Self-Care Tips

7 Household Items That Double As Convenient, Budget-Friendly Sex Toys

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Morgan MandriotaDecember 20, 2019

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Photo: Getty Images/Igor Vershinsky

Whether your go-to vibrator is on the fritz, you’re jonesing to try something new, you’re interested in spicing up your partnered bedroom activities, or, I don’t know, it’s just a slow Tuesday night, you may find yourself in the market for a new sex toy. But rather than dip into yours savings, how about repurposing certain items that are already laying around your home? You may not realize it at first glance, but rooms of your home—including kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom—are already full of items that can double as household sex toys for pleasuring yourself and your partners. And since you already own these goods, they’re basically free to use.

But before you go digging around nightstand drawers, medicine cabinets, and the fridge, keep in mind that you’d be wise to exercise caution to avoid potential health risks associated with using household sex toys: “The major health risk is always infection [from] either bacteria that’s already on the product or that can get inside the product,” says OB-GYN Heather Bartos, MD, founder of Badass Women, Badass Health. Injury from sharp items is another potential risk.

So to use (and enjoy) household toys as safely as possible, Dr. Bartos recommends making sure there are no sharp or rough edges on the product, because “even the smallest ridge can cause a cut, which can bleed or get infected.” From there, clean the item(s) with a toy cleaner or wash (non-food products) in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Once your new “toy” is checked and washed, a condom should ideally be used to guarantee the toy is ready for play. Now for the fun part:

Below, learn about the 7 household sex toys you can start playing with ASAP

1. Cell phone

You know that device you keep on hand at all times? The one that vibrates when it rings? Well, do yourself a favor and use those very accessible vibrations to your advantage. You can also level-up your phone’s vibration game with apps offering different vibration speeds and patterns, like iVibe. “Remember that a cell phone’s vibration should be for external use only, and never around water,” says Dr. Bartos. “Ideally, it should be cleaned with an alcohol swab ahead of time because cell phones carry tons of gross germs.”

You can also level-up your phone’s vibration game with apps offering different vibration speeds and patterns, like iVibe.

And, while you’re at it, turn on airplane mode, so you don’t accidentally accept any incoming calls in the heat of the moment.

2. Back massagers

Use that back massager you bought to ease your aches and pains a long time ago. You know, vibrators weren’t originally referred to as “personal massagers” for no reason. Enjoy this cousin of the sex toy how in whatever way you’d most like to use it.

3. Shower head

Whether you’re dabbling in having shower sex with your partner or you’re in the mood for a sexy solo masturbation session, do yourself a favor and detach that shower head for some high-pressurized, wet fun. Be careful not to place the product directly on or inside of the vagina to avoid infection.

4. Belt or rope

Ever considered the fact that you have a could-be sex toy wrapped around your waist every day? After setting ground rules with your partner for safe and consensual sex, you can play around with restraints by using a belt as a whip, choker, or leash. And if your pants magically never fall down so you have no need to own belts? Dig into your toolkit and get handy with rope instead. And of course, be aware of safety measures to adhere to when experimenting with kink, like rope play, before tightly tying intricate knots around someone’s wrists that you may not be able to undo.

5. Ice cubes

Ice cubes are an amazing, zero-dollar household sex toy. Let them melt on your partner’s nipples, vulva, or clitoris, or keep a cube in your mouth as you go down on them. That said, Dr. Bartos warns that frozen items, including popsicles, should never be inserted into the vagina because they can cause frostbite and severe vaginal damage.

6. Candles

If you own any coconut oil or essential-oil-based candles, allow them to burn for a while so a pool of oil collects at the top of the jar. Once a decent amount has been collected, blow out the candle and let the liquid cool a bit before using it for a sensual massage.

Test the wax with the tip of your finger first to make sure that it’s ready for use (as in, not scorching hot, so you don’t burn yourself or your partner). You want to heat things up, but you definitely don’t want to rush to the emergency room for second-degree burns on your most sensitive parts.

7. Food

Phallic-shaped foods can easily double as a dildo, but using them as penetrative sex toys carries a list of safety precautions, like cleaning them, and still using a condom. “Bananas and cucumbers are well-shaped to be a toy but can carry bacteria and have sharp edges,” says Dr. Bartos.  Eggplants could theoretically be used sexually, but they’re rather large and present a risk of getting “stuck” vaginally or anally given that there’s no “handle” to grab onto.

That said, if you take the necessary steps to protect your body from any harm or infection, you’ll be well on your way to taking the notion of “playing with food” to a whole new level.

Speaking about sex toys, here’s what you should know before sharing them. And, here’s what you need to know about the pleasure revolution, because it’s coming whether you’re ready or not.

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