When sex shops first popped up in the late 1970s, I thought they were a joke. All those engorged plastic penises in Crayola colors, bunny fur handcuffs and black leather accouterments. I didn’t need them.
Flash forward to the 21st Century. My sex drive has gone the way of the buffalo, along with the estrogen that used to keep my nether regions as moist as Seattle in November. My gynecologist recommended a lubricant, but, frankly, it isn’t enough. As for men my age with functioning parts, who wants a Viagra-enhanced penis that maintains an erection longer than binge-watching an entire season of “This Is Us”?
I decided to take matters into my own hands (so to speak), and investigate the hottest trends in sex toys for us older gals. I spoke with Walker J. Thornton, a self-avowed sex goddess and author of “Inviting Desire: A Guide for Women Who Want to Enhance Their Sex Life.”
Stick to the basics
“Start by looking at popular sex toy websites to get an idea what’s out there,” advised Thornton. “Then, before buying, visit a sex shop in your community where the staff will educate you about the different options,” Thornton suggests wading into the shallow end of the pool. An episode of Sex in the City, popularized the Rabbit vibrator which can be complicated and confusing,” said Thornton who recommends starting with a “plain, old vibrator” to see what feels good.
I was happy to discover that sex toy shops–whether brick and mortar or online–are no longer seedy or intimidating. Many are as welcoming as the perfume counter at Bloomies. The Pleasure Chest, with locations in New York, LA and Chicago, offers “curated gift sets,” a selection of products labeled “mindful masturbation,” and a rose-petal strewn website that promises more romance than a summer in Tuscany.
Start off with a Femme Funn Bullet, a deceptively small, smooth silicone vibrator with 20 speeds, $42.95. I’m still trying to get the hang of a three-speed bike, so I’m not sure what I’ll do with the other seventeen speeds on this toy. Whip up a soufflé?
Fans of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” who aren’t ready for the novel’s Room of Pain, can start off gently with a Sex Kitten 5-piece Love Bond Kit which includes wrist and ankle bonds and eye mask, all of soft faux fur for $39.95. Here kitty, kitty.
Another erotic emporium is Good Vibrations, the first sex toy market in the country started by women. Based in San Francisco, their website’s tongue-in-cheek (or wherever) motto is “Creating buzz since 1977.” Their Gift Guide is as user-friendly as a Chico’s catalog. They even have a category “$29 and under,” as well as a Clearance Section. What’s not to love? If you’re a novice, consider their More, Please Kit which includes a tiny Silver Bullet Vibrator and batteries, along with liquid, cream and gel lube. Now $34 (reduced from $47).
Now about that darn Rabbit. Personally, I find its resemblance to a popular wine opener with the same name to be cautionary. When I want to pop my cork, I don’t want to deal with a gizmo that has more moving parts than an outboard motor. However, if you are willing to master the technology and/or have a partner with an engineering degree, there is a new luxury edition, the Vibratex Rabbit Habit Original Deluxe, with a quieter motor and variety of speeds that won’t announce your intentions to family members sleeping in the next room. It’s so mainstream, you can order it from Target for $40.99 while shopping for sport bras.
For a top-of-the-line bunny, check out Form 8 Rechargeable Rabbit which stimulates your clitoris and V-spot at the same time, with 5 speeds and 7 vibration modes. Form 8 is the first flexible rabbit that bends to the shape of your body. Waterproof, washable, USB rechargeable. $199 at JimmyJane.
Honey, where’s the remote?
Standing in line at Starbucks for your Blonde Double Shot doesn’t have to be boring. Not if you are using a wireless remote control vibrator that allows you to control your own (or someone else’s) orgasm within 30 feet. Fly alone or solo. No batteries. No noise. It comes with a USB cord.
Available at a variety of price points from Odeco Remote Control Vibrating Silicone Bullet Egg on Amazon to OhMiBod Club Vibe 2.OH at Brookstone. This baby doesn’t just vibrate. It’s sound activated and pulses in response to music or your lover’s voice. (Mine only responds to George Clooney’s.)