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Traditionally, giving someone a sex toy as a gift has always been perceived as either a) a wildly inappropriate move, or b) a not-so-subtle hint that the recipient needs to spice up their sex life. But it’s 2014, you guys. CVS is selling vibrators and your grandma is reading Fifty Shades; the taboos are gone. It’s time we started considering sex toys an appropriate gift for the holidays, provided you’re not shopping for your boss or your mother-in-law. After all, what’s better than a gift that keeps on giving, i.e. a mechanically induced orgasm?
Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, these sex toys make a great stocking stuffer (pun intended.) In the spirit of sex-positivity, the Daily Dot has assembled a roundup of the year’s best sex toys, from vibrators to to couples’ toys to male masturbation sleeves. Just two words of caution: 1) When it comes to sex toys, sharing isn’t caring, so never put these in the “regift” pile, and 2) Some of these babies are pretty powerful, so if you give one of these to a friend, don’t be surprised if you don’t see them until the New Year.
Fact: 93 percent of women cannot come from penetration alone during sex. Wanna change that, ladies? Try the We-Vibe, a curved couples’ vibe that fits snugly in your vagina, stimulating your G-spot and your clitoris at the same time. It’s fairly unobtrusive, so it’ll stimulate your clitoris during sex while simultaneously stimulating your partner’s penis with gentle, subtle vibrations. (True story: I tried it with my boyfriend, and he said that while he barely felt the vibrations, he enjoyed the We-Vibe because it made for a snugger fit than usual. Which didn’t make me feel super great, but is a plus in We-Vibe’s corner, I suppose.)
The We-Vibe can also be controlled via remote app, so if your partner is on a business trip and you’re riding the We-Vibe solo, he can control both the G-spot and the clitoral stimulators by choosing one of a series of vibrational patterns, including “Wave,” “Cha-Cha-Cha,” and my personal favorite, “Pulse.”
Much like the We-Vibe, the Eva is a hands-free vibrator that can be worn during penetrative sex to stimulate the clitoris. But unlike the We-Vibe, the Eva doesn’t go in your vagina itself; rather, it tucks under your labia majora, so it stays in place and stimulates your clit while failing to obstruct penetration. The Eva is USB-rechargeable, and you don’t have to cycle through multiple patterns or levels—there’s only one button, so all you have to do to get off is turn it on.
Available for pre-order for $105
Created by husband-and-wife duo Suki and Brian Dunham, OhMiBod’s Blue Motion massager is a slim, Bluetooth-enabled wearable vibrator that can be worn inside your panties; it looks like a bit like a sleek, connected Maxipad. The Bluemotion is controlled remotely via app, so your partner can control the rhythm of vibrations by cycling through a set number of patterns. There’s also a voice control setting, so if your partner can comfortably hit the low notes in “Ol’ Man River,” you should definitely try it out.
Toys for boys
Pulse is a male vibrator, or “guybrator,” that functions as a sex toy for both men and couples. Essentially, it’s a sheath that can be worn solo or during sex that delivers powerful oscillations, rather than vibrations, to stimulate the frenulum, or the small tissue underneath the glans of the penis. Hot Octopuss founder Adam Lewis told the Daily Dot earlier this year that he created the Pulse after realizing there was a lack of male vibrators on the market delivering frenulum stimulation, rather than “the age-old up-and-down motion that’s proven successful for millennia.”
No end-of-year sex toy list would be complete without the Autoblow 2, the automated blowjob machine/miniature R2D2 lookalike that went viral earlier this year. The oral sex stimulation features three different custom sleeves for smaller penises, average-sized penises, and more well-endowed gentlemen. While we’ve heard mixed things about the Autoblow 2 itself—one person I spoke with who tried it out said that it tore his frenulum—the machine is the first successfully crowdfunded male pleasure product of all time, blowing (pun intended) well past its $45,000 fundraising goal, so there must be at least a few happy customers.
Looking for something discreet on a budget? Try the Iroha Mini Vibe, a small, compact, Easter-egg-colored vibrator that fits neatly into the palm of your hand. Sure, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles as some of the other toys on this list do, but its low price and the fact that you can sneak it into your purse on a flight without raising any TSA agent’s eyebrows is definitely a plus.
My First Rabbit Vibe
Simple. Classic. Elegant. Well, maybe not so much that last one, but if you’re shopping for a starter sex toy, and discretion is not so much of a priority for you, the Rabbit is always a tried-and-true classic. (Plus, who doesn’t love those adorable little ears?)
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that screams “sex toy” a little less than a giant neon vibrating dildo, try Crave’s Vesper, a sleek, stainless steel pendant that doubles as a whisper-quiet clitoral vibrator. The USB-rechargeable Vesper looks more like a nail than a sex toy, but it’s still extremely powerful: It has four different speeds, including low, medium, high, and “pulsing.”
Revel Body Sonic Vibrator
So OK, it looks a little bit like a webcam-meets-WALL*EE, but the Revel Body Sonic Vibrator is actually made of pretty powerful stuff. Unlike most vibrators, the Revel Body relies on sonic motor technology, meaning it produces high-performance pulsing vibrations. (It’s a similar type of tech to the kind you’d find in a vibrating toothbrush.) Unfortunately, while the Revel Body looks relatively discreet, it’s actually pretty loud, so make sure the kids are out of the house when you turn it on for the first time.
Jimmy Jane Form 6
If you look on any sex toy review website throughout the web, the Jimmy Jane Form 6 is bound to make repeat appearances; next to the Hitachi Magic Wand, it’s one of the most beloved toys on the market. Though conventionally phallic in shape, the Form 4 is unique in its softness and flexibility, adapting to the shape of your vagina. The Form 4 is also renowned for its deep, rumbling vibrations, and the Jimmy Jane website touts it as the “Barry White of vibrators.”
If you’re finding the toys on this list a little, shall we say, heteronormative, here’s the Ambrosia Vibe, a strap-on that’s being marketed as “the world’s first bionic dildo.” Created by a physics PhD who goes by the name Dr. X, the Ambrosia Vibe senses when pressure is being applied to it, so if your partner sucks or strokes on it, the toy will deliver corresponding vibrations on the dildo’s base, so the wearer will feel it on the other end. (The smart vibrator the Hum, which is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, operates via similar principles.) It’s a great toy for same-sex couples or those interested in pegging, as well as curious, kinky ladies who’ve just always wondered what it feels like to have a penis.
Available for preorder for $149
Created by PicoBong (a subsidiary of high-end Swedish sex toy brand Lelo), the Transformer is an all-inclusive sex toy that can be used by anyone of any gender or sexual orientation: According to the product website, it’s a “rabbit vibe, a clitoral massager, a cock-ring, a G-spot stimulator, a prostate massager” all in one, “perfect for her, him, her & him, him & him, her & her, and every other combination possible.” Essentially, it’s a slim but flexible piece of silicon with two vibrating ends that can be contorted to the user’s purpose.
Photo via Michelle Tribe/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.