From The Straits Times    |
sex toys from smilemakers and lora dicarlo

Credit: smilemakerscollection and loradicarlo_hq/Instagram

After two years of Zoom-based dates and app-swiping, it feels just right to go out and meet people again. While going out for hot hook ups and in-person dates screamed stranger danger at the height of the pandemic, staying at home was the safest option. Rather than risk our health, having some alone time with a vibrating tool in hand became de rigeur. Case in point, sex toy sales jumped during Phase 2 Heightened Alert in November 2021. 

Now that there’s no more restrictions, the re-entry anxiety is real. Though you have the option to pop your cherry with your partner or hookup, you can always get frisky with your vibrator before you go all the way. Unlike a boyfriend, your vibrator is always (emotionally) available for you at your disposal. If you are a virgin and you feel anxious about wanting to go all the way, it’s never too late to buy a personal massage tool from one of the many sexual wellness brands out there.

It’s my first time using a vibrator — where shall I start?

You might be a size queen in theory, but if it’s your first time exploring with a toy, don’t be overtly ambitious. Start small (literally), and with something you’re comfortable with.

Joanna Fung, who is LELO’s Head of Business Development Asia Pacific, recommends that virgins try out a “clitorial stimulator first”, then graduate to a G spot vibrator. Sexologist Andrea Tan, who consults with Womanizer’s International Advisory Board for research funding, says, “Typically what I recommend is an external vibrator just because it feels less intrusive.” Cecile Gasnault, a Brand Advisor for Smile Makers, advises that when we try a vibrator, we should layer first and explore the device with our underwear on just to get a feel of it.

Tan advises that for those who never tried clitoral toys, they should “use the toy around the outer labia and [n]ever place the toy directly on the top of clitoris” as it can “cause pain and abruptly stop the experience of pleasure and buildup to orgasm.” 

She further shares that it’s also best to to test the various vibration modes and pulse modes on the back of your wrist first, because the lowest setting feels different to each person, depending on whether it’s vibrator, pulsing, stroking or having a “sucking” sensation. Then as the arousal builds, slowly increase the intensity only if it feels right for you.

What if I want to try a penetrative vibrator?

While external vibrators designed for the vulva don’t look that intimidating, penetrative vibrators come in different types designed for the G Spot, anus and vagina. For maximum satisfaction, hybrids of internal and external vibrators are meant to stimulate both the vagina and clitoris. Though they all perform the same function, the experts break down how to actually use them.

For those who want to use a G spot vibrator, Gasnault advises to “[u]se the round head to find the part of the vagina that feels most pleasurable.” On the other hand, Fung suggests “inserting a finger and making a ‘come hither’ motion with it, towards your belly button to find the spot” before inserting the vibrator. 

While using a penetrative vibrator for the first time sounds challenging, Tan says that first timers must “always check its vibration mode” and “create rotating motions as well, pulsing motions, or have thrusting motions” to maximise the effect of penetration. Gasnault also advises to also use a “vaginal vibrator to massage the clitoris and build up arousal” so that the vagina’s natural lubrication can be produced.

Tan also advises that we lie down or lean back on the bed with a pillow so that we can angle the toy more easily or stand in the shower. However, newbies will have to take note that masturbating in the shower has some setbacks, as water negates your natural lubrication, making the clitoris more sensitive. 

Gasnault suggests that similar to partnered sex, it’s all about experimenting with positions to get the angle right. “We’re all different, explore what feels good for you. Why not try being on all fours for example? The angle will feel very different than lying down.”

What about the g-spot? How do I go about stimulating it?

Firstly, Fung stresses that people need to understand that the G-spot is not located in exactly the same place for everyone. “The G-spot is actually a cluster of nerves and tissues and made up of several distinct parts of women’s genital anatomy. The G-spot is usually described as an area approximately 2 cm in diameter, a spot that feels slightly rougher than the rest of the vagina canal. It is located 5 to 7 cm inside the vagina front wall (think close to your belly button-side) from the vaginal opening.”

“Because everyone’s bodies are different, we offer a variety of products with different types of curves to target the area. Products with our WaveMotion technology mimics the ‘come hither’ finger motion, such as the INA Wave and SORAYA Wave to help users stimulate their G-spot.”

What about dual vibrators? Is it really double the fun and pleasure?

If you were a fan of Sex And The City, you’ll remember the notorious episode that featured Charlotte and her addiction to the Rabbit vibrator. So is the hype real? Well, yes, but of course with TV, everything is hugely (pun intended) exaggerated.

Dual vibrators are versatile, double stimulation toys that combine the external pleasures of a clitoral vibrator combined with the internal satisfaction of a vibrating dildo AND additional G-spot satisfaction. The resulting sensation can be overwhelming in the best way.

According to Fung, dual vibrators are a great tool for reaching blended orgasms, and are great for exploring a few different zones all over your body simultaneously. “These vibrators are perfect for solo play and can offer a huge array of different sensations when playing with different positions and vibes.”

Gasnault chimes in with similar thoughts, sharing that if you’re looking for an enhanced experience, look for dual vibrators with a broader external head as it will be easier to “find” your clitoris. She further shares that since dual vibrators are adjustable, it can help to deliver much more satisfying experiences.

It’s time to level up — what if I’m interested in anal stimulation?

Given that vibrators are primarily made for the vagina, Fung says that dual vibrators can also be used anally. However, extra hygiene and bottles of lube are needed before some butt play comes in handy. 

“Make sure your nails are trimmed and wash your hands. Start by stimulating your anus externally, maybe even along with your other erogenous zones. You can even put a finger condom on or use a regular condom if you’re worried about poop,” says Fung, who recommends using a toy after some finger play.

When it comes to anal, Tan advises that it’s important to first mentally prepare yourself to get into the right zone. “Particularly because anal play evokes some deep seated fears for some, take your time, breathe deeply and do not rush. The more tense you are, the tighter your sphincter muscles clench. This will cause a lot of tension and pain when trying to insert the vibrator.”

Hygiene is key too. “While anal toys are built in size suitable for vaginal insertion as well, do not use the toy for both anus and vagina. This is to prevent transfer of bacteria from the anus to the vaginal area.” continues Tan. 

However, Gasnault shares that while anal stimulation is very pleasurable, it’s not always just about penetration. here are lots of nerve endings around the anus and between the butt cheeks. “If you are inserting it into the anus, make sure to be using a toy with a stopper. This is very important, otherwise it might get sucked in by the sphincter.”

How physically impaired users can enjoy the use of sex toys

Regardless of our pleasure preferences, masturbation is mainly perceived to be an activity only for the able-bodied. However, it is also an activity that’s wheelchair or bed bound-friendly for the physically impaired. Fung suggests that before you even pick up a toy, arousal can start with the mind.

“There are many ways to express sexual feelings such as kissing, touching, and using toys through stimulation of other erogenous zones such as arms, earlobes, neck, nipples, etc. A lot of sexual pleasure is about what happens in the brain too,” she shares. “There are all sorts of ways to enhance this, whether it’s through fantasies, relaxation, meditation, or breathing techniques.”

Tan recommends that those who are differently abled can create an empowered relationship with their sexuality and themselves through the usage of these toys. She suggest they “[l]ook for vibrators that have remote controls or can be controlled via an app.” as well as “longer handles so users can reach the vulva without having to move much.”

But for those who have spinal injuries (affecting certain neurological functions) who may fund self-lubrication difficult, Tan advises that they load up on lubricants and textured materials (e.g. ticklers) to increase sensory activation. 

First times can’t be planned unless you’re fully ready for it, but in the long run, being prepared by knowing your body first is always the key to pleasure.