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Bed Post: For sex-toy newbies: Start simple; search spiritedly; sanitize, sanitize, sanitize

I want to try masturbating with a butt plug or maybe a vibrator. Can you recommend something for a beginner?

Welcome to the world of sex toys — a land with more vibrating logs and science models that you can stick up your butt than you would ever imagine. First rule: Start simple.

Regarding vibrators, bullets are pretty basic. They are affordable and don’t intimidate. If you are a man, try a vibrating cock ring.

Regarding butt plugs, start small and do not forget the lube. Pay special attention to what your sex toy is made of. Certain materials do not mix, and you should not even store them in a place where they can touch. For example, a silicone-based toy will start to melt if it comes in contact with silicone-based lube.

Once you start figuring out what you like, shop for quality. Unless you live near a progressive sex-toy retailer, you will probably buy items online or at a sex-toy party, where a salesperson brings, displays and sells sex toys from a catalog like the risqué version of those catalogs of chocolate that schools use to legitimize child labor. Buying online means having access to customer reviews and to websites that rate various toys.

Remember, this is an investment; expect to spend some money. If you buy more than just a wiggly, plastic cucumber and take care of it, it will take care of you for a long time.

Once you own it, read how to appropriately sanitize your toy. And if you want to use your toy with a partner, put a condom on it. Not doing so can spread STIs and harmful bacteria.

Enjoy the search, be sure to clear your Internet history, and let us know what you decide to buy.

Alex Bill is a junior studying psychology and criminology.

Favorite sex toy? Oh boy! I actually do not have one. Au naturale is my favorite way to get down and dirty — no frills, only thrills.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family who labeled ibuprofen as a harmful drug, but I sway away from the artificial. Even now as an adult, when I have a headache, I prefer to sleep it off instead of reaching for pills.

However, a few of my girlfriends swear by using vibrators with or without a partner. One friend enjoys using hers casually while watching infomercials; it keeps her from dialing the phone and overdrawing her bank account.

Also, I have popped in on a Pure Romance party — “Empower, Educate, Entertain.” I left feeling all those things but not tempted to buy anything except a cream, which is still waiting to be picked up.

Toyland, toyland — it was definitely more girl than boyland.

Among the tingles and warmers and coolers and soothers sat vibrating cock rings and dildos with suction cups attached, as well as toys with more buttons than a universal remote control.

All of those either shocked or frightened me.

I personally can’t see a world outside of two people who love each other and want raw skin-on-skin without games or gizmos. My love is simple.

But I wish I were more adventurous in my sex life. Kinky does not mean kooky, and sex toys make for a great time if used safely — keep 'em clean.

Maybe when you figure out your favorite, let me know?

Steph Doan is a junior studying journalism.

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