Sex Toys Strengthen Relationships: New Study

Remember the hilarious Sex And The City episode when prudish Charlotte became no enamoured with her “rabbit vibrator” – that she didn’t leave her house for days and her BFFs had to perform an intervention? Do yourself a favour and check it out if you’ve never seen it.

RELATED: Dr Nikki Reveals Top Sex And Dating Tips In New Book

But can a new buzzy friend for your top drawer actually strengthen your relationship, as well as boosting your sex life? Ooh yes, yes, yes!

That’s the finding of the inaugural Durex Sexsus Report – an online study conducted this June among more than 1000 Australian men and women aged 18-39.

Key report findings include:

  • Three in five (59 per cent) respondents who own a sex toy feel more intimate with their partner when using it.
  • Aussies are “getting busy” using their sex toys a whopping 3.6 times a week.
  • Four out of five Australians believe it’s more acceptable to discuss sex toys than ever before, but more than half wish they owned one but are too afraid to try it out.
  • Men are more likely to purchase a sex toy for their partner’s enjoyment, or to increase intimacy with their partner.
  • Women are more likely than men to buy a sex toy for their own pleasure.

In addition, the warmer weather in Queensland makes for hotter sex too: the “sunshine state” is getting more buzzed in the bedroom than any other Australian state or territory – 70 per cent versus the national average of 62 per cent.


The findings – which coincide with the launch of Durex’s new adult toy range via www.durex.com.au/adult-toys – reveal couples are achieving a new level of playfulness, passion and intimacy into the bedroom, says Durex Brand Manager Suzanne Legg.

“Adult toys are a completely normal and healthy part of our sex lives,” Ms Legg says. “The Durex Sexsus Report confirms what our sexy-radar has been telling us for a while – adult toys are no longer a taboo.

“It’s fantastic to see that more than three quarters of Aussies believe adult toys open up a whole new spectrum of sensual possibilities – we’re really pleased intimate pleasure is being taken seriously between the sheets.

“For those who are still a little shy, the new range of Durex adult toys are available online and delivered super-discreetly to service the one in four respondents who have not bought a toy because they feel too uncomfortable going in to a store.”

From vibrating massagers and bullets through to sensational rabbit vibrators, the toys are ergonomically and elegantly crafted with a velvet-soft finish (pictured). Prices range from $49.99 for the Durex Teasing Touch stroker, through to $149.99 for the Durex Extreme Thrill rabbit vibrator (pictured).

sex, sex toys, couples sex toys, women's sex toys

And Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars (pictured), who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being, concurs: she too believes sex toys are good for relationships.

“Sex toys add a bit of excitement to a relationship and can liven up your love life – as long as it’s a good quality sex toy and not a novelty item; make sure you do your research to get the full effects of a high-quality one,” Dr Mars says.

“You don’t want hard, inflexible sex toys and make sure you also use a good quality lube and the right kind of lube for your particular sex toy. A good lube is a bit stringy and you want to use a different one for vaginal sex than anal sex. Anal lubes can cause changes in the pH of your vagina so you need to be careful that you use them carefully and don’t cross-contaminate.

“Sex toys can take you outside of your comfort zone, increase your pleasure and expand your repertoire.”

nicole sex story

Image via Eonline.com

Sex Survey Reveals Aussies’ Bucket List Of Sexual Fantasies

Australians are more sexually curious and adventurous than ever before, a recent sex study has revealed.

RELATED: Vagina Vs Brain: Why First-Date Sex Rocks

The Under the Covers Sex Survey was commissioned by Australia’s largest adult dating site, Adult Match Maker, in late 2014. Developed by Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars, who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being, it primarily focussed on sexuality and sexual fantasies.

More than 7,600 Australian respondents answered AMM’s inaugural sex survey anonymously, shedding light on what blows our hair back in the bedroom. So, is straight sex really the norm anymore? Apparently not! And women are more sexually bold and willing to explore and take risks than ever before, according to the sex survey.

“One of the major findings is that we may not all be as straight or as sexually conservative as we think we are,” Dr Mars says. “Women in particular seem to be up to some interesting things!”

sex survey, sex, sexual fantasises

Key sex survey findings included: “kinky sex” is a popular fantasy with 60 per cent of respondents, and post-Fifty Shades of Grey, BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism) is popular, with 30 per cent of respondents including it in their list of sexual fantasies.

And look out heterosexual blokes, you may have more competition than ever before; 36 per cent of women identified as bisexual and the heterosexual women who took part in the survey are 50 per cent more likely than men to fantasise about women and 50 per cent more likely to act on their fantasies.

In addition, there’s some key differences between what men and women fantasise about.

“Men have a wider range of sexual fantasies, scoring higher in all categories and are more likely to be drawn to hardcore activities such as golden showers and porn,” Dr Mars says. “Women, on the other hand, are more likely to fantasise about sex toys, tantric sex and their partners.

“But 30 per cent of both women and men like the idea of strap-on sex.”

So, what’s so great about strap-on sex?

“The short answer is,” says Dr Mars, “there are all sorts of spots in the anus and vagina that don’t get the attention they might during sex, or perhaps they do get attention but not at the same time, the prostate gland and the penis come to mind.”

sex survey, sex, sexual fantasises

Other key survey findings concern our sexual identity. For, some 25 per cent of respondents identified as bisexual, 0.4 per cent of women identified as lesbian, 1.6 per cent of men identified as gay and a further 5 per cent said they are unsure about their current sexual orientation.

Dr Mars says while the lesbian and gay figures are in line with Australian population estimates, the percentage that identified as bisexual or unsure far exceeds previous population study estimates which put the nation’s bisexual population at less than two per cent.

So, in the wake of the sex survey, what’s Dr Mars’ overall advice when it comes to exploring our sexuality? She believes we need to be more light-hearted and pleasure-focused in our sexual thinking.

“When we seriously consider sex we tend to think about health and disease rather than considering the links between sex health, mindfulness and quality of life,” she says. “It’s time we started exploring and understanding our sexuality and the ways it can help us to live happier healthier lives.”

Visit www.adultmatchmaker.com.au.

What do you think? Is this in line with your sexual fantasies?

Images, in order, via nypost.com, supplied and www.timeanddate.com.

The Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomenon

It’s hard to think of a more divisive female protagonist – or a novel for that matter – than Fifty Shades of Grey and its overtly submissive, cotton-tails-wearing central character, Anastasia Steele.

I am not a great fan of either, but love it or loathe it; you cannot ignore the erotic blockbuster. It’s had a profound effect on the literary world and its highly anticipated film adaptation (yawn) will hit our cinemas next February (pictured).

erotica, Fifty Shades of Grey, submissive

Related: What Are Sex Contracts And Do You Need One?

Fifty Shades of Grey critics have called the book “S&M for dummies”, “erotica for the BIG W crowd” and “mummy porn”. But is it empowering or degrading?

Did you, upon reading it, feel so turned on and liberated, that you rushed out and bought S&M gear? Or, like me, did you cringe at the “vanilla” sex and Anastasia’s virginal awkwardness, clumsiness and submissiveness? When I read the 2011 E L James bestseller, my inner word nerd was too horrified by the clumsy writing for it to blow my hair back.

And, if you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick synopsis: a virginal 21-year-old college gal and the 27-year-old billionaire meet and enjoy a bit of rough play. He’s a bit of a controlling, arrogant dick, and she is torn between her illicit feelings for him and what she should feel… (OK, that’s not exactly the official synopsis. Why doesn’t she just dump him? Sigh).

erotica, Fifty Shades of Grey, submissive
Popular and highly acclaimed, self-described “sex writer”, Brisbane author Krissy Kneen, 43, (pictured below) is no fan of E L James either.

She is the author of Swallow the Sound, a collection of short erotic fiction; her 2009 memoir, Affection, was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the ABIA Award in 2010; her erotic adventure, Triptych, was published in 2011; and Steeplechase, published in 2013, was her first non-erotic novel.

In addition, Kneen’s been busy reading classic erotica for the last two years researching her new erotic adventure Holly’s Incredible Adventures in the Sex Machine (working title) due to be published in 2015.

“I found Fifty Shades of Grey very hard to read because it made me cranky just how appalling the writing is. It’s really bad, the main character says ‘Holy crap!’ or ‘Holy cow’ or ‘Oh gee’ ad nauseum,” she says.

“And I was in the middle of writing a novel and I tend to get influenced by what I’m reading, so I felt I couldn’t write at all while I was reading the book. I had to skip through it really quickly – it was such bad writing I was worried my own writing would take on elements of it.

“I think it’s sad it’s sold so many copies because it says something about our society. I don’t consider it a book product – it sells well to people who aren’t readers.”

erotica, Fifty Shades of Grey, submissive
Kneen abhors Fifty Shades’ overtly submissive female protagonist, Anastasia Steele because she’s not a powerful character. “I have a real problem with the fact that heroines like Anastasia are submissives and not in a Story of O kind of powerful way. She doesn’t want to be a submissive, which in my book means rape if someone if forcing you to do something you don’t want to do.”

On the other hand, sex shop traders inevitably adore the book and film franchise. For Fifty Shades has reportedly caused sales of sex toys and bondage and S&M gear to skyrocket both nationally and internationally.

Swedish intimate lifestyle company LELO, renowned for selling one of the world’s most expensive vibrators – a 24-carat, gold-plated number at US$13,500 a pop – has claimed its enjoyed a 400 per cent sales increase for its Luna Beads (aka pleasure beads or Ben Wa Balls) thanks to the Fifty Shades phenomenon.

erotica, Fifty Shades of Grey, submissive
What do you think? Has Fifty Shades boosted your sex life or did you fall asleep reading it?

Main images at top via fanpop.com; cartoon via pinterest.com; Krissy Kneen image via blogs.crikey.com.au; and final image via cinemablend.com

Is Technology a Buzz Kill in the Bedroom?

I’ve never been a fan of technology in the bedroom. The idea of having a television in my serene space makes me feel funny. We all know watching TV, playing video games, use of laptops or tablets before bedtime can ruin our chances of getting a good night’s sleep, let alone the ways in which it can destroy the intimacy within a relationship. Going to bed with your partner should be a warm, fond and intimate experience. Not one where both partners are drawn to their own tech toys and actually ignoring each other.

That said, there is also a good argument for technology actually improving things in the bedroom. The use of technology has enabled sex toys to come a very long way – pun intended. These days vibrators can be waterproof, rechargeable and even remote controlled!

Jimmy Jane’s Hello Touch is an exciting sex toy that would never have been possible without technology. It consists of two vibrating finger pads and can be used all over the body to provide an intense stimulation experience either alone or with a partner.

The Wake Up Vibe, a vibrator that can wake you up with a smile at a predetermined time. Simply set the alarm as you would an alarm clock and instead of waking to a shrill sounding siren, slowly rise to the waves of pleasurable vibrations the toy generates.

The We-Vibe 4 – the latest in couples sex toys! Not only is its figure hugging design perfectly created to be worn by women, whilst making love with your partner,  it is also rechargeable, waterproof and remote-controlled, too! The complete techtoy package!

Moka by pico bong is another great example of how technology has enhanced our sex toys. A slimline G-Spot targeting vibrator, (although this little gem is just as comfortable on your clitoris as it is on your G-spot), Moka is made from luxury soft silicone, making it a hygienic toy choice, waterproof and drum roll please … It has 12 different vibration patterns. Yes, we said 12!!! Now you know why it’s one of our best sellers. With so much choice, you’re bound to find something you like.

In addition to the toys themselves, there are all sorts of liquids and lubricants that have the benefit of technology behind them.

Rocket Delay Balm – a simple balm designed to delay climax and prolong pleasure.

Intensify Plus by Kama Sutra – available in warming or cooling these arousal gels designed specifically for women will enhance and intensify pleasure during intimacy.

Play O – our personal favourite – manufactured by Durex, Play O is specifically designed for women who struggle to reach orgasm. Around 80 per cent of women need clitoral stimulation so durex and technology created a miracle serum to help us reach it. Simply rub a small amount on the clitoris for an intense experience that will change your sex life.

There is also an abundance of apps that have been created specifically to enhance our pleasure. Take Tinder for example – helping single people get laid locally – or Spice Dice, an app that rolls two dice giving you and your partner sexual instructions to follow for foreplay or more.

Then of course there is the simple technology in our phones that enable us to send saucy SMS’s during the day, take intimate photos or even try out some home movie making! Please always ensure your photos/videos are only ever going to be seen by someone you truly trust. Finding a naked image of yourself on the internet in five years time is not something you’ll be thrilled about – unless you’re Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian of course!

So, all in all, whilst I’m still not a fan of watching TV in the bedroom, technology can certainly be credited for taking our pleasure to new heights.

Long may the technological buzz continue…

Miss Tickles, resident Sexpert and Sex Toy Party Princess at www.tickleanddelight.com along with her titillating team, travel the country bringing Sex-U-Cation to the women of Australia and New Zealand in the privacy of their own homes, surrounded by friends, where they can laugh and learn together. Find out more by booking your own party at www.tickleanddelight.com

Vibrators 101: How to Choose the Right Toy for You

If you’re a sex toy virgin, you could easily be forgiven for not knowing where to start. There is almost too much choice out there, but knowing what gets you off (pardon the pun) is always the best place to begin.

Are you a clitoral girl?

The majority of women (70-80% in fact) need clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm and there are numerous toys that will help in this area. Vibrating Bullets are the most common, ranging in size and material. The Power Bullet is a powerful yet discreet toy that can be hidden in your handbag. Waterproof and with 3 levels of intense vibrations, you’ll be one happy lady. Looking for something a bit more sophisticated? Try Ipo the clitoral vibe that slips onto your finger – a simple toy also ideal for couples looking to add a little extra stimulation.

Are you looking to jiggle your G-spot?

G-spot vibrators are usually curved upwards at the end to enable more targeted stimulation of the G-spot itself. Try Gigi – the world’s best selling G-spot vibrator. Rechargeable and Made from velvety soft silicone, she has 5 vibration settings and can be used both internally or externally. Or how about Moka – a 12 setting waterproof G-Spot vibrator. Powerful and near silent, this slimline vibe is sure to set some pulses racing.

Looking for more?

A rabbit vibrator – or dual stimulation sex toy – is what you’re looking for. Made famous by Sex & the City, the rabbit is still one of the world’s best selling sex toys. They do come in varying shapes, sizes and materials, but in essence they all do the same job. The smaller ‘bunny’ section is for targeted clitoral stimulation whilst the shaft provides the feeling of fullness. The rotating beads inside the shaft create waves of pleasure and can often change direction or pattern with the touch of a button. Rabbit vibrators can be quite noisy so if you live with flatmates or parents, choose a rabbit that has motors rather than beads as this will keep the noise level down whilst still providing the same levels of stimulation. The ivibe Waterproof Rabbit is noisy but fabulous whilst the rechargeable Happy Rabbit is much quieter yet still extremely powerful boasting 3 powerful motors. Also worth trying is the Groovy Chick – another G-Spot targeting vibrator that also enables clitoral stimulation at the same time. The Groovy Chick features an 8cm long removable bullet and is fully waterproof and hands-free too.

From the back door?

There is a large selection of anal sex toys available today, but for beginners we suggest you start with something small like a butt plug or anal beads before progressing to larger toys. Always use lubricant with anal play and it is best to choose a toy that has a curved outer end as this allows for easy holding and also reduces the likelihood of the toy being sucked up. The bottom is like a vacuum and we wouldn’t want any embarrassing visits to the emergency room!

Waterproof, rechargeable and hands-free?

If you’re planning to use your toy in the bath, shower or spa, always check it is fully waterproof first. Rechargeable toys are often more expensive than their battery operated counterparts, but doing away with batteries is more economical in the long run as well as being better for the environment. Hands-free toys are usually toys that are worn – for example the We-vibe 3 – the famous couples’ vibrator worn by the women whilst making love. Completely, hands-free, fully waterproof and rechargeable – everything a girl could ask for!

A word on toy safety

Yes, sex toys can be dangerous! We’re not trying to scare you here – just make you aware of what to look for when purchasing your new BOB (Battery Operated Boyfriend). Firstly avoid any toys that contain Phthalates – chemicals used to soften plastics. Research shows that excessive exposure to phthalates can lead to cancer as well as liver and kidney damage. There are plenty of cheap sex toys available these day but good quality toys are usually made from body-safe silicone, glass and surgical steel. If you are using a toy with phthalates, always use it with a condom for maximum protection.

Toy hygiene

It is really important to keep your sex toys clean and hygienic and a hygiene spray is one of the simplest ways to do this. Available from only $9.99 simply spray on to the toy, wipe clean and your toy is ready for use. Hygiene sprays help keep toys free from bacteria and reduce the risk of infections.

Miss Tickles is the resident sexpert and sex toy party princess at Tickle and Delight. Miss Tickles travels the country bringing Sex-U-Cation to the women of Australia and New Zealand in the privacy of their own homes, surrounded by friends where they can laugh and learn together. Find out more at www.tickleanddelight.com.