Spring clean your toy chest

Sex therapist Sarah Berry sheds some sunlight on good toy hygiene

Spring is here and most of us are putting our finances, our health routines, our CVs and our sex lives under the spring clean spotlight. Most of us understand that we need to clean our houses (and sex toys) throughout the year, but I love a good seasonal hook. So while you are cleaning throughout the year, your toy collection may have been neglected.

First step: cleaning out the carnal cobwebs: how many of you have a bedside drawer full of old toys that don’t work, don’t get you off or are worse for wear? That giant, pink beauty may have looked so promising in the packet but when you got home, you realised that the vibrations were too weak, the dimensions were wrong or it felt funny. It now sits in your toy chest reminding you of your misspent money. Time to get rid and replace with something new and exciting, how about upgrading to a Titanium Shaftsbury.

The same goes for worn out toys. You may have had hours of fun with it, but a toy that grunts and grinds its way through a session is more likely to frustrate than delight. If you don’t think it warrants battery replacement or to get a new charger then its time to part ways. Luckily, unlike partners, its much less drama to switch for a newer, better looking and satisfying model. Rather than chucking them in the bin, you may be able to recycle them.

Next step: sterilisation. Of course if you left cleaning your toys to the months of May to June they are likely to be germ-ridden, dust-coated and not fit for use – especially if they are made of a non-porous material like jelly (the see-through, soft material used for most rabbits). Non-porous materials include Pyrex glass, acrylic, hard plastic and medical grade silicon and metal. Do note many toys are classed as novelties so while they improve your sexual health and happiness, they do not need to get FDA or NICE approval. This means the package may, for example, state that a toy is silicone even if it only comprises 10% silicone. The Crowned Jewels toys are medical grade titanium so non porous, long lasting and disintegration-proof. If you are sharing your toy, you may find cleaning your toy in the midst of a session can be a bit of a mood killer. Instead pop a condom over it – a new one each time the toy is placed against or in a different orifice.

But all toys still need cleaning after use – porous or not. Bacteria can breed even if the toy looks clean. The general rule is to not clean a toy with anything you wouldn’t put inside yourself, so avoid bleach. Many toys can be sterilised by being soaked in boiled water (please allow to cool before retrieving your toy). This is great for the non-motorised Crowned Jewels toys. If your toy is glass or if it vibrates, then wipe down the surface with antibacterial soap and warm water. Check with the manufacturer if you are unsure.

A word of warning: do make sure all traces of soap are fully rinsed away or your sterilised toy has cooled enough before you use it – we want you springing around in pleasure!

Sarah Berry is a sex & relationship therapist with a private practice. She is available for sessions over Skype or in her London office. For more info visit www.sarahberrytherapy.co.uk

Chocolate v Kegel Eggs!

Sex therapist Sarah Berry egg-splores the wonder of these two pleasure givers with Chocolate v Kegel Eggs!

 

This Easter, millions of ladies will feel delight in unwrapping the bright foil Easter eggs from (hopefully) their favourite confectioner. But it is my happy job as Crowned Jewels’ therapist by-appointment to help you think outside the chocolate box. So why not lay an egg that improves health, gives pleasure and isn’t gone in a few gobbles? Actually you’re welcome to have both but in the spirit of fun I’ve decided to pit the luxurious Crowned Jewels Kegel Eggs against our traditional chocolate eggs. So mouths and mounds at the ready…

The healthiest

Chocolate: While we all know too much of the brown stuff leads to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes, a little dark chocolate reportedly helps support our cardiovascular system, reduce coughing and ward off cancer.
Kegels: Use of these eggs can help relax you, intensify orgasms, ease childbirth and stave off both incontinence and prolapses. They come in two sizes to help you build up your vaginal stamina! We recommend you start with the larger egg that is 2.9cm in diameter and takes less kegel effort to hold. Then when you’re ready, move on to the smaller one that has a 2.5cm diameter. Unlike chocolate, the more you use them, the better!
Winner: Kegel

Best for hunger

Chocolate: While it may not be as hunger quenching as, say, a bowl of pasta, chocolate certainly does fill a hole in one’s appetite.
Kegel: Well these eggs do fill a hole (arf arf) but you’re more likely to be hungrier after a session with one of these lovelies.
Winner: Chocolate

 

Most arousing

Chocolate: Since the Aztec times chocolate has been used as an aphrodisiac. However in the 1980s US researchers found that the body doesn’t absorb enough of the choccie nerve stimulant phenyl ethylamine (PEA) to affect us. So it is seems that the only thing these eggs arouse is our taste buds!
Kegels: If you insert one of these weighted eggs and do some kegel squeezes or masturbate, there is a very high chance of arousal!
Winner: Kegel

Prettiest

Chocolate: Peeling open that brightly coloured foil to discover the delicious, sometimes engraved, prize inside transports me straight back to childhood. I love it!
Kegel: They come in a range of gorgeous colours and look like expensive jewels. This appeals to the happy adult in me.
Winner: It’s a draw

Most enduring

Chocolate: When chocolate is gone, it’s gone. Even if you are one of those blessed few that can manage to eke out an egg for weeks until it gets that dusty layer on it, you either eat it eventually or chuck it.
Kegel: These eggs are titanium and can last… well I guess they can last forever, which is a lot longer than than most chocolate and relationships. So you can feel the pleasure again and again.
Winner: Kegel

Most versatile

Chocolate: How do you eat your cream egg? I bite off the top and take a big lick of the inside. Some use a spoon, others like to suck… the possibilities are rumoured to be endless.
Kegel: While wearing an egg you can masturbate, have sex, do the shopping (though this is only recommended for experienced users as you don’t want it dropping out!).
Winner: It’s a draw

Most popular

Chocolate: Chocolate is one of the worlds most popular foods but not everyone likes it. While lactose intolerance and milk chocolate are not happy bedfellows and those with medical conditions like diabetes have to content themselves with dietary products, there are some poor souls who have a full blown chocolate allergy and need to steer clear of the whole lot!
Kegel: The Crowned Jewels’ Kegel eggs are made of medical grade titanium. As like chocolate, Kegel eggs aren’t to everyone’s taste. I wouldn’t recommend them if you find penetration difficult. Oh and the eggs aren’t for men – pop one of these up your bum and you may need a trip to A&E. Now that’s not our idea of a fun Easter egg hunt.
Winner: It’s a draw

Most surprising

Chocolate: Of course there are certain eggs that have presents inside: whether it’s a bag of sweets or a kinder toy, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Kegel: A kegel egg from loved one will likely be an un-egg-spected surprise. For an even bigger thrill, warm it under the hot tap or cool it in the fridge before inserting!
Winner: Kegel

Cheapest

Chocolate: Well we can’t deny that even posh Easter eggs are cheaper than the Crowned Jewels ones. But their use is short lived (as we saw in the endurance heat).
Kegel: OK so they cost from £64 but if you look at cost per use, then these win the egg and poonai race.
Winner: Chocolate

The verdict
So while Kegel eggs may win this ever so slightly biased egg-stravaganza, I have decided to declare every egg an Easter egg. So dear reader, have a lovely time whichever egg you choose.

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Your magic moment this Valentines

A very unromantic new survey has revealed that couples are most likely to end their relationships after two years and nine months. Social media distractions are largely to blame for the acceleration of the seven year itch, so Valentines might be a good time to put the magic back into your relationship.

Roses, candles, baths and fireplaces are all very well, but if your mind is elsewhere – or if you can’t tear yourself away from the phone – then it can be hard to stay focussed during your date and love making session. Before risking your relationship by looking for a sense of adventure in the arms of another, why not try a less problematic bedfellow: a new toy.

“But wait?” you may or may not cry. Aren’t all sex toys pink, willy-shaped, with diamante and made for women? Well no. The market is full of toys that would happily fit in the orifices of any gender. Amongst these lie the Crowned Jewels’ Titanium Shaftsbury wand: a sensual, exciting, pleasurable piece of sculpture that has balls.

The great thing about this wand is that both partners can use it together or alone. The sleek end is great for pulling in and out at speed while the balls feel great being eased in and out slowly as you or your partner enjoys the sensation of their sphincter or vaginal muscles opening and closing around them.

For an extra thrill you can enjoy the wand hot or cold: just place it in warm water, or in the fridge. And if you need any help it sliding it in, or are a fan of things slippy, try a slick of silicone or water based lubrication.

Do be sure not to double dip – i.e., inserting the same end into a different orifice without cleaning it or covering it with a new condom – as this can spread germs. To clean, wipe it down then leave it in boiling water for five minutes or spray with custom-made toy cleaner.

Finally, do be sure to keep tight hold of the wand when inserting the wand into the anus, as the muscles are very powerful and could suck it up. That’s a magic trick that no one wants to see!

If magic wands are your thing then the Shaftsbury could spell a fun Valentines for you.

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Sarah Berry is a sex and relationship therapist at www.sarahberrytherapy.co.uk