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I have a theory that if you can fall in love with yourself, then you won’t need another person to make you happy. But one thing I have always struggled with while single is not being able to have a good orgasm alone. Before I met my soon-to-be ex-husband at the age of 26, I could probably count on one hand (haha) the number of times I climaxed from masturbation. Part of the problem was the stigma that the only people who resort to masturbation are horny teenagers and sad, lonely losers. So, I was always looking for someone to fulfill that need.
I bought my first vibrator at the age of 32. My husband had started traveling a lot for work and I needed a new hobby to fill the gap (pun intended!). I got a cheap $30 vibrator that had one vibration style with a very limited range of intensity that was almost too powerful for me even on the lowest setting. I then added a higher-end clitoral stimulator that offered more subtle sensations and a variety of patterns. These two toys got me through most of my 30s, and then I got pregnant at 37. Suddenly, I wanted to masturbate three or four times a day. My husband stopped having sex with me after the second trimester, so I turned to my dynamic duo to satisfy my seemingly insatiable urges. I was indulging so frequently in that last month that I worried it might have an affect on my unborn child.
After my son was born, it was my turn to not want to have sex. I gave birth via cesarean, and upon removing the baby from my uterus, my insides felt like they had been completely rearranged. I didn’t start feeling “normal” for about two years, and when I finally wanted to have sex again, it was painful. I eventually realized that I needed to relearn my body. I began making time for myself to be alone and explore what feels good for me with no judgment or end goal. Soon, I was regularly having orgasms again, and the more I came alone, the more I wanted to share that experience with my partner. It was such a relief to know that I wasn’t “broken.”
Now my marriage is ending, and the panic of facing singledom for an undefined period of time is setting in. But instead of rushing to replace the panic with companionship, I’m focusing that energy inward and onto myself. However, I’m also a super horny middle-age lady, so I decided it’s time to expand my sex toy repertoire. (Because year three of a pandemic might not be the best time to be hoeing it up!) I made a wish list of sorts for myself that contains a variety of sex toys and accessories that I would love to try at some point, and I have been slowly working my way through them. I tried to include businesses owned by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ community members.
Whether you’re new to vibrators or have a 100 (if so, hopefully you don’t live in Texas!), there should be at least one product on this list that sounds like the perfect gift to treat yo’ self or someone else this Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or Arbor Day. Some of the prices may seem steep, but most of these brands offer discounts throughout the year for newsletter subscribers. And, please, if you come across any good sales, DM me on Twitter.
Developed by female industrial designer Ti Chang, Crave is known for its Vesper, which is a clitoral vibrator on a wearable necklace that’s as stylish as it is powerful and is available with a silver, gold, or rose gold finish. If you want something a little more customizable, the Duet Pro is a two-pronged silicone clitoral vibrator that’s compatible with Crave’s MyVibes app, which allows you to design your own vibration patterns. Gifting bonus: Both products can be engraved with a personal message for an additional $10. Since I purchased the Vesper as a gift to myself, I went with “Love Yourself.”
Vesper vibrator, $69-$149
Duet Pro vibrator, $179
Founded by a heterosexual married couple, Ioba Toys makes two products: the OhMyC and the OhMyG. These super silent massagers focus on the clitoris and G-spot, respectively, using a unique pearl technology that applies a pinpointed pressure to the desired area. On the OhMyC, which is the size and shape of a computer mouse and fits in your hand like one, the pearl moves in a swirling motion to mimic the sensation of a tongue tip during oral sex. On the OhMyG, the pearl pulses gently or vigorously, depending on the setting, for direct internal stimulation and replicates the come-hither motion of an extended finger.
OhMyC vibrator, $169
OhMyG vibrator, $169
Run by a team of female-identifying and non-binary individuals, Unbound offers an array of products, from glass dildos to skin-friendly bondage tape. Their best-selling Puff is a suction toy that provides external stimulation via a targeted sucking sensation. With five intensity levels, the strong yet subtle suction creates a seal on the skin and sends pulses of pleasure throughout the clitoris, labia, and vaginal opening.
Puff suction toy, $48
The G-Love G-Roller is a G-spot massager-vibrator combo from woman-owned CalExotics, founded in 1994, that features a vibrating shaft with 12 settings and an independently operated rolling tip with seven different roller-ball actions. The soft textured ridges near the head of the shaft also provide an added element of pleasure. The toy’s slim design and user-friendly functionality make it a good beginner’s vibrator.
G-Love G-Roller from CalExotics, $95.99
There are plenty of rabbit-style toys on the market to choose from, but Lovehoney’s Happy Rabbit Realistic G-Spot vibrator checks all the boxes: generous size, luxurious silicone texture, simple design, and powerful dual-motor technology. And it’s a steal at $50 on Amazon! With 5.75 inches of insertable length and a nearly 2-inch girth, the shaft is on the larger side, with a prominent, realistically shaped rabbit head and 12 vibration settings. The bunny component has three speeds of thumping action for intense clitoral stimulation.
Happy Rabbit Realistic G-Spot vibrator by Lovehoney, $50
For a high-tech getting-to-know-yourself experience, the Lioness Vibrator 2.0 enables you to not only completely customize the vibration patterns and intensity via a mobile app, but you can actually see your orgasms and keep track of them over time. The device uses advanced sensors to measure various data, including the force of pelvic floor muscle contractions during climax, the positioning and movement of the toy, the temperature of the vagina, and the duration of orgasm, and notes can be added about mood, diet, physiological changes, the types of lubricant used, and other details to help you better understand what factors produce different results. One caveat is the shaft doesn’t vibrate; only the external stimulation nub does because the company found that the majority of its testers didn’t want internal vibration. And while Lioness can be used without the app, the device only has three settings on its own.
Lioness Vibrator 2.0, $229
Another cutting-edge vibrator that takes customization to the next level is the MysteryVibe Crescendo. Designed with sexual health in mind, this device has six separate motors throughout its shaft, which can be bent into any shape for both internal and external stimulation. The two wedge-shaped ears at one end function as a clitoral massager but can also be used on a penis. Using the company’s app, each motor can be turned on and off, or you can change patterns and intensity with the swipe of a finger.
MysteryVibe Crescendo vibrator, $220
For a classic wand-style massager, but sexier, look no further than Le Wand. This powerful external vibrator provides targeted stimulation, with 20 vibration patterns and 10 rumbly speeds, all packaged in a sleekly designed product. In addition, the device can be enhanced with textured head covers and attachments for internal stimulation. Le Wand also offers a travel-friendly Petite version that comes in four shimmering colors: rose gold, dark cherry, blue, and violet.
Le Wand massager, $179.99
Le Wand Petite massager, $144.99
Several celebrities are doing their part to reduce the stigma surrounding masturbation, such as model and actress Cara Delevigne, who has teamed up with Lora DiCarlo to make sexual wellness equitable and inclusive. The company’s flagship Osé 2 utilizes airflow technology for clitoral stimulation with 10 intensity settings, as well as an internal G-spot massager featuring a stroking mechanism to mimic that come-hither finger-like sensation with three stroke lengths and positions.
Lora DiCarlo Osé 2 vibrator, $290
Other celebrity sex-toy endorsements include Demi Lovato’s partnership with Bellesa Boutique on the Demi Wand vibrator and Lily Allen’s collaboration with Womanizer on a special-edition of the Liberty suction massager, which uses the brand’s Pleasure Air technology.
Demi Wand vibrator, $89
Liberty suction massager, $99
While not a sex toy, the Pulse lubricant dispenser would definitely make using any of the above devices a lot more enjoyable. Instead of fumbling awkwardly with the cap on a bottle or tube, which then slips out of your hand or drips all over the place, imagine simply placing your palm under a sensor and receiving a warm, soothing squirt of lube. Mid-session toy switch-outs and lube reapplications just got a whole lot easier (especially when you only have one hand free).
Pulse lubricant dispenser, $199
Here are a few more brands and retailers that are owned and operated by women, BIPOC, and members of the LGBTQ+ community worth checking out:
Dame (woman-owned sex toy brand)
Maude (BIPOC woman-owned sex toy brand)
Pink Luxury Toys (Black woman-owned sex toy brand and retailer)
Bijoux Indiscrets (Barcelona, Spain-based woman-owned sex toy brand and retailer)
Wet For Her (lesbian-owned sex toy brand and retailer)
ON THE BLOG
In My Prime: interviews with women thriving in midlife
Pregnancy test and pregnancy over 40
Pelvic health: Everything women need to know
Adventures in Perimenopause, essays by women in perimenopause and menopause
What is perimenopause? An empowering guide to everything you need to know
Art prints, home decor,
and apparel on Society 6
36 gift ideas for every Zodiac sign and horoscope-loving friends
Women's Health Glossary of Terms
6 of the best self-care techniques you’ll never find on Instagram
Ageism in the workplace
Tarot card readings (a PDF to keep)
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