Oh, Valentine's Day. Sure, men, you have to buy flowers and dinner, but you might be able to leverage that into getting her to later do the kinky stuff typically reserved for birthdays (yours, not hers).
Since I'm no sexpert (I still giggle every time I hear the word "Uranus"), I took a field trip to trusty adult shop ConRev in Costa Mesa. Super-helpful store manager Loan Phan pointed out everything from "super-soft stuff" such as feather ticklers and gel that makes a schlong taste like strawberries to hardcore apparatuses for those who play on expert mode.
VIBRATING COCK RINGS
Phan recommends the hands-free gadgets for "couples that haven't experienced a whole lot of toys." Screaming O Touch Plus' soft jelly ring constricts blood flow in the penis, which heightens sensitivity, and, when turned on, transforms your member into a living vibrator. Screaming O Touch Plus, $9.95.
It used to be that dominatrix-style lingerie sets cost upward of $100, but then companies finally realized such things are just going to get flung off and buried under furniture. Phan says the store now carries lower-priced sexywear that has a "bondage feel," such as the set by Chains of Love that includes an open bra, a lace thong and collar, and lace wrist restraints. Chains of Love set, $34.95.
Fun-in-theory, uncomfortable-in-real-life, remote-control panties pale in comparison to the We-Vibe 3, a vibrator that can be worn during sex or, more daringly, out in public—at restaurants, parties, business meetings, you name it. A wireless remote control operates the sleek massager from a distance of 10 feet. "It's completely waterproof," Phan adds, "so you can take it into the Jacuzzi or swimming pool." We-Vibe 3, $169.95.
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If you're "over the whole vibrator thing," Phan says, the next step might be electrosex, a practice in which people stimulate nerves using a power source. She recommends the Zeus Beginner Electrosex Kit. Ow? "It feels like when you go to the chiropractor and he puts those little pads on," she says, adding, "It's obviously not for everyone." Zeus Beginner Electrosex Kit, $119.95.
This column appeared in print as "Titillating Toys."