Sex toys for women have come a long way from the standard-issue vibrator. Nowadays, you can find discreet devices that simulate oral sex, multipurpose magic wands that bend to your body, sculptural toys that are beautiful enough to display—even hands-free spot stimulators that are controlled from your smartphone. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with the phallic playthings of the past, but women’s bodies are super complicated. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pleasure. Anyone with a vagina has known this since, well, forever, so it should come as no surprise that some of the most innovative sex toys for women are designed by women themselves. Meet the empowered ladies behind 10 pleasure shops and sex toys for women that are putting orgasms in your hands and creating a more sex positive world for all of us. [sul title=”Le Wand” subheader=”An unexpectedly innovative sex toy for women in a familiar shape”] At first glance, Le Wand might look like a number of other vibrating sex toys for women out there (except its smooth, pearly finish makes it much prettier). But this magic wand (designed by a team of women) features 20 different vibration patterns and 10 speeds, putting it worlds above the competition in terms of personalized pleasure. This sex toy for women is also rechargeable, splash-proof, and cordless (for seamless orgasms). “Tapping into the pleasure your body is capable of is a powerful experience, and we created Le Wand to help people do that,” says Alicia Sinclair, CEO of Le Wand and a certified sex educator. If the 200 combinations of vibrations weren’t enough, Le Wand has also launched an assortment of attachments you can pop on Le Wand for even more variety. The rippled silicone head promises both clitoral and vaginal stimulation, while the firm curve attachment targets the G-spot. For Sinclair, it was about offering endless options of sensations from smartly-designed sex toys for women. “We want to give women, and people of all gender identities, the power of choice when exploring their sexuality, rather than a prescribed method for getting off,” she says. [sul title=”TickleKitty” subheader=”Sex toys for women, curated by a sexology expert”] Sadie Allison knows a thing or two about sex toys for women—she holds a doctorate from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and has authored six “how-to” sex books. So when you browse the handpicked products on offer at Allison’s online sex toy boutique, TickleKitty, you really can’t go wrong with anything that ends up in your shopping cart. “Launching my boutique was a natural extension to my mission [of sharing my knowledge on sexuality],” she says. The selective stock of sex toys for women at TickleKitty feels exclusive, yet anything but limited. Customer favorites include the Womanizer Starlet (an air puff toy similar to the Satisfyer), Le Wand, and the Rocking G Rabbit (“which has an independent stroker that moves in the ‘come-hither’ motion,” says Allison). “I select toys that are female body-safe, made with the highest quality materials, offer a multitude of functions and vibrations, and come at a variety of price-points so everyone—from the newcomer to the aficionado—can enjoy,” she says. [sul title=”Dame Products” subheader=”Raising our expectations of sex toys for women”] Alex Fine has a “true passion for passion.” But rather than pursuing a career in sex therapy, she channeled what she learned from her clinical psychology education at Columbia University into something else entirely: creating sex toys for women. The products out there didn’t excite her—so she decided to start creating her own. “As a woman, I felt that we weren’t expecting enough from sex toys simply because we weren’t expecting enough from our own sexuality,” says Fine, now CEO of Dame Products, a sex toy company for women. She experimented with creating vibrators at home, soon coming up with two distinctive sex toys for women: Fin and Eva. Fin’s a vibrator worn on your fingers, intended to amplify the human touch through clitoral stimulation. Eva, on the other hand, looks like an emerald beetle, whose wings tuck under the labia and whose buzzing body rests atop your clitoris. It stays in place, even during penetrative sex. Innovative products aren’t the only thing that sets Dame Products apart from other companies making sex toys for women, though. The store offers a hassle-free return policy—something rare in this market—and it speaks to Dame’s focus on creating a sex-positive, shame-free experience. “Returns are about making our customers feel like they can explore our products without the pressure of worrying they won’t work for them,” says Fine. “Being able to return a vibrator is a really important part of educating people that not every sex toy will work for you, and that’s OK.” [sul title=”Crescendo by MysteryVibe” subheader=”Bendable, body-adaptive sex toys for women”] Size might not be everything, but angles have a surprising level of influence over sexual pleasure, according to Stephanie Alys, CEO of MysteryVibe. The company’s luxury vibrator, the Crescendo, features a long, thick body that can bend into tons of different shapes, adapting to any body. Plus, the six built-in, buzzing motors are nothing to scoff at. “No two bodies are exactly the same. Crescendo’s bendable feature was designed with everyone’s pleasure in mind, and to give the user the power of customization. For example, the G-spot is often elusive to people with vulvas, and a toy that simply curves in one direction may not be your perfect curve. Crescendo allows for experimentation to unlock your personalized pleasure spots,” she says. Playing around with the bendy, snap-bracelet like vibrator is so exciting, you might not even realize that it connects to the MysteryVibe app. But between the app’s remote control option and the endless downloadable vibration patterns, you might want to keep one hand on your phone. [sul title=”Squish from Unbound” subheader=”An egg-shape sex toy for women you won’t want to let go of”] One look at Squish and it’s doubtful you’d realize it’s a sex toy for women. The design of the squishy pink egg is closer to one of those battery-powered facial cleansing devices than something you’d use to reach orgasm. But this little thing is as satisfying as it is inconspicuous, using the power of your squeeze to control its every rumble and vibe. “Squish’s haptic technology is both deeply personal and incredibly intuitive. The harder you squeeze it, the harder it vibrates,” says Polly Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of Unbound, the company behind Squish. “We found that our customers wanted a product that was easy-to-use and not necessarily phallic.” Squish is not only subtle—it’s also smart. This sex toy for women has built-in memory that allows you to record and replay pulsation patterns you create. The customizability makes Squish appeal to women with all kinds of preferences, from tender, low-key purring to powerful vibrations. The most challenging part of using this innovative product is finding the perfect pattern for you—but figuring it out will be infinitely fun. [sul title=”Vibrant” subheader=”Feel good. Do good.”] If you’ve ever felt even a smidge of guilt from giving yourself pleasure, online sex toy store Vibrant will help make sure it never happens again. The boutique sends the proceeds from the sales of vibrators, butt plugs, dildos, lubes, and all kinds of other products to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM)—an organization where CEO Angela Wells worked for 15 years before founding Vibrant. “I tasked myself with creating a solution to fill the funding gap at PPRM by creating a social enterprise that supports the message and values of the organization,” she says. “Our commitment to body-safe products underscores Planned Parenthood’s commitment to the health and safety of patients. Everything that we do is very intentional and created with the goal of inclusivity, sex positivity, and creating a comfortable, fun environment to talk about sex.” While Vibrant’s sex toys come in every shape, size, color, and price-point imaginable, the clear winner among customers is the Mimic by Clandestine, says Wells. “[For] folks with a vulva who use their fingers for external masturbation, this vibrator is a perfect extension of the hand. It’s pliable so that you can provide the right amount of pressure for your body and the vibrations start gentle enough for those who are sensitive or new to vibration,” she explains. But why not try out a few different sex toys for women from Vibrant? After all, it’s for a good cause. [sul title=”Satisfyer Pro II” subheader=”The sex toy for women that conjures up orgasms with air”] Many sex toys for women rely on direct contact with your lady bits to make you climax. Not the case with the Satisfyer Pro II. Instead, this radical gadget gently suctions over the clitoris and releases pleasurable air waves to create mind-blowing sensations—perfect for women who don’t always get off with internal stimulation alone. “Unlike many contemporary solo play items, the Satisfyer II is designed to be non-touch. A comfortable seal is formed around your love bead and the unique air pressure technology takes you from the starting block right to the finish line,” says Melissa Kramer, who works on the Satisfyer design team. Online reviewers say that the Satisfyer takes some time to get used to, but ultimately rave about rapid-fire orgasms unlike anything they’ve been able to get from conventional personal massagers. Who knew little puffs of air could hold so much power? [sul title=”Maude” subheader=”Sex toys and accessories for minimalists with an eye for design”] It’s exciting to play around with bendable, buzzing, high-tech sex toys for women. But sometimes, you just want a straight-forward assortment of products and accessories without all the bells and whistles. Enter Maude. With the motto “sex made simple,” this online store has curated its stock down to four essentials: ultra-thin latex condoms, Vibe (a body-safe silicone vibrator), silicone-based lubricant, and aloe-based lube. “We hope to be the company that’s with you throughout your entire life and that means creating well-made products that are easy-to-use, timeless, and essential,” says Maude cofounder Eva Goicochea. “Simplicity means inclusivity and that is the foundation of our company.” [sul title=”Emojibator” subheader=”Giggle your way to orgasm with emoji-themed sex toys for women”] Can a vibrator that looks the eggplant emoji actually be taken seriously in a sex positive world? Hell yes, says Kris Fretz, who cofounded Emojibator, a company that sells personal massagers shaped like the most suggestive emojis. The friendly, LOL-worthy design actually makes sex toys for women more approachable for people who might otherwise be too shy to buy them. “We love using humor as the driving component to our brand and customer experience. Obviously, human beings love to laugh, and we knew [that people] love to communicate with emojis,” says Fretz. “Our tagline, ‘Go Fuck Yourself. Literally.’ is meant to remind women that orgasms and masturbation are natural parts of life, and they should feel zero shame when they explore their sexuality with sex toys.” Each of Emojibator’s sex toys for women feature 10 vibration settings, medical-grade silicone, and waterproof materials, so it’s really just about finding the design that speaks most to you. Choose from eggplant (the most popular), chili pepper (the pointy tip’s great for G-spot stimulation), or banana (with firm ridges that making playing fun). Once you start using the Emojibator, texting will never be quite the same. [sul title=”Good Vibrations” subheader=”The legacy shop for sex toys for women”] Good Vibrations’ standards for sex toys for women were so high, it only sold about a dozen options in its San Francisco boutique when it opened in 1977. Fast-forward more than 40 years later, and you’ll find more than 1,000 products in the online store, including vibrators, dildos, and anal toys. “Today, sex toys have emerged from the shadows,” says Carol Queen, staff sexologist and historian at Good Vibrations. “Premium or designer sex toys, especially vibrators, have overtaken the marketplace—even the old-school manufacturers have upped their game as technology and materials have changed.” While most of the sex toys for women available at Good Vibrations have changed over the years, one has stood the test of time: The Magic Wand. “This is the [sex toy for women] that we’ve recommended for over 40 years,” says Queen. “It’s strong, with a vibration type that many people really love. Its tennis ball-sized head provides diffused stimulation and its length makes it easy to use. It’s well-made and tends to last a long time.” A sex toy for women that’s been a best-seller for decades? We’re in.
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Joni Sweet’s journalistic pursuits and adventurous spirit have taken her around the globe—rafting down the Ganges, hiking the jungle of Borneo, and hot air ballooning over Cappadocia—only to land her in the most thrilling city in the world, New York. When she’s not traveling, she can be found taking yoga classes, trying out trendy spa treatments, discovering new vegan restaurants, and, of course, writing. She’s been published by National Geographic, Forbes, Thrillist, and more. Visit her site to see her latest articles.