Holigay Gift Guide 2016: Buying Someone A Sex Toy? Start Here.

This post was sponsored by the Pleasure Chest.


Illustration by Sophie Argetsinger

Say you want to buy someone a sex toy. Where do you even start? Whether you want to get a partner a sex toy they’ve never tried before, a timeless classic, or something a little extra, we’ve got suggestions.

This Just In

Want to get your activity partner(s) something they’ve never tried before? These toys are bright, shiny and new.

Fun Factory Cayona


How do you make a penetrative vibrator without a phallic shape? Fun Factory might have the answer with the Cayona, a pastel-candy-colored vibrator with “a floral shape” if you think flowers look like a clit and labia. (In case it’s not clear: I. am. into. it.) Good for external play or internal (though not anal) penetration, the Cayona has a super bendy tapered tip that’s shaped to hit a g-spot, and six vibrations speeds and patterns with Fun Factory’s classic rumble. It’s also rechargeable and waterproof, and has a travel lock for avoiding those awkward conversations with the TSA on the way home from the holidays.

WetForHer’s Double-Ended Union Dildo


Want to use a strap-on without, y’know, strapping on? The Union is a sculpted double-ended dildo with shape memory, a supple silicone exterior, and a USB-rechargeable bullet vibe in the base. One end has a short, thick bulb, while the other is thinner, longer, and features a g-spot-friendly curve. Copper wire inside the toy means you can bend it to do your bidding so it can be as g- or p-spotty (or not) as either partner wants; it also means the dildo stays in place better during sex. The black- or rose-colored silicone body is still soft to the touch and works with any water-based lube (and, as long as you remember to take the vibrator out first, it’s totally sterilizable). Even though the Union doesn’t need a harness, it’s compatible with them. The Union is so new it’s still on it’s way! If you just can’t wait, check out the Fun Factory Share or the Tantus Realdoe.

Cal Exotics’ Luxe Vibrating Dildo


The Luxe Vibrating Dildo vibrates harder the deeper it goes, thanks to two pressure-sensitive sensors just below the head and in the shaft for an intense, responsive experience. The outsides are satiny silicone, the insides are USB rechargeable, and the suction-cup base is compatible with most harnesses (and, since the whole thing is waterproof, with the shower).

Bijoux’s Maze H Harness


Looking for a stylish yet functional lightweight chest harness? Bijoux’s Maze H Harness is vegan leather; adjustable across the chest, back and neck; and combines notes of BDSM (it’s a harness) with fashion (it’s a pretty harness). For a chest harness less likely to accentuate a chest, try the X Harness. Both fit US sizes 2 to 10. You can also pair either with Maze’s ankle cuffs or tassel collar.

Fun Factory’s Bück Dich Paddle


The Bück Dich (German for “bend over”) paddle is a paddle and dildo in one. It has a plastimorph core, to make sure it holds its shape during impact play, and is 100% medical-grade silicone, so it’s stingy and you can use it for penetration (or spanking genitals) and sterilize the whole thing afterwards. The handle is modelled after Fun Factory’s Stronic Drei, a ridged and curved dildo that can hit a g- or p-spot and is easy to grip even when covered in lube.

Lelo’s The Intent Pleasure Set


If you want to help someone build a toybox, The Intent is a great place to start. The Ina 2 is a rabbit-style vibrator with a motor in both the shaft (rumblier) and the clit-stimulating finger (buzzier) that can run separately or together. The Siri 2 is a pebble-style external vibrator that can vibrate to ambient noise or music (as well as on seven other vibration patterns), last for up to two hours, and is more rumbly than buzzy. Both are made of silicone and ABS plastic, waterproof and rechargeable. The set also includes some of Lelo’s water-based lube, which is glycerin- and paraben-free, contains aloe vera, and is safe to use with silicone toys, so you can play right away.

PC Awaken Your Senses Kit


The Awaken Your Senses Kit includes everything you need to start playing with sensation. The satin love mask and silky entangle ties are a quick way to dive into sensory deprivation (and honestly masks are weirdly effective, who knew?). The melting mini massage candle, pleasure feathers and disposable pinwheel are a way to explore smooth, light, and sharp sensation.


Things everyone should own.

Girl Sex 101


Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon and K.D. Diamond is a definitive guide to anything you might need to know about getting down with other girls. It covers the mechanics, as well as ways to think about sex for yourself and communicate about it with others, along with a cute smutty road-trip story and lots of illustrations. It’s trans- and genderqueer inclusive, depicts lots of different bodies and is incredibly sex positive. (Still not sold? Check out these nine life-changing tips from Girl Sex 101.)

The Magic Wand Rechargeable


Nothing says “I love you,” “I’m into you,” “I’m secretly into you,” “I genuinely want you to be happy,” or “I was worried you’d open this in front of your family and we’d have to pretend you have back problems” like the Magic Wand Rechargeable. One of the most powerful vibrators out there, it has four speeds, four patterns, and a surprising battery life — and once it dies you can plug it in and keep going. If you want intense, powerful, rumbly vibration, without being stuck to an outlet, the Magic Wand Rechargeable is essential.

Je Joue’s Mimi Soft


The Mimi Soft is a small external pebble vibrator with a soft, flexible, matte silicone exterior. The soft tip is great for intense targeted sensation, while the flat sides cover larger areas. It’s rumbly, cute and minimal, and easy to hold in your hand, slip in between bodies, or use with a harness. It’s also rechargeable, waterproof, and has five speeds and seven patterns.

Spareparts Tomboi Harness


The Spareparts Tomboi (and it’s femmier counterpart, the Sasha) is a comfy underwear-style strap-on harness made with breathable, fast-drying fabric that still gives great control. It fits most dildos, includes two pouches for bullet vibes, and makes great back-up underwear when you’ve really forgotten to do laundry.

The Mustang Royale


With a squishy saddle base that fits against the wearer and trademark VixSkin dual-density silicone that’s soft and skin-like to the touch with a firm core for serious sex, the Mustang Royale is a new strap-on essential. It’s mid-sized and compatible with most harnesses, works for pack and play as long as you get a little shameless, and just really, really fun.

Tantus Silk


Looking for something a little less realistic? The Tantus Silk comes in black or purple; small, medium or large; and is smooth, gently curved silicone with a harness-combatible base. It’s non-representative, straightforward, and sleek.

Sliquid Sea


Lube is a forever essential of which you can never have too much. Sliquid Sea is a pH-balanced, glycerin-free, paraben-free, water-based lube with seaweed extract to stimulate the body’s natural lubrication. It’s also infused with carageenan, which has been shown to reduce HPV transmission (though you should still practice all your usual safer sex measures). It doesn’t get sticky or tacky as it dries, is safe to use with silicone toys and is totally recyclable.


Like a stocking stuffer except instead of putting it in a stocking I can’t think of a not-terrible way to finish this sentence.


Chakrub Obsidian Egg — This elegant black obsidian egg is a powerful protective and grounding crystal and a light- to medium-weight kegel exerciser.

Coconu Organic Oil-Based Lubricant — A natural oil-based lube in a minimal squeeze bottle. (Just don’t use with safer sex barriers.)

Sliquid Silver Studio Collection — This premium hypoallergenic silicone lube comes in a glass bottle.

JimmyJane Afterglow Massage Candle — In cocoa-fig, bourbon, cucumber water, dark vanilla or pink lotus, these plant-oil-based massage candles are perfect for getting fancy.

210th Massage Oil — This silicone-based floral-scented massage oil is long-lasting and not tested on animals.

Blackline Nipple Clamps — These adjustable rubber-lined clamps, with a connecting chain for extra weight, can go from light to tight.

Bondage Tape — This PVC tape sticks only to itself, not to skin or hair, and is great for easy bondage.


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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews on the rechargeable Magic Wand’s battery life, but I will at least say for myself that I haven’t charged once it in like two months. I’m not convinced it’s not possessed with a demon spirit. EXCELLENT purchase, all the recommendations.

    • I’ve seen mixed reports of the battery life, too, but the enchanted longevity of the one I have is so real.

  2. I will just show the cute girl at the adult store this article. It will give me a great excuse to chat and maybe find out if she is queer. I have to see if they carry the sliquid lube anyways ?.

  3. woah I didn’t know massage candles were a thing. also I just ordered Girl Sex 101 the other day and now I am even more excited!

    • I like it because the second comment has an exclamation mark, almost as if it’s escalating in intensity! V. appropriate for this post.

  4. Bück dich, befehl ich dir \m/

    *coughs* I need that paddle because I think I have a perfect playlist for it, but even Sliquid pushes mah wee budget.

    If I had all of the $$ I’d been spending it on shelters and services for vulnerable members of our community and sex toys for me.

    • Love that first sentence. I’m going to take a wild guess and say your playlist consists of a lot of Rammstein songs.

      • I’d say ja, but I’d like arrange some softness/come down into that playlist. And Rammstein has nothing I’d class as soft.
        I’d probably pop in some select pieces from arrangements of the Requiem for softness after some Type O Negative.
        Ideally some Wojciech Kilar as build up before Rammstein.

        Warming somebody up is possibly my favourite part of impact play.

  5. I cannot express how much I love having Autostraddle in my life when this came up on my Facebook feed “I genuinely want you to be happy and maybe have lots of orgasms” ahahaha awesome!

  6. Does anyone know if WetForHer are terfs or not? I wish I wasn’t asking this question, but they use language like “the female anatomy” and are troublingly not forthcoming, plus I’d be choosing them as an alternative to Fun Factory, on account of Fun Factory being too heterocentric. Neither double dildo meets my specs exactly, so I’m trying to buy based on my politics? Also has anyone got a second opinion on the Union?

  7. Sliquid has become such a popular lube! Women love the fact that it is “free” of everything that they don’t want and actually feels great as a lube. Not getting sticky or “tacky” as you put it, is also a welcome thing. It is a brand that has made its mark, as customers now ask for it by name aren’t interested in hearing of other lubes.

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