Here are some Sexual Aides we frequently recommend for helping with specific sexual concerns. It must be said that this is really only the tip of the iceberg however. There are many other kinds of sexual aides as well.
Vaginal dilators increase elasticity, help maintain/increase lubrication and general vaginal health, aid in pelvic muscle control, help decrease hypersensitivity, and increase confidence in penetrative sex and pelvic exams.
Dilators are available in rigid plastic or softer silicone as well as a variety of other materials. All work well, though the softer dilators may be more comfortable and more like skin in texture.
Start with the smallest size and work your way up to your goal size. It is helpful to have a measurement of the circumference of your goal size dilator. For those aiming for penis-vagina intercourse, it may be useful to measure your partner’s erect penis.
It may be useful to know that the average erect penis length is between 5.5 inches and 6.3 inches and average penis girth ranges from 4.5 inches to 5.1 inches. The average width (or diameter) of a penis is 1.4 inches to 1.6 inches.
If penis-vagina intercourse is not your goal, that’s fine too!! It’s helpful to do this for comfortable pelvic exams at the doctors and for overall vaginal health. Just pick a goal size and gradually increase to desired size.
It’s important to use dilators at a time that you are adequately physically and mentally relaxed and have privacy.
- Wash your dilator with a gentle soap and water. Using warm water over the dilator right before it is used can help warm it to body temperature.
- Start lying on the floor with your knees bent and legs apart (or any other position that feels most comfortable).
- Take a few deep belly breaths.
- Use lots of lubricant on the dilator AND on your vulva. (If you are using silicone dilators you must use water based lubricant. See Dr. Kranz’s handout on lubricants and moisturizers.)
- Insert the dilator with steady, slow pressure. It may be useful to think about simultaneously pushing out from your vagina—“bearing down” or like laying an egg—the opposite movement of a traditional “kegel.”
- Remember, never endure pain or discomfort above a “3” on a 0-10 scale when you are using the dilator. If there is pain you must go back to a smaller dilator or to using breathing and exercises to relax the pelvic floor muscles.
- Leave the dilator in place for up to 15 minutes, until you feel relaxed and there is no discomfort. If you are comfortable, it may be time to increase to the next dilator size or to experiment with some gentle movement of the dilator. Try stretching the muscles to the sides and down (toward anus) and maintain the stretch until you feel the muscle relax.
- Do this at least every 2-3 days or 3 times a week for best results.
To increase the size of the dilator, first use the preceding size for 5 minutes and then remove and try the larger size.
The websites here provide some more information: https://www.soulsource.com/pages/videos
Dilators should be washed with soap and water and dried before storing in an enclosed container.
The OhNut is a soft buffer that allows you to control the depth of penetration during sex so you can relax and focus on enjoyment. It is soft, stretchy and has a natural feel. These are great for people who have pain with deep penetration.
We have some of these in stock at the clinic– we sell them at cost.
I’m sure you think of vibrators as being all about pleasure. But there is much more to using vibration for sexual health; vibrators can also be a helpful tool for increasing blood flow to the vulva and vagina which helps with vaginal skin resilience. They are also useful during both solo and partnered sex for those people who need a higher level of stimulation to acheive orgasm.
Now picking one: I wish this were easier! There are SO many different kinds– and every body is entirely unique. There is NO way for us to say– this one here, this is the vibrator for you! So it can be daunting, and sometimes expensive to find the right one. The only rule is to find one that is well made of high quality materials. We recommend Silicone as it is less porous and therefore easier to clean. Vibrators should be discarded if there is any breakdown in the material and should never be shared between individuals. They also should never be inserted in the anus and then the vagina due to cross-contamination of the normal bacteria in each location.
A good resource for how to choose a vibrator: https://sexualityresources.com/ask-sex-counselor/how-choose/how-choose-vibrator-and-why-use-one
Below are some good online places to find high quality vibrators curated by skilled and certified sex educators. Don’t be afraid to talk to the customer service folks at these online shops about choosing.
Penis toys help people maximize pleasure or overcome dysfunctions. Fleshlights or penis sleeves can be helpful for people who are working on Premature Ejaculation (extending time to orgasm) by allowing people to practice stimulation that feels more like vaginal or anal sex. They also help with difficulty getting to orgasm (delayed ejaculation). This may, for some, increase the likelihood of partnered orgasm. They also are great toys to use as a couple when there is a concern about sexual pain.
Erection rings (sometimes called cock rings) can be useful for maintaining erections for people with ED.
Some safety tips:
- Don’t wear an erection ring if you have a bleeding disorder or certain blood conditions that can increase the risk of clotting, such as sickle cell anemia.
- Don’t wear an erection ring for more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Use a bit of lube to make the ring easier to get on and off.
- Unless you’re using a flexible ring, you’ll need to choose the right size so it does its job without cutting off circulation.
- Avoid rings made of materials you may be allergic to, such as certain metals or latex.
- Wash rings after every use to get rid of bacteria and reduce the risk of STI transmission.
- Take it off if you feel any discomfort or pain, or notice any bruising.
Sexual Position Aides
There are a wide world of aides to help people who find it difficult to get into or maintain positions for sex as well as making sex more comfortable for those with difficulty with mobility. There are cushions and slings and all manner of tools that can help. We advise talking with a certified sex educator at a well respected shop such as one of the shops below.