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Sex Toys as Gifts: When It’s a Good Idea and How to Do It Right

November 6, 2018

Sexual Health|
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Whether you’re looking for the perfect naughty gift for your bestie’s bachelorette party or simply want to give your partner something extra special for the holidays this year, a sex toy can seem like a wonderful idea, and with good reason. To begin with, it’s literally everything the experts say a perfect gift should be – fun, thoughtful, and useful. Plus, if you’re giving it to your partner, it’s the type of gift you’re likely to benefit from as well. (Hotter foreplay and more orgasmic intercourse for the win!)

However, knowing you like the idea of giving a sex toy as a gift is one thing. Being sure it’s actually a good idea in practice is another. So can you gift someone a sex toy? And should you? And what about gifting one to someone that isn’t your partner – great idea or serious faux pas to be avoided at all costs? Here we’ll go over everything you need to know to do things properly and find out what’d be the best sex toys you could offer as gifts!

Should You Gift a Sex Toy?

Before you consider anything else, you’ll naturally want to figure out whether gifting a sex toy to the person you have in mind is actually a good idea or not. Make sure you contemplate points like the following before deciding a sex toy as a gift should be a go.

Who You’re Buying For

These days, it seems like everyone is comfortable talking openly about a multitude of sexual topics, up to and including sex toy use. In fact, you may even have had sexually frank conversations with close friends or family members before. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’d appreciate your giving them a sex toy as a gift though.

Sex toys are best when gifted to a spouse, a partner, or a current sex partner. (To sidestep any awkwardness, avoid gifting toys to people you’re no longer sexually involved with, even if you’re still friendly. No exes or former booty calls allowed!) Spouses, long-term relationship partners, and friends with benefits are all fine. It’s usually best not to give a toy to anyone you haven’t slept with yet either, even if you’re in a relationship and absolutely plan to take them to bed at some point.

Your Gut Instincts

Of course, this isn’t to say you absolutely can’t buy a toy for a friend or a family member, especially if you regularly talk very openly about sex and masturbation. Just trust your gut instincts and err on the side of caution if you’re even the least little bit unsure. While sex toys can be awesome gifts for the right person and occasion, they can create an unbelievable amount of awkwardness for the wrong one.

Their Likes and Dislikes

In case you were wondering, the wide, wonderful world of sex toys doesn’t start and stop at vibrators or dildos anymore. That said, take a moment to stop and consider what the recipient of your gift needs or would appreciate in a new toy.

Will this be the first toy for them or will they be adding to an ample collection they’ve been working on for years? If they’re brand new to toys, have they mentioned wanting to try a particular kind or type? What do you know about the types of stimulation they prefer? If you don’t actually know the answers to questions like these, gifting a toy may not be the right move.

How Do You Choose the Right Toy?

So let’s say you’ve decided a sex toy would make the ideal gift for the person you have in mind. Now what? How can you be absolutely certain they’ll love what you picked out? Make sure you consider the following while you’re shopping around and your gift is sure to be a hit.


As mentioned above, sex toys come in lots of different types, shapes, sizes, and functions. How does this person like to be touched and treated in bed? Are they into being penetrated or are they all about being pleasured orally and/or manually instead? Would they appreciate a toy they can use with their partner or would they be using it solo? Keep in mind that you can always just ask if you’re not really sure.


Don’t simply assume that bigger is always better when it comes to sex toys. Unless you know for a fact the person you’re buying for prefers huge sex toys, it’s better to go smaller or more average-sized. This is doubly the case if you’re buying a toy for someone who’s never used one before or only has limited experience. You don’t want to buy them something so intimidating that they never actually use it.


Naturally, the functionality of the sex toy you choose is the most important thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean looks don’t matter. Modern sex toys come in a varied selection of different colors, styles, shapes, and designs, so you’ll want to have an idea of what the recipient tends to prefer from an aesthetic standpoint. Do they like their insertive toys to be as lifelike as possible or do they prefer non-representational options? What colors and patterns do they like – neutrals, neon, animal print, or something else altogether?

You’ll also want to ask yourself if the person you’re shopping for would prefer a sex toy designed with discretion in mind. Do they have children, roommates, or an overly nosy grandmother? Will they potentially be traveling with their toy? Today’s market is filled with clever mini vibes that look indistinguishable from everyday objects like lipstick, mascara, or even jewelry — perfect for those that want to be able to take a sex toy on the go or keep one around without having to worry about the wrong person seeing it.

What Occasions Are Best for Gifting a Sex Toy?

So at this point, you’ve determined who you can gift a sex toy to, as well as how to make a choice they’ll love… but what about the occasion? Sex toys and erotic gifts in general are much better fits for some gift-giving opportunities than others. For instance, they’re really never appropriate for Mother’s Day or as baby shower gifts. With the possible exception of a bachelorette party or naughty birthday party, they shouldn’t be gifted on occasions that will find the recipient opening their gift in front of a lot of other people either (especially family).

On the other hand, sex toys make amazing gifts for an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or any other occasion that’s about romance, love, or sex. They’re also excellent options for bachelorette parties or private Christmas gift exchanges between yourself and your partner. They’re great parting gifts to give right before an extended period of time the two of you will be spending apart too. (Synched or remote-controlled toys are especially great options for that!)

In other words, sex toys as gifts have a lot in common with any other clever gift idea you might come up with. The key to success is to know your recipient well, to make sure your choice meets all of their preferences, and to time the actual gifting properly so as not to cause any awkwardness or embarrassment. Happy shopping!

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