You're stuck at home, so naturally your options of entertainment are limited — and that includes your intimate life, too. But just because you're solo for the time being (whether because you're single or aren't able to be close to your partner due to social distancing), doesn't mean your sex life has to die. That said, now is a prime time to invest in sex toys specifically designed for solo use if you haven't already.
Sex in general can be a tremendously powerful practice, as it not only can give you a boost of body confidence, but also aid stress relief and give you an even better night's sleep. And while experts like Dr. Carolina Pataky, a certified sex and relationship therapist and co-founder of Love Discovery Institute, believe that masturbation is a healthy and beneficial part of anyone's lifestyle (whether in a relationship or not) now more than ever it's an opportune time to be your own partner and meet your own sexual needs.
"While masturbation remains a stigma for many, acts of self-pleasure can relieve stress and provide soothing relief, says Dr. Pataky. "During difficult times, many individuals report increased level of anxiety and stress. They become hyper-vigilant, paranoid, and uneasy to the events around them. Through the release of chemicals, individuals can hack their system and find ways to relax."
And while the sex therapist doesn't believe that toys are a necessity for masturbation or sexual pleasure in general, they can be something to spice things up and give you a sensation you or a partner isn't able to — but there is a caveat. "Keep in mind that masturbation or the aids you use to pleasure yourself can be harmful," she explains. "The excess use of pornography can be detrimental to your sex life, time, productivity and relationships. I recommend that your give yourself a time limit and stick to it. Otherwise, your brain’s reward system may focus on the search or the self-medicating soothing behaviors."
Now that you know why it's important to practice self-pleasure, how do you know what toy would be best for you? Dr. Pataky notes that this is a totally subjective topic, but there are a few ways you can narrow down the list. For example, she suggests having a budget in mind, checking product reviews, and learning about the return policy. Besides that, ask yourself questions like: Is it intended for internal or external stimulation? Will it need batteries? Are the instructions clear? Will I like the texture? Is it waterproof? Can I use this later with a partner? Does it have multiple functions, attachments, or speeds?
Once you've answered those questions and done a bit of research, it may be easier to find one that suits you. And when it comes to the toys that are specifically great for solo play, there are a couple key categories. Read ahead to find out what you should know about each before adding to cart.
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For The Minimalist
"For women, a simple, comfortably sized dildo with a vibrating function is usually enough to get started," says Pataky. "Some may prefer a rigid, smooth style, while others may prefer more texture and flexibility in their selections." Maude's vibe is a great beginner's option — it's a silicone (washable, water-resistant) vibrator with three speeds and a minimalist design. And at under $50, the price is hard to beat.
For The Traditionalist
"Some of the best vibrators are not typically sold as erotic toys but are instead labeled as body massagers that use your room’s AC electrical outlets to send powerful stimulation wherever you need it," says Dr. Pataky. "Many of these are sold with male and female attachments that are specifically designed for genital contact." And when it comes to powerful body massagers, it's kind of hard to beat the OG Hitachi Magic Wand. Bonus: It's great on tight muscles post-workout, too.
For some, a straight-forward vibrator will do the trick, while others need some additional stimulation. "This could include variable speed settings, attachments, or shapes," says Dr. Pataky. For example, if you're someone who craves internal and external stimulation simultaneously, the Leno Ina Wave might just be the perfect addition to your bedroom accessories.
For Those Dating At A Distance
If you are dating at a distance and are looking for ways to involve your partner in your physically solo play, look for app-enabled options, like the Esca 2, which lets he or she control the sensations from anywhere via Wifi.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.