG vibe—aptly named Vibe—I decided to give it a go, and… hoo boy. Y’all.Right out of the pouch (because the Maude Vibe arrives inside a snug canvas carrying case with a small charging cord), I was impressed. What’s striking is just how sleek, small, and discreet Vibe’s design is. It’s shaped like a blend of an egg vibrator and a finger vibrator. The rounded base fits naturally in my hand and tapers to a soft tip. I hold it like a wand, and it makes my lady-bits go, “Lumos.” How does Maude Vibe work?The minimalist in me appreciates how simple and to-the-point the Maude Vibe is to use. A long press of its single-button turns the vibrator on and off, and a quick press cycles it between three intensities. That’s it! But don’t be fooled. These intensities are each delicious in their own right—and very quiet. The lowest vibration is a warm, rumbly sensation; the middle ramps up in fluttering; the highest intensity is eye-poppingly powerful yet simultaneously gentle. The first time I used the Maude Vibe, the back-to-back orgasms were so strong that tiny vessels around my eyes burst, giving me freckles. I realize how alarming that sounds, but I promise, I was pleased. My whole body was pleased—and relieved—within under two minutes of contact.

Where to Find Incredibly Hot Audio Porn and Erotica

Where to Find Incredibly Hot Audio Porn and Erotica

Cost: Free10. EmjoyThis intimate self-care app leans a bit more toward sexual wellness than porn, with guided audio practices and pleasurable meditations, but it has erotic stories as well. If you’re looking for a more holistic app that will help you get in touch with your desires and sexual well-being, Emjoy is an excellent place to start. It’s kind of like taking a class about your own body and sexuality—and the homework includes listening to erotica.Cost: Free for limited access and $30/year for premium11. RosyThis Webby award-winning app, founded by an OB/GYN, is heavy on the wellness tips, so if you’re intrigued by a holistic approach to increasing your intimate relationship with your body and/or partner(s) that also includes a juicy library of audio erotica, Rosy might be just right. With stories ranging from romantic to explicit and with a variety of topics and types of stories (think: Married, kinky, LGBQT+, historical, etc.), you’ll be feeling flush in no time. And while Rosy’s offerings do sound an awful lot like Emjoy, the difference is in the admittedly pricey personalized add-ons (see below).Cost: $10/month for the erotica-only tier, $50/month for the Gold plan (which includes erotica, a personalized wellness plan, and two group coaching sessions with a wellness expert), and $150/month for the Platinum membership (which includes all of the above, plus two 30-minute one-on-one coaching sessions)12. The Bellesa Erotica PodcastAfter a rocky launch featuring user-submitted pirated porn, Bellesa has found its footing as a one-stop shop for all things horny, from its own line of sex toys to its impressive catalog of free clips from partner studios, streaming porn, written erotica, and paid content from its own porn studio. The Canadian company recently started a cross-platform podcast featuring folks reading from its archive of free sex stories, because sometimes you just gotta rest your eyes.Cost: Free13. &JaneAudio eavesdroppers will want to tune in to this app powered by women who get off on telling the world about their deliciously dirty deeds, either anonymously or not. Although listeners of all genders and sexual preferences are welcome, &Jane focuses on female storytellers and their adventures. You can even upload your own contributions or follow your faves as they upload new sex stories every week. &Jane also donates regularly to the Woodhull Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to sexual freedom, justice, and education.Cost: $5/month or $39/year14. FrolicMeIf you’re an equal opportunity erotica enthusiast and like to switch it up between reading erotic stories, watching sex in porn, and listening to tantalizing tales, FrolicMe has got you covered. The audio porn section of the site gives you the option of reading or watching along while you listen to a wide variety of stories, which are helpfully tagged with keywords about kink, the gender of the voice(s), and the general spiciness of the sex therein. You can also follow your favorite authors, including the aforementioned Girl on the Net!Cost: Free for written erotica. The first five days are $6.50 before going to $13/month, $30/month, or $65/year.Related:

The 22 Best Oral Sex Toys For People Who Crave More Tongue

The 22 Best Oral Sex Toys For People Who Crave More Tongue

If you’re someone who lusts over the sensation of licking and sucking, here’s great news: Oral sex toys deliver the delicious stimulation of someone going down on you—with or without an actual partner present. Whether you want a sex toy that adds that flicking feeling to your solo play, or you’re looking to add new stimulation to your partner play, there’s a wide world of oral sex toys to choose from. We’ll explore the biggest questions when it comes to shopping for oral sex toys, the different types that you’ll find, and share the best oral sex toys recommended by sex experts.What are oral sex toys?“An oral sex toy is either a toy that stimulates the feeling of oral sex or that can be used as an accessory with oral sex,” says Jenn Mason, the owner of WinkWink Boutique. “These are sometimes the same toy, and sometimes they’re different.” What are different types of oral sex toys?There are a few types of oral sex toys, starting with clitoral suction vibrators (also known as air pulse vibrators and airwaves vibrators). These toys use suction and air to surround the clitoris and indirectly stimulate it. “This is a unique feeling that’s similar to oral sex and has had really excellent orgasmic results,” says Gigi Engle, ACS, resident sex educator at 3Fun and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life, who nods to vibrators models made by Satisfyer and Womanizer.Another type of oral sex toy is clitoral stimulators (such as the Skyn Caress or the Fun Factory Volta), which include tongue vibrators. These stimulators have silicone “tongues,” “lips,” or “petals” that flutter across the clit. Engle says these petals provide “more direct stimulation to the clitoris, but it’s still very interesting and feels different from a standard vibrator.”For people with penises, male masturbators such as masturbation sleeves (also known as “strokers,” or—if they vibrate—“power strokers”) simulate the feeling of a blow job, and some anal vibrators and butt plugs produce a sensation similar to rimming (which is anal-oral sex).What are the benefits of using an oral sex toy?“While the benefits of using an oral sex toy alone may be obvious because you don’t have a partner to do it for you, using it with a partner can enhance and prolong stimulation alongside what your partner is doing,” says Mason. “Our bodies have limitations on how long they can provide oral sex (and even on the kinds of sensations we can offer).”Oral sex toys provide a completely different type of stimulation from other sex toys that can feel really nice on nerve endings. They can also be quite visually stimulating, says Engle, especially if one partner is watching the other utilize the toy on themselves. Additionally, the suction vibrators can be used on nipples and the heads of penises, making it quite the multifunctional tool.What should you factor in when shopping for oral sex toys?First, look at the kind of power the oral sex toy offers, advises Mason: Is it a light sensation or a stronger one? How big is the range of intensities? Does it offer vibration patterns? Is it a waterproof sex toy?“You really want to take into account the size and shape of it, especially if you’re planning on using it with another person,” says Mason. “Bulkier toys can be harder to use with a partner than thinner toys that can more easily fit between bodies.”Factor in the materials of the toy as well. “When it comes to sex toys, quality really does make a big difference,” says Engle. “Always buy toys made from medical-grade or body-safe silicone that are USB-rechargeable and don’t contain chemicals. Avoid toys made from jelly.”And if you’re in a long-distance relationship or playing with a partner who travels a lot, consider choosing a remote-controlled sex toy. “Your partner can control your vibe or vibrating sleeve even if they’re not around,” says Mason.What are the best oral sex toys?Below, we’ve broken down by type the top recommendations from sex experts and sex educators for their favorite oral sex toys from best-selling brands and retailers such as Lovehoney, Womanizer, Lelo, Dame Products, Fun Factory, We-Vibe, Amazon, and more. 

The Best Sex Toy Deals for Masturbation Month This May

The Best Sex Toy Deals for Masturbation Month This May

Self-love is self-care, and there’s no better way to prioritize yourself and your sexual health than by celebrating National Masturbation Month with the best deals on sex toys. Yes, the month of May is all about exploring your body and learning about your sexual pleasure. What better way to kick off an entire month centered on masturbation than picking up a new sex toy (or two, or three)?Ring in the warmer months with good vibes (plus, wands, massagers, and everything in between) and other goodies to help you put yourself and first. Right now, you can do that with sales on everything from expert-approved vibrators (including remote-controlled vibrators, egg vibrators, and G-spot vibrators) to best-selling clitoral stimulators, and much more.Whether you’re a beginner when it comes to vibrators or you’re ready to add more options to your burgeoning sex toy collection, these best deals on sex toys are just waiting for you to claim it. Below, find toys from a selection of big-name brands and retailers like Lelo, Lovehoney, Dame, We-Vibe, Ella Paradis, and more. But be sure to shop these deals ASAP, because some of the steepest discounts on crowd-pleasing faves will undoubtedly sell out quickly.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How to Work Around a Language Barrier During Sex

How to Work Around a Language Barrier During Sex

“If you talk about it ahead of time in a relaxed situation, using [translation technology] if necessary, you’re likely to get more information about where you both want the sexual situation to go,” she says. “That way, when you finally get into bed, you’ll have a better understanding of what the other person wants and will be better able to accommodate them.”If you’re imagining this conversation being stilted and awkward, know that there are ways to make it fun instead. During your chat, you can teach each other phrases that will be important to know once things get heated (as outlined above), which could turn into foreplay. “It can be a fun erotic game to discover, learn, and teach words and phrases that will assist you in a more fulfilling intimate connection,” Beth Wallace, Spain-based sexual wellness counselor, tells SELF. You could, for instance, point to (or even undress) different parts of your body or act out different things you’d like to do as you teach each other the words for them.Similarly, on your own, Wallace recommends thinking through what you are and aren’t OK with in advance so that when the time comes to communicate it, you won’t have the added task (and pressure) of deciding what you really want. For example, maybe you’re a hard “no” for intercourse the first time you hook up, but you’re open to oral sex.4. Rely on visual learning.If you’re struggling to discuss in detail what you’d like to do sexually, consider using visuals, Sara Nasserzadeh, PhD, social psychologist and certified sexuality counselor, tells SELF: “Visual components can often surpass language barriers, so finding something to watch with each other and agreeing to try something similar could be a fun way to communicate what you desire.” You might watch porn together, look at illustrated sex position articles, or share other erotic imagery, for example.Dr. Nasserzadeh suggests bringing up the idea by saying (or translating) something like, “I was watching this scene that showed some pretty interesting positions that I thought would be fun to try. Want to watch together?” A playful comment like this can serve as an ice-breaker that might help make everyone involved feel a little more comfortable getting naked, she says.You can also show your partner what you like by touching yourself in front of them, Angel Russell, certified sex educator, tells SELF: “Demonstrate what you like so they can see and then copy what you’re doing.” Or, to let them know what kind of stimulation you want, you can gently guide their hand where you want it to go, adds Dr. Lehmiller.5. Feel free to take your time if you need or want to.Things may naturally move quickly when you’re hot for someone new, but at the very least, get clear on each other’s consent and boundaries before things escalate sexually. “It’s much harder, sometimes impossible, to come back from a misunderstanding or a boundary-crossing incident than it is to negotiate it in advance,” Wallace says.Once everyone’s needs and wants are clear, you may feel totally at ease going full speed ahead. In that case, go for it! But if you’re not yet completely comfortable with a new partner, Wallace recommends trying to pace yourselves once you’re in bed together, too: Spend a while cuddling or kissing first, then move to touching genitals—you get the picture. “If we move slowly, then we’re far less likely to misunderstand, misconstrue, or cross someone else’s or our own boundaries,” says Wallace.Misunderstandings and mishaps are bound to happen with a language barrier in the mix (no matter how many conversations you have or apps you download) and hopefully, they’ll give you a good laugh. But being conscious about communicating the important stuff can help ensure everyone’s boundaries and preferences are understood and respected—which should make the experience even hotter.Related:

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