The following is an excerpted chapter from the book Love and Laughter by Woolfer Beth Liebling.
While not every good show uses props, many of them do—and your repertoire of romantic shows will be a lot larger if you have a well-stocked prop closet at the ready.
In case you don’t have experience with the kinds of things one can incorporate into sexy fun time, I’m going to introduce you to some of the most commonly used “props.” You may hear others refer to them as “sex toys,” but I don’t like that description. We aren’t children. The things we use in our most intimate areas are more significant than “toys.” Like the props in a theater show, these props are tools to help you build a better, more satisfying show.
But it’s important to remember: no one goes to the theater to see the props. They will never be the main attraction. You are. Your partner is. Whether you’re wearing a stunning negligee or trying out your new sex swing, your props are nothing without you and your lover. The props are there to help you and your partner give life to your fantasies and find new ways to create intimate experiences.
Here’s a quick look at some ways to start building your prop closet:
The first thing I suggest you add to your prop closet is a vibrator. Every woman should have at least one. Every woman’s closet should contain a pair of sexy stilettos, at least one nice black dress, and a vibrator.
Like shoes and dresses, vibrators come in all shapes and sizes, and different vibrators are good for different occasions. But unlike shoes and dresses, you can’t exactly walk into the dressing room and try them out for size. The selection can sometimes be a little overwhelming.
Women often want their first vibrator (yes, I said your first vibrator, because once you buy one, you’ll probably come back for more!) to be simple and not intimidating in any way. A good place to start is with what’s called a “bullet” vibrator, a small handheld vibrator that’s great for clitoral stimulation although it it isn’t ideal for penetration.
If you are among the 25 percent of women who cum more regularly from internal orgasm rather than clitoral, you might be better off with a “G-spot” vibrator. These are specifically designed for internal stimulation with a curve that reaches right up to your G-spot.
The “Portable Vibratory Device”
Vibrators weren’t invented for the benefit of women. They were invented for the benefit of men—men’s hands, to be specific.
In the late 1880s, distressed women throughout Europe and the United States were being diagnosed in droves with “hysteria,” which doctors at the time understood to be a stress-induced anxiety disorder. The only known treatment for hysteria? Orgasm. The poor doctors were busy all day long, working to stimulate women to orgasm with nothing but their hands—until the invention of the “portable vibratory device” saved the doctors countless hours and gave the women countless orgasms.
Hysteria is no longer considered an actual medical condition.
But orgasms are still considered amazing.
And vibrators are better than ever.
Although I don’t usually recommend them as a first vibrator, there are also “rabbit”-styled vibrators that provide stimulating vibes both internally and clitorally at the same time.
The most trustworthy and reliable of vibrators? If you have to pick just one, it’s hard to do better than the legendary, rechargeable “Magic Wand.” It’s hard to find a woman who won’t orgasm from this prop. There are so many ways to use it, you’ll have it for years and never run out of new ideas. Think of it as the sneaker of vibrators: it’s big, kind of clunky, not great to look at, but reliable and versatile.
Travel With A Vibrator
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, whether you’re by yourself or not, don’t forget to bring a personal vibrator. If you’ve been working hard all day, you’ll appreciate the extra dose of self-love as a reward, and if you’re on vacation, well, what are vacations for, if not for fun excitement?
I’ve even started traveling with vibrators on the plane, and I use them during the flight—though not (usually!) like that. My cute, non-phallic rechargeable vibrators are a fabulous way to help relax my neck, shoulders, and hand, and help prevent some of the uncomfortable side effects of a cramped airplane flight. And I promise it can lead to interesting conversations with your seat mates when you pull it out of your bag.
Then, when you get to the privacy of your hotel, you’ll be grateful all over again that you brought it.
Kegel balls (also called Ben-Wa balls or vaginal beads) are marble-sized weighted balls made of metal, glass, or silicone, designed to be inserted into the vagina. When you’re wearing Kegel balls, your pelvic-floor muscles will close around them and hold them in place (much like a tampon).
Your body naturally responds to the presence of Kegel balls by getting slightly aroused. You’ll notice yourself getting slick and comfortable, and you’ll probably also notice a smile on your face: these balls are a great way to warm up for date night. But there are other, longer-term benefits, too: the more often you get wet, the easier it is for you to do so—so Kegel balls can help you fight off dryness. Also, as your pelvic muscles work to keep the balls in place, they get stronger—and this will give you better, more powerful orgasms!
Kegel balls are fun with a partner, too. You can have your lover put them in, or you can tell them you’re wearing them, to build up anticipation for a date. You can have your partner remove them, use them for in-and-out play, and leave them in during oral sex. In fact, pulling them out at the time of your orgasm can be very intensely exciting. Who knew working out could be so damn hot?
Kegel Balls For Beginners
Beginners generally start with the two lightest balls and attach them together with the soft, flexible silicone strap that holds each ball in place, one on top of the other. At the bottom of the second ball there’s a small “tail” strap of the silicone that hangs to allow for easy removal from the body. (If you picture two olives on a very soft coffee stir stick with a bit of space in between them, you’ll get the general idea of what I am talking about, although the rich colors and smooth finish of the balls are way more appealing to the eye and hands than olives!)
If you’ve ever used a tampon, you know how to insert Kegel balls. The only difference is that it’s best to use a little lube to ensure a smooth entry without irritation. Use your fingers to push the balls in and make sure that they are far enough in to allow your pelvic-floor muscles to clench comfortably below them. The “tail” should hang freely below, just like a tampon string.
Try them at home for the first few times to get used to the sensations. While many people are fine wearing them for hours at time, begin with 20-30 minutes and see how you feel. Remember, if you’re sitting, you aren’t really supporting the weight; the “exercise” only happens when you are moving around with your muscles holding the balls. I’m only half-joking when I tell people they’ll know they can graduate to the heavier ball when they can do jumping jacks while wearing the balls.
The first few times you remove the balls, make sure you do so over a toilet, because when your body releases the balls, it may also release your bladder. (Sadly, I had to learn this the hard way….) Once you’ve practiced with them a few times, you’ll have enough control of your bladder not to worry when you take them out—and this will be one of the first signs that your new “exercise regimen” is working.
If you didn’t know that massage oil existed, now you do: run out and get some now! Massage is a great way to build intimacy. Whether it’s a loving gift at the end of a long day or it’s a lead-up to something friskier, almost everyone enjoys massage. What could be bad about being touched, handled, and manipulated, the feelings as the nerve endings of your various erogenous zones are woken up, the cusp of that sensation in a tense muscle that’s right at the intersection of tension, pleasure, and pain. Massages can lead to all sorts of other things or they can be great all by themselves—but massage oils (and especially kissable ones) help remind us to savor them and deliver them with loving affection no matter what.
For a different sensation, try a massage candle! Massage candles serve two purposes: they create ambiance and they melt into a warm, pourable oil. The sensation of the heat hitting your skin helps melt your tension away and it can also stir other kinds of warmth in your body. And rubbing your hands over each other isn’t so bad, either.
If you decide you want to try tying each other up, using an actual silk men’s tie is a good place to start. They’re strong, durable, and pretty easy to come by—and when he wears that same tie to his next business meeting, he’ll also be bringing along a new set of special memories.
But if you decide this is something you like, then it’s fun to experiment with rope for “knotty” fun! Rope is more versatile and durable, and you don’t have to worry about damaging anyone’s wardrobe!
While anyone can get nylon rope at the hardware store, it’s much more pleasant and smooth to be tied up with rope made from bamboo silk. It’s soft and shiny like silk pajamas, and so light you won’t even feel the knots laying on top of them. Who knows? You might find them so comfortable, you won’t want to take them off….
Want something even more durable than silk? Handcuffs are an exciting prop to keep around. You can attach them to your bedpost or lock your lover’s hands together in front or behind. Though you can get stainless steel, police-style cuffs (and some people enjoy that cold, harsh sensation), most people might prefer the smooth feel of leather-padded cuffs instead. Whatever you choose, don’t lose the key!
It’s easy—and fun—to improvise a blindfold with a scarf or that same silk tie, though store-bought blindfolds will probably be more comfortable and effective. Surrendering your vision during sex heightens all your other senses: suddenly all the touches, sounds, and smells become more intense and erotic. It also opens you up to a new vulnerability and trust in your partner.
While your partner is blindfolded, tease them with touches. Feed them foods. Caress them with an ice cube. Go down on them. Make them beg you for more. Or, while you’re wearing a blindfold, masturbate for your partner and let them see everything that you can’t. These are just a few of the innumerable ways a blindfold can make the ordinary extraordinary.
A (faux-)fur teaser can come in the shape of a powder puff or as strips of soft furry falls from a handle, but either way, it’s about encouraging a range of sensations—tingles and tickles and teases, and a new way to experience sensual touch and wake your body up.
Nipples can be a highly sensitive erogenous zone for men and women, so let’s give them the attention and stimulation they deserve. There are lots of props that can enhance nipple play, including arousal balms, suction devices, vibrators, and even nipple clamps.
Nipple clamps “work” by attaching to nipples and constricting the blood flow. They cause one sensation when you put them on, and then another rush—and sometimes even an orgasm— as the blood flow resumes when you remove them.
Nipple clamps don’t have to hurt! There’s a huge variety in clamps and they provide varying levels of squeeze. A good option for beginners is the simple “alligator” clamp: they’re easily adjustable, so they’re great for providing very light stimulation but give you the option of turning them up for a more intense sensation. Like everything else on this list, they are fun solo or as partner fun, so take a chance and give them a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Did you know that butts have as many nerve endings as a penis? Even if you’ve never had anal sex, even if you’re not sure you’d want to give that a try, still, consider experimenting with an anal plug. As you’d guess from its name, an anal plug (or “butt plug”) is a smallish knob, usually made of silicone, metal, or glass, and designed to be inserted into the tush. The non-inserted end is widely flared to make sure it doesn’t go in too far and it’s easy to remove later.
People often think of butt plugs as a way to work yourself up to trying anal sex—and they can certainly be used for that. But they’re worth considering all for themselves. The butt plug stimulates the many, many nerve endings that collect around your back door—and once you insert it, it stimulates them without you having to do a thing. That means you can get this stimulation as a bonus while you or your partner are free to actively focus on other parts of the body. Butt plugs are a fun, easy way to experience “double penetration.”
Butt plugs come in sizes. It’s better to start small and, if you’re feeling like it, work your way up to the bigger ones.
When you insert a butt plug, especially for the first time—lube it up and take it slow! Going too fast can hurt. Easy does it. Slow and steady wins the race. But once it’s in, the race is won. Do whatever you want: masturbate, have all sorts of sex with your partner, or just head off to work, butt plug and all.
When it’s time to take it out, just be gentle, and wash it off thoroughly before you put it away. Be careful about exposing it—or any butt-inserted fingers—to your pussy or mouth: the bacteria that lives in your digestive system can cause an infection if it gets into your other parts.
Remember, the real goal of any prop is to build a more intimate connection with your body and/or your partner— and that means there’s no reason to limit yourself just to the things on this list. Keep an open mind, and let your fantasies, and your partner’s, lead the way to fantastic intimate fun!