Let’s Talk About Sex (Toys), Baby: In Conversation With Venus Envy

It’s great to have sex with a partner – or partners! – but sometimes, you just want to get it on by yourself. Hands are great, pillows are helpful… but there are so many toys to choose from that help your solo time go from good to mind-blowing.

We chatted with Sam Whittle, Sex Educator and Therapist as well as owner of Venus Envy Ottawa about how to pick your sex toys and what they can do for your sex life!

The PRSNLS: Let’s talk about sex toys! What are the top three things to keep in mind when buying a sex toy for maybe the first time?

Venus Envy: The first important thing to know is that there’s not one best sex toy. We often get questions from people who want the best seller or the one that all the staff like, which is totally understandable, but people are just so different that different things are going to work for everybody. I would say if you’re starting out with sex toys, try and think about what works for you and what you might like versus what someone would recommend or what internet lists day.

PRSNLS: That makes sense – we’re all different!

Venus Envy: Exactly! The second most important thing is the quality of the toy, the safety of the materials. There’s no one regulating the sex toy industry, so it’s important to do some research into the things you’re putting literally in your body. And the third is to think of buying sex toys as something fun, an exploration.

PRSNLS: How can people explore sex toys more in-depth?

Venus Envy: There’s no right way to use a sex toy – the beauty of toys is that you just get to explore lots of different things with yourself, with a partner or partners. In fact, toys can be really amazing at helping you do that.

PRSNLS: For people who are just starting out now, being stuck at home during the pandemic, what’s something they should look for when buying a new sex toy?

Venus Envy: I would always recommend looking for something that has a variety of functions and ways you can use it. If it’s a vibrator, maybe some different vibration patterns and functions, or something that’s double-ended or has a large variety of textures. Since you can’t return a sex toy if you don’t like it, it’s nice to get something that gives you options.

PRSNLS: If someone is struggling to find a toy for them, what should they consider?

Venus Envy: We always say it’s best to ask us! We really do want you to like your toy. A lot of people will go off ratings and try something like a Magic Wand first, but it might be too strong or too loud for you! This is another thing to think about – if you’re living with people, you might need something quiet or something you can use in the shower. Then there’s the question of if you’re using it on your own or with partner(s) – these all play into what kind of toy you should by.

PRSNLS: In speaking with Come As You Are, a sex shop collective in Toronto, we heard they’re seeing an uptick in remote toys since the beginning of the pandemic. Is Venus Envy seeing the same thing, or any other trends?

Venus Envy: We’ve really seen an uptick in everything really! We’re seeing more anal toys, maybe because this is a chance to have some time to try new things. For remote control toys, there are so many cool features – some are Bluetooth with an app, which means someone can control them from anywhere in the world. With your permission, of course! It’s a good way to feel that interaction if you have to be distant from someone for whatever reason.

PRSNLS: What would you say is the most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about getting a sex toy?

Venus Envy: I think it can be so empowering! We’re told that sex is something you have to do with one other person. Exploring the pleasure on your own terms and literally taking it into your own hands can be such an empowering process. Knowing that you don’t have to rely on someone else to have an orgasm or feel good about your body can make such a huge difference for people.

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