Trying new things in the bedroom is fun, but it’s important to keep your boudoir activities safe, whether partnered or solo! It’s also great to want to improve your sexual wellness practices, but there are some suspicious suggestions that you should steer clear of. There are plenty of products made for the sole purpose of being used in, on, or around your genitals and your anus for achieving sexual pleasure, or for maintaining health and cleanliness in your nether regions. There are also plenty of things that should absolutely NOT be used in those ways, no matter what movie, website, or ridiculous TikTok challenge you saw it on!
When it comes to what kinds of things you should insert into your vagina or anus, or even just use around your genital areas, it’s important to err on the side of caution. A good general rule is, “if you have to ask, don’t!”, but there is also a lot of sketchy internet advice, dubious medical claims, and crazy fetish porn out there that might put some weird ideas in your head. Let’s break down what’s really NOT okay and why, and talk about some better and safer alternatives. We’re not trying to ruin your fun; just trying to prevent your night of fun from becoming a personal episode of Sex Sent me to the ER.
Fruits and Vegetables:
Yes, we know what some fruits and veggies look like, and this seems harmless enough, but it’s really not a good idea for two main reasons: 1) Even after you wash them, the surfaces of fruits and vegetables are still loaded with chemical pesticides & waxes which would be a bad plan to introduce to the vagina, and 2) they’re not made for this type of abuse – tiny pieces could break off inside of you, and while they won’t take root like the old wives tale claims, those bits could stay in your body and rot, which would be wholly unpleasant.
What to use instead: Veggies don’t vibrate, so you’d probably get off even better with a fun and colorful dildo! If you’re sexually curious about cukes, try a toy with an equally smooth and firm surface like the B Yours Lust N Thrust Dildo. If you’re only turned on by produce because of the size, there are giant dildos for even the most discerning shopper. After all this, if you absolutely insist on seeing what a banana feels like in your hoo-ha just to say you did, at least slap a condom on it!
Ah, those little sachets of chemicals meant to be blasted inside your vagina to make your lady bits smell like flowers…which haven’t been recommended by any legitimate doctors since 1988. Vaginal douches are a seriously bad idea. Luckily they’re getting harder to find as companies wise up and stop making them, but if you’ve ever been tempted…don’t! Douching causes a horrible imbalance of the natural flora that is supposed to exist inside the vagina, so much so that it can actually cause an infection. Douching is a known culprit behind PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) and BV (Bacterial Vaginosis), which will definitely put your sex life on a very uncomfortable hold. Your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. It doesn’t need your help to keep itself clean. Keep the outside nice and clean by washing it well when you shower and bathe, and just let it do its thing!
What to use instead: Since douches are usually used by women concerned about vaginal odor, it’s important to know that the odor isn’t actually coming from your vagina! It’s just a mingling of sweat, body fluids, and bacteria on your skin like B.O. on any other part of your body. The best way to combat troublesome smells downstairs is by showering daily and always washing your vulva…and keep the soap on the outside; it doesn’t need to go IN your vagina! Feminine body washes like Summer’s Eve are okay because they’re pH balanced for use down there, but again, they’re for external use only. Wear only cotton underwear whenever possible. Use menstrual products that don’t irritate your skin or cause worse odors; scented tampons can be nasty ones. Eat a balanced diet & drink plenty of water. Everything from hormones to stress to birth control can cause your natural odors to change, and douching is only going to make it worse. If you have a genuine long-term concern about how you smell down there, see your doctor.
While sexual play with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, ice cream, or popsicles may seem incredibly sensual, it can have unintended consequences if all that sugary goodness gets in the wrong places. This stuff is sticky, gets everywhere, and is hard to get off of your skin. It may cause a reaction on the sensitive genital skin of men or women. Not to mention, all that sugar can lead to vaginal irritation or an infection, especially giving yeast infections a sweet new place to thrive. If you want to enjoy a sensual body buffet off your lover, by all means do so, but keep the food above the belt!
What to use instead: Enjoy your sweet love in a body-safe way! Chocolate body paint can be a great way to have your lover for dessert, and this one from High on Love has the bonus effect of a chill buzz provided by hemp seed oil. Pretty much everything in the Sweet Kisses Love Kit is also kissable and delicious, and won’t cause the same problems as a sugary smorgasbord. Flavored glides for oral sex like Intimate Earth’s Sea Salt Caramel flavor, or Wicked Teasers packets are another great way to have your sweets and involve them in sex, too! Oh, and guys, if you’ve been curious about what it would be like to f*ck a warm apple pie since 1999, maybe just try a nice warming stroker instead. If you do ever use everyday foods like whipped cream or chocolate sauce below the belt, just make sure to urinate and wash yourself very well after play.
Hairbrush handles, electric toothbrushes, aerosol cans, cell phones, kitchen utensils…ER docs have seen it all. People try unusual things to get off sometimes, and they’re not always smart. These products are not made for use anywhere near your genitals! They are not made of body safe materials, so they may leach chemicals or leave behind unwanted and dangerous bacteria if you use them in your body. At the very least, they may cause trauma to your sensitive vulva or vaginal wall. Not to mention, things that aren’t meant to go in the body may get lost or stuck in there…and you really don’t want to end up on a list like this!
What to use instead: If you’re looking for something fun and phallic to insert, a g-spot vibe like the Self + Jimmy & Jane Personal Massager is a safer, softer choice than anything you have lying around. A smaller wand toy is perfect for external play and will provide much better vibrations than a dirty cell phone! And if you’re curious about that electric toothbrush, a sonic rabbit vibe with a brush-like clit tickler is a much safer choice! No matter what kind of orgasm you’re looking for, there will always be a sex toy that will fill that need much better than a random item from your house!
Anything Without a Flared Base (for butt stuff):
This whole post was actually inspired by my doctor friend’s Facebook comment about how many of her medical textbooks contained studies (complete with x-rays) about weird things people got stuck in their butthole! And let’s face it…there’s no reason to shove ANYTHING up your butt if not for sexual experimentation! While your vaginal muscles can be controlled enough to push (most) things out once they go in, your rectum doesn’t have this ability. Anything you’re going to insert anally MUST have a flared base, retrieval loop, or large handle portion which stays outside the body. This means no random household objects, and no vibrators meant for external use or vaginal use like small bullets.
What to use instead: Rest assured that if it’s from a reputable store like Lover’s Lane and specifically marketed for anal play, it probably has the necessary safety features that will keep it from getting lost inside your rectum. All anal plugs should have a flared or rocker-style base with plenty of material to grip which stays on the outside, and all anal beads should have removal loops or rings. Shopping for sex toys on Shein or AliExpress? No guarantees…especially about the material truly being body-safe.
I can’t believe I have to talk about this one, but thanks to crazy internet wellness trends (we’re looking at YOU, Goop…), “yoni steaming” is a thing now. This is where women go to a specialized spa and sit on a bidet-like device which mists hot steam infused with botanicals or essential oils onto their vulva! There are many reasons this is a bad idea, but mostly it’s because steam is HOT and that skin is SENSITIVE! Burns are a very real possibility. The other ingredients in the steam can also (minimally) throw off your pH balance and natural bacterial complement down there, leaving you open to infections. Don’t fall for the dubious health claims made by places that offer this bizarre and potentially dangerous “vaginal steaming” treatment, and don’t play with anything else hot down there, either.
What to use instead: If it’s just the warm sensation you’re after (since steaming your vagina literally doesn’t do anything else) try a sex toy warmer to warm up your favorite vibes and dildos before play. Warming vibes heat up to safe temperatures only, and can feel really good, especially during menstruation. Wax play might be fun for you, too, but again, the hot wax and/or candle flames should go nowhere near your genitals! If you’re interested in yoni steaming for cleansing purposes, see the above section about what to do instead of douching…it’s the same kind of bad for your downstairs bits!