I’ve been asked many times for advice on choosing a sex toy to give as a gift to a partner. I had planned to write and publish this post in the lead-up to Christmas, but the last few weeks have been swamped with work commitments, family engagements and wild weather that left me without power or internet connection for long stretches. Even though Christmas is over, I still wanted to address the topic of buying sex toys as presents, because it’s relevant year-round.
Choosing a sex toy for another person can be fraught with difficulties. The potential for embarrassment (both theirs and yours) is high. You can accidentally insult someone if you buy something that is wildly contrary to their interests, or even potentially make them feel pressured to engage in sexual acts that they aren’t truly comfortable with. It’s a bit of a minefield but I’m here with some top tips and tricks to help you choose a gift that your partner will find exciting and pleasurable.
Before you begin shopping, it’s really important to have a think about why you’re buying a sex toy for your partner. Have they expressed an interest in trying toys? Have they mentioned wanting to dip their toe into a particular area of sexual exploration, such as BDsM or anal play? Do you live far apart and want them to be able to enjoy steamy masturbation sessions when you aren’t with them? Or are you hoping that by buying them a toy you’ll be able to pressure them into letting you watch them use it? You have to be really honest with yourself here. If you are hoping to increase your partner’s pleasure or open the door to some fresh exploration, then that’s awesome. If you’re using the toy to entice your partner into doing something they aren’t comfortable with, then you should back off.
Ok, so assuming you’re buying a toy for the right reasons, the next thing to consider is what your partner is into. Think about the kinds of activities your partner enjoys in the bedroom, and look for toys that will enhance that experience. For example, if you know that your partner enjoys being restrained during sex, maybe you could get them some gorgeous cuffs and a blindfold. If your partner prefers clitoral stimulation, try an external vibrator. Also, it pays to think about any areas of sexuality that your sweetheart has mentioned they are interested in trying. If they’ve previously mentioned that they find pegging really hot, then a simple harness and small silicone dildo could be fun. Or if they’re itching to try spanking, a paddle or a crop could be a cheeky addition to their toybox. Pay attention to your partner’s preferences and desires and choose accordingly.
Another thing to consider is whether your partner already owns any toys. If they have a budding collection, then it’s worth looking for any patterns in the toys they own. Do they seem to prefer insertable toys? Vibrators? Is their bedside drawer filled with butt plugs of various sizes? If there is a particular thing that they seem to love, try getting them something similar, with a twist. Dildos in luxurious materials like glass are a great start, as are vibrators with unique shapes or functions.
Once you’ve got an idea of the kind of thing you’d like to buy for your honey, do some research. Look at online stores for ideas, read reviews from sex bloggers, watch youtube videos and pay attention to what they have to say. Take into account any criticisms and decide whether these are deal-breakers for your partner. Also remember that bodies vary wildly and what feels pleasurable to one person can be irritating or even painful for another.
Is your head spinning yet? I’m not surprised. Shopping for sex toys can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many to choose from and so many different factors to consider. Which brings me to my most important piece of advice.
If you aren’t 100% sure what to get for your partner, get them a gift voucher. Unless you know for a fact that your partner is drooling over a specific model of vibrator, the best thing you can do is give them a voucher for a reputable adult store. This way, they can either go by themselves or you can make it an adventure for the both of you to go to the store and choose something that suits them perfectly.
My first ever vibrator was a gift from a partner. They took me to an adult store for Valentines Day, gave me a budget and asked me to take my time choosing the toy that I most wanted. I’d been interested in getting a vibrator for some time, but I had absolutely no idea what type of toys were available or even what would work best for my body. So actually going to a real-life store was the best thing to do. Not only was I able to touch the toys, press buttons and feel vibration quality and materials, but I got some amazing expert advice from the shop assistant. She knew her toys so well and helped me to choose a vibrator that I absolutely loved. I left the store with something that brought me years of joy, my partner was chuffed that he’d given me the gift of pleasure and I didn’t feel pressured or uncomfortable. To this day, I still believe this is the best approach to giving a sex toy as a gift.
Giving a voucher or a toy-shopping expedition as a gift overcomes a lot of the pitfalls of shopping for a partner. It takes away all the guesswork or trying to imagine what they might like. It makes your partner feel empowered to choose something that they would find pleasurable, rather than being pressured into using the specific item you picked out. Going shopping as a couple can be a really fun bonding experience and you won’t waste money on something that your partner won’t use. Unless you’re really certain that your partner wants a specific toy, I think that going shopping together or giving them a voucher to spend at their leisure is the best way to gift a sex toy to your partner.