Ah, December. That time of year when cinnamon rules supreme, scented candles are commonplace, and we all stress about just what gifts to get our partner/s, friends, and family.
With the world in its current state, I’m a huge fan of spreading the love right now — and I can’t think of better self-love items than sex toys.
"Wait, what!?" you might be thinking. "Surely you shouldn’t give anyone something so personal." To which I say — trust me. The festive season is heavily associated with sex toy purchases.
How do I know? I’m an adult product reviewer. When you’ve tinkered with over 300 different buzzing, thrusting, and gyrating objects, you start to get the impression that Santa’s workshop has a little kink corner where all the elves do some testing of their own.
What options abound in the festive sex toy selection? What is best to give, and how do you give toys to your partner, friends, and family in a respectful manner? Let me give you the low down.
1. The Seasonal Selection.
When you think "sex toy" the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Rabbit. It’s iconic for a reason — popular media — but if you ask me, it’s overrated. There are so many other options out there including vibrators, dildos, masturbation sleeves, anal toys, kegel balls, kink items, lubricants, oils, safer sex barriers, books, and games.
Most of these items will be appropriate for all genders, but not all of them will suit people’s anatomies. Considering a person’s body and personal needs or preferences is often key to safe sex toy selection. If you’re unsure, most companies will offer pre-curated selection boxes with a variety of products, so rest assured that you’ll never be in the dark when picking sex toy gifts.
2. A Word to the Wise.
The downside to the vast array of products on the market is that not all of them are completely body safe. If you’re buying for a person with a vulva, then you’ll want to stick to non-porous materials (ones that don’t allow any yucky bacteria to seep into and fester in the toy). Opt for toys made out of silicone, ABS plastic, stainless steel, glass, or properly treated wood whenever possible. Avoid jelly at all costs, as it contains potentially dangerous chemicals in addition to being porous. Some penis toys (masturbation sleeves and cock rings in particular) are made from stretchy material, but there’s less risk of getting a UTI in such instances, so it’s not quite as big of a concern.
There are also some shitty companies out there you may want to avoid on principle. I don’t know about you, but a company that makes a sex doll out of a personal photography leak is not one I want to support.
3. Giving Sex Toys to a Partner.
Giving a sex toy to your partner is perhaps the most acceptable but still poses huge implications regarding emotional investment. It’s important to consider your partner’s likes and dislikes. Consider how they might feel getting a sex toy as a gift. Are they new to toys and hesitant to try them? If so it’s probably best to discuss your feelings about toys and resolve them before going to the gifting stage.
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If they see toys as a sign of personal inadequacy, then frame them as a mutually enjoyable addition to your activities rather than a replacement. If they’re already on board, then great! Perhaps even discuss your sex toy wishlist together. Go shopping at an adult store and make a fun activity of it. It might even lead to toy use sooner than expected.
4. Giving Sex Toys to a Friend.
This one requires some careful planning (and by that, I mean a fun natter at some point with mates). Prior to gift-giving, try to have at least one casual, seemingly random conversation about sex toys, how you and your friends all feel about them, and if any of them would ever want sex toys as a gift.
Say something like, "I just read this article about giving sex toys as gifts for the winter season. Even to friends!" and see where things go. If they’re receptive, then you’ll soon know and probably also get a clear idea of what they want and if they’re okay with you gifting them a sex toy. That’s the good thing about close friends – they’re honest as heck with each other.
5. Giving Sex Toys to Family.
Obviously, tread with caution here and use common sense. If you have a stern, restrained auntie who never even utters a swear word and wouldn’t dream about mentioning sex, it’s best not to start giving them whips and chains wrapped up with a latex bondage bow.
On the other hand, if you’ve managed to weasel in a similar conversation like the one above with your family members then, you’ll probably also know if sex toys are acceptable as a gift and what to give. For family, though, I do recommend playing it safe and going with a pre-made selection box if you’re unsure. Not that you don’t know your family members, but sometimes gifts are just as much about helping someone explore a variety of possibilities rather than sticking to what’s familiar. Plus, some details really might be TMI.
6. Considering Personal Needs.
In all cases, I highly recommend giving personal consideration to the individual/s to whom you’re giving gifts. Someone with mobility issues might struggle with a very heavy dildo if it doesn’t have a suction cup. Keep in mind that some names for certain sex toys fetishize race and could make your giftee uncomfortable.
Sex toys can make great gifts, but never give them to someone without first having at least some understanding of their approaches and attitudes to sex. At best you’ll find them asking if the product is refundable, at worst you might hit on an emotional trigger or some form of trauma.
So go forth and purchase your adult treats with newfound confidence. Just remember that, as with all good gift-giving, knowledge and consideration for the recipient are the real keys to a great gift.