Stroke Your Way to a Better Sex Life

Inexpensive Penis Toys

Plagued by the boredom and monotony of the pandemic, there came a point where I was beyond desperate to spice up my sex life. The only thing outpowering my insatiable sexual hunger, however, was the paralyzing fear of being exposed to COVID-19, meaning I was going to have to get crafty and figure out a way to have great sex with myself.

Fortunately, as a sex writer and certified sex educator with nearly a decade’s experience, I’ve amassed an impressive collection of toys, most of which had been discretely placed in backpacks hidden deep in the closet, where I happened to spend the majority of my twenties.

Until this point, I never took the time to explore and experiment with these toys because I, like many penis-owners, fatuously believed my hand was most proficient at getting me off.

Until this point, I never took the time to explore and experiment with these toys because I, like many penis-owners, fatuously believed my hand was most proficient at getting me off. Not to mention, prior to the pandemic, I barely had enough time to shower, let alone seduce myself with a romantic solo session. Then the pandemic came and, suddenly, all I had was time.

As the days grew longer, my confused libido became more difficult to navigate than a Ryan Murphy series, until one day my sexually deprived body lifted itself from the couch I’d previously spent several hours on and lurched toward the closet, where I unpacked all my bags and curiously examined each and every sex toy that’s ever landed at my doorstep.

By the end, I could better identify my sexual anatomy and how it responds to different types of stimulation. Things that my hand is incapable of doing, from vibrating and sucking to thrusting and tickling.

Over the next few months, I set off on a self-documented journey of self and sexual exploration, working my way through nearly 100 different sex toys. In that short time span, I had learned more about my body than I ever could have expected. By the end, I could better identify my sexual anatomy and how it responds to different types of stimulation. Things that my hand is incapable of doing, from vibrating and sucking to thrusting and tickling. Ultimately, I knew exactly what I liked and what I didn’t. Both my penis and hole had become sex toy sommeliers.

As fate would have it, a few short months ago, another box full of sexy toys was sent to my apartment, where I was tasked to give each of them an honest review and set you, dear reader, up with an experience as eye-opening and affirming as mine.

The toys included in this review are some of the most inexpensive Spectrum Boutique has to offer and are largely intended for short-term use, making them ideal for starting your solo journey, discovering which sensations, materials, and textures you best respond to. So without further adieu, let’s get stroking!

Sono No. 69 Tight Ribbed Masturbation Sleeve

At first glance, the SONO Stroker looked like a dog’s chew toy; one that you would find at a fancy boutique with a dog pun in its name. Almost immediately, I noticed the hole that I was supposed to fuck looked quite small, but I’m no quitter and eventually managed to squeeze myself in with the help of some water-based lube. Of course, the tighter the hole, the more intensely you feel the stroker’s interior texture, so I’m fairly certain this design was intentional.

Made from stretchable TPE, this amoeba-shaped stroker is exceptionally squishy and pliable, making it fun to touch and play with. The toy also hosts two holes to slide your fingers through for closer, more intimate contact with your cock, but this felt unnecessary since I found the texture a little too intense at times. And because the fit was so snug, I kept falling out of the toy, which interrupted the flow of my sessions, but not enough to ruin the experience.

Rating: Seven strokes out of 10

Tenga Sphere Egg Masturbation Sleeve

I won’t lie, I had big eggspectations for this one (sorry, I couldn’t resist). My first impression: The packaging is brilliant. The toy looks and feels like a pliable hard-boiled egg. And the lube, included with the toy, adds to this novelty, giving an impression of uncooked egg whites.

My biggest compliment is the toy’s sensory experience. The wet and gushy, mac and cheesy sounds are erotic and the visual of the egg stretching thin and becoming transparent added to the session. Admittedly, I couldn’t feel the interior texture as much as I would have liked and the sleeve didn’t necessarily help me reach orgasm any quicker, but I can definitely appreciate the design and novelty it offers. For $8, the Tenga Egg is definitely worth a purchase.

Rating: Six strokes out of 10

Sono No. 94 Reversible Textured Clear Sleeve

I was initially drawn to this stroker because it’s open-ended. Not only does this make the toy easier to clean (a huge benefit for me, personally), but as something of a self-voyeur, I enjoy watching myself climax. This stroker is reversible, and can also be used as a bumper to stop full penetration, in case a penis or toy is too large or the receiving partner experiences discomfort during intercourse.

Unlike the majority of the toys on this list, I could really feel its texture, as the honeycomb-like pattern (the reversible side is similar but less intense with rounded edges) is deeper and more prominent than others. Because of that, I found it required more lube, which can be expected since it’s open-ended.

Tip: I’d recommend trimming your pubes before using this one since I did experience a few uncomfortable tugs.

Rating: Five strokes out of 10

Sexy Pills

Not to be confused with Viagra, these Sexy Pills offer your penis a different kind of service. Of all the toys I was sent, the Orange Passion Sexy Pill was definitely the item I was most visually intrigued by. The packaging is adorable, resembling cartoonishly large pills that Lisa Rinna would likely use to decorate her Beverly Hills mansion. My favorite part of this toy is that it focuses on the head of the penis, which hosts the lion’s share of nerve endings.

However, a recurring theme presented itself: I couldn’t feel the interior texture, but both my hands and penis appreciated its soft elastomer material to the point that touching it was almost addicting.

The Sexy Pills are essentially Tenga Eggs, except the design centers around pills as opposed to eggs, and is available in an array of playful colors. What sets themselves apart, however, is that the Sexy Pills are efficient with any glans, meaning they can also be a suitable toy for transgender men. We stan!

Rating: Six strokes out of 10

Svakom Heady Masturbator

Stripped from its packaging (which is more or less an oblong Tenga Egg), this stroker is the prettiest and, to be honest, my favorite of the bunch. The stroker fit my cock like Cinderella’s glass slipper and hosts an interior texture that felt better than all of the others.

The toy’s wavy exterior is also worthy of mention and was so pleasing to touch that I didn’t want to let go. This was hands up (and down) the winner. Crown it!

Rating: Eight strokes out of 10

Oxballs Meat Cock Ring

To be completely frank, I’ve always been curious about cock rings, but they scare the shit out of me. I love my penis dearly, and cock rings always felt threatening, like something irreversible could go wrong. But since my faves at Spectrum Boutique had so graciously given me a cock ring from Oxballs, who has a stellar reputation for cock rings, I felt now was the time to give them a shot.

Now, this is no ordinary cock ring, this one fits around the shaft and balls and is designed to push the penis up and away from the body. As someone who prefers to keep his fur, putting this on requires plenty of caution, patience, and lube.

Once I managed to get it on, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the ring around my balls in particular and found myself giving them a lot more attention than I normally would have. I actually made a point to get up and check myself out in the mirror…and I liked what I saw.

I didn’t climax with it on, but I can definitely try slipping it on the next time I have partnered sex. Also, since this style cock ring can be worn for long periods of time, it’s great for when you’re adding some extra meat to your bulge, just saying.

Rating: Seven strokes out of 10

No matter when or how you choose to set off on this journey of sexual discovery, I promise you will learn more about your body and leave the experience more sexually confident than before.

Great sex begins with knowing what you want and how you want it, and being able to properly communicate that with a partner is just as important. Like me, perhaps someday these playthings will make their way into y0ur partnered sex life, and a whole new world of pleasure will present itself. If you need guidance or more recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s my job to help you have the best sex of your life and it’s a job I don’t take lightly. Happy stroking!

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