Lindsay Goldwert

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Sex toys for self isolation: the best tech for getting off

Is the apocalypse making you horny? These devices can definitely help.

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Coronavirus has driven us indoors, starved us of human contact, and filled us with existential anxiety. The days of imagining what it would be like to get laid during the zombie apocalypse seem more like everyday life instead of comic book horror fantasy.

And yet, the human spirit triumphs. According to recently released data from PornHub, the world is bonded, not only by infectious disease, but by horniness. Can catastrophe be a turn-on? Maybe. We long for the touch of another; to make love now for tomorrow, we may die. Or there’s something kinky about seeing a sexy stranger on the street wearing a mask.

Not surprisingly, in addition to stocking up on toilet paper, Lysol, and canned tomatoes, many Americans are upgrading their sex toys. European countries in the thick of the pandemic have already reported a spike in sales. The German sex toy maker Womanizer reported an increase in sales in the U.S, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada and Japan.

The world is bonded, not only by infectious disease, but by horniness.

To find out the bestselling toys and accouterment that have been flying off the shelves and into discreet packaging, we spoke to Adam & Eve and Lovehoney, two giant online retailers of adult toys and products.

Note: For those who want to support small businesses, you can find many of these products or ones that are similar at independent retailers and shops.

Solo play

As aficionados and attendees of CES know, toys for female pleasure have come a long way from plastic and AA batteries.

While Lovehoney reports strong sales of its classic rabbit vibrator, people are upgrading to the turbo-charged Fifty Shades of Grey Greedy Girl Slimline Rabbit Vibrator, ($59.49). Per Sammi Cole, Lovehoney’s resident sexpert, this buzzing bunny has 36 vibrating settings for clitoral and G spot stimulation. Fans of minimalism may appreciate the Mantric Rechargeable Clitoral Vibrator ($59.99). This chic, palm-sized unitasker does one thing and does it well. Bonus: It’s extremely quiet for those who are self-isolating in a house with family or housemates.

Fifty Shades of Grey Greedy Girl Slimline Rabbit Vibrator.Lovehoney.

The best-selling Satisfyer Pro 2 ($49.99) is designed to mimic the sensation of oral sex. It uses waves of air pressure for indirect stimulation and its specially shaped tip hugs your clit for eye-popping orgasms. Like many other clitoral stimulators, it’s waterproof—helpful if your only place of privacy is your bathroom.

Satisfyer Pro 2.Adam & Eve.

For gents looking to become a stroker ace, there’s lots to choose from. According to Lovehoney’s bestseller charts, dudes were dropping money on the Tenga Deep Throat OnaCup ($16.95) and the pricier Fleshlight Pink Lady Stamina Training Unit ($84.99), which claims to help increase stamina and make you a “better lover.” (Godspeed, fellas). Not a bestseller but recommended: Lovehoney Hot Shot Rechargeable Warming Male Masturbator ($79.99) heats up and vibrates to is to mimic the sensations of oral sex.

Hot Shot Rechargeable Warming Male Masturbator.Lovehoney.

Couples toys

Both Adam & Eve and Lovehoney report a spike in sales for products aimed at livening up sex with your partner. Couples (or throuples) with time on their hands have been snapping up a variety of toys aimed at mutual stimulation and increased dual sensation.

Happy Rabbit Remote Control Cock Ring.Lovehoney.

Adam & Eve’s Couples stretchy Enhancer Ring ($29.99) and the Big O Multi-Stage Vibrating Penis Ring ($19.99) are both top sellers. Both gives her clitoral stimulation during intercourse and bonus vibrations for the wearer. The Happy Rabbit Remote Control Cock Ring ($69.99) also delivers a dual buzz. Adam & Eve’s resident sexpert Jenni Skyler, PhD, LMFT, CST, recommends finger vibrators, like the Fingo Nubby Vibrator ($19.99) for couples or for solo play.

Trapped in separate residences under quarantine? The popular Desire Luxury App Controlled Love Egg ($139.99) puts the power in your lover’s hand. Reviewers praise the sensations but reviewers caution that it’s not for those with iffy WiFi connections.

Desire Luxury App Controlled Love Egg Vibrator.Lovehoney.

Vanilla sex not doing it for you in these heightened times? Skyler suggests throwing some bondage in your basket and seeing where your imagination goes. Play with power, role play, or just start thinking differently about what turns you on. “Fantasy and bondage themed toys and games are great to lighten the mood and keep things interesting.”

Fingo Nubby Finger Vibrator.Lovehoney.

Anal toys

The world is going to hell—so now is the time to gather ye rosebuds, so to speak. Anal-themed toys for all genders are selling like hotcakes. And why not? “Couples and individuals are feeling cooped up and feel the need to try something new and different,” said Skyler.

BASICS Vibrating Butt Plug.Lovehoney.

Lovehoney’s petite 3.5 inch Vibrating Butt Plug has scooted up the charts to become a bestseller. Reviewers praised it for being a great toy for beginners but warn that left to its own devices, it may travel inside the body. Now is not a great time for a trip to the ER, so consider a similar toy with a flared base for peace of mind.

Don’t forget the lube. Lovehoney touts its 8.5 oz Enjoy Water-Based Lubricant ($18.99) as a tried and true bestseller because “like ketchup, it goes with everything.” But most brands have great water-based lubes, some more appropriate for anal play than others.

Toy Cleaners

Americans may have dirty thoughts but they seem to be doing their best to keep it clean. “While toy sales remain strong, we are currently seeing more couples-themed toys move into our top 20 list,” said Skylar. “Customers seem to be taking the hand-washing mandate a step further as well, with sales of toy cleaner being one of our top sellers.”

TENGA Standard Edition Deep Throat Onacup.Lovehoney.

There are as many opinions about which toy cleaner is best based on the material (silicon, plastic, metal) so it’s best to read the product’s instructions on which works best for your particular item.

Think of it all as self-care—the kind that lets you breathe a sigh of relief and reminds you that there’s more to life than looking at your doom-laden Twitter feed. Those brief rushes of pleasure and bliss (followed by a nap) are a brief balm for our existential anxieties and allow for a few moments of stillness.

“In stressful situations, some people really enjoy sex as an intimate distraction to release the happy hormones like oxytocin and dopamine. Other people are too stressed to even think about sex,” says Skyler. “Some default to self-pleasure, sometimes with a favorite toy, because arousal and orgasm are nature's way to calm and soothe the stressed human body.”

(Whatever turns you on, baby. Just wash your hands.)