In many areas, such as some U.S. Southern states, the sale of sex toys is either regulated or prohibited, though enforcement is rare. Nonetheless the laws are on the books and these laws prohibiting or regulating "obscene devices" occasionally take center stage. As recently as 1999, an assistant attorney general in Alabama commenting on a case involving sex toys and discussing to what end the devices are used for was quoted as saying there is no "fundamental right for a person to buy a device to produce orgasm". It is also common practice for someone to move a motor home near a proposed sex shop as a means of protest to prevent the shop from opening where the law prohibits an "adult" establishment within a certain distance of a dwelling.
Types of sex toys
Male and female
Anal beads consist of a string of beads which is inserted into the anus and then slowly pulled out to provide a very satisfying stimulation, often at the moment of orgasm, in order to enhance the strength of the orgasm in both men and women.
Butt plugs are devices that are inserted in the anus, typically to stimulate the prostate gland for pleasure. They should have a flared end to prevent the device from being lost inside the body.
Sybian is the brand name of a combination of a saddle-shaped mount with a vibrator built onto it.
Sex dolls are imitations of the human form intended for simulation of sexual acts. They may consist of a representation of a face, the buttocks, genital areas, or the entire body. Most sex dolls are inflatable. Love pillows, especially popular in Japan, are inflatable pillows with a life-size picture of a porn star or anime character and optionally a hole for lovemaking. More expensive realistic sex dolls exist, such as the Realdoll, the cost of which runs into several thousand dollars.
Nipple clamps are a family of tools which apply pressure to the nipples. They are often used as BDSM toys or torture devices. Some of them can also provide constant, intense nipple stimulation and heightened sensitivity.
Sex Games are usually like traditional board or card games but their terminology, content and objectives are sex oriented.
"Pocket Pussies" or "vaginas" or "masturbators" are modeled to accept a penis for simulated intercourse. They can be shaped like vaginas, anuses, or anything with a hole for penetration. The Fleshlight is a popular variant of the 'artificial vagina,' and can be penetrated in a way similar to coitus.
Cock-rings in their most basic form enhance and prolong a man's erection by keeping blood inside the penis. They are therefore useful for men with problems maintaining erection. Many basic models include a protruding clitoral stimulator, designed to tickle the clitoris during sex. Others vibrate, either vibrating the ring itself, or in a popular 'Dolphin' variant using two removable bullet vibrators to provide stimulation to the testicles and clitoris.
A cock harness is a more elaborate harness designed to be worn around the penis and scrotum. Its intention is similar to that of a cock ring. Often associated with BDSM activities.
A penis sleeve is a cylindrical device that is placed on the shaft of the penis, with the aim of increasing stimulation for the person being penetrated. They often have soft bumps intended to provide further stimulation.
A penis extension is a partially hollow device like a very short dildo, with the hollow end placed on the end of the penis, intended to increase the effective length of the penis, again for the benefit of the person being penetrated. These are generally worn with condoms to stop them falling off in use.
Vaginal / Clitoral Stimulation
A dildo is a non-vibrating device which is used for sexual stimulation of the vagina and/or anus. Godemiche is an old word for a dildo in the shape of a penis and scrotum.
A strap-on dildo is a dildo attached to a dildo harness strapped to the groin and hips, generally to allow a person to penetrate a partner as if the dildo were the penetrator's own penis. In particular, they allow a woman to penetrate a man anally or another woman vaginally or anally. They may also be used by impotent men to allow them to penetrate their partner; strap-on dildos used this way are generally hollow, rather than solid.
A double-ended dildo is a long, usually flexible dildo with both ends designed for penetration. It allows for mutual penetration between two persons.
Vibrators are vibrating devices intended to stimulate the nerves of the body. Vibrators intended for sexual use are often dildo-shaped, although they also come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, allowing internal as well as external use. Most women report using vibrators for clitoral stimulation, and as such models designed for this purpose, such as the Eroscillator, a toothbrush-like device, the Hitachi Magic Wand, a powerful muscle massager used on the clitoris, or small and basic egg-sized vibrators.
Ben wah balls are hollow metal balls, are inserted vaginally, and can be worn inside the vagina for extended periods of time. The internal rolling is said to enhance orgasms, and enable women with vaginal difficulties to reach orgasm.
Kegel exercisers, also known as vaginal barbells, are designed to improve muscle tone in the pelvic floor, and can be used for sexual pleasure as well as enhancing vaginal response.
Medical devices such as Wartenberg wheels and disposable sterile needles are also used in some BDSM practices.
Flesh-like materials used in sex toys
Silicone is soft and lifelike, warms up quickly to body temperature, non-porous therefore easy to clean (with mild soap and water, or boiled for sterilization).
Cyberskin, also known under other brand names, is currently the closest emulation of real skin. This relatively new material is made of silicone and plastic. It is very porous, making it necessary to clean it very thoroughly (with antibacterial soap and water).
Jelly is a cheaper, rubber-based material, quite porous, often translucent. It is sometimes scented to mask its strong rubber odor.