Among those who like sex with accessories, vibrators tend to get a lot of love. The reasons aren’t mysterious: Electronic devices can deliver sensations that other objects (or body parts) can’t. But some require extra parts in the form of batteries, while others may need even more (USB cords, or even remote controls). No matter how they’re powered, electronic playthings often overshadow a realm of analog sex toys that require no extra parts (or replacing) and deliver plenty of stimulation outside of buzzing. To find the best lo-fi erotic accessories — most of which can be used alone or with a partner, and safely paired with lube — we talked to 13 experts, including sex therapists, educators, a dominatrix, and sex shop owners.
Because different folks might seek different strokes, we’ve organized this slightly differently than our other expert-recommended lists — instead of naming a best overall toy, we’ve separated the toys into categories, and for the most part put the most recommended toy in every category at the top of each. Trigger warning: There are some very lifelike models on this list. But we hear they’re the best.
Dildos (and other insertable toys) are, of course, popular among anyone who “enjoys penetration or penetrating something” and also because they can be used solo and during partnered sex, according to Searah Deysach, the owner of Chicago sex-toy shop Early to Bed. She and two more of our experts love the dildos made by Vixen Creations. “Vixen Creations makes luscious, dual-density, very realistic-feeling dildos that people pay the extra money for because the feel that they have is so much better,” Deysach says. Professional dominatrix Valerie August agrees: “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.” Matthew Nolan, the co-author of the Oh Joy Sex Toy book series who runs a website of the same name, also loves Vixen’s toys, adding, “They are a small setup, so care a lot about their work and seem to be very conscious of doing things right.” As far as which model to try, Deysach recommends the Leo, which she calls “an oldie-but-goodie silicone dildo.” “The size and shape of this classically-styled toy makes it a consistent best-seller, and the quality cannot be beat (Vixen toys actually come with a lifetime warranty),” she says.
Kim Marks, the owner of As You Like It, a nontoxic and environmentally conscious sex shop in Eugene, Oregon, recommends dildos from New York Toy Collective, a company she loves “because they make a lot of gender-affirming products.” The Shilo is one of her store’s top-selling silicone dildos, saying that “many different people buy them, but they are very nice for the trans community in particular because they’re realistic.” She says that the Shilo is bendable and comes in many different skin tones, “so you can try to match your partner’s skin tone.”
For those looking for something a little less realistic, Marks recommends Tantus. “It’s a made-in-U.S. dildo company that has realistic to very, very, very not-realistic dildos,” she says. “They’re all pure silicone and come in beautiful color options.” The Tantus Mr. Universe is an extra-large one recommended by Buck Angel, an adult-film producer. “I love dildos! You can buy all kinds of sizes of dildos, and with fatter dildos, you experience a different kind of penetration,” says Angel, who cautions that “this is not for the beginner,” addding, “go slow, and take your time; it’s short and wide, and will stretch you and give you a completely different sensation.”
Jenelle Marie Pierce, a spokesperson for matchmaking service PositiveSingles and the executive director of the STI Project (a website that promotes sexual health with a focus on breaking the stigma of sexually transmitted infections), is another Tantus fan — in part because the company, she notes, is owned and run by a woman. Her favorite Tantus dildo is a more lifelike option. “The Tantus Curve is my favorite non-vibrating sex toy, because it’s realistically shaped but also marketed toward all bodies and configurations,” she explains. Pierce adds that it’s made from non-porous premium grade silicone, “so it won’t harbor pathogens.”
Epiphora, a sex-toy reviewer and blogger at Hey Epiphora, also likes Tantus and directed us to the Magma, which she likes for its feel. “If you’re curious about textured dildos, the Tantus Magma is a great entry-level option,” she explains. “It’s cast in a soft, squishy silicone, for a more gentle experience. As you thrust, the unique ‘drips’ adorning the shaft provide gentle stimulation.”
Sex-toy reviewer and designer Venus O’Hara told us that she’s tested a lot of dildos, and there are few that she would use again. “To remember a specific toy in detail after I’ve tried so many is a compliment to the toy,” she says. One of those few is the Bouncer from Fun Factory, a brand that Marks also recommends. “It has three weighted beads inside that feel really nice, and you can kind of tap the base, and those balls kind of jiggle inside you,” says O’Hara. “You have a heavy curved phallic object inside that’s very nice.
If you want to try a dildo made from something other than silicone, Marks recommends going with a glass model. “Glass is phenomenal for a number of reasons,” she says. “It holds temperature nicely, and if you’re a person who struggles having orgasms or finding your G-spot or pleasure spot internally, [using a toy] that’s slightly cooler than your body temperature [can help you] actually feel where your pleasure zones are much better.” Another advantage of glass is its smoothness. “There’s no friction, so if you’re somebody who deals with pain during sex, it can be like an ice pack or warming pack for your vagina,” explains Marks, who notes that with glass, you also don’t have to worry about ripping or tears. Glass dildos are also a bit heftier in weight, “which can be very arousing for people,” she says. Her favorite glass dildo is made by Standard Glass. “Everything you buy from them is unique because they’re all hand-blown products,” Marks told us. And because you can choose each toy based on shape, size, pattern, and color, they make great Valentine’s Day gifts. “It’s nice to think that everyone has a unique sex toy. You can pick your partner’s favorite color scheme, for instance. I think it’s really personalized and great.”
Best dildos for G-spot stimulation
Njoy’s stainless-steel sex toys got several mentions from our experts, and the Pure Wand dildo is one they like a lot. “This is, hands down, one of my personal favorites,” says sex educator Ericka Hart. “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.” She adds that you can also use this toy for anal stimulation “because it has a flared base,” and that “the wand can be heated up or cooled down if you are interested in temperature play.” Deysach is another fan. “The Pure Wand outsells many of our vibrators and I think it’s because it’s made of a material that can create a very unique sensation,” she says. Like glass, stainless steel has a heftiness to it and can also hold temperature well, Deysach explains. Nolan also loves Njoy’s products, mentioning its Fun Wand (which features graduated balls for anal play) and the brand’s series of butt plugs (more on those below) as favorites.
Epiphora is also a fan of Uberrime, a newer dildo maker that has an impressive “array of offerings: everything from simple, smooth butt plugs to highly-textured fantasy dildos.” She adds that the brand is “a great source for hand-crafted silicone toys at a more accessible price point.” Her favorite is the Splendid, which she calls “a semi-phallic dual-density dildo.” Made with two layers of silicone, it’s soft to the touch but firm when squeezed and designed for G-spot and prostate stimulation.
Best dildo for blow jobs
A dildo made specifically for blow jobs, this comes recommended by Deysach, who says that it’s an “excellent choice if your strap-on wearing partner likes getting BJs.” She describes it as “a hollow toy with a hole in the tip that allows the ‘driver’ to receive sensation from sucking action.” Deysach adds that it works in a harness, fits all kinds of bodies, and is “really well-loved by our customers.”
Best butt plugs
Another popular insertable toy, butt plugs are designed to stay put in the rectum, and typically feature a rounded-tip cone that tapers down to a slimmer neck (where the anal sphincter rests once the plug is inserted), which transitions into a flared base that prevents the plug from getting lost inside. Both Nolan and Epiphora love Njoy’s stainless steel butt plug, which Epiphora thinks is nearly perfect. The “solid stainless steel provides a deliciously weighty feel and holds temperature ridiculously well,” she says, adding that it’s “impeccably-designed, with an ergonomic curve, comfy base, and a narrow neck that keeps it secure.”
A popular starter butt plug at Early to Bed is the silicone Naughty Plug, which comes in a range of sizes. “The neck is very safe as is the base, but it’s also narrow so it fits between butt cheeks really well and has a good bulbous kind of shape that really fits up against the prostate,” according to Deysach.
Deysach also recommends B-Vibe’s butt plug, which is made of silicone and features a hidden, weighted ball. “These have an ideal shape for someone looking for a butt toy that stays put, “she says. “They give a nice sense of fullness and can be worn for extended periods.” Deysach adds that it comes in a range of shapes that suit any level of experience.
Fun Factory’s butt plug also got high praise from Epiphora: “It’s uncommon for all of my criteria to be met in a single butt plug, but the Fun Factory Bootie is an exception.” She especially loves the silicone plug’s “stimulating curve” and the “butt cheek–friendly base,” adding that it comes in three sizes “to suit any anal experience level.”
For glass butt plugs, Marks loves Crystal Delights. “They have beautiful products and they’re having fun with it,” she says. “You can feel a little extra sexy when you have some ‘bling in your bum,’ and these are destigmatizing anal play.” Manufactured in the U.S., Crystal Delights makes high-quality products, a point that Marks emphasizes: “Not all glass is equal. You need to be a little responsible and talk about the structural integrity and the quality of the glass.”
Best prostate stimulators
While prostate stimulators are similar to butt plugs and dildos, they typically are curved so they can more easily reach the prostate to deliver a more effective massage. “In my practice, men are increasingly wanting to explore prostate play, both on their own and with a partner,” says Ian Kerner, a sex counselor and the author of She Comes First. “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.” Deysach, Marks, and Zoë Ligon of online sex-toy retailer Spectrum Boutique also recommend Aneros’s products to those looking to explore prostate stimulation.
For those seeking a little more intensity, Marks recommends Aneros’s Helix prostate stimulator, which she says is slightly longer than the above MGX and has a more-contoured shaft. “It’s a toy that moves with you. It’s ergonomically designed so that when you move, it moves, and it stimulates your prostate on your own.” She adds that this makes a great alternative to something that vibrates, which can be too much for some people.
Best masturbation sleeves
For those with penises who are looking for a toy to insert them into, Tenga’s are hard to beat, according to our experts. The brand’s toys were recommended by Kerner, Nolan, Jacquelyn Jones, the owner of Baltimore-based sex-toy shop Sugar, and Deysach, who says that “Tenga was one of the first to really focus on how amazing the sensation can feel inside, instead of on how realistic a vulva they could make.” As such, “Tenga has gorgeous, really well-designed toys for penises,” that look discreet, she adds. Kerner is also a fan of Tenga, which was founded in Japan. “No company knows the penis better than Tenga,” he says, adding that the disposable Tenga Egg, which is made of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), “opens easily to wrap around the penis.” Each egg comes with a packet of lube and, as Kerner notes, “inside each egg is a unique thermoplastic texture that adds different flair to both masturbation and partnered hand jobs.” Summing it all up, Jones calls the egg a “super simple thing” made of “deliciously soft squishy material” that features a variety of textures. And even though it’s disposable, she says it’s not always one and done: “You’ll get one to 10 uses out of it, depending on how you care for it. After you wash it, to prevent it from getting sticky, powder it with corn starch.” Plus, for a sex toy, it’s pretty inexpensive, even if it won’t last forever.
Nolan is also a fan of Tenga but prefers the 3-D Spiral sleeve, which features a ribbed, hexagonal design that, according to the product description, is tight and ergonomic. The spiral, which is made from a soft and supple elastomer, can also be flipped inside out for a different sensation (and for easy cleaning). It costs a bit more, but it can also be used up to 50 times with the proper care.
Most people associate masturbation sleeves with Fleshlight, and that’s for a reason. “When it comes to masturbation sleeves, the Fleshlight is probably the number-one-selling sex toy on the market that doesn’t turn on,” says Deysach. “It’s got a loyal following. It’s a well-designed toy, but it’s also a well-marketed toy. For people who have penises and who want the sensation of being completely enveloped in something squishy and ribbed, you kind of can’t beat it.” Nolan also likes the Fleshlight, saying that the company “makes wonderfully large toys for the well endowed.”
“Made for trans guys, this masturbation sleeve has a small opening on one side that allows them to jack off in a very ‘traditional’ manner,” according to Deysach. The cavity is ribbed and, according to the brand, creates “fabulous suction for anatomy at least a half-inch in diameter.” Deysach adds that the toy “provides both awesome sensations and excellent visuals for a demographic who has not had toys made just for them until just recently.”
Best cock rings
“Primarily, the function of a cock ring is to trap blood flow into the shaft of the penis for a stronger, more sensitive erection,” says Lisa Finn, brand manager at Babeland. She recommends the Buddy ring, saying that 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.” It’s “extremely easy to put on and remove,” she adds. While she admits there are other adjustable rings in this style, Finn likes the Buddy because it “holds in place until the button on the strap adjuster is pressed, which means it won’t slip loose, even if some lubricant gets into it.” Another feature she likes is the matte black of the silicone, which she says is “really sexy.”
For someone just getting into cock rings, Marks recommends Tantus’s Super Soft C-Rings: “Tantus makes a beautiful cock ring, which is a great starter one. They help penis owners stay hard longer. [They] also intensify their orgasms and are great tools for people.”
More expert-recommended sex toys
If you want to experiment with bondage or BDSM roleplay, consider a ball gag, which can be a fun accessory to start with. Both Ligon and Deysach recommend this one from Zalo, a sex-toy company that prioritizes aesthetics in its designs. The silicone ball gag comes with a removable rose plug that “makes it more breathable” according to Ligon. Deysach agrees that the removable plug is quite functional, in addition to being “gorgeous.”
The Ohnut, which was recommended by both Deysach and Ligon, allows the user to control depth during penetrative sex. According to Ligon, it’s a set of stackable silicone rings that acts like a buffer for people whose penises are longer and can cause pain on their partner’s cervix or uterus, for instance, when they thrust. “It takes off as much length as you need in a comfortable seamless way,” says Ligon. “It’s a really innovative piece of sex technology that is not motorized.”
The sili saddle “walks the line between sex toy and health item,” says Deysach, as it also helps those who experience vaginal or external pain during penetration. “It’s a squishy silicone pad that can be used as a masturbation toy for somebody who might be sensitive and doesn’t want something that vibrates,” she says, adding that it can also be used as a cushion under clothes or worn under a harness.
Marks and Ligon both recommend sex furniture from Atlanta-based company Liberator as a simple way to enhance partnered sex. “Sex furniture helps you get into better positions, whether it’s because your body is stiff or because it’s easier to find your G-spot when you’re held in different positions,” explains Marks. Ligon agrees, saying the Kiss Wedge is “firmer than your average pillow” and “designed to assist in making positions more comfortable and certain angles more accessible.” She adds that the Kiss Wedge is also wider than other wedges and, of course, “adorable.”
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