While we might all be curious about the best plunger or probiotic tampon or cold-sore remedy, it can be difficult to discuss these more personal items. That’s why we’re tackling Things We Don’t Talk About, a series in which we track down the best hygiene-, sex-, and bodily function–related things we all need but might be too embarrassed to ask about. Next up: sex toys that aren’t vibrators.
Among those who like sex with accessories, vibrators tend to get a lot of love. The reasons are not mysterious: Battery-powered devices can deliver sensations that other objects (or body parts) can’t. But tethered devices require USB cords or even remote controls, and often overshadow a realm of analog sex toys that require no cords and deliver plenty of stimulation outside of buzzing. To find the best low-fidelity erotic accessories — most of which can be used alone or with a partner, and safely paired with lube — I talked to sex therapists and educators and a dominatrix. Trigger warning: There are some very lifelike models in this list. But we hear they’re the best.
Best G-spot stimulator
“This is hands down one of my personal favorites. If you are interested in G-spot stimulation, this is great, as the G-spot loves weight and a curve. This wand gives perfect access. Because this toy has a flared base, you can also use it for anal stimulation. Plus, this wand can be heated up or cooled down if you are interested in temperature play.” —Ericka Hart, sex educator
Best clitoral stimulator
“I saw the Womanizer on the shelves in a sex shop along with the vibrators, but it’s not a vibrating toy — it works by exerting a sucking-blowing sensation directly onto the clit. It feels amazing. I have had some very fast orgasms from it, and a straw poll among my friends would indicate I’m not the only one. I found the earlier models a bit odd-looking, but now that they’ve brought out this cuter travel-size version that looks like a lipstick, I feel a little bit less ridiculous when I use it with lovers.” —Valerie August, professional dominatrix
Best prostate stimulator
“In my practice, men are increasingly wanting to explore prostate play, both on their own and with a partner. The prostate can be stimulated on its own via anal entry or in combination with genital stimulation, and it’s a hotbed of sexual sensitivity that can transform the quality of orgasm. Aneros has been dedicated to researching and producing quality prostate massagers, and the MGX Classic is probably their best starter stimulator, as the tapered tip makes it easy to experiment with insertion. It also has a flared base that allows for perineum stimulation.” —Ian Kerner, sex counselor and author of She Comes First
Best Ben Wa balls alternative
“Until recently, I associated Ben Wa balls with exercising your Kegels, which always sounded a bit joyless. But I tried them recently and discovered what I’ve been missing. You do actually start to feel gains in pelvic strength surprisingly quickly after you start, which means better orgasms. But they also feel nice in and of themselves. The silicone ones have a pleasing texture, and the weights inside them move around slightly as you walk around. I really love going out for dinner while wearing them, getting myself excited, then enjoying a really powerful orgasm when I get home.” —August
Best masturbation sleeve
“No company knows the penis better than Tenga, which specializes in masturbation sleeves. The Tenga Egg is a disposable sleeve that’s packaged to look like an egg, and opens easily to wrap around the penis. Each egg also comes with its own packet of lube. There are about a dozen choices; inside each egg is a unique thermoplastic texture that adds different flair to both masturbation and partnered hand jobs.” —Kerner
Best analog dildo
“Vixen dildos are the best on the market, hands down. They have the most realistic texture: soft and squeezable, but with a harder, heavy core. I have about six Vixens in my collection, mainly for anal use on male submissives, but my girlfriend recently bought the Vixen Aire and it’s been a revelation. Not only does it have a base that’s far more comfortable for the wearer once strapped on (I recommend a pair of RodeoH dildo pants) but it’s actively pleasurable for the wearer if you position it right. It also has a pocket of air inside that results in the girth expanding slightly during each thrust, which mimics the body just before orgasm.” —August
Best big dildo
“I love dildos! You can buy all kinds of sizes of dildos, and with fatter dildos, you experience a different kind of penetration. This awesome dildo called the Mr Universe is just that dildo. It’s short and wide, which stretches you and gives you a completely different sensation. Use your imagination. Go slow, and take your time, because this is not for the beginner.” —Buck Angel, adult-film producer
Best sex candle
“Massage candles are always a great choice. Not only do they set the mood with some ambient lighting, but they melt down into a luxurious massage oil — with ingredients such as jojoba, aloe vera, and vitamin E — that pampers the skin while you or your partner work it into the body. The Afterglow Massage Candles have a low melting point, so you can pour them directly on the body and it won’t burn the skin — instead, they give a warm, lush sensation. My personal favorite is the Bourbon scent, which is a perfect blend of smoky and sweet.” —Lisa Finn, brand manager at Babeland
Best penis accessory
“Primarily, the function of a cock ring is to trap blood flow into the shaft of the penis for a stronger, more sensitive erection. The Buddy Ring is great because it works almost like a bolo tie in how it tightens around the shaft, making it super adjustable for a comfortable fit on any size, as well as extremely easy to put on and remove. There are other adjustable rings in this style, but the Buddy holds into place until the button on the strap adjuster is pressed, which means it won’t slip loose, even if some lubricant gets into it. Plus, the matte black of the silicone is really sexy.” —Finn
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