Some experts estimate only one in six women achieve orgasm through intercourse alone. In 2008 the Kinsey Institute put this number higher, at dispiriting 20-30%. And according to a 2010 Emory University study, if your clitoral glans are more than 2.5 centimeters from your vaginal opening you're less likely to achieve orgasm through intercourse alone. Considering this crucial bit of distance - called the CV distance - can range from 1.6 to 4.5 centimeters, there's a lot of women losing out and proving those statistics true. Well, instead of getting (mentally) down about the whole sorry business, go out and claim the pleasure that is your unenumerated right. We met up with Shawna Scott of?sexsiopa.ie, ?Ireland's first health and design focused sex shop? and Image.ie Blog Awards nominee to talk about where to start when buying sex toys.
Scary fact that will make you cross your legs? The sex toy industry is completely unregulated. A lot of toys out there are made using cheap materials like PVC, and to get PVC to that jelly state associated with a lot of sex toys, chemicals called phthalates are used. Phthalates disrupt hormones and are so unsafe and toxic they were essentially banned from childrens toys in the USA, with the?EU also introducing regulations. Sadly, when it comes to adult toys the rules are so lax as to be non-existent. While the Danish government's Environment Protection Agency?published a report into the PVC toys a few years ago nothing was ever done about the damining findings.
So if you're buying sex toys give your money to companies known to be body safe - the industry term for materials not containing phthalates. Companies like sexsiopa.ie only sell body safe toys. Shawna is?particularly?effusive?about silicone products, even if they are slightly more expensive than others, "The nice thing about silicone is it has different textures and densities. You can move between soft and firm products depending on what your body needs.?
Your starter toy
Should one start big or small? "It depends on what you want,? says Shawna. ?If you're starting out with a vibrator I'd say go with something that not quite as strong just so you can figure out what you like." Small toys like the?Tenga Iroha mini make for good starter toy - and is very reasonably priced at €25. The?Lelo MIA (?60) is one for gadget geeks - this lipstick vibe is USB recharable, pocket sized and hella discreet. The Lelo's product description declares it is 'swiftly becoming one of Ireland's favourite vibrators? - and the ten year guarantee is another plus for sex toy virgins.
If you want something stronger try the?Leaf Fresh - on the more expensive side (?100) but universally acclaimed. The Jimmy Jane Form also clocks in at €100 but as Shawna points out it is ideal ?if you prefer the feel of your own hand or a partner's hand?. Bonus points? You can slip the Jimmy Jane between yourself and a partner if you want to use it during sex.
Shawna's all time favourite? That's the?Minna Limon, so called because of its shape (?120). The Limon has a squeezable interface and is programmable - you can dictate the vibration and speed of the vibe via recorded squeezes and then play it back in a loop to save you time and energy when kicking back. Meanwhile, the?Lelo Mona 2, "the sex toy's blogger favourite" we're told, "fits the vulva nicely" and is a g-spot toy that you can also use for clitorial stimulation. It's renowned for its ?rumbliness" 'sex toy speak for shaking. Shawna recommends this one for couples, especially if you want to teach your partner how to please you.
How to talk to your partner about sex toys
And as for telling your boyfriend you want to start using sex toys together? Shawna advice is ?be incredibly blunt, it always has worked for me!? Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to happy and fulfilled sexual relations. Once you know and trust your partner, introduce toys in a way that excites and intrigues them. Or you could just say straight out "This is my vibrator and I'm going to show you how to use it on me".
?I think it depends on how long you've been dating someone as well,? Shawna muses. If you're in a long-term relationship with someone you should approach the topic with ?frivolity? Don't present it like it's cancer, ?Oh hun, our sex life needs a bit of spicing up now?? No one wants to hear that. Just go out and get one and surprise him with it.?
Visit?sexsiopa.ie for more information.
Keep up with Shawna and Sex Siopa on Twitter?here.
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter?@jeannedesutun
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Images via sexsiopa.ie and Ruth Medjber