Audre Lorde taught us that caring for ourselves is “not self-indulgence, it is an act of political resistance,” and although we can meme and tweet the hell out of those words, living into them is decidedly harder. As queer people in particular, we have a deeper socialization to overcome, one that tells us that most of us don’t matter. This is especially true if you are a person who lives with multiple marginalized identities. We are constantly being told that our health, our votes, our work, our safety, our families, our lives don’t matter—not as much as those of cis white men.
Let’s face it. The world and most industries assume consumers are heterosexual, able bodied, and fair skinned. The norm for sex toys is assuming the toy needs to be able to be included in partnered, penetration-focused sex. So where does that leave queer people? Disabled people? Even ace people are left out of the equation. So how does one go shopping for toys that might not be intended for them? Especially in times like this where pleasure is more political than ever.
Queer sex tends to be a lot more creative than sex between heterosexual partners.
Queer sex tends to be a lot more creative than sex between heterosexual partners. Despite marketing to the contrary, most sex toys can be used on all body types, and between any and all kinds of sexual or romantic partners. Also, remember that incorporating sex toys into your sex life doesn’t mean that your skills are lacking, it just means that you’re open to switching up how you and/or your partner experience pleasure.
Get creative! Think about sensation. What kind of sensation are you looking to add to your sexual repertoire? Are you looking for something that you and your partner can both grind against? Do you want something to create suction and make your bits more sensitive? Maybe something that can stimulate you while you’re wearing a harness? Thinking of it in terms of the sensation that you’re seeking is the easiest way to find the pleasure tool to add to your sexual arsenal.
Sex toys don’t have a gender, they have a purpose. They are pleasure tools and you get to decide how to incorporate them, or not incorporate them into your sex life. Talking about toys that are best for queer folks leaves room for people to explore, use their imaginations, and follow their desires. It also helps for all people to know that they are worthy of self-love, whatever that looks like to them. Sex is more then penetration, and it’s all valid as long as it’s consentual. Sex toys might come with instructions, but there’s no right or wrong way to use them. There are only a few safety precautions.
The queerest thing you can buy is lube.
Queer sex is a utopia of fluids, liquids, lotions, and lubes. A prepared queer person is basically a chemist. We have to know which lubricants contain ingredients that front holes should avoid, that the ass does not self lubricate (which means it definitely needs lube!), which lubes work with latex condoms and which ones do not, and how to get creative in a pinch when all you have at your disposal is a kitchen, bathroom, or garage. The queerest thing you can buy is lube. Most queer people know that lube is necessary and just makes things feel better. Particularly with sex toys, lube is an important additional to all kinds of sex. From penetration, to hand or oral manipulation, to sex toy use, lube enhances it all and keeps everything nice and slippery.
Lube can even act as a protective factor during sex. This is because it prevents excessive friction, which can break down condoms and cause small tears in the genital area. While oil based lube isn’t compatible with latex, support a queer business and get some great, long lasting, moisturizing lube with The Butters Cocoa Butter lube or my favorite Aloe X Shea lube.
Strokers can be used on a variety of bodies and in a few different ways. It’s not just for a penis. Strokers are made in a variety of sizes so folks who have a clit might be able to use certain styles if they want to experience that sensation. The Kiss X, FTM Stroker, Pitstop silicone sleeve, or even a Tenga Egg can work on varying genital anatomy and size.
You can also flip things like a Tenga Egg inside out, lube it up and use it to add a different sensation or texture to your hand rubbing on a vulva. Just make sure you lube it up! If the Tenga Egg is inside out, you can also put it over the head of a wand-style vibrator to change up the texture of the head, or just add some squishiness to it.
Anything that goes in the back door needs to have a base on it.
Queering Anal Toys
Anal toys tend to be pretty queer in general. These are also some of the only toys that have a rule to follow. Anything that goes in the back door needs to have a base on it. The vagina has the cervix so nothing can get lost; but the back door doesn’t have anything to stop things from going and going and going. In fact, the other end of your ass is your mouth! So when looking for toys that are safe to go in the backdoor, they must have some type of base. With that being said, there are toys that are anal safe that aren’t traditional anal toys that you can keep in mind when exploring the back door.
Anal doesn’t have to mean penetration, so if you wanted to just tease the outside the Fun Factory Volta is perfect. It’s fluttering ears can tease the outside sphincter without having to worry about slipping inside by accident. It’s shape is also great for any body part that is craving fluttering teasing, or long strokes. While there are a few anal toys that do interesting things, sometimes the options for things that thrust or rotate are limited for the back door. A lot of the time, rabbit style toys that have those features are anal safe! The external arm that is designed to vibrate on a clit is perfect for holding the toy safely outside of the body, and if the person using it has a prostate, the external arm will vibrate nicely on the perineum. The Blush Hop Trix and Fun Factory Amorino are great smaller options for folks wanting vibrating anal toys. The curve will either stimulate the prostate directly, or indirectly stimulate the G spot through the thin wall of the vagina. The Pirouette is a great anal toy for those looking for rotation. The base is a suction cup, and sometimes lowering yourself onto a toy can be easier to try anal penetation. It also has a remote so you don’t have to worry about fumbling with the buttons while you’re sitting on the toy.
One of the main issues I’ve experienced while using a double dildo is one person gets more of the toy then the other.
When people think of queer sex toys harnesses and dildos are probably the first thing to come to mind. There are quite a few ways to make a harness more pleasurable to the wearer but my favorite dildo hack is making my own double dildo. The classic double dildo you see in porn is hard to find in body safe materials, or a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. So being able to customize your own is a great way to be in charge of your pleasure. One of the main issues I’ve experienced while using a double dildo is one person gets more of the toy then the other. The Together Toy is another great option that also has vibration built right in. Suctioning two dildos together is a great way to have a sort of stopper so one person is being penetrated to their desires. Only one dildo needs a suction cup for it to work, the Blush dildos tend to have really strong suction cups. Or if you have 2 toys you like and neither have a suction cup, you can add the NYTC double suction cup and suction the two bases together! You can even add a vibrating ring to the dildos if you wanted to add vibration to your playtime as well.
Everytime you invest in pleasure you are doing queer-ness right. Pleasure is political and self-care. To fully invest in a future where we all can live happily and freely we must fight oppression, while not forgetting to give our bodies, mind and soul pleasure and care. Now go forth and use all the toys in any way you desire!