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Don’t Judge a Sex Toy by its Price Tag – by Cara Sutra

The wonderful Cara Sutra, of 15-orgasms-per-working-week fame, knows pleasure better than most and sex toys better than anyone. We’re delighted to present her first contribution to LELO’s blog, an insightful article about the merits of luxury pleasure products. When you’re finished, be sure to check out Cara’s site here.

cara sutra

Which vibrator is more likely to give you an orgasm: the £19.99 bargain bucket special or the £99.99 luxury model?

Going by the old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’, you’ll probably assume that the most expensive one is the all-round best. It’s natural to judge products on price; usually this is a good measure of a high quality item made with skilled workmanship. There are many reasons why ‘more expensive’ regularly translates as ‘better’. Is this the case when it comes to sex toys? Yes. No. Sometimes. It depends.

Before I dive into the debate about whether price really is the single determining factor of an uber awesome sex toy, let’s take a closer look at just what we’re shopping for here. Sex toys: who needs them? Who are they made for? Why would you even want to buy them at all?

I’ve recently been shocked by the revelation that people still believe that sex toys are solely women’s domain. After my recent media splash where I revealed to the world my job as a sex toys tester having an average of 15 orgasms a week, the comments on the press articles were enlightening to say the least.

Imagine if there were sex toys for men, there would be a public outcry. Especially from women.

Toys for men too eh, well there you go!

Yes, there really are sex toys for men as well as women. There are also sex toys for couples to use together. Whether you actually need sex toys is down to your personal physiology, but sex toys can definitely add a new dimension to masturbation and lovemaking that many find it impossible to achieve without the extra help.


Why Sex Toys?

grabA person decides to shop for a sex toy for any one of many reasons. Curiosity, having never tried one before. Hearing from friends how good they are. Attending a sex toys party and getting caught up in the atmosphere. Because a partner wants to introduce one to the bedroom. To help achieve an orgasm through masturbation. Hearing about an amazing sex toy and being unable to resist the allure. Whatever the reason, sex toys are big business and there’s no signs of the adult product industry stopping or even slowing down any time soon.

Where should you start when it comes to buying your first sex toy – or adding a reliable one to your existing toy box? I personally own over 2000 sex toys but I have only a handful of sex toys which are constantly found in pride of place, in what I call my ‘quick grab collection’. What sets them apart?

Let’s look at features other than the price tag and discover what really matters when you’re getting down (and dirty) with your sex toy.


Sex Toy Power Play

For those who haven’t used a vibrator before, the difference in sensation from manual masturbation or sexual intercourse to vibrations can be dramatic and intense. If you’re a vibrator virgin, it’s wise to sample a cheaper vibrator first before investing in a more expensive and possibly overwhelming style. There’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to using and liking vibrators. For some it’s a slow and gradual process, not love at first buzz.

Non vibrating sex toys, such as dildos and butt plugs, offer contours and shapes which can bring great satisfaction to those who wish to enjoy a sex toy without the addition of vibrations.


How it’s Powered

pleasureWorried about running out of power at exactly the wrong moment? Don’t limit your pleasure to the length of your battery life. Rechargeable power is a modern addition to sex toys and the preferred power option for many sex toy users. As long as you remember to charge your toys up between uses, you can lay back and enjoy the moment without any sudden stops.


For truly non-stop power there are mains powered sex toys if you crave a marathon pleasure session, as well as traditional battery powered vibrators if they’re what you’re after.



Material Girl?

The material it’s made from is of high importance when it comes to choosing your ideal sex toy. You’re probably wondering why, as you’re just going to shove it inside you, or rub it over yourself, (hopefully) climax with it then discard it once done. Right?

No, you’re not just going to do that. Unless you buy a disposable style you’ll need to clean your sex toy after use before next time. Materials such as jelly, real feel styles and some rubbers (like TPR and TPE) are porous, meaning that bacteria can remain in the material and be absorbed even if you try to clean them thoroughly. Non porous materials such as silicone, metal and glass revert to being completely hygienic after cleaning with anti bacterial spray of wipes, so you can rest assured that they are completely clean before using them intimately.

Select a sex toy which is phthalates free, ideally. The last thing you want when using a sex toy are any nasty chemicals ‘leaking’ from the material into your body and potentially causing you medical or other issues.

Think about your personal preferences when it comes to lube. If you purchase a silicone sex toy, you will need to use a water based moisturizer or at least a hybrid (blend of water and silicone) lubricant with it. You shouldn’t use silicone lubricant with your silicone sex toys, as over time it can damage the surface of your toy. However if you really love silicone lube you may wish to select a glass or metal sex toy instead, as these are compatible.

If you have any allergies to latex, nickel or other popular properties of sex toys, you will need to investigate your selected sex toy prior to purchase.


Sizing Up

factDoes size matter? Yes. At least, it does when it comes to sex toys. It’s tempting to think that bigger is better, but if this leaves you with a sex toy that’s uncomfortable or even painful to use, it’s going to be relegated to the ‘under the bed’ position for the rest of time. Whether the sex toy is going to be used vaginally or anally, think about a size which will suit you and be realistic. This is especially true when it comes to the sensitive anal region. Start with a butt plug which is smaller than you think you’ll need. Items in the bottom feel larger than they appear. Fact.

Even externally used sex toys such as clitoral stimulators and unisex body massagers should be carefully considered in terms of size. Discreet sex toys which fit into your hand comfortably leave the sex or masturbation session feeling natural and without an awkward presence in the room. If you can use them with one hand, this also gives you the bonus of leaving your other hand free for… other exciting possibilities.


Background Checks

Do you already have an idea of the sex toy which will suit your needs? Do some background checks and research. Google is a wonderful thing and you can search for sex toys online based on your particular requirements. Doing this will often turn up honest reviews of sex toys which come close to fitting your criteria. You will be able to read feedback from real people who have used the sex toy, instead of page after page of marketing spiel from companies merely wishing to sell their wares.

Depending on how interested you are in the ‘sex toy scene’ you can even search for keywords such as ‘vibrator’ ‘dildo’ and ‘sextoys’ on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. This will lead you to the amazing and close knit community of sex toy testers worldwide who are passionate about providing thorough feedback and an honest critique of sex toys they receive for this purpose. Feel free to get involved with the community, asking questions about which sex toy they recommend based on real use for instance, or which sex toy shops they really trust.


Your Pleasure

So just what have we learned here? When it comes to a sex toy you’ll want to use time and time again, there are more important factors to consider than trusting the implications of the price tag alone.

Admittedly, the sex toy features discussed above can often contribute to a higher price tag than a ditched after one session, battery operated, phthalates laden jelly rabbit vibrator.

Your pleasure is worth investing in, both in terms of price and your time spent on pre-purchase research. Don’t be fooled: it’s a false economy to purchase a poor quality sex toy every few weeks because it keeps falling apart. Do your research, go after what you want, and you will be able to safely navigate the oceans of the sex toys market.


LELO has constantly developed its sex toys and other products based not only on financial and business demands but also responding to cutting edge technology as it becomes available and listening to what their customers really want from a sex toy.

Once you decide to buy a sex toy, look beyond the price tag. Don’t spend your hard earned cash on the first high priced vibrator or dildo you see simply because you believe you will get what you pay for. Consider the other all-important factors we’ve discussed and you will be more likely to get a sex toy that will give you regular pleasure for years to come, pride of place in a quick-grab collection of your very own.




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