I’ll admit it – I’m a price-conscious person (read: cheapskate) so one of the key factors when I’m buying sex toys is whether or not I feel I’ve bagged a bargain. But coming a close second is the sense of style – I’d rarely buy something that I don’t feel ‘fits’ my personality – I want my toys goth-looking, hardcore, and scary. I promise it’s not just me – I chatted to sex toy blogger Little Spoon to find out why style is just so sexy.
It feels to me like the sex toy market has reached a certain level of maturity. In the beginning there were ‘realistic’ toys – flesh-coloured phalluses and vaginas and anuses that all looked as close as the manufacturers could get to real human bodies. Then came the ‘cute’ wave – after Sex and the City one of the must-have sex toys was the Rampant Rabbit. It usually came in pink or purple, topped off with the notorious clit ‘rabbit’ – which looked like an actual rabbit. It rubbed me up the right way physically, but the wrong way metaphorically – I’m not sure why it had to be shaped like a rabbit, or why we needed to draw attention to the thing which was making me writhe with pleasure was in fact a representation of an animal.
That’s not to say I don’t like rabbits. Both the cute kind in internet photos and the sexy kind on vibrators both have a comfortable place in my heart (and pants). But it feels like these days we’ve moved to an even sexier place: one where stylish sex toys take up shelf space next to the realistic and the cute.
I got thinking about this when I was reading a recent review of the Mona Wave, by Little Spoon.
“I HAD to have a blue one as it is a comparatively rare colour in the sex toy world, plus it matches my hair (and nothing feels quite as good as when your hair/make up/nails or outfit match your sex toy!”
The idea of picking a sex toy to match your hair colour totally gelled with me. I get a particular kick of delight if I pick up a toy and it matches my nails, or if I find something that seems to ‘fit’ my style more than anything else. The day I discovered purple bondage tape was a very happy one, although I doubt the guy who shagged me while I was trussed up noticed that I’d picked a varnish that would perfectly match.
LS explains that:
“I have always had a tendency to pick toys that fit my look, but I have got even more picky over time. These days I’m as selective with my toys as I am with my clothes. I like wanking with things I think are beautiful in the same way I like wearing things that I think are beautiful. I get a similar feeling from using certain toys as I do when I’m going out and my outfit is really on point – I feel like I’ve really got my shit together, ha! It feels good!”
And that makes total sense, when you think about it. Clothes, hair, make up – they’re all super-personal. Masturbation and sex is the same. Despite what mainstream magazines try to tell us, no one wants to have sex in the same way as everyone else, following instructions like you’re putting up an IKEA wardrobe. We want to be different – to stand out. And if personal style is important on the street, it makes sense that it’s vital in the bedroom.
“These days I’m a magpie for anything black, silver and shiny. I’m also more likely to go for luxury, designer vibes as they are usually so much prettier than you’re average £20 rabbit vibe, plus after years of experience, I don’t mind splashing out on something that’s not going to just pack it in in a few months (or is at least covered by a warranty if it does). My Lelo Mia 2 lives in my handbag not only because it’s a great travel vibe, it also looks cute as hell against black leather.”
I can see what she means – the Lelo Mia 2 looks like the kind of neat, stylish vibe that you’d be proud to carry around. The ‘black, silver and shiny’ thing gets me too. I have to admit that I’m a bit tired of pink things. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn pink when I go out, but black is my standard uniform. There’s something about the colour black, ideally mixed with a bit of silver, that says ‘sex’ to me – bondage, leather, chains and all that.
What’s more, I’m a big fan of abstract toys. While I can see what people love about realism, I enjoy things that are a bit quirky and fun to look at – there’s an element of uniqueness and imagination about it that turns me on. Take, for example, my favourite toys: masturbators. I like using them on guys, and watching the guys’ eyes light up. While some dudes will no doubt prefer the realism of a Fleshlight, and the visual stimulation of penetrating something that looks like an actual vagina, I’m more interested in the raised-eyebrow curiosity if I present them instead with a Tenga product. It looks weird – mathematical, almost. Like a futuristic toy. Like something that you’ve never experienced before.
I guess if I were to try and sum up my sex toy ‘style’, I’d go with: unusual, kinky, and definitely not pink. I like the idea that if a guy were meeting me for the first time, and he took a peek into my sex toy drawer, he’d be able to gather a fair bit of information. Not just about what I like in bed (bondage tape and floggers will probably sort that out) but about the kind of person I am. I go for cuffs over rope, because I’m efficient (or lazy). I go for abstract rabbit vibrators with smooth clitoral stimulators, as opposed to the more literal rabbit-heads. I go for purple over pink, or black and silver like LBS prefers. Odd Tenga shapes and dildos with weird patterns.
Is that odd? I don’t think so. I feel like it’s all part of the fun. Realism totally does it for some people, and cuteness works for others. But, just like fashion, the sex toy market grows and changes. It used to be the case that we could wear one of only a few possible outfits, and now we’ve got cupboards full of new and beautiful things to try.
As the market’s matured and there are so many more toys out there, so we’ve become more discerning consumers. When we try something new, although practicality and price will always be a factor, sometimes we also want it to perfectly match our hair.