Sexual Health Week

Using Sex Toys Safely

Sexual Health Week is upon us, and as always, we’ll be doing our bit by separating facts from fiction. We’ll share information on how to choose sex toys wisely, how to keep your bits & bobs bacteria-free, and we’ll also squeeze in a shortie about sexually transmitted infections. Highlighting sexual health is important for so many reasons.

Did you know that sharing toys with a lover could mean ending up with an infection? Or that forgetting to wash your favourite vibrator could have dire effects on your vagina? It’s true.

Today we are focusing on how to use sex toys safely. It might sound self-explanatory, but ask any A&E nurse and you’ll find they have a long list of things gone wrong during play time.

We’ve all heard about the light bulb that disappeared up someone’s bum, or the vibrator that was sucked up…still vibrating. Most recently, a story about a toy dinosaur being removed from a lady’s  cave made the rounds on social media.

These stories may elicit a giggle from most of us, but we guarantee the person who ended up in A&E didn’t think it much fun. Such trauma is enough to put anyone off toys for life!

First rule of safe sex toy play:

Use toys that have been designed for what you have in mind. Light bulbs may look enticing, but you’ll regret it. Likewise wine bottles (ouch!), coca cola cans (really?) or fish (borderline bestiality).

We have heard the most horrendous stories of things gone awol inside a person and we can’t stress this enough; it’s a lot less embarrassing to go to a sex shop to purchase a sexy toy than it is to go to A&E with a spatula up yer bum…

Butt Plug 2
Butt Plug 2 £19

Use Anal Toys Safely

We’re going to start off with anal toys as this seems to be the most popular orifice for inserting a wide range of unsuitable things.

Anal play is a whole lot of fun – as long as you play safely. The anal muscle is stronger than you think, so ensure any toy used for anal teasing or insertion has a flared base or handle.

Our range of handmade silicone butt plugs are perfect for safe anal play. The plugs have all got wide bases, meaning there is no chance of them getting sucked into the rectum. Start off with small-size butt toys, and add a generous squirt of a thick anal lubricant for comfy, pain-free play. The anus isn’t self-lubricating so added lubrication to keep all moves sensual, smooth and pain-free is essential.

Vibrator Safety

Sh! Easy Egg
Sh! Easy Egg £22

Some vibrators, like Sh! Easy Egg bullet vibrator, are designed for external use only. Play with the softly textured egg on your nipples, labia and clit, but avoid slipping it inside. The main reason for this is removal: you’ll have to pull on the cord to remove the egg and over time,  this will weaken the connection. This will not only shorten the life of the vibe, but also put you at risk for internal scratches and difficult removal.

Tip: if you do want to play with  a bullet style vibe vaginally, we recommend slipping it into a condom first. You can then pull on the condom for easy removal without damaging the cord – or  more importantly – your delicate parts!

If you want a toy that can be used for safe insertion, we have a stunning selection of G-spot vibrators and Rabbit-style vibrators to choose from. These toys have been designed for internal play.

Waterproof Sex Toys

Some vibrators are 100% waterproof, some are shower-proof and others not safe for use in the water at all. If you like to splash around in the hot-tub full of bubbles (who doesn’t?), make sure your vibrator is waterproof. Always check the instructions before submerging.

Safety with Rechargeable Toys

Rechargeable sex toys are fabulous, but you need to pay attention when plugging them in for a boost. Use only the correct charger, and make sure to unplug when done.

Also pay attention to voltage – make sure your toy is compatible with national voltage. Espesh important when going abroad!

sexybattery-aaa
Sexy Batteries £4.50

Batteries – power up your toys safely

Using the right kind of batteries for your toy is imperative. Protect and prolong the life of a cheaper-style vibe with low-power batteries like Panasonic. Or even better, stock up on Sexy Batteries, which are designed specifically for sex toys. Extra power but kinder on motors!

Don’t mix new and old batteries, and always remove batteries before storing your toy.

We know of one woman who chose to go against advice when it came to storage, preferring to carry her favourite vibe in her handbag at all times. She eventually ended up with an overheated vibrator and the batteries caught fire – on public transport!

Safe Sex Toy Materials

Whilst we don’t sell the, lots of sex toys are made from  Jelly, which to a greater or lesser degree has been softened with Phthalates – a type of chemical which has raised heath concerns.

There has not been much research on Phthalates in sex toys but our advice choose body-friendly materials for your play things. Above all other materials, we recommend silicone.

Silicone is hypo-allergenic, non-porous and phthalate-free. It’s super easy to keep clean and you can even sterilize non-vibrating silicone toys for sharing and ultimate safety.

Vibrators made from Elastomer TPR/TPE are a great alternative to Jelly as they are Phthalate-free, but they are likely to be porous, so better to not share these toys or cover them with a condom if you do…

Other super-safe materials are solid glass and stainlesss steel, but these hard and inflexible toys are more of an acquired taste.

Cleaning Your Sex Toys

Yes, you do need to wash your sex toy.  Regularly. Not cleaning your toys will ensure that bacteria grows, causing all sorts of itchiness in delicate areas.

Use a special sex toy cleaner, or wash with antibacterial hand wash and hot water.

Leave them to air dry ( drying them with a towel or tissue could leave tiny particles which you probably don’t want transferred to your muff) and store them in a clean, dark place, away from other toys ( direct heat, sunlight or proximity to other sex toy materials can cause strange melting/fusing  to sex toy surfaces)

We don’t recommend storing any sex toys, including those made of leather, such as strap ons or bondage gear, in a sealed plastic bag, as this doesn’t protect them but actually creates a culture-growing environment. A  cardboard storage box or fabric bag is better – let your sex toys breathe!

Sh! Pure Lube £10
Sh! Pure Lube £10

Lube

We always advocate for the use of lube, but it’s equally important to choose the right lube for both you and your toy.

Water-based lubricants are  body-friendly and usually our first choice. They are often very similar to your natural juices in consistency, with no scent or flavour. If you are concerned by parabens, choose a Praben-Free Lubricant or if you are prone to thrush, opt for a Glycerine-Free Lube.

Silicone-based lubes are great for when you need long-lasting glide, but the downside to these lubricants is that they’ll damage the surface of silicone toys. Silicone-based lubes are best left for skin-on-skin play.

Playing Safely with Temperature on Sex Toys

Putting toys in the microwave to “warm them up” before inserting isn’t a good idea. Neither is putting them in the freezer and then directly on to the delicate skin of your down-belows.

If you like to play with temperatures, there are much safer ways: warm toys by rubbing back and forth in your hands, run under warm water or cool by leaving in the fridge for an hour or two.  Or, go super-safe by warming or cooling the lube instead of the toy…

advice g spot

How to use a G-Spot Vibrator

The G-Spot is on the front wall of the vagina – some say about three inches inside, behind the pubic bone. For others their ‘special spot’ is not so far in – perhaps an inch or so.

Similarly, some women find their G-Spot to be very responsive whilst others have a hard time waking theirs up.

The most definitive thing we can say, after 20+ years advising women on this most mysterious of erogenous zones, is that it might be elusive but it’s definitely worth exploring!

However,  no toy can guarantee orgasms – G-Spot or otherwise – so please don’t buy a G-Spot vibrator or dildo expecting it to act like a sat-nav that will definitely take you to your desired destination…

Learning to identify and relax into the sensations is the only way to identify your G-Spot and perhaps achieve a G-Spot orgasm.

That said, the curved end of a G-Spot toy will allow you to try to discover yours, because the shape naturally probes the area you’re looking to explore.

The G-Spot can take time to respond and when it does, it’s more likely to be through pressure and motion than delicate touch or vibration.

The G-Spot can take a long time to awaken and is most likely to do so when you are incredibly turned on and it is getting lots of attention.

The G-Spot loves consistent firm stimulation and if it receives this,  it swells and grows from being the pea-size to walnut-sized.

G-Spot Only: Vibrator Styles and Shapes

Desire G-Spot Vibrator
Desire G-Spot Vibrator £49

Vibrators that are designed for G-Spot stimulation only are always shaft-shaped with a curved or angled head.  When used inside, this style of vibrator allows you to hone in on the internal sensations without any distraction. That said, any toy that vibrates, whatever its size or shape, can be enjoyed externally so if it doesn’t help you find your G-Spot, all is not lost – you can always enjoy its buzz on your clitoris instead!

  • A  G-Spot Vibrator  with a round, bulbous head provides a feeling of fullness and a large surface area  with which to massage the area – try using small  circular motions to identify and awaken your G-Spot.
  • A vibrator with a flat end, such as Lelo Gigi  or Picobong Moka, also gives a large stimulating area, delivering  firm pressure across the whole surface. Used with a small in-out motion, it can tap away at the designated area.

Some of these vibrators may be too large for many women to enjoy, especially during a solo sex session.

Lots of women don’t include self-penetration as part of their pleasure-itinerary, so a smaller G-Spot toy might be preferable on your first forrays into G-Spot pleasuring.

  • At only 4 inches long, the Mini G Spot vibrator is the shortest G-Spot vibrator we carry – but still plenty long enough for G-Spot probing (remember it’s somewhere 1-3 inches inside).
  • For a super-slim shaft, the Diamond G-Spot Vibrator offers very precise, directional G-Spot stimulation – though this may be too precise for those who haven’t found theirs yet.

G-Spot Vibrators that offer clitoral stimulation too.

G-Spot Rabbit
G-Spot Rabbit £39

There are pluses and minuses to having dual stimulation during your G-Spot search. Whilst adding clitoral stimulation can never be a bad thing for most women, it can make it difficult to identify and zone in on specific G-Spot sensations.

  • A rabbit vibrator with massaging beads has given many women a ‘blended orgasm’  ie clitoral and internal, possibly G-Spot. You can, very carefully, bend the shaft so as to increase the arc of the stimulation.
  • A revolutionary vibrator, the Groovy Chick Massager works on a pivotal action and taps against your G-Spot. The unique action can make self G-Spot stimulation easier.
  • C-shaped vibrators such as We Vibe and Leo Noa are designed to stimulate your clitoris and G-Spot at the same time. They are also designed to be used during intercourse.

 

Some G-Spot Vibrator Tips & Tricks

  • Whilst stimulating your G-Spot, press down on your lower belly to make your G-Spot connect even better with the vibrator stimulation.
  • Try a long G-Spot vibrator ‘from behind’: on all fours, reach behind you and slip the vibrator inside with curve facing downwards. Although it’s a tricky position for solo sex, it’s a great position finding and stimulating your special spot.
  • Dont rush it! G-Spot orgasms need time to build. Tantalise yourself by inserting the vibrator only a short way in, with the head stimulating just inside. Only when you’re really aroused, work the vibrator further inside to pleasure your G-Spot.
  • G-Spot vibrators don’t only have to stimulate your G-Spot – the wide/flared base of many G-Spot vibrators (like the G-Twist), acts as  guard making this vibrator anal-safe for stimulating your man’s prostate gland; the curve of the vibrator offers precise prostate-pleasuring and the ridges down the vibrators shaft feel as sensuous anally as they do vaginally. Use lots of lube and always cover your G-Spot vibrator with a condom if using anally.
coregasm advice

Exercising Your PC Muscle for Great Sex

The pubococcygeus muscle, PC muscle for short, is a sling of muscles supporting the pelvic floor, circling its way around your genitals and tail bone in a figure of eight-shape.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a female body or a male body; every body has a PC muscle. This muscle contracts involuntarily when you orgasm, but learning to consciously flex your PC muscle will greatly enhance your sexual pleasure.

A strong pelvic floor is great for sex

The PC muscle is not exactly an erogenous zone, but strengthening and exercising your pelvic floor outside of the bedroom can have great effects inside it. Deliberately flexing your PC muscle during sex enhances sexual pleasure by intensifying sensations, increasing blood flow to your genitals, and as a result, orgasms will be stronger and more powerful.

PC muscle control is the basis of all multiple orgasm-techniques, so if this is something you fancy, it’s time to get exercising – especially considering that some lucky bunnies with particularly well-toned pelvic floors are able to bring on orgasms just by rhythmically squeezing and releasing their PC muscle! #JEALOUS

via GIPHY

For female bodies: Rhythmically squeezing and releasing your pelvic floor during sexual play encourages the natural flow of vaginal juices, and the actual movement of the PC muscle stimulates the internal clitoris.

During penetrative sex, a person with a well-toned PC muscle can massage the fingers or penis of their partner to mind-blowing effect. We call this “penis-practice” (if it involves a penis, obvs); squeezing and releasing around the penis until one or both of you orgasm.

A well-toned pelvic floor has other health benefits for women, like keeping stress incontinence at bay. Whilst leaking pee is annoying at best of times and downright awful at worst, the good news is that doing your squeezes regularly can really help dry the drips.

For male bodies: Stronger erections (strong enough to hang a towel off) and more control over ejaculation. This means more intense orgasms for you (bonus!) and most likely for your lovers too.

Before you can exercise your PC muscle, you need to locate it

The easiest way to locate it, is by halting your pee mid-stream. Avoid tensing other muscles like your thighs, back or stomach – practice isolating the PC muscle a few times and you’ll soon get the hang of it.

If you want to be absolutely sure, try sliding a lubed-up finger up your bum whilst squeezing your PC muscle, and you will feel the contraction around your finger. Voila!

How to exercise your PC muscle

PC muscle exercise is also known as ‘kegel exercise’ or ‘doing kegels.’

Kegels can be done at any time, at any place. Travelling to and from work; during the school run; whilst doing the ironing or our favourite; at home in front of the telly. 

If you find yourself with a coupe of minutes spare, put them to good PC muscle-practice (be aware you may pull faces as you concentrate).

via GIPHY

There is no essential kit for PC exercising, but it can be both useful and pleasurable to have something inside to squeeze against. For vulva-owners, love balls worn inside the vagina are the simplest products for this. For prostate-owners, a butt plug would be the tool of choice.

Risk Management: Never put love balls up the bum; they are not safe for anal use and will likely get sucked up by the butt. If this happens, you’ll need to go to A&E. So, you know, don’t do it.

via GIPHY

Four-step PC muscle exercise program

  • Contract and relax your PC muscle 25 times, twice per day.
  • Once you can easily contract and relax for the count of 25, double the reps to 50. Practice twice per day.
  • Once you’ve mastered that (go you!), go back to doing 2 x 25 reps, but this time, hold each squeeze for the count of 3.
  • Work back up to 50 reps, two times per day. 

PC muscle flexing & breathing

For kegels to be efficient, you need to practice regularly – and by ‘regularly,’ we mean daily. Your aim is to improve the number of repetitions, and for how long you can hold each squeeze. Try to breathe in time with your flexes; inhale as you squeeze and exhale as you relax.

Re-learning to orgasm

The time you’ll really enjoy the fruits of your labour is during sex – practice your pelvic floor squeezes during play and we promise, you’ll never look back! 

Another tip is to pay attention to your breathing during sex, especially if you struggle to climax. Women in particular, are prone to holding their breath during sex, which means your body can’t let go and surrender to an orgasm. Deep breathing in time with pelvic floor flexing may well help you over that last hurdle. Practice on your own, and then invite a partner to enjoy your new, improved pelvic floor. 

It’s common for women who have had a long break from sex to find that orgasms with a new partner are hard to come by. This can be because their PC muscle has had little or no exercise in the intervening years, making orgasm through penetration much more difficult to achieve. If this is you, we recommend strengthening your PC muscle with exercise, as well as locating your G-spot as this magic combo can help you find your orgasm again… Enjoy!  

via GIPHY

advice g spot

Where is the G-Spot? How to Find it & Have a G-Spot Orgasm

‘Will a G-Spot toy help me find mine?’

‘I bought a G-Spot vibrator and played with it, but nothing happened – why?’

We’re asked these questions, and countless other G-Spot queries, all the time in-store.

Despite the hype, for most of us, our G-Spots are not easy to find or stimulate, so don’t think you are the only woman in the world unable to have wall-to-wall G-Spot orgasms or to experience female ejaculation.

If you haven’t felt your G-Spot, or more specifically pleasure from your G-Spot, you are, in fact, in the majority.

Follow our advice below, and read our other advice on the G-Spot to help discover yours, but please keep in mind; this is meant to be a pleasurable journey of exploration, not a grim expedition to the G-pole!

 

Arousal is No1 key to responding to G Spot sensations…

There’s absolutely no point or pleasure in going after a G-Spot orgasm without being very, VERY aroused.

Certainly, as you become aroused, the spongy area around the G-Spot will become swollen and engorged with blood.

But G-Spot sensations don’t always necessarily feel pleasurable which is why it’s important to be really turned-on. Only then, can you be responsive to G-Spot sensations and the pleasure this can give you.

So read erotica, watch a sexy movie, enjoy a sensual massage from your partner, tease your nipples and your clitoris, but don’t let yourself orgasm.

Finding your G-Spot with fingers…

We recommend trying to find your G-Spot with your fingers first as they will feel the different texture of the G-Spot.

Firstly,  find a position that’s comfortable for you and for reaching inside yourself; try lying on your back with your knees drawn up, on all fours or squatting.

With your palm covering your vulva and clitoris, slowly slip 1 or 2 fingers inside yourself. We highly recommend using lubricant to really enhance your sensitivity.

Your fingers will naturally curve forwards, as you slip them inside, but crook them forward some more, towards your pubic bone.

G-Spot picture
G-Spot picture

Your G-Spot may not be as far inside as you think…

Feel for a slightly bumpy/ridged area on the front wall of your vagina, approximately half a fingers’ length inside.

It could be less, or slightly more. Somewhere between an inch (or less) up to 3 inches inside – so don’t go delving too deeply!

The texture and surface of the G Spot feels different from the typically smooth walls of the vagina.

The bumpy ridges are erectile tissue that swells and hardens when you become aroused.

Some women find that their G-Spot can actually be stimulated from the outside – try firm rubbing or patting around the urethral opening (where you pee from) to see if this works for you.

 

Using Sex Toys or Vibrators to Find Your G-Spot

Whilst we recommend learning to identify the spot using your fingers, it can be difficult and tiring to stimulate it to the point of orgasm solely by hand.

This is where a great G-Spot toy, with a curved, probing end, can help bring on the fireworks.

But there is nothing magical about a G-Spot toy; it’s simply a good tool to keep on the pressure!

There are three types of G spot toys;

 

G-Spot Dildo
G-Spot Dildos £28 – £130

G-Spot Dildo

Firm yet user-friendly with an ergonomic shape and smooth, rounded head for applying pressure on the right spot, these Sh! dildos have been specially designed for G-Spot pleasure.

 

G-Spot Vibrator
G-Spot Vibrators £15 – £134

G-Spot Vibrator

Whilst the G-Spot responds to firm sensations, rather than vibration, a G-Spot vibrator, with its  curved, angled end is specially shaped for exploration, plus it gives you the option of adding a buzz to your play.

Look for a head with a large surface area  to give you the best chance of locating your G-Spot.

 

Glass Dildo
Glass Dildos £28 -£74

Glass Dildo

Smooth, sleek, intensely firm and weighty, a dildo made of safe glass is probably one of the most G-Spot awakening toys there is.

 

 

How to Pleasure Your G-Spot

The G-Spot responds best to firm pressure and as it swells and hardens (as you become even more aroused) it can take firmer and firmer rubbing.

Stimulate it inside using a ‘come here’ motion of your fingers and circular swirling movements.

With a dildo or vibrator, keep the toy pressed firmly on the spot and move it around in small circular motions.

We call this motion ‘juicing the G-Spot’ and its key to success.

As you ‘juice’, with your other hand, use a finger to press and stimulate the area around your urethral opening.

G-Spot Gel

Tickle Her G Spot Pleasure Gel
Tickle Her G Spot Pleasure Gel (£18)

There is a special cream Tickle Her G-Spot Gel, which receives great reviews from customers and Team Sh! alike.

It is formulated to swell the G-Spot and make it more sensitive; in a world of hype, this stuff really does seem to work…

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to a G-Spot orgasm is feeling like you want to pee.

This feeling is the main reason why women stop themselves having a G-Spot orgasm. You need to get past this feeling, if you are to experience a G-Spot orgasm. Visit the loo before you start, put a towel underneath yourself, and if a worry pops-up, just keep fantasising until it goes away…

Love balls £10 -£129
Love balls £10 -£129

Love Balls are a great way to get yourself a a strong PC muscle, that if you squeeze rhythmically during sex, will also improve your chances /strength of orgasm – both G-Spot and clitoral.

We hope we’ve helped you better understand how to find and pleasure your G-Spot… Now, over to you!

If you’d like any tailored advice or recommendations, please feel free to drop us a line at advice@sh-womenstore.com. We’ll answer you privately. We may also share your question and our response on our blog, so others may benefit, but we promise it will always be anonymous, with nothing left it to identify you.

love balls advice

How To Choose & Use Love Balls

Love Balls are weighted spheres, sometimes just a single ball but more commonly two, designed to designed to slip inside the vagina.

The weights inside the balls cause them to move around as you do,  twirling around inside, in response to your movements, providing  teasing and massaging sensations as well as a constant reminder of their presence.

Also known as ‘Love Eggs’ ‘Geisha Balls’ ‘Ben Wa Balls’ ‘Orgasm Balls and ‘Duotone Balls’, Love Balls seem to have a long history, rooted in Eastern/Taoist sexuality. They are believed to have originated in Japan to give men extra sensations during intercourse.

But women soon realised the sensual and exercising benefits of wearing them on their own…

More recently, Love Balls became famous in 2012 when they featured in Fifty Shades of Grey, and certainly the heroine  Anastasia Steele loved them.

In terms of pleasure and stimulation, Love Balls seem to have fans and critics in equal measure. Some women swear to climaxing whilst dashing for the bus, whereas others tell us they found Love Balls about as stimulating as a tampon, ie they couldn’t really feel anything. Choosing the right size is key to getting a balance between having their massaging presence felt and prompting your body’s natural response to squeeze to keep them inside.

The most important thing to remember about Love Balls is that they require your movements be stimulating – they are not a toy to simply lie back and do nothing!

The 3 main of effects of Love Balls

  • Their constant small movements build a slow-burning arousal.
  • Your PC Muscles naturally contract to keep a grip, making them stronger – and a strong PC means stronger, longer, easier orgasms.
  • Worn during penetrative sex, love balls can deliver extra sensations & stimulation for both partners.

Which Love Balls should you choose?

 

Geisha Balls £18
Geisha Balls £18

Beginners should start with larger size balls,  as these are the easiest to keep hold on to.

Their larger size also means their presence is most likely to be felt – larger balls are hardest to ignore!

 

 

 

 

 

Sh! Silicone Love Balls £18
Sh! Silicone Love Balls £18

As your PC Muscle develops and becomes stronger, you can move onto smaller, heavier balls, such as the Sh! Silicone Love Balls. Smaller and heavier means your PC muscle has to work harder to keep a grip.

 

 

 

 

The massaging sensations of Love Balls are usually enjoyed solo but you can use them during partner sex to add extra stimulation during penetration.

Ben Wa Balls £10
Ben Wa Balls £10

Our advice is to start with small balls, such as  Ben Wa Balls, for intercourse, unless you and your partner are very different in size. Ben Wa balls are a lot smaller and heavier than most Love Balls.

In term of PC muscle exercise, these are the hardest to keep a grip upon.

 

Ben Wa Balls are not joined together by a cord, but don’t worry – non-corded Ben Wa Balls are designed to be so heavy that they will not “get lost” – to remove them, simply loosen your grip and gravity will take it’s course.

 

How to Insert Love Balls

Coating your Love Balls in water-based lube makes inserting them easier. Remember though, that the easier and slipperier they are to insert, the more they will be inclined to slide out!

Start by lying down, crooking one leg up and popping each Love Ball inside your vagina one at a time.

You could just try squeezing your PC Muscle against them, in this position ( perhaps adding a clitoral vibrator, if their presence has prompted a solo-sex mood!)

Once you’ve become accustomed to the feeling of Love Balls, it’s time to stand up and start moving around…

As you become more confident, you can try ‘wearing’ Love balls can during the day to spice up everyday tasks – the constant reminder of them inside can build and prolong arousal as well as be a thrilling secret only you know about…

…we’ll never forget the 3 female executives who came to Sh! to buy Love Balls to liven up their afternoon meetings!

However, you will want to be uber confident you can keep a grip on your balls, if you decide to step into the outside world whilst wearing them.

Love Balls for Kegals/PC muscle exercise

Having the balls inside makes you more aware of the squeezing action that is required to strengthen your PC and a well-toned PC can give you stronger, longer orgasms.

Simply ‘gripping’ action will help with kegal toning.  For a more boot camp regime, please see our PC Muscle Exercise Guide

 

Thousands of women have explored the sensations love balls offer,  gained a stronger PC muscle whilst they’ve been at it and subsequently experienced stronger or easier orgasms – a win-win situation if ever there was one.

Q&A

Q&A: Nipple Clamps & Sensitivity

Dear Sh!

I wonder if you can help. My partner and I would like to try nipple clamps, but I have pretty sensitive nipples so could you advise on which would be the best type for me?

Hi there,

If you have sensitive nipples/breasts, we’d say go easy with nipple clamps, buy an adjustable set and don’t leave them on for too long -probably no more than 30 minutes.

An excellent set of nipple clamps for beginners are Rubber Coated Nipple Clamps as not only are they coated with rubber for softer pinching but they have screws on either side to adjust tightness.

As women, our sensitivity levels can fluctuate with our hormones, so the same sensation from nipple clamps that turns us on one week can turn us off the next.

Breast sensitivity is heightened just before or during our period so go gently with nipple clamps during this time.

 

Best Wishes

Team Sh!

 

 

How to use Nipple Clamps Advice

Nipple Clamp Safety Tips

Tips for Playing Safely and Sensually with Nipple Clamps:

Check sensations regularly

The pinch of nipple clamps is one thing but the real sensation comes after the clamp is released.

Once you’ve got over the initial sensation  when nipple clamps are applied, feelings may turn quite mild until the clamps come off and then ‘OUCH!’

Start out only for a minute or so, then release, to restore circulation and to address the intensity factor before moving on to longer periods…


Clamps can make nipples incredibly sensitive

When nipple clamps are released, blood rushes back into the traumatized area making the never-endings zing with sensation.

How much will, of course,  depend on how sensitive your nipples are in a ‘regular’ state.

If you’re nipples go crazy at the brush of a blouse, stand back to be blown away at a mere whisper of breath across them…

If your nipples are not very sensitive, you may find nipple clamps are just the thing to make them stand to attention.

A lot of pleasure and imaginative sensation play can be applied after the clamp is released; ice, a warm tongue, vibration, the stroke of a feather stroked across or sting of a mini whip will all feel super magnified on freshly unclasped nips.


 Don’t play with nipple clamps for too long

Especially if you’re a beginner.  As the nature of a clamp  to cut off blood supply, it’s  best not to play with nipple clamps for  a few minutes at first.

Even if you’re a seasoned player, clamps shouldn’t be left on for more that 30 minutes without a break and chance for circulation to be restored.

It depends on the type of clamp used and how total the ‘cut-off’ , but no blood flow to an area can mean tissue damage, so don’t take this tip lightly.


Home-made clamps

Your local hardware, DIY  or beauty shop  can reveal some interesting home-made nipple pinchers; clothes pegs, hardware clamps and even hair clips can be brought into play.

However check their surface very carefully, running your finger ( or better yet, your tongue – as that is one of the most sensitive feeler on your body) over the surface.

Feel firmly for splinters or anything that could nick or cut. Clearly, don’t use a clamp with serrated metal teeth as these can obviously break skin.


Apply nipple clamps behind the areola

The areola is the circle of darkened skin surrounding the actual nipple. Pull the nipple out and apply the nipple clamp toward the back – almost behind the nipple.

Nipple clamps that are applied too closely to the front of the nipple can be frustrating as they slip off in the heat of the moment.  Clamping as much as possible behind the areola will give you a much more secure pinch.


Advice about breasts & nipple clamps

Breast and nipple sensitivity changes throughout the  menstrual cycle – what feels good one day may be excruciating the next – be aware of this and don’t try to ‘stick it out’ just because it felt good last time.

During pregnancy and breast-feeding is also a time when nipple sensitivity can go through the roof.  There’s no reason why you can’t play whist expecting or feeding a baby, just listen and follow your body’s signs.

Women with cystic breasts and silicone implants should be cautious when it comes to nipple clamp play.


Nipple clamps aren’t just for nipples!

Anything that is pinched hard for quite a while and then released becomes super sensitive – so image what a clamped clit could feel like…

Perhaps too much for some, but if you struggle with clitoral sensitivity, a clamp on your clitoris could wake her up – a lot!

Labia don’t have the same amount of nerve-endings, but can enjoy tugging , spreading and weighty sensations that a clamp clipped here can bring.


Our Top 3 Nipple Clamp Recommendations:

Tweezer Nipple Clamps (£13) Easy Adjustable Squeeze Clips: Ideal for Beginners
Tweezer Nipple Clamps (£13) Easy Adjustable Squeeze Clips: Ideal for Beginners

Best Nipple Clamps for Beginners – Tweezer Nipple ClampsAn excellent set for newbies exploring first-time nipple play, the V-shaped clamps open wide to go behind the nipple and are totally adjustable – you simply slide clip upwards until the desired level of pinch is reached. The connecting chain add weights and is ideal to tug and ‘wake-up’ the nipples  and looks look hot between the breasts…


 

 

Adjustable Nipple Clamps (£11) Screw-Type, Rubber-Coated with Chain
Adjustable Nipple Clamps (£11) Screw-Type, Rubber-Coated with Chain

Best for Intermediates – Adjustable Nipple Clamps

2 large rubber coated clamps, fully adjustable with a screw  on each clasp with can be used to limit the pinch-effect. clamps. They are heavy, so will need to be pinched quiet hard to keep them from slipping off.

A connecting chain adds to the weighty sensations and can be tweaked and tugged to increase sensations.


 

 

Nipple Chain Clamps (£16) Simple Clip Clasp Type with Heavy Chain
Nipple Chain Clamps (£16) Simple Clip Clasp Type with Heavy Chain

Best for all-round clamping Nipple Chain Clamps

A pair of simple squeeze-open clasps with a broad, flat pinching area to diffuse sensations and rubber-coated interior tips for stay-put pleasure. Like a flat pair of modern clother pegs, these are the best clamps if you’d like to explore clit-clamping.

 

 

 

Read more nipple play advice to help you explore the delightful sensations of your or your partner’s twin peaks…

 

spanking advice

Spanking Advice

Advice and tips for spanking safely and sensually.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to spanking

Our advice is to always practice on a pillow before going anywhere near a human being’s beautiful, tender skin.

Then test the sensations on yourself so you are aware of the sensations you will be administering.

Spanking Areas

The reason we advice you to practice on an inanimate object is that you must be confident of being able to strike only the safe areas of the body and protect the vulnerable spots.

  • Well padded areas such as buttocks, thighs and upper arms are safe for spanking/whipping.
  • Joints or bony areas is NOT safe for spanking/whipping so protect the neck, spine, backs of knees, elbows, shins, ribcage and pelvis.
  • Avoid areas of the body which shield major organs like the kidneys (lower back) and stomach.
  • Facial cheeks are the only area of the head that can be safely slapped as long as the neck and jaw are supported.
  • Clearly vulnerable areas like the ears, nose, mouth and eyes should never be hit.
  • Breast-spanking/slapping in moderation is ok, as long as your partner is not pregnant, nursing, prone to cysts or has silicone implants.

Know your spanking implements

Leather Tawse
Leather Tawse

When using an implement for spanking, be aware that the tip will wield the greatest force, which is why pillow-practicing is vital to ensure a sure and safe aim.

  • The tips of an unruly implement like a whip can have a wrap-around effect, catching the vulnerable sides of your lover’s body, like hips, so our advice is to wedge pillows around your lover to protect these areas and safeguard against this ‘wrapping’ effect.
  • The size and shape of a spanking implement will give different sensations and will dictate the force that can you should use.
  • Broad, flat shapes like a Heart Spanking paddleshaped spanking paddle, the palm of your hand or the back of a wide hairbrush deliver diffused sensations whereas thin, circular instruments like a Crop, or a cane deliver intense localized sensation.
  • The same goes for whips – multi-tailed versions diffuse sensations on impact so they are a lot safer than a single-tailed whip.  A bull whip which can do damage and should only ever be in experienced hands.
  • Heavy, hard instruments like crops must be used cautiously, whereas those made from a light material like a Rubber Whip can be wielded safely with more abandon.

Mini Rubber Whip
Mini Rubber Whip

The bottom line is that blows from something that is hard and narrow are more likely to leave lasting marks whereas something hard and flat will leave a lasting redness and soft and flat means no more than a slight blush.

Also the shorter an instrument is, the more easier it will be to control so the Mini Rubber Whip with its soft, tingly tendrils and short strands is one of the sexiest beginner whips around and will deliver sensations that feel much more arousing than “ouch!”.

Get your spanking-timing right

For sensual spanking, getting your timing right is key. Pain thresholds rise directly in line with arousal (the more turned-on they are, the more spanking they can take) so our advice is to NEVER rush a good spanking.

Be creative with spanking sensations

Contrasting sensations work achingly well when building arousal, as well as magnifying the sensitivity of your lover’s skin – the soft fur side of the Shaped Paddle, is perfect for stroking over smarting buttocks. Also try delivering light kisses to stinging thighs or rubbing ice over the rosy glow of freshly spanked skin will all build skin sensitivity and bodily arousal.

advice bondage

Bondage Safety Advice

Bondage can be hot stuff!

If you’re the one tied up,  you get to surrender to one-way attention. In bondage, you are totally free to enjoy your own pleasure without any pressure to ‘bat back’.

Or if you are the one doing the tying-up, you get to be totally in charge of your lover’s pleasure and to feast on the vision of them splayed out in front of you…

It can be hot stuff indeed.

When you think about it many erotic activities; massage; oral sex; hand-jobs – involve some sort of exchange of trust and power, with one partner performing and the other receiving.

Bondage is simply intensifying and ritualising this power dynamic by tying-up your lover and controlling the pace of their pleasure.

It can be sweet surrender all round.

Advice for Playing Safely with Bondage

•  Establish boundaries  before you start. Not just the physical boundaries, but also emotional ones.

• Establish & honour ‘safe words’ that instantly halt the game or ease up on the action should it become too intense.

• Study. There are some great guides about bondage  that will advice and inspire you. The net is also a great resource for bondage information and safety.

Bondage advice for the person doing the tying up…

Always be alert to, and immediately honor, your partner’s use of ‘safe words’ whether in physical or emotional scenes.

Many couples employ two words; one for, ‘lighten-up I’m finding this a bit difficult to take’ and one that means, ‘Stop Now’.

Having trusted safe-words established, means that, as the ‘Top’, you are free to throw yourself into a scene, tease mercilessly and get ‘em moaning, groaning and begging for more…
Always use wide, strong bondage cuffs.

Silk scarves may seem less scary or serious than leather wrist cuffs but actually, they can sneakily tighten to pinching point and even cause permanent nerve damage.
Your lover’s bliss is entirely in your your hands, but remember to keep them safe!

Check their fingers regularly for signs that blood hasn’t stopped flowing to the area (signified by numbness, coolness or blueness). If extremities turn this way untie immediately and rub the area until restored.

Physical Safety in Bondage Play

Never enclose both nose and mouth. 

  • If you gag your partner, they can’t clearly use their safe-words so find an alternative means of communication; a marble to drop that says ‘stop’ for instance.

• Never tie-up your lover face down on soft furnishing.
• Never leave your lover tied-up in bondage alone.

Bondage advice for the person being tied up

• Only allow yourself to be tied up by someone you know well and TRUST COMPLETELY.

•Never allow yourself to be talked into something you don’t want to do.

• Never think that using your safe-words makes you a wuss – they are there to give you FREEDOM, so feel free to throw yourself into an Oscar-worthy performance, secure in the knowledge that you can halt play instantly if you need/want/wish to
• Being helpless, you’re free to relax and relish every sensation. In these decision-overloaded times, you don’t have to think – just feel…so let performance anxieties take a back seat.

advice bondage

How to Play Safely with BDSM

BDSM stands for Bondage, Domination, Sadomasochism and Masochism.

It’s meant to be a little scary but never in a way that’s unsafe.

BDSM can involve as much, or as little bondage, domination, or submission as you like, ranging from a little light bondage to a full-on dungeon scene.

Leather Paddle
Leather Paddle

BDSM can be incredibly intense because it allows the submissive partner the freedom to give up power completely and the dominant partner to take full control.

If you would like to explore power-play, there are a few rules to follow to ensure both players physical and emotional safety.

Listen & Trust Your Instincts

This is our number one piece of advice.

You know how far you want to go. Never push your own or your lover’s limits in a BDSM scene.

Agree on Safe Words to use with the BDSM scene

Safe-words to control or stop a “scene” are an essential part of BDSM safety.

Agreeing on the safe-words, before you start playing and honouring them within the scene, is the only way to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the submissive player. Safe words shouldn’t be any words that you might use during your game.

Using words such as ‘stop’,  ‘no’ or ‘please’ are not recommended as BDSM safe words.

A common set of BDSM safe -words are: ‘YELLOW’ which means ‘Ease Up’ – I’m not ready to stop but am feeling a bit unsafe’ and ‘RED’ which means ‘Stop now’.

Good communication is crucial

Honesty is the best policy is good advice, and never truer than in a BDSM scene.

Any BDSM scene based on power can resurrect buried feelings, especially in someone who has been abused or raped.

It’s important to communicate any no-go areas and vital that boundaries are agreed upon before the a BDSM scene commences.

The emotional safety of both players is as important as the physical safety.

Physical Safety with BDSM Scenes

 Never restrict your submissive’s nose AND mouth within a BDSM scene. Never tie your submissive face down on soft furnishing.

Never leave your submissive tied-up alone. This is basic safety advice to ensure your submissive can breathe.

Rubber Wrist Cuffs
Rubber Wrist Cuffs £20

Check regularly throughout the BDSM scene that extremities such as toes and fingers are not numb or cold as these are signs that blood has stopped flowing to the area and its time to untie.

Use wide, strong bonds like these Wrist Cuffs and Ankle Cuffs. Silk scarves may seem less threatening but they can tighten in the throws of a BDSM game, without anyone noticing, and can cause pinched nerves, or even permanent nerve damage.

Get Informed & Inspired

There are plenty of great BDSM advice books that tell you how to keep your BDSM scene safe. The internet is also a great resource for BDSM advice and ideas to keep your BDSM play both hot AND safe.