Welcome to the wonderfully exciting world of naughty but nice sex toys! I'm Kate and this is my beginners guide to understanding the cheeky, saucey, stimulating, and sometimes crazy world of adult products :-)
From choosing the right size, to cleaning and storage of your product, this guide will 'break the ice' on getting acquainted with what could be your new best friend!
Selecting a product that's right for you
At Kanoodle, I'm often asked for advice on how to choose the right products for various body types, different levels of experience, to achieve specific sensations, or to work with already purchased products. So I've compiled a quick resource on how to choose, use, store and maintain your toys, plus some tips on what to expect from them in terms of lifespan.
This page is all about choosing a toy that's right for you - it's not just about what goes where, either, we cover the pros and cons of materials, lubricants and more!
When it comes to the fundamental question "What should I buy?", we always say is that it comes down to your own personal preference. What you get up to behind closed doors, either alone or with a consensual partner, can be anything and everything you want it to be. Remember, one person's deepest desires and fantasies, might not even raise the eyebrow of another.
So we encourage you to be brave, and browse through the products we have available - even if it's not a category you'd previously considered. If a product on our website piques your interest after reading all about it (and perhaps a customer review or two), then it just might be right for you! Exploring sexuality and satisfying cravings isn't about what other people think or do or say or want - it's all about you and your body. Respect it, explore it, LOVE IT.
Size does matter
OK, let me get this straight... I'm certainly not saying the bigger is better when it comes to receiving pleasure, but choosing the right size product that you're comfortable with, and that suits your body - now that's important.
Only you can make a judgment call on if a toy is suitable for you and your body - especially when it comes to sizing. No two bodies are exactly alike, so always be sure to grab a measuring tape or ruler to get a good idea of the girths and insertable lengths on our products. We are very diligent in providing the important measurements for all of our insertable products. It's not a competition and you should never make demands of your genitalia to keep up with stereotypes or what you see in adult videos. Just remember that misuse or oversized toys can lead to injury, so start conservatively.
We try to provide measurements in both inches and centimetres wherever possible (1 Inch = 2.5cm), but if you need one or the other; don't forget that Google can convert units - just search for "3 inches in cm" and it'll do the hard work for you.
If in doubt, and particularly if you're new to the world of sex toys, we recommend that you start small and go from there. Even if you quickly replace them with something larger, they still may come in handy for travel or other areas of the body.
Before using any product (especially on an intimate part of your body) you should first check it for any damage, manufacturing faults or special instructions. While we do our best to inspect products before they go out, sometimes we miss little things or products are sealed for hygiene safety.
Always make sure that the smooth parts are totally smooth with no sharp seams or protrusions left over from the moulding process. Also ensure that battery operated toys function correctly. If you find a problem; don't use your toy. Contact us immediately and read about our Warranty and Returns Policy.
Materials and Lubricants
Our products are made from a range of materials and each one offers their own quirks, benefits and sensitivities. Choosing a material that's right for you depends on what sensations affect you most positively and how much work may be required when cleaning your toy afterwards. You should always use lube with adult toys which are inserted, or rub against your skin, and all toys should be cleaned properly before and after use. Some materials make life easier than others as explained below.
Plastics are great for vibrators as they transfer lots of the vibrations to your body. They're easy to care for because they are non-porous and can withstand harsh cleaners. Generally targeted at vaginal use because most basic vibrators don't flare enough at the base to be safely used in the anus. A cost-effective place to start for most women who just want the basics.
Lubricants: Water, Oil & Silicone-based lubes are all fine for plastic toys.
Glass/Pyrex & Metal
These materials offer incredible vibration transfer and super-easy clean-up. They can also offer wonderful sensations when cooled (never frozen), or heated (remember, they will transfer heat efficiently - so be careful!). They are typically larger in size and their rigid structure and wild shapes can be welcome for those of us who enjoy deeper penetrations or reaching special spots inside our bodies. Experienced users will surely have at least one glass or metal toy!
Lubricants: Water, Oil & Silicone-based lubes are all fine for glass, acrylic and metal toys.
Jelly Rubber & Latex
Jelly toys are a more cost effective option when flexibility and softness are required, but they do degrade over time. Depending on use, they can break down in months, but typically last for years. Jelly toys are very wobbly and soft, making them a great option for novices to both vaginal and anal toys. If you're new to the world of sex toys, consider starting here, but be warned that cleaning jelly toys is a little more involved than some other materials, and regular prolonged use will shorten its life span.
Lubricants: Silicone & Water-based are safe options here. Don't use Oil-based products with rubber or latex.
Silicone comes in a range of types, but the most popular one for adult toys is medical-grade non-porous silicone. This leads most silicone toys on the market to be firm but flexible, whilst offering very easy clean-up. Silicone toys come in all shapes and sizes for men and woman, front and back. They're long-lasting, colourful, wild, realistic, fantastic, and all things in between. Definitely a good investment - these toys stand up to the test of time; they're always there when you need them!
Brand-name realistic materials such as Cyberskin are specifically designed to feel like real flesh (some even have firm cores and complex contouring to simulate anatomy in every way!). They warm up to body temperature quickly, feel like skin and typically move about in a very convincing way. The drawbacks to this realism can be a distinctive smell to the product and a more involved cleaning process, but many people agree that it's a small price to pay for such realism.
Regular toy users will appreciate the level of quality and craftsmanship which goes behind these premium products. Targeted at men and women alike, you're sure to find a product that will amaze you.
Lubricants: Once again, water-based is the only option with these proprietary materials. Silicone & Oil based products can both cause irreparable damage.
Batteries and casings, along with any wiring, should be checked regularly or before every use just to make sure there is no corrosion or risk of electric shock. At Kanoodle we provide free batteries with every electric toy we sell (unless it already has batteries packed with it), but these are by no means designed to last forever.
Always replace batteries together as a set; don't mix old and new batteries as this can promote rapid discharging of your new batteries and even accelerate battery corrosion. Any modification to the batteries or power source of a product is not recommended as it can lead to injury, and will void the product warranty.
Important: When storing battery operated products, or if there are long periods between use, always remove the batteries completely to prevent leaking, which may irreparably damage your product.
Play fun, play safe
Finally, we just want to remind you that enjoying yourself with a Kanoodle product is about having fun. But it will always be up to you, our customer, to decide what you can and can't handle in an adult toy. Purchasing and using any of our products is subject to acceptance of our terms and conditions. We promise you'll have oodles of adult fun with any one of our toys, whether it's for you or your partner, as long as you take it slow and consider your safety at all times.
Additionally, here are some common sense rules you should follow to keep things clean, safe and pain-free:
Never use a toy that's too big or too small for your genitalia.
Always ensure you are in a safe place when using a toy; ie:
Don't use toys in ways where you can slip and fall onto the toy
Don't use battery operated toys near water, unless they are specifically design for it
Don't use toys when operating motor vehicles or machinery
Never use a toy you're not comfortable with
Never use a toy in ways not described in the instructions
Don't share toys between users without proper cleaning
Don't use toys in multiple orifices without proper cleaning between uses
Don't use broken or damaged toys
Sharing is caring
Sharing toys can be fun and exciting between couples of any gender or age. However, care must be taken not to spread infections or bacteria between partners. One easy way to achieve this is through the careful use of condoms on all insertable toys, changing the condoms between partners.
Additionally, cleaning between users with sanitizing solutions (where possible), followed by a good rinse, can also help avoid you sharing unwanted nasties. This goes double for the washes before use and before storage - if you don't know who will use the toy next, you want to ensure it's squeaky clean every time. Our information on Cleaning your Sex Toy will help pinpoint what types of toys are easiest to clean and sanitize; these are best for couples wanted to share a toy safely. Look for non-porous phthalate-free toys and just be careful not to share STI's through bad habits! We recommend against sharing realistic and jelly material toys.
Note: Never lend your toys to friends. Keep them to yourself or you and your partner only. If you change partners - change toys too! Don't risk your health over the cost of a new adult toy.
Cleaning & Hygiene
Cleaning your toys before AND after use is essential. It prolongs the life of your toys, prevents health problems and gives you a great opportunity to check them for wear and tear. Each material has its own set of care instructions, and cleaning is a vital part of that care process. If your toy doesn't include specific rules on how to clean it, follow the basic guides below or optionally use a condom (or do both!)
Just remember; rinse all cleaned toys with fresh water before insertion to prevent any cleaning chemicals from coming into contact with sensitive areas, and always be careful about temperatures if you're using dishwasher or boiling methods. We can't help you if you burn yourself on a boiled-clean metal toy - ouch! Also, see our Guide to Sex Toy Storage for what to do next after cleaning.
Remember to take extra care with battery operated toys when washing. Always remove batteries before cleaning and storage.
The best thing about your basic plastic vibrators and accessories is that you can wipe them down with anti-bacterial pre-moistened towelettes then give them a rinse and pat them dry. So easy!
Another simple way is a hand wash in warm or hot water (not boiling) with anti-bacterial soap. Rinse in clean water then dry with a lint-free cloth.
Pyrex Glass & Metal
Non-battery operated models can go in the dishwasher's top shelf (Caution! Toys cleaned in a dishwasher will come out extremely hot!) and all of them can benefit from hand washing in warm to hot water with anti-bacterial soap if you can't wait long enough for a cycle to finish.
Boiling for 10 minutes is also an option on Pyrex Glass toys.
Jelly Rubber & Latex
Most (if not all) 'jelly' type materials are porous, so you can't properly sanitize them (you can't boil them or put them in the dishwasher or use any harsh cleaning agents!).
Because of this, cleaning is limited to hand washing in warm or hot water with soap. Always allow adequate drying time and/or use a lint-free cloth.
Alternatively, you can prevent a lot of bacteria from touching your jelly toys by applying a condom and being conservative with the insertable length.
Non-battery operated toys can go in the top rack of your dishwasher, or you can hand wash with anti-bacterial soap and hot water, or even use sanitizing moist towelettes (remember to rinse thoroughly in clear water before using them!)
Boiling for 10 minutes is also possible on many unpowered silicone toys - check the product packaging or user guide to make sure.
Each brand name of realistic material toys has their own care instructions. If your toy didn't come with any, check the brand name of the website.
Cleaning these products is generally performed with warm soapy water, patting dry and finishing off with a dusting of the renewing powder or plain cornstarch before storage. Some products specifically prohibit the use of soaps, so please check first.
To make things easier, use a condom whenever you don't want a fiddly clean-up - then it's just a rinse, dry and powder cycle.
Never use talcum or baby powder on these toys. Cornflour or Cornstarch from the baking goods section at your supermarket is the right substitute to use. For us Australians, be sure and check the ingredients panel on your corn starch packet as some manufacturers sell wheat starch as cornflour. We recommend 'real' corn starch cornflour. Confused yet?
Storing your toys
Now this isn't the section where we tell you how to hide your naughty toys under your bed, but more about how to store and care for them, so they continue to provide years of loyal service :)
Storing your sex toys properly helps them last longer, stay cleaner and keeps them ready when you are. Whenever possible, separate your toys during storage. The easy way is to put them into individual lint-free cotton bags; making sure they're clean and dry before they go in. You could substitute for a fluffy material (like a sock) but be prepared to rinse your toys before use, which could postpone your pleasure! Why not sew your own purpose-made drawstring toy bags?
Follow these basic storage steps and your toys will make you smile for as long as they possibly can:
Wash and dry toys completely before storage to avoid mould and mildew - take special care with porous materials like jelly toys.
Remove batteries to avoid corrosion or accidental discharge. There's little worse when you're 'in the moment' and your best friend has run out of juice.
Separate your toys; ideally into lint-free cotton or microfiber bags.
Collect your toys into breathable containers such as bags or food containers with vents. Airflow will prevent condensation of any moisture.
Optionally lock your toys away to prevent them being discovered by guests, visitors, children and dogs playing fetch!
Also, don't freeze any of your toys. Porous toys are a definite no-no for freezing as the ice crystals will break the material apart from the inside. Never store your toys lubed up or unclean, either.
It basically comes down to treating your toys well when you're not using them so they can treat you well when you are. This goes the same for male and female toys and regardless of use.
Adult product lifespans
Sex toys aren't designed to last forever, but some materials and designs are more durable than others. For best results, you should get into the mindset that your toys will need replacing at some point, and that you shouldn't try to extend the life of a product unnaturally - especially not products marketed as 'one-use' or 'disposable'.
Prevention is the best cure when it comes to ensuring your products last as long as possible, so gentle treatment, proper cleaning and good storage will stand you in good stead for years of use even with jelly toys, which generally have the shortest lifespan of all the materials commonly available.
Next, consider that toys which use batteries or have moving parts are more susceptible to breakages even through normal use. Vibrating, wobbling, heating and remotely operated toys can run out of batteries at best, and at worst suffer from wear or even motor burnout in some cases. But if you've used them enough to wear them out, the time will have well and truly come for you to go shopping again!
Mould and mildew are problems for all toys if proper storage practices aren't observed. Just remember to clean AND dry your toys before putting them away. This means you, too, boys!
Jelly and rubber materials also suffer from chemical degradation over time, so even with all the care in the world, these toys will degrade. Eventually, this will lead to splits and breakages on the surface; a sure sign it's time to replace them. Check jelly toys regularly before use and replace them if you see any splitting when they bend. Don't risk losing a piece of toy inside yourself!
All wobbly toys can suffer from splits if they are used energetically or often, so be sure to keep an eye on your favourite silicone accessories just in case. Jewellery and other bling in and around the genital area can cause nicks and scratches on wiggly toys that can easily turn into splits if stressed.
Finally, basic breakages can occur at any time simply by accident. While we carry only Pyrex glass toys (dishwasher safe and extremely durable), they can be subject to abuse which results in a break. Metal toys can be scratched, dented or bent when dropped, and some of our more complex toys have small parts or weak points that may wear out or break off faster than the rest of the toy.
Keep an eye on your toys and never use a broken, damaged or unclean toy. It's much safer and healthier to buy a new one and not risk personal injury or infection!