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Buying Adult Products Online: What to Look for When Choosing Your First Sex Toy

Everyone has a first time for buying an adult toy, whether you are 18 or 80. And, despite things changing, it remains the same for everyone: you have to find what makes you happy. I’ll prove it.

At the risk of aging myself, I didn’t buy my first adult products online. As a matter of fact, when I bought my first sex toy, you couldn’t buy anything online. The internet didn’t even really exist back then for most of us. The idea that you could click a few buttons and have a same-day dildo delivered only existed in the fantasies of DARPA nerds.

So a few girlfriends and I went to a little strip mall tucked away in an endless row of chain restaurants and video stores (yeesh, I am aging myself). The store had one of those slightly naughty names that we giggled when talking about, and indeed, the whole thing seemed like it bordered on the edge of ridiculous and embarrassing.

We didn’t know what we were doing, and sort of laughed/bluffed our way through, dismissing the nice girl who worked there with nerve-ridden false confidence.

I don’t feel bad about giggling. Sex, after all, is fun. But I feel bad about being embarrassed. Why should I have been? There’s nothing wrong or indecent about buying sex toys, after all. But back in those days, we rushed out of the store with our vibrators and hurried to the car before we ran into a neighbor or a pastor or anyone.

Things are better now. We’ve become more broadly accepting of our sexuality, and don’t have to be ashamed of it. Things are also better because you can shop online. While I am very fond of people who work in sex stores, and they are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, you can’t beat the ease and convenience of finding and buying adult products online.

But, like I said, the first time is still the same. If you’ve never bought adult products before, you may not know the best ways of doing it, and may feel embarrassed about that, as well as nervous about buying them. Don’t be.

In this article, we’ll go over what you need to know when choosing your first sex toy. We’ll help you get over any obstacles toward purchase, so that you and your partner(s) can explore and enjoy yourselves and each other. No nervousness or parking-lot sprints required.

5 Steps To Buying Adult Products Online

If you’re not sure what you’re doing, here’s our handy five-step guide.

Step 1. Be Honest With Yourself (and your partner!)

That time my girlfriends and I went to the adult toy store, we all lied to ourselves in different ways. I told myself that, at most, I was going to buy a little vibrator, since anything else was too ‘out there’ and I wasn’t interested. But the truth is, I was super interested. I wanted to explore everything. But for whatever reason, I didn’t admit it to myself.

One of my girlfriends, though, put on a big show of wanting to get a full bondage kit. Handcuffs, ball gag, the whole thing. Talking to her a few years later, she admitted she never used it. She wasn’t actually interested. But she had never stopped using the vibrator she bought the next week!

So when you are shopping, it is important to be honest with yourself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting “just” a vibrating mesh sponge. If that’s what will make you happy, then it is the best purchase you could make. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting a bare-all thong-style strap-on, either. If that’s what makes you (and someone else) happy, then it is the best thing in the world.

When considering what you want, take a few things into account:

  • The kind of sex you already like
  • The kind of sex your partner already likes
  • The kind of sex you are interested in trying
  • The kind of sex your partner is interested in trying
  • Any conditions you have (like a bad back, for instance) that will impact how you have sex.

So a sub-step to this is to talk to your partner, if you are in a relationship. This is a great time to be honest about what turns you on, even if you’ve never discussed it before. And you both might want to try different things (that’s where our sex toy collections come in handy!) In another article, we’ll talk about choosing together, and the intimate relationship psychology of doing so, but for now, our advice is as always: be honest.

Step 2. Find an Online Store You’re Comfortable With

What is it that Smokey Robinson told us?

Yup, you better shop around. Not all online sex stores are the same. They vary in quality of product, efficiency of service, and guiding philosophy. You need to find a store that both has quality merchandise and is in line with your ideas about sex.

After all, some places are in it to make a quick buck. They might not have the best products, and they certainly don’t have you in mind. With a lot of places (especially large online retailers), they offer third-party products or cheap knockoffs, manufactured without safety or pleasure or durability in mind. There are a lot of places that aren’t reputable. You might have a lot of options, but you’ll see the reviews are a litany of horror stories.

That’s not us. We stand behind (and ok, sometimes in front of) every one of our products. When you buy from us, you can trust it is a product we have made ourselves, not some cheaply produced knockoff.

You might also want to ensure your online store offers discreet packaging and labeling. Obviously, buying an adult toy is nothing of which to be ashamed, but I don’t want my neighbors to know everything about me.

Bottom line? Find a store that you enjoy shopping at, and you’ll find it increases your pleasure.

Step 3. Read Product Descriptions and Reviews

online sex toys like hog ties

So, when my husband and I were looking over bondage gear one morning (we have an interesting household), we came across a hog-tie and cuff set. While I was intrigued, he was instantly less so. He thought it looked dangerous, and maybe harsh, and was worried that it might hurt me.

But then we read the description, which included this: “Sturdy yet easy to remove, this kit creates quick and easy ways to restrain your partner.” He liked reading that part, because the “easy to remove” demonstrated a concern for safety and a way to stop when and if we wanted to.

Many of Sportsheets’ products have videos, consumer reviews, product descriptions, advice for use, and more. Do your research. Find out what other people liked. Find out the best ways to use certain toys, and think about how that fits into your lifestyle. All of that goes into discovering what is actually right for you.

Step 4. Explore Sections You Don’t Know If You’ll Like

adult products online like slappers

OK, so this tip isn’t a “must-do,” but I think you should. You may think to yourself, “Well, I have no interest in leather slappers, so no need to even look.” And maybe you don’t have any interest, and that’s fine! If you know something isn’t for you, it isn’t for you.

But if you’re not sure, or have never really thought about it? Or if you don’t even know what it is? Then check it out. It’s just one click, and you can learn about a product, and see if it tickles your fancy.

You don’t have to buy it right away. But maybe you’ll think, “Hmm, I did get a little aroused thinking about getting paddled. Maybe I should look more into that.” So you watch some videos, talk to your partner, and decide that you want to get one. Or not. But you never know until you click. Every sexual adventure starts by looking down an unfamiliar road, taking a deep breath, and stepping out.

Step 5. Know That This Isn’t Your Last Purchase

That brings us to Step 5: remembering that this isn’t your last purchase. Sometimes, when buying your first sex toy, there is the idea that “this is what my sex will be from now on,” and so you buy too much. You worry that you have to get the perfect toy for every occasion. And so you panic, or maybe you don’t buy anything at all.

I know we’re a store, but we don’t want you to buy things you won’t like. We just want you to be happy and fulfilled with your sex life. We want you to explore, find things to try, and if you like it, dive deeper in. We want you to be happy. So don’t be nervous, and don’t rush.

Step 6. Enjoy!

OK, this isn’t really a “step” as much as what I know you’re going to do. Remember to have fun with your new toys. If this is your first time buying adult products online, remember that you’re starting something new. You can go slow, and try again if you don’t love it the first time. That’s a normal part of any and all sex. Experiment. Play around. Find out what is right for you.

That’s what being intimate is all about: enjoying the magic pleasures of your body, and the bodies of the ones you are with. That connection, that thrill, that joy that comes in the shared space of a single drop of sweat. The lust and the laughter, the tickle and the whip.

So don’t be embarrassed. Embrace the sexuality you want.


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