Toys 101

The LOVESTORE guide to sex toys

First time shopping for pleasure products? Start here

Shopping for sex toys is fun. But geez! It can feel very overwhelming. There are toys that buzz, others that oscillate, and stuff that thrusts, wiggles, sucks, slips, slides, and tugs. But for all of the pretty lights and whizzy tech, what really matters is this: Are the products you’re thinking of buying the right sex toys for you? The best sex toys are the ones that stimulate your favorite erogenous zones and bring you the most pleasure. They should vibe with your turn-ons (if you’ll pardon the pun). But with thousands of options available, how do you narrow down the search? Spending some time with our sex toy guide is a great start. Here’s an overview of THELOVESTORE’s sex toy categories. Jump to the ones you’re most curious about and get an overview of:

  • what they are
  • what they do
  • who they’re for
  • how they feel
  • what they cost

Ready to find your first (or perhaps your next) sex toy? Then let’s get started.



The material the toy is made from matters. It can affect:

  • how it feels
  • the lifespan of the toy
  • what lubricants or cleaning products you can use with it
  • how much it costs. (Some materials are of higher quality than others.)
What a toy is made from is usually mentioned in the product name, description, or specifications.
The material also matters if you have any allergies or sensitivities. You’ll be using it on or around your most sensitive areas, and you want to make sure it won’t lead to any unwanted discomfort. For example, if you’ve got a latex allergy you’ll want to know whether the toy you’re thinking of buying is made of latex.
Currently, the adult product industry is unregulated in the US. Sex toys are classed as “novelty items”, and so manufacturers don’t need to follow any government standards regarding product materials.
Here at THELOVESTORE we’re aware of this. And so we always try to source products manufactured from good to high-quality materials. We’re guided by brands we’ve come to know from more than 20 years in the pleasure product business.
Many of the products we stock are
  • made from medical-grade silicone (a body-safe material) or use silicone coating
  • free from phthalates and other potentially toxic materials.
Other materials you’ll find in products on our site include:
  • glass
  • rubber
  • latex
  • TPE/TPR plastic or rubber.


Buckle up, because we’re about to tour the section with the buzziest of all sex toys: the vibrators.

Bullets, pocket rockets, and clitoral vibes

These are often touted as great first-time toys due to their simple design, ease of use, and budget-friendly price. But take it from us. Placed in experienced hands, a bullet or pocket rocket can be the perfect companion for an intimate encounter.
Designed for: Stimulating all outer erogenous zones for all genders.
Key features and controls: Bullets, pocket rockets, and clitoral vibes can be single- or multi-speed, battery-powered, or rechargeable. Generally, they’re controlled using a single button that you push to change the vibration setting.
Some multi-speed vibes have two or three buttons: one to speed it up, another to slow it down, and an on/off button.
How to use them: These small vibrators are usually associated with clitoral stimulation, and so they tend to be marketed to women. Some are even shaped specifically to envelop the clitoris. But if you invest in a bullet vibe or pocket rocket there’s no limit to the outer erogenous zones you use it on.
Cost: Depending on the number of functions, whether it’s battery-powered or rechargeable, and the material it’s made from, these vibrators cost $10 - $100.


Taking the pleasure world by storm since the early ‘80s, rabbit vibrators revolutionized the look and feel of sex toys. Delivering simultaneous internal and external stimulation, they’re one of the most popular vibrator designs of all time.
Designed for: Stimulating the clitoris and vagina at the same time. A handful of models are designed for anal and perineum pleasure, too.
How to use them: There are two parts to a rabbit vibrator:
  • the shaft, which is inserted for penetrative stimulation
  • the rabbit, which remains outside the body to stimulate the clitoris.
Simply insert the shaft to a depth that’s comfortable. This should position the rabbit’s buzzing ears over the clitoris.
Key features and controls: Many rabbits let you control the shaft and the rabbit independently. You can set one speed for the shaft, and another for the rabbit. Traditionally, the shaft rotated and the clitoral rabbit vibrated. But that blueprint has been expanded since the ‘80s, and you can now get rabbits that vibrate in both parts, and even thrust rather than rotate.
Cost: Depending on the number of functions, whether it’s battery-powered or rechargeable, and the material it’s made from, these vibrators cost $20-$180.


The designers of the original Hitachi Magic Wand had innocent intentions. It was designed to help users get rid of tight knots in their muscles. However, their (imaginative) customers had other ideas. Today, the wand vibrator design is synonymous with delivering a lot of power to the most sensitive erogenous zones.
Designed for: Stimulating the clitoris, labia, perineum, and other external areas sensitive to vibrations such as thighs, backs of knees, and bottoms of feet.
How to use them: Turn it on and lay the smooth, rounded wand head on your chosen area for stimulation. Vary the pressure and move in circular motions to distribute the sensations.
Key features and controls: The main attraction of wand vibrators is their power. Most of them are mains powered. However, a number of modern wands are rechargeable and still deliver serious oomph. Most have buttons on the shaft of the wand that let you select 3-10 speeds and/or functions.
Cost: The sheer size and power of these vibrators make them a more costly investment. Strong, powerful wands start at $18 and go up to $180.

G-spot and P-spot vibrators

Curious to know what a G-spot or P-spot orgasm feels like? These curved vibrators are designed to make it much easier to explore these elusive areas.
Designed for: Stimulating the specific internal erogenous area known as the Grafenberg spot (G-spot) in women and the prostate gland (P-spot) in men.
How to use them: While P- and G-spot vibrators are designed to be inserted in the butt or vagina, they aren’t used for deep penetration. You usually only need to insert the shaft 2-3 inches to feel the vibrating sensations ripple through the sensitive area.
Key features and controls: These vibrators have a curved tip to deliver focused vibrations, which can feel more intense compared to a vibrator with a straight shaft. Some G-spot sex toys are C-shaped so they can hit the internal G-spot and stimulate the external clitoris at the same time.
Cost: Depending on the number of functions, whether it’s battery-powered or rechargeable, and the material it’s made from, these vibrators cost $10-$200.

Air pulse vibrators

Want the sensations of oral sex on tap? Get an air pulse (aka air suction) sex toys. This range of vibes includes the famed Womanizer products.
Designed for: Clitorial stimulation.
How to use them: Air pulse vibes don’t have to touch your body for you to feel the pleasurable sensations. Just position the O-shaped head close to your clitoris and turn on. A series of airwaves of different intensities will then stimulate its 8,000 nerve endings.
Key features and controls: The main identifier is the O-shaped head. They also tend to be fairly short, so they’ll fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
Cost: $40-$200.

Remote-controlled pleasure

From wireless clit vibes to cock rings and butt plugs, there’s a huge range of remote-controlled sex toys to choose from.
Designed for: Sharing intimate moments with a lover from a distance. Bluetooth-enabled toys let your partner control the speed and tempo of your pleasure from another room, building, or even country.
Playing solo? Then you may find a remote-controlled vibrator more comfortable to control.
Key features and controls: Modern remote-controlled sex toys are wireless, with the main control being either a battery-operated device or a downloadable phone app.
Cost: Depending on the number of functions, the material they’re made from, and the wireless technology used to pair and control them, these vibrators cost $40-$400.

Powering your vibrator

When looking for your ideal vibrator, take note of how it’s powered. The number of batteries it needs, whether it plugs into the mains, or if it requires a brand-specific charger hints at the power you might expect. For example, a bullet vibe that uses small watch batteries will probably be less powerful than one that uses AAA or AA batteries.
Battery-powered is one option. Another is rechargeable. These products have a built-in battery, and when they run out of charge you need to juice it up again using a charging dock or cable. Most modern vibrators charge using a USB cable, which means you can use your phone charger or a USB port on your computer.

Kegel Products

You've heard of them, but do you really know what they're for? Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and this is great for to help with incontinence but also to achieve greater orgasms. Fun right?
Designed for: Vagina owners that want to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles, either for health reasons or to enhance their sexual experience!
Key features: Usually in the shape of a weighted ball that can be inserted into the vagina. It may or may not have a retrieval ring. The majority of them do not vibrate, but a few higher-end ones do!
How to use them: Insert the kegel exerciser into the vagina and hold it in place for a set amount of time. You can go up in weight as your muscles get stronger!
Cost: Depending on their features and whether they vibrate, kegel exercisers can range from $10 - $120

Partner Vibrators

Want to add something fun to your next date night? Partner vibrators are the way to go if you want some simultaneous pleasure for you and your sweetie!
Designed for: Enhanced pleasure during intercourse for you and your partner. Usually made for penetrative sex but can be enjoyed by anyone.
Key features and controls: These vibrators are usually C-shaped and are inserted vaginally to provide stimulation internally and externally. They stay in place during intercourse and provide extra vibration and tightness for the penis as well. Most of these can be controlled via remote or through a downloadable app.
How to use them: Insert the kegel exerciser into the vagina and hold it in place for a set amount of time. You can go up in weight as your muscles get stronger!
Cost: Because of their extensive capabilities, these vibrators are a bit of an investment, but well worth their price. These usually range between $50 - $200.


A dildo is a phallic sex toy used for penetration. And when it comes to choosing one over another, the major differences are appearance and material.

Realistic and non-realistic

Your fantasies (and perhaps your sexuality) may influence whether you choose a realistic or a less phallic-looking dildo.
Designed for: Penetrating whichever hole you choose, regardless of your gender or sexuality. Dildos with a flared base can be used in a strap-on harness, while double-ended dildos can provide simultaneous front and back pleasure or be shared with a lover.
Realistic dildos mimic the appearance, shape, and textures of a human penis and testicles. (Although some have exaggerated peen features when it comes to their size and pronounced throbbing veins.) Non-realistics, as the name suggests, are deliberately designed to look nothing like a guy’s appendage. In fact, they may look like fantastical, out-of-this-world creations.
How to use them: Add your favorite lubricant, insert it into either hole (or both), and keep moving it back and forth until you find your perfect tempo and rhythm.
Key features and controls: They don’t have motors, which means dildos are all manual labor, baby. But that also means you set the rules when it comes to speed and depth.
Cost: Depending on the size and the material they’re made from, expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $100.


Often considered the most artistic of all sex toys, glass dildos are ideal for those searching for an unassuming objet d’pleasure.
Designed for: Penetrative pleasure of whichever hole you choose, regardless of gender.
How to use them: The tricks to enjoying glass dildos are to use lubricant and go gently. The firmer texture means frenetic thrusting can feel punishing in such a sensitive area. Start with small, gentle movements, and then build up speed.
Key features and controls: Glass dildos come in many different shapes and lengths. Textures such as curves and bumps are spun into the glass for extra sensation. Nearly all glass dildos have a flared base that not only give you better grip and control but also makes them compatible with strap-on harnesses.
Cost: $20-$50.


In olden times (like, more than 20 years ago) sex toys for those with a penis were limited to cock rings, crude-looking pocket pussies, and basic sex dolls. But thankfully this section of the pleasure product industry has expanded (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Today, modern male sex toys can look elegant, sophisticated, and completely unassuming to the untrained eye.

Masturbators and strokers

Textured for pleasure, masturbators and strokers include the famed Fleshlights, renowned pocket pussies, and the more subtle and less assuming designs from brands such as Tenga.
Designed for: Stimulating the head and length of the penis during masturbation, or for adding a little more pizazz to a handjob.
How to use: Apply water-based lubricant to your penis and the stroker. Slide your penis inside the textured tunnel and then move it back and forth. While a handful of masturbators are designed for one-time use, most of them are reusable. But you’ll need to thoroughly clean and air dry them between each use.
Key features and controls: They can be anatomical (designed to look like a vagina or ass) or very conspicuous. But they’re all cylindrical to envelop the head and most (if not all) of the shaft. The main difference between the various models is the internal texture. They can be ribbed, bobbled, wavey, or a combination of textures and widths, giving you a whole tunnel of pleasure to experience.
Cost: The material, design, and brand can all affect the price of masturbators and sleeves. You may pay as little as $10 or as much as $400.
Cock rings While they may be simple in design and appearance, when used correctly these unassuming sex toys can have a powerful impact on his pleasure.
Designed for: Those with a penis. Wearing a cock ring restricts blood flow back out of the penis, which can help with maintaining an erection. The extra pressure may also help delay climax, making it all the sweeter (and more intense) when you finally release.
How to use: Worn externally, a cock ring stretches to fit either:
  • around the base of the penis
  • over the penis and around the back of the testicles.
  • It should be comfortable to wear, so if you notice any tingling (e.g. pins and needles), discoloration, or discomfort, remove the ring immediately.
    Key features and controls: Cock rings can be stretchy (if they’re made of silicone, rubber, or jelly) or solid rings of metal. Traditional versions don’t vibrate. However, cock rings are often thought of as a couple’s toy, and many now include a small vibrator for partner stimulation.
    Cost: The simplest cock rings cost as little as $6, while those with multiple vibrating functions cost around $130.

    Sleeves and extenders

    When you need to add an inch or two to explore new depths, head to the sleeves and extenders category.
    Designed for: Wearing over the penis to add length and girth. They can also help you maintain an erection and deliver extra sensations for your partner to enjoy.
    How to use: Whether you’re flaccid or erect, slip your penis into the sleeve or extender. A loop that fits around the testicles will anchor the extender, making it safe to wear during penetrative sex with a partner.
    Key features and controls: Depending on your tastes, you can find sleeves and extenders that look realistic or nothing like a penis. Some encompass the whole penis, while others fit around the shaft and leave the head of the penis exposed. Whichever style you choose, use lubricant for your comfort.
    Cost: The material they’re made from and whether or not they vibrate will influence the price. Expect to pay between $7 and $50.

    Penis pumps

    Cock pumps can be used for pleasure, as part of fetish play, or to add girth and length to your peen with regular use.
    Designed for: Delivering a sucking sensation that can help increase the appearance of an erection, or to increase the length and thickness of the shaft.
    How to use them: Penis pumps work by creating an air vacuum in the chamber. Put your penis inside the cylinder, and position the base flush against your body to create an air-tight seal. Then use the pump to remove the air from the chamber.
    Key features and controls: Cock pumps have a chamber, which is the main part of the pump. They’re controlled with either a hand-bulb pump or a battery-powered remote.
    Cost: Between $20 and $150.

    Sex dolls

    These bedroom companions have come a long way since the stereotypical inflatable dolls associated with bucks parties.
    Designed for: Delivering the most realistic intimate encounters a pleasure product can offer. Both male and female sex dolls are available as either full-bodied dolls or dolls that are just a torso (or even less).
    How to use them: Apply lubricant and explore the realistically textured holes or appendages.
    Key features and controls: Sex dolls tend to be life-sized, so storage space is a major consideration. Full-sized dolls can be inflatable, but rest assured they’re made from a higher-quality rubber or plastic than the low-cost, simple porn dolls of yesteryear.
    They can also deliver one or more points of pleasure depending on their size.
    Cost: From $30 all the way up to $200.


    Looking to explore some peachy pleasure? Then anal toys have got your… er, back. In this section of the store you’ll find butt plugs, anal beads, and prostate massagers.

    Anal beads

    The pleasure of anal beads isn’t just about how many you insert. It’s also about how well you time their removal.
    Designed for: Stimulating the sensitive nerves in and around the anus. Depending on how rigid your string of beads is, they can also be inserted to offer extra friction and stimulation during vaginal sex.
    How to use them: Apply lubricant to the beads and the anus. Push as many beads in as is comfortable. Leave them in place while stimulating other erogenous zones, or gently tug on the end of the string for greater internal pleasure. For maximum sensation, remove them right before or during climax.
    Key features and controls: The beads can all be the same size, or start small and gradually get larger. They have a handle that stays outside the body and allows you (or your partner) to easily control and remove the string. Most sets of anal beads are made from silicone or firm plastic for easy cleaning.
    Cost: Between $8 and $105

    Butt plugs

    From smooth beginner butt plugs measuring a few inches to advanced plugs as wide and round as a small melon, this is one sex toy that offers levels of progression.
    Designed for: Stimulating the sensitive nerves in and around the anus.
    How to use them: Once you’ve applied lubricant, tease the plug around the anal opening and then gently start to push and work it inside. Plugs can be worn for an extended time, or just while you’re having sex or masturbating. Key features and controls: Butt plugs have a conical, tapered shape. The flared base stays outside the body and anchors the toy in place, so there’s no risk of it vanishing into the ass-byss.
    Cost: Material and size guide the price, but expect to pay anything between $9 and $120.

    Prostate massagers

    While anyone can use a prostate massager, it’s guys who’ll discover their true magic.
    Designed for: Stimulating the prostate gland by inserting a massager (or finger) 2-3 inches into the rectum and then making a ‘come hither’ motion.
    How to use them: These toys are designed to reach the prostate area and apply pressure with pinpoint precision. Simply apply lubricant, pop it into the rectum, and then either gently rock the massager back and forth.
    You can also leave it in place while you enjoy other pleasures.
    Key features and controls: While some prostate massagers vibrate, most of them don’t, which means you’ll need to do some wrist work. The key identifying features of a prostate massager are its curved shape or tip, and the handle that stays outside the body.
    Cost: Between $10 and $140, depending on the material it’s made from and the brand.

    Anal play lubricants

    Unlike the vagina or the head of the penis, the anus isn’t self-lubricating. So you need to apply lubricant before (and possibly during) anal play. Without it, you risk uncomfortable friction or even tearing.
    Here’s a general tip for choosing a personal lubricant for anal play: the thicker the better. And the longer the lubricant lasts, the less interruption you’ll experience.
    Silicone lubricants are an excellent choice. A little goes a long way, and they stick around no matter how frenetic the action gets. If silicone isn’t an option, look for a water-based option with a thick consistency.


    From light bedroom bondage games to full-on fetish fantasies, this section provides the tools and kit you need for exploring your kinkier desires.

    Whips and crops

    Tempted to try spanking with something other than your hand? Then head to the whips and crops section.
    Designed for: BDSM play that involves spanking the butt, thighs, backs of legs, feet, and other areas. (As long as the spankee consents to have them spanked, of course.) Whips, paddles, and crops deliver spanking sensations ranging from thick, heavy thwacks to sharp, whippy blows that sting.
    How to use them: Vary the pressure and heaviness of the blows to keep your spankee on their toes. Start with short, gentle spanks to warm up the area being spanked, and then steadily increase the intensity. Remember to always set a safe word during pain play.
    See our complete guide to safe spanking
    Key features and controls: Different styles of whips and paddles are available, each offering a different spanking experience for both the Dominant and submissive.
    • Paddles have a wide, thick head and are considered the easiest of the spanking tools to use.
    • Riding crops have a small, thin loop of leather at the end, delivering a sharper sensation.
    • Floggers have multiple tendrils that can either kiss the skin for light, whippy sensations or land thick, heavy blows.
    • Canes and switches are considered the harshest of all the whips. They’re usually long, thin, rigid sticks of cane or bamboo.
    Cost: $10 to $115, depending on the material the whip or paddle is made from

    Cuffs and restraints

    From fluffy handcuffs to complete bed restraint systems, you have a range of options when it comes to exploring your tie-up and tease fantasies.
    Designed for: Restricting the movement of the wearer, or restraining them in a particular position.
    How to use them: Wrap the cuffs around their wrists or ankles, and then fasten them using the Velcro strap or buckles. Keep your restraint play safe by making sure you can fit at least two fingers between the cuff and the wearer’s body. Restraints should never be so tight that they cut off circulation or cause pins and needles. Then, depending on the design of your cuffs or restraint system, you can fasten them to furniture or lengths of rope.
    Key features: Velcro or buckle fastenings, and then either one or multiple rings on the cuff. This allows you to tether them together, attach them to other restraint systems, or thread ropes or chains through them.
    Cost: Anywhere between $9 and $43 for full restraint systems or high-quality leather items.

    Sensory and fetish play

    The bondage section is full of items designed to tease and heighten the senses. This is called sensory play.
    • Ticklers consist of one or multiple feathers that can be run over the body. They’re perfect for light bondage, or to use during a break from more intense play.
    • Clamps can be used on the nipples or clitoris. Pressure can vary from light to severe, and it’s often the feeling of them being removed that’s the most intense.
    • Hoods and blindfolds are designed to deprive the wearer of basic senses such as sight, smell, and hearing.
    • Gags are available in different styles and designed to force the mouth open and render the wearer speechless.
    • Electro stim toys deliver low-level electric pulses to sensitive erogenous zones, and offer a sensation different from buzzy vibrators.

    Collars and leashes

    For power dynamic roleplay or pet play, collars and leashes can be fun to use during a private roleplay. They can also be worn to symbolize the dynamic within your relationship.
    Designed for: Any and all genders to be worn during playtime or long term. They can also be used to enforce a particular posture, or attach to other restraint systems to aid positioning.
    How to use: Find a collar to fit the neck size of the wearer and your style of play (e.g. pet play, bondage, a particular power dynamic). A good fit means two fingers can be placed comfortably between the collar and the wearer’s neck. If you intend to use a leash with your collar or attach other restraints, find a collar with an O- or D-ring.
    Key features and controls: Collars usually fasten with a buckle or Velcro, and can be made from leather, suede, or soft, padded material such as neoprene and velvet. Leashes are generally a length of chain with a looped handle for the dominant partner to hold and control their submissive lover.
    Cost: The material the collar or leash is made from guides the price. Leather accessories tend to cost more than their fabric alternatives.


    You can’t get wild without getting wet. And personal lubricant is your fast-track must-have for sex that’s smooth sailing. Whether you’re masturbating, using a sex toy, or getting intimate with a partner, personal lube is there to keep you comfortable. And it’s one of the simplest sex aids to use. Apply as much or as little as you need, and it’ll keep you free from unwanted friction.
    Lubricants can be made from different base ingredients, which affect their consistency.


    Considered the best all-rounder because it’s safe to use with condoms and toys, and for vaginal or anal sex. It can also be smeared over the body during an erotic massage and is edible. Many flavored lubricants are water-based.


    When you need a serious, long-lasting glide, stock up on silicone lubricant. A little bit goes a long way, so even a small tube can last about a month. (Unless you’re at it like a rabbit. If that’s the case, then lucky you!) Silicone lubes are also waterproof, so it’s ideal for sex in the shower, pool, hot tub, or bath.

    Hybrid lubricants

    A mix of water-based and silicone, hybrid lubricants deliver the longevity of silicone with the smear-it-on-anything freedom of water-based lubes.


    Generally reserved for pleasuring a peen or other external erogenous zones, oil-based lubes are loved for their longevity. No matter how much friction there is, they’ll stick around.
    But avoid this style of lube if you’re using condoms or toys, as they can weaken or affect the material.

    Curiosity satisfied?

    Find the information about the sex toys you were looking for?
    If not, tell us more. Your curiosity and questions will help us improve our guide. We’ll also be able to put you in touch with a THELOVESTORE rep/assistant, who’ll be happy to help you out.