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Sex Toy Sommelier is our monthly sex toy matchmaking and advice column at SheKnows. Whether you’re taking your first brave steps into the world of sex toys and sexual health accessories (welcome, it’s fun here!) or an old pro looking to add some new goodies to your existing collection (hello to you too!), Health & Sex Editor Katherine Speller is here to help SheKnows readers level-up their bedside tables, toy chests and/or DIY sex dungeons with the tools they need to feel deeply satisfied — and give some pro-tips on how introduce some of these new toys and tools into your sex life along the way.
Write in to let us know what you’re into, what you want to be into or what you’re in the market for via our hotline (we’ll keep things anonymous, of course) and we’ll do our very best to drop a range of toys and sexual health products that meet your tastes, wants and needs. While money certainly can’t buy you love, it can buy you orgasms — which can be just as good, TBH.
As a leading lifestyle site for parents, we know our way around the postpartum experience and we know it can be a time that’s complicated — full of joy and change (mind, body and spirit) and so many opportunities to learn about yourself. And when it comes to your sex life after having a baby, there are absolutely some changes worth talking about.
Which brings us to this month’s querent, a new parent on the hunt for the sex toys that will spice things up after giving birth last year:
“Since giving birth last year, I haven’t felt inspired by the toys I’ve had in a while and don’t feel like I have a lot of time for “me” time anyway. What are some things that might work for me?”
— Oh, Baby!
First of all, congrats! Both on the birth and for being at a place where you feel ready to embrace and prioritize your “me” time (sexually or otherwise). Becoming a parent is a game-changer and an identity changer and can be something that really reorganizes how you approach just about every part of your life. But your needs, wants and desires are also still in the picture and still important to shine a little light on when you can. You deserve that.
Embracing your sex life and dedicating some time and energy to deciding what pleasure really means to you right now is a noble pursuit. And, we’ve had quite a few folks in all sorts of stages of their lives share the same feeling of being uninspired by their current toys and routines and wanting something new, something more.
Stimulate your mind
So while I hate to repeat myself, I am a creature of habit (it’s a Taurus moon thing!) and will almost always recommend people who are experiencing the “meh” vibes to check out something that targets the mental element in that mind/body equation: enter Dipsea.
An audio erotica app that is made to bust out the male-gaze, P in V-centric, performative sexuality that is normally found in erotic materials, Dipsea offers some really sensual and engaging stories that will get your most powerful sex organ (your brain) moving in the right direction. I’ve also found — via the many, many times I’ve recommended this bad boy to friends — that folks who are more used to visual stimuli (like porn), the change to the audio format feels particularly new and exciting. They also aren’t incredibly lengthy or flashy, so with a good set of headphones you can absolutely fit it into your busy schedule.
You can give their free trial a whirl or subscribe for $59.99 a year or $12.99 a month and see if it doesn’t help start your engines a little bit.
But, now on to some toys!
Since you’re more than a year out from your birth, the world is your oyster in terms of the kind of stimulation you can explore. (If you’re experiencing discomfort with penetration or painful orgasms, it’s maybe worth it to have a good conversation with your OBGYN about techniques and strategies that will work for you!) But there are definitely toys that are more suited to taking those steps back into your sex life.
Be gentle with yourself
One of the big things I’d recommend is to not be afraid to take your time rediscovering the sensations you enjoy. Taking it easy and exploring your body is always a solid way to more effectively meet your needs than plugging in the most intense wand vibrator you can find and letting a’rip (though if that’s your thing, we got recs for you too) — give yourself some time to warm up and feel everything out.
For people in the market for a toy that gives subtle, gentle stimulation, I love toys like LELO’s Ora 3. With a slow but steady moving piece in the center that feels like oral sex (without being creepy), it’s perfect for people who want to work themselves up to some pleasurable endings without anything moving to fast or hard. It’s also legit one of the quietest toys I’ve ever tried out and that can help if you’re really trying to have some low-key “me” time that goes entirely undetected.
While it can be a bit pricey (keep an eye out for summer sales for this bad boy), this one is sturdy and built to last and can very easily become a ride-or-die at any bedside.
Clit, Clit Hurray
Clitoral stimulation is the first to be green-lit for most people post-pregnancy and is what most people with vaginas require to get off rather than just penetration. And if you’re someone who loves this kind of stimulation and somehow haven’t taken some of the latest suction-style toys for a spin in this department, I’m going to insist you do so.
A lot of people love them for their quiet and discreet nature and the way they target the clitoris with precision without pummeling it with overwhelming buzzing. I love and have loved many takes on this design (this app-controlled one is still a fave!) but Womanizer Liberty
is a top-tier take. They also come with the cutest case that keeps your private business extremely private, which we all know is something that becomes more essential when toddlers start roaming around and getting into your stuff.
Comfort and versatility
Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to penetrative toys, so you can’t go wrong with really prioritizing toys that are designed to do multiple things well — while also working for all kinds of bodies. Thats why I love Unbound’s Bender which, as the name hints at, is a flexible and bendy toy that is perfect for both G-spot and clitoral stimulation.
It’s easy to navigate with one button that brings you through all ten speeds, is waterproof and made with body-safe, medical-grade silicone and no matter what you’re craving there’s a good chance you can bend and adjust it to make it just right for you. After all, sex is never one-size fits all and especially not when you’re trying to give some love to both your body and mind postpartum.
We’ll be back soon with another edition of Sex Toy Sommelier and don’t forget to send us your sex toy matchmaker asks so we can help you find your perfect sex toy match. And, in the meantime, check out 69 (nice) sex positions that you should add to your bucket list: