Educator Rune Longoria was kind enough to guest post for us, and we are so excited to hear their thoughts!
Have y’all won the lottery yet? Me either! Fingers crossed though! Do you have the kind of income where you can just drop hundreds of dollars on a new type of toy without a second thought? If so, amazing! I celebrate your good fortune, but I admit it’s not something I (and most folks I know) can relate to. For many of us, sex toys are at the bottom of a long list that starts with “Mortgage/Rent”, then continues with “Utilities, Student Loans, Health Insurance, Diapers, Groceries, etc.” and usually way way wayyyyy at the bottom (especially if you’re a parent!) the list may include “an affordable sex toy”.
Sexual expression is a human right. If you’re not harming someone else, you should be able to explore and express those desires if you so choose. You also shouldn’t be exiled to stinky, toxic, battery operated, bullshit toys because you happen to struggle in a society designed to stifle socioeconomic upward mobility. But for many folks, the vast array of products, materials, and prices can be intimidating. Add in cultural indoctrination from a young age that “more $$$= better value!” and some first-time toy buyers can end up making hasty decisions that ultimately end up as expensive disappointments.
Now, on one hand I’m grateful y’all are leaving the cucumbers at the grocery store alone. And while the bathtub faucet is reliable as rain, it’s still not great for the planet, your water bill, or your pH balance. Save desperate measures for desperate situations. Hopefully this compilation of fantastic finds under $50 helps you feel a little less confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed.
If you’re making the jump from manual masturbation to mechanical, this is a wonderful launch pad. With a single button control you (or a partner) can operate this toy with ease, switching through the 7 speeds with just the pressure of a finger. It’s also rechargeable, submersible, and like most Evolved Novelties backed by a five-year warranty. If you’re already a well-seasoned toy consumer, the $32 price makes it a wonderful gift or vacation toy. And by vacation, I mean a camping trip at the nearest beach 2 hours away with a cooler full of sandwich fixings and a couple of Dos Equis tall boys. What? Are you gonna bring your fancy $130 suction vibe to the beach? Where there is SAND? Nambe. Don’t be silly.
First Atypical External Vibe:
Not all of us have the ability to grip a small, cylindrical bullet vibe. Sometimes the pointed shaped of a bullet vibe doesn’t provide the necessary contact with our tissues to achieve climax.
Trying a product with more surface area or rumbly vibrations can help those of us struggling to “vibe” with bullets. Since the stingray shape of the Slay Pleaser allows more contact with the wondrous double wishbone shape of the clitoral nerve network, it can be a more effective tool to hit the glorious heights of ecstasy. This green cutie is available for $40 and comes with a one year warranty from Calexotics.
I also really like that it’s quite comfortable tucked behind a strap-on harness for additional stimulation of the wearer! It’s shape and 10 speeds make it a delightful toy to share with your partner. If your partner has a penis (and confirms consent) you can tuck it behind their testicles while performing oral sex. Try varying the direction or pressure you apply the toy to their perineum. Some folks like a constant presence, some like rhythmic strokes. Just remember if your partner expresses discomfort or lack of enjoyment stop the action immediately!
First Set of Kegel Balls:
Okay so I am a huge fan of pelvic floor exercise, and not just because I’ve gotten into fisting in the last couple years. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. You can do Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training, just about any time.” The link connects you to further instructions on isolating your kegel muscles and different exercises to strengthen this region.
But the benefits are basically more bladder control (cancel your subscription to the Pee When You Sneeze Club!) and sexual satisfaction. Yes, we can do these exercises anytime for free, but some of us benefit from designated tools and a regimen (me, a person with ADHD).
You can use a little water-based lube to insert one or two balls inside your vagina, with or without the silicone holder. Some folks prefer the silicone handle to make removal easier. Personally, for myself alone, I enjoy penetrative intercourse while wearing two loose kegel balls. The balls end up rolling around and massaging areas my partner or a dildo may not reach normally. It provides a feeling of fullness I really really like and takes up room in my vagina to provide a snugger fit. Depending on your own health, anatomy, and the oversight of a medical professional this may not be recommended for you.
Checking in with a medical professional is heavily advised, especially because improper kegel exercises can be harmful, just like an improper form while weightlifting at a gym can be harmful. If you get all-clear, then this multi weighted pack with a 2-year warranty and a lockable bag for only $32 is an obvious choice.
First Topical Arousal Product:
I’ve been a fan of this arousal oil since… 2015? 2016? This is a fabulously versatile product you can use to stimulate and enhance sensations in the clit, labia, external anal areas, and nipples.
Depending on how brave your partner is (and whether they have a penis) you can dilute it in your palm with a little plain water based lube and use it to start off a slippery handjob that transitions into oral seamlessly. Likewise, your partner can rub a drop on their lips before performing oral on you, administering tender kisses below the belt while transferring the product to your delicate tissues. It provides a warm buzzy sensation, and does not contain L-Aginine or Menthol.
I also appreciate that it does not contain preservatives. Some of us with picky pussies and/or compromised immune systems have difficulty maintaining a healthy pH balance, so avoiding parabens or other iffy antimicrobials ensures a more comfortable morning after a wild night. As long as you don’t have a tree nut allergy (sweet almond oil is the first ingredient listed), issues with cinnamon (cinnamon essential oil is the second) or are not currently pregnant (it also contains rosemary oil which can cause uterine contractions), then a $4 sample packet is an inexpensive toe dip in to the water of stimulating creams, gels, and oils. Bonus points if you dab some on before a trip to the flea market or Costco. Really gives a lazy Sunday afternoon a certain zing!
First Vibrating Anal Plug:
I almost didn’t include this item. Not because I don’t enjoy it, not because I don’t trust in its quality, or because I despise adorably designed anal toys. Quite frankly, I just worry that my ass is a hungry-hungry-hippo and my sense of an “average size” plug is slightly warped.
Then I realized there is a Petite version of this product for $4.00 less ($48 vs $44) and is about half an inch shorter.
Both versions still have 10 amazing speeds, are rechargeable and silicone coated (my preference for anal play) AND both are controlled by the gem accent at the base. That’s right, a big shiny diamond in your booty is pressed to help you orgasm.
Add a penis, dildo or fist vaginally and see what kind of beast y’all unleash. Depending on your level of comfort you might also use the plug to prepare your ass for a partner to penetrate you later that day. With a one year warranty behind the product, you can frolic to your heart’s content whilst wearing your sparkly plug. Y’all forget needing a “kick in the rear” to tackle the laundry laying on that random chair far from your closet- you may discover exactly the motivation you needed just by adding a subtle (or hella powerful) buzz in the backdoor.
I hope these suggestions give you an idea of what brands and models are a safe venture into a new part of the grand map of adult products. Regardless of income, we all deserve support towards quality items that enhance our sensual intimacy, either with ourselves or some lucky chosen humans. Pleasure should not become an additional class barrier.
*Rune Longoria is a queer, trans, Latin@ sex educator and intimacy consultant based on the border of Texas and Mexico. With 10 years of community health, LGBTQIA+, reproductive justice advocacy and education behind them, their goal is to empower and inspire ALL people to claim their pleasure radically and acknowledge consent openly, in every avenue of life. They also would appreciate including that asexuality is a spectrum that deserves acknowledgment and support within the pleasure industry.
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