This guest post is from the fabulous Sarah at Marvelous Darling. Since I am not a romance expert, I was so excited to feature some of Sarah’s knowledge to help you sift through the marketing this Valentine’s Day. If you decide to spice up your love life with some adult products- you’ll make an educated decision to get products that are good for your wallet and safe for your body, since there is a lot of bad stuff out there!
This is typically a family friendly blog, but I made an exception since the marketing out there for VDay doesn’t always have consumer’s best interests at heart & Sarah knows her stuff on how to shop smart and safe..with a frugal twist, enjoy!
Hey Frugal Beautiful readers! I am so excited to be guest posting today! The lovely Shannyn has agreed to let me drop some knowledge from my time working as an adult product reviewer and salesperson. Let’s make this your sexiest Valentine’s Day yet!
First Things First- Safety!
Safety is number 1, but you must know, not all companies are looking out for you. Whether you’re playing alone or with a partner, it’s important to take care of your body. The products that I recommend all meet my personal safety standards, focusing on ease and safety of use and cleaning. You can find many of these products at your local adult store, but I’ll also be including links to purchase online from one of my favorite retailers, SheVibe.com.
Slippery Stuff and Massage Mania
A good water-based lubricant is the cornerstone of any adult arsenal. Many women who have tried drugstore lubricants have had bad reactions to ingredients like glycerin and parabens, or they’ve been stuck with a sticky, goopy mess. I’m telling you, it does not have to be like this!
I love Sliquid brand lubricant so much that if I could go around handing it out, I would. Everything they make is free of glycerin and parabens, it’s not tested on animals, and it’s completely vegan friendly. My personal favorite is Sliquid Sassy, a thicker formula that’s great for myriad uses, though it was designed for back door fun. (I like it because it’s not runny, so you don’t end up accidentally lube wrestling.)
I’ve had a lot of customers request a massage oil that can be used safely as a lubricant. Unfortunately, there is no true massage “oil” that is safe for internal use. I have good news, though! A quality silicone lubricant makes an awesome unscented massage liquid and lasts forever as a lubricant during sex. If you want a frugal solution to having a million bottles in your bedside drawer, pick up some Sliquid Silver or System JO Premium Silicone Lubricant.
If you prefer an oil for massage, and you’re really feeling frugal, pick up some Virgin Coconut Oil from Trader Joe’s. Seriously. The molecular makeup of coconut oil is such that it absorbs particularly well into skin, and the scent is light and obviously natural. Plus, at $6 for a big jar, you can slather it all over and not feel like you have to save it for special occasions only. And you smell like an Almond Joy!
(Note: You cannot use silicone lubricant with silicone toys. Silicone’s molecular makeup is such that it is always looking to bond with other silicone molecules, and you will destroy your toys if you mix silicones.)
Toys, Toys, Toys
The number one thing to look for in a toy is its material. Silicone, ABS plastic, metal (like stainless steel), and glass are the most hygienic, and will not break down if they’re cleaned with dish soap and water. But watch out! A toy only has to be 10% silicone for it to be labeled “silicone” – so always look for the fine print! If you spy a toy that you just have to have, at least be sure it’s advertised as “phthalate-free”.
To get the most bang for your buck, look for toys with warranties, like those from Evolved Novelties ($-$$), WeVibe ($$-$$$), and Lelo ($$-$$$$). They cover manufacturing defects and even busted motors, which is more common than you would think!
I’m going to break my toy recommendations down by couples and then singles. (I bought my first luxury toy for myself last Valentine’s Day, and let me tell you, it was probably the best Valentine’s I had in college.)
For male/female couples:
If you’re on a budget, I love Screaming O brand C-rings. The bands themselves are very stretchy and comfortable, and the bullets they use are PowerBullets, which are very well regarded both for power and for the low environmental impact of the factory in which they’re made.
For a bit more, you can upgrade to the Lelo Bo (1 speed) or the Lelo Tor 2 (multi-speed). Both are made of silicone and ABS plastic, are rechargeable, and come with a 1-year warranty.
Pro tip: Use plenty of water-based lubricant with C-rings – that will make them far more comfortable to put on and take off!
For female/female couples:
If you’re fluid-bonded (you’ve not been using dental dams, or you’ve shared toys before), you can really have a lot of fun picking out non-porous toys that both of you will enjoy. I know that not every lesbian couple is into strap-ons, and they can be pricey if you want something that will last. But, if you’ve been looking for something quality of that nature, check out MySpare for harnesses and Tantus for compatible toys. If you prefer external stimulation and play, I love toys like the WeVibe Touch ($$$) or the Lelo Mia ($-$$), both with 1-year warranties.
For Fabulous Singles:
Whether you’re erring on the frugal side or you want to spoil yourself, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to invest in a new toy! Orgasms improve mood, focus, and health – and toys don’t steal all the blankets while you’re asleep.
If you’re looking for a solid toy that won’t break the bank, I recommend buying online so you can read the reviews. SheVibe, Babeland, and Lovehoney.com all provide reviews on their product pages, as well as star ratings so you can get a quick idea of how well the toy performs. I absolutely love my Vibratex Tulip wand, which retails for $26 at SheVibe and performs as well as some of my most expensive toys.
Planning to Treat Yo-self? You have a lot of luxury options! WeVibe makes some wonderful external vibrators like the Touch, the Tango, and the Salsa, all of which have been rated very highly by other trusted reviewers. My stand-by favorites include the Vibratex Mystic Wand, Vixen Creations VixSkin dildos, and the Lelo Mia.
And finally, shop the sales! Valentine’s Day means tons of online sales targeted at couples, but why shouldn’t you share in the fun?