If you’re like most people, you agonize over what to get the special people in your life when it’s gift-giving time. However, you probably don’t think of a sex toy when you picture the perfect gift option, and that’s where you’re wrong.

For the right recipient and occasion, a sex toy is a genuinely terrific gift idea for many reasons, but there’s a fine art to getting it right. Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know to do exactly that.

Why Give a Sex Toy as a Gift?

While sex toys can still make great gag gifts for your favorite bride-to-be at her bachelorette party, that’s no longer the only appropriate scenario for giving one. In recent years, both men and women alike have become increasingly comfortable with the idea of receiving such a gift from someone like a partner or a close friend. So, why should you consider gifting one?

Think back to how uncertain you felt when you were thinking about buying your first sex toy. It’s not always easy for someone to take that first step, and receiving a toy as a gift removes a lot of that pressure. A growing number of women, in particular, report having received their first vibrator from a friend. Consider the possibility that you could help a friend take ownership of her own pleasure for the first time in her life.

If you’re buying for a partner, there are even more benefits to consider. A sex toy opens up a whole new world of possibilities both for them as an individual and for the two of you as a couple. Sex toys are beautiful ways to stay connected when you’re apart, as well – a considerable benefit here in the age of COVID.

The Dos and Don’ts of Gifting a Sex Toy

Of course, realizing a sex toy might indeed be the right gift for someone on your list is one thing. Making sure the gift will be received in the spirit intended is another. Here are a few dos and don’ts to consider first to make sure your experience is a positive one for both you and your gift recipient.

DON’T make the toy a complete surprise.

A vibrator or other sex toy should never be a surprise coming entirely out of left field when you give it as a gift. It should be something that makes sense because the two of you have already shared plenty of frank, open conversation on the topic. If you’ve never had such a discussion and need to bring up the subject, try introducing it as something you read about or were talking about with another friend.

DO keep it simple when it comes to your choice.

There’s an entire multitude of choices to pick from when it comes to sex toys these days, so you’ll have your work cut out for you. However, unless you have good reason to believe the recipient of your gift really would like a massive 14-inch vibrating dildo that comes complete with every possible bell and whistle, keep things simple.

Size-wise, go for something on the manageable side, like the Lola G. Bigger isn’t always better, especially when someone’s brand new to using sex toys altogether. Go for a quality toy that will get the job done right, but opt for one with basic features anyone would like and be comfortable with. Neutral colors and non-representational shapes are generally good ideas, as well.

DON’T present it as a gag gift.

There are many situations where injecting a little humor into the mix is an excellent idea for easing any potential discomfort. This is not one of them. Presenting a sex toy as something embarrassing, silly, or icky – even in jest – only reinforces negative stereotypes surrounding their use. Present your gift in a fun, lighthearted manner, but don’t make fun of it or turn it into a joke.

DO give it privately.

Although sex toy use is definitely nothing to be ashamed of, it’s still a very private matter and should be treated with care. No one wants the experience of unwrapping a vibrator in front of their parents and children on Christmas morning, in public at a crowded restaurant, or – heaven forbid – at work. Instead, pull the person aside to receive their gift so they can enjoy the experience and really check out their new toy.

For the most part, it’s a good idea to trust your instincts when it comes to giving a sex toy as a gift. If something doesn’t seem like a good idea, err on the side of caution and don’t go about it that way. And when in doubt, it never hurts to get communicative and ask! You’re both likely to be glad you did.