By Toni Brannagan
Figuring out what *you* like usually requires a bit of experimentation, and there’s no better way to do that than seeking some battery-powered help. And let’s be real, it’s pretty hard to get most things right on the first try.
I asked a few friends to reminisce about the trials and errors (and sometimes successes!) of their first forays into the world of sex toys. Here’s what they had to say:
“I got my first sex toy at 26 (is that late? idk) — I’d always been curious, but never really curious enough to actually buy one. I had started seeing these sleek, artsy, pastel-colored toys online from Unbound that looked nothing like those how-in-the-hell-is-that-going-to-fit dildos I’d seen in the window display at Pleasure Chest, and they were kind of too cute to pass up. So I settled on their Bender, a flexible mint-green vibrator shaped like a tongue depressor, used it pretty much *immediately* after it arrived in its nondescript cardboard box, and, well, wow. I’ve really been missing out.” - Rachel
“In 2016, Babeland (a local sex shop in NYC) was doing a promotion for anyone who showed up to their store with an “I voted!” sticker to get a free toy. I’m a person who tries to vote earlier in the day, so I got my sticker and happily made my way to Babeland. I had the choice of a bullet vibrator and a butt plug, and ended up with the vibrator. It’s still going strong after having it for 3 years .” -Kim
“When I was 6 years old I was always intrigued by my father's back massager. I had recently discovered that touching myself felt REAL good and then one day it hit me, I could use the massager somewhere other than my back - I had to try it. I set the scene for my first time masturbating: My mom and sister were sitting at the kitchen table in the other room, me and that massager hiding behind my father's leather arm chair (my father wasn't sitting in it btw) and turned it on the highest speed. I don't know where that perfect massager is 23 years later, but I've upgraded since then, without hiding behind that leather armchair.” - Ana
“The first sex toy I actually used (that wasn’t a gag gift) was a bullet vibrator my boyfriend bought me from some random store on the Lower East Side. It was rose gold, really tiny, but got the job done. A year later, we tried using it in the shower and it stopped working. (The box said it was waterproof. The box lied.) I would have gotten another one but—guess what?—rose gold was discontinued. Aesthetic was and is a very important factor in my sexual pleasure. I mourn that loss to this day.” -Caroline
“My best friend bought me a hot pink dildo for my 16th birthday as a joke — even if it wasn’t, I never got around to using it because my 10-year-old brother found it in my room and gave it to my mom. The ensuing conversation did not go well.” -Shaobo
“I got my first sex toy right after Star Magazine reported that Angelina Jolie wore vibrating underwear that Brad Pitt had a remote control for. I definitely wanted in on that action so I bought a tiny flat silver vibrator designed to be worn inside underwear. It basically didn’t work at all for my body or preferences... or at all. In retrospect this was probably a gag gift and not meant for ongoing use. Plus Brangelina broke up.” -Mira
“I’m no Inspector Gadget or anything, but I’d like to think that I was pretty resourceful as a young, bustling, explorative 13 year old. My first “toy” that I played with for pleasure was an electric Oral B toothbrush. I mean, it’s compact, slightly hums, and you don’t ever need to charge it! Let’s just say that this toy didn’t last me a long time (mostly because it was a fucking toothbrush and it was time to graduate to new hardware)…..but every time I pass through the oral hygiene aisle, I always have a chuckle thinking about being saved by the buzz.” - Dani
“My sorority hosted a sex toy party and I won a raffle for 50% off any product. (To enter the raffle, you had to lick to the center of a tootsie pop. This seems like an important detail.) I picked out a pink rabbit vibrator that was waaay bigger when it was out of the box than I expected. It was so intimidating that I only ended up using it like half a dozen times, and ended up getting rid of it before my parents moved me out of my dorm at the end of the semester.” -Molly
You always remember your *first*. Share yours with us in the comments.