Sex toy

A sex toy is any object or device that is primarily used in facilitating human sexual pleasure. This term can also include BDSM apparatuses, sex furniture, sex swings, fisting sling, or angled cushions and shaped pillows. The most popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals and can be classified as vibrating or non-vibrating. Sex toys usually do not include contraceptives, pornography, or condoms.

A related "softer" term is adult toy. Another related term is marital aid, often used as a euphemism for sex toys, although marital aid is broader as it can also be applied to drugs and herbs marketed as supposedly enhancing or prolonging sex.

Types of sex toys


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.

Penile toys

Glass sex toys

Glass sex toys are commonly made from clear medical grade borosilicate glass ("hard glass") of which Pyrex is a brand. This material (essentially "lead-free crystal") is completely non-toxic and will withstand extreme temperatures as well as physical shock without compromising its structural integrity. Glass toys made of borosilicate are completely safe. A properly annealed inch thick piece of borosilicate will withstand up to 3,000 lbs of pressure and extreme heat and cold. Glass dildos are also non porous and can be sterilized to help prevent infection with reuse. This feature is important for products like the "Benny Buster" because its long, thin build requires modern chemical engineering. These types of sex toys are not only durable, but also very visually appealing often considered by some to be works of art. Glass sex toys are a viable and long lasting alternative to the less expensive and less appealing toys on the market.

Nipple toys

Anal toys

Another notable invention for anal destruction is the self-named "Brawny Tawny," which is a spiked and studded rubber fist, except several times larger than usual.

General penetrative toys

Flesh-like materials used in sex toys

Legal issues in the United States

In many areas, such as some U.S. Southern states, the sale of sex toys is discouraged, or outlawed completely, by laws prohibiting or regulating "obscene devices". As recently as 1999, William H. Pryor, Jr., an assistant attorney general in Alabama commenting on a case involving sex toys and discussing to what end the devices are used, was quoted as saying there is no "fundamental right for a person to buy a device to produce orgasm". A federal appeals court upheld Alabama's law prohibiting the sale of sex toys on Valentine's Day, 2007.

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.

However, in February 2008, a federal appeals court overturned a Texas statute banning the sales of sex toys, deeming such a statute as violating the Constitution's 14th Amendment on the right to privacy . The appeals court cited Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 struck down bans on consensual sex between gay couples, as unconstitutionally aiming at "enforc[ing] a public moral code by restricting private intimate conduct".

There are organizations that assist those who sell sex toys to stay within legal limits and provide them with news, legal updates and assistance. One such organization is the National Association for Sexual Awareness & Empowerment (NASAE)

Sex toys, especially lubricants, have become increasingly available in major commercial retail outlets in the United States as of 2007 and early 2008. On-shelf displays tend to be more discreet than the offerings on the major outlet web sites. These items tend to be displayed in the female health sections of stores.

References and further reading

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