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Guide to Fantasy Sex Toys

The world of sex toys is wide and wonderful. We’ve got dildos, vibrators, and a host of other kinds of toys to help provide or enhance our sexual experiences. Within each of those categories, there’s an ocean of choices. Whether you know a lot, a little, or nothing at all about sex toys, it can be daunting to figure out what’s out there or what you want.

My specialty is—you guessed it—fantasy sex toys: Dildos, masturbation sleeves, grinders, and other toy varieties made from silicone, all based on creatures from dragons to furries and everything in between. There’s a wealth of options out there, and new shops and designs keep on coming. For those who prefer something a little less fantastical, there’s no lack of humanoid models produced by these same shops.

Whether you’re new on the scene or you’ve been around a while, there’s a lot of information available when navigating the growing world of indie sex toys. This article focuses on fantasy dildos with an overview of indie silicone toys in general, with information that can help you figure out where to start or where to go next.

Scroll down to the bottom of this article for a list of fantasy sex toy resources.

About Fantasy Toys

When we depart from the mainstream rod or penis dildo, we find a whole world of possibility and can let our imaginations run wild. Fantasies of sleeping with dragons, fantasy creatures, monsters, or anthropomorphic furries are not uncommon in fiction, art, hentai, and online spaces.

An abstract but beautiful design, something that’s clearly not human or realistic, or the shape alone can draw someone in and promise a new experience. Fantasy toys are considered art items by many collectors who may use the toys as intended or may simply choose to display them. There are entire communities on social media dedicated to sharing collections, some of which don’t focus on or feature explicit content.

The line between “fantasy toy” and “non-fantasy toy” isn’t always clear. Some indie shops carry both fantasy and non-fantasy designs, and there’s a few shops with abstract designs that appeal to the fantasy community. For the sake of this article, I’m primarily going to focus on fantasy designs, but much of this information applies to handmade silicone sex toys in general.

Indie sex toys from a plethora of shops, all in pastel and wintry colors: Blue, white, purple, and pink. Models are Twin Tail Creations Dante, Fantasy Grove Avir, Xenocat Artifacts Uropa and Petite Lesuth, Strange Bedfellas Fornax, Erotic Effect Aearvon, Creature Feature Toys Kose, Pleasure Forge Bone Devil, Paladin Pleasure Sculptors Titan, Foxy Moxy Orphion Coral, Amavidi Strupala, Base Seagsaidh Dalmachd, Wyvern’s Vault Ris and Khra, Hodge Podge Entourage Kirin and Isonade Penetrable, and FantasyFucs’ Let’s Rock.

About Silicone

Silicone is a type of rubber. There are different types of silicones for various uses, but the only kind that is considered safe for sex toys is platinum cure silicone. It’s nonporous and nontoxic: when toys are created properly, the material doesn’t harbor bacteria and shouldn’t cause harm from contact with sensitive skin.

Silicone toys are created by mixing liquid silicone, adding pigments, degassing to remove bubbles, pouring the colorful silicone into a reusable mold in the shape of the toy (like an ice cube or cake mold), and then waiting for it to cure, a process which solidifies the liquid into a solid product.

Shops

There are a lot of fantasy toy shops out there. Hundreds, at this point. The vast majority are small operations run by a small team of people or an individual alone. Most of these shops are considered indies within the fantasy scene: They’re independent companies that are not affiliated with other, larger companies like mainstream sex toy producers.

Click here for a list of indie shops. It’s a great resource listing shops around the world.

There’s too many shops for me to touch on here, including a ton that I love and appreciate, but below are a few particular shops that sell a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors:

The variety within each of these shops ensures there’s options for everyone from beginners to size queens. I have toys from each of the above shops and can personally vouch for their quality. Strange Bedfellas in particular deserves a shout-out for having some of the most affordable toys out there, along with carrying models geared towards beginners.

Toy creation is a team effort; creatives in the fantasy sex toy realm include more than just shops and their employees. Many shops hire freelancers to design and sculpt sex toys (including myself), design logos, create art for the site and physical materials such as stickers, or write lore and character bios. It’s a thriving world of creativity out there, and with all these great minds working together, we’re regularly seeing new and innovative ideas.

Beyond the shops listed above, I could personally recommend most shops that make up my silicone collection and those that I’ve worked with as a designer.

Bad Dragon may be considered an indie in the broader sex toy industry, though they’re the big name in the fantasy toy world and typically not considered an indie within this context.

Fantasy Sex Toys

Dildos are the most common and well known type of fantasy toy, but the versatility of silicone means the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating different kinds of toys.

  • Cock Rings/C-Rings: Rings worn at the base of the penis
  • Dildos
    • Standard: A single shaft
    • Double-shafted: Two separate shafts
    • Triple-shafted: Three separate shafts
    • Double-ended: Two shafts end-to-end, intended for use by two partners
    • Depth Trainers: Very long toys intended for anal use
  • Eggs: Egg- or sphere-shaped toys without a base
  • Grinders: Toys primarily for grinding or rubbing against
  • Ovipositors: Hollow tubes for inserting eggs into oneself
  • Packers: Prosthetic penises
  • Penetrables/Penetratables/Masturbators/Sleeves: Masturbation sleeves
    • Fullsize Penetrables: Aimed at people with penises
    • Mini Penetrables: Aimed at people with t-dicks or clits
    • Closed Back: Closed at the end, creating suction
    • Open Ended: Open at the end
  • Plugs
    • Anal Plugs: Flared base for safe anal use
    • Vaginal Plugs/V-Plugs: Minimal or no base
  • Sheaths: Worn on the penis or t-dick to provide texture and/or length
  • Vibrator Accessories
    • Vibe Sleeves: Typically paired with a bullet vibe
    • Wand Toppers: Typically paired with a wand-type vibe

While certain styles of toys are intended for certain uses, this doesn’t mean that they must be used in the typical way. For example, one could enjoy grinding against the outside of a penetrable, frotting against the side of a dildo, or grinding against a packer. There’s also more types of toys than I have listed above

(Just please don’t put anything up your ass that isn’t safe for anal. No one wants that experience with the ER.)

Many shops additionally produce squishies or teenies, which are designs not intended for use. They’re usually cute critters, tokens with the shop name, or scaled-down versions of sex toys.

Ris, a bust with small breasts, is a marble of translucent, purple, and blue. Calypso, a vulva with fins on either side, is a marble of translucent dark green, silver, and light green. Pelagio, a tentacle t-dick/vulva, is a marble of translucent, black, and shimmery blue.
Three grinders: Wyvern’s Vault Ris, Paladin Pleasure Sculptors Calypso, and Gelatinous Creations Pelagio

Anatomy of a Toy

Most mainstream toys have self-explanatory shapes and features such as “rod,” “swirl on the outside,” or “it’s a penis.” The common shapes for indie and fantasy sex toys are described with specific terminology that communicates to anyone in-the-know which features a toy has.

  • Distinct Features
    • Flare: A head with edges notably wider than the shaft beneath it
    • Knot: A large bulb, ball, or knot along the shaft
    • Maw: A tongue and/or mouth
    • Medial Ring: A ring along the shaft
  • Shape
    • G-spot/P-spot curve: A curve, often at a sharp angle, positioned to stimulate the G-spot or A-spot
    • Swell: The top of the shaft is larger than the lower portion, with a smooth transition between thick and thin
    • Taper: The shaft is thin at the top and gradually thickens towards the base
  • Texture

Size

Dragon dildos run large (Who would’ve thought?). A toy labeled small could be as thick as my fist. Granted, most smalls are a lot smaller than that, but many can end up larger than expected. So how does fantasy sizing work?

Each shop has their own sizing scheme, but most use the same or similar names for the sizes in their lineup: Mini/Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large. This doesn’t mean that a small from one shop will be sized similarly to a small from another, or even that a shop’s own sizing will be comparable between two different models. Most of the time, shops will use similar sizing schemes (you may notice, for example, that I have a lot of medium size dildos from different shops), but it’s still important to pay attention to the measurements for each toy.

Many dildo sizes fit into the following diameter ranges:

  • XS: Up to 1.6″
  • S: 1.6-1.8″, knots up to 2″
  • M: 1.8-2.4″, knots up to 2.7″
  • L: 2.3-3″
  • XL: 2.8-3.5″

And the following usable length ranges:

  • XS: 4-5″
  • S: 4-6″
  • M: 5.5-8″
  • L: 6.5-10″
  • XL: 7-12″

Small and medium fantasy dildos are typically the closest in size to mainstream toys and human penises.

While there may be common trends for dildo sizes, these numbers are not at all absolute. Always check the measurements listed by the shop.

Hodge Podge Entourage Legacy Alraune and Bad Dragon Stan. Both toys were marketed as size small. Stan is significantly taller and girthier, about 3 to 4 times the size of Alraune by volume.

Firmness

The firmness of a toy impacts how squishy it is and how intense its texture feels. Just like with sizes, what one shop defines as soft may be different from another shop’s soft. However, most shops also list the shore firmness that the toy was poured in, which is a much more consistent measurement.

00-Scale Shore Firmness:

  • 00-20: Very soft and squishy; usually tacky to touch
  • 00-30: Soft and squishy; sometimes tacky to touch
  • 00-40: Middle ground between 00-30 and 00-50; comparable to 00A
  • 00-50: Moderately squishy but quickly springs back into shape
  • 00-60: Slightly firmer than 00-50

A-Scale Shore Firmness:

  • 00A/A00: Moderately squishy but quickly springs back into shape; comparable to 00-40
  • 8A-20A: Firm with little give; thinner toys are bendable
  • 20A+: Very firm

“Clear” Firmness:

  • Near Clear 00-31 (NC31): Typically feels like 00-40 to 00-50; unpigmented silicone is very clear
  • Near Clear 00-45 (NC45): Typically feels firmer than 00-50; unpigmented silicone is very clear
  • Sorta Clear 18A: Firm with little give; thinner toys are bendable; unpigmented silicone is very clear

An approximate comparison of how different shore firmnesses relate to each other.*

The most common firmness names are super soft for 00-20, soft for 00-30, medium for 00-50, and firm for 8A or 10A. This varies between shops (for example, some advertise 00-50 as their soft firmness), so make sure to double-check the shop’s definition.

Most toys in a given firmness feel comparable, but the squishiness of a toy varies depending on how dense or thick it is. A skinny toy will be more floppy and squishy than a thick toy in the same firmness.

The final firmness of a toy is influenced by pigment density and manufacturing quirks (such as temperature or humidity where the toy was made). Near Clear (NC31 and NC45) is especially variable and can range from the expected firmness to something that feels much firmer, especially if the toy is boiled. Most shops disclose if a specific toy’s firmness feels much different from expected.

Toys may become slightly firmer over time or after boiling.

For more on shore firmnesses in silicone sex toys, click here.

This section is focused on fantasy toy shops in particular. Non-fantasy shops may start at something much firmer, like 10A-20A, as their softest silicone.

* Smooth-On’s durometer chart may be a useful reference, but I find that it does not accurately reflect how the A-scale and 00-scale compare to each other in sex toys; 10A is much firmer than 00-60 in my experience. My chart was created based on how I interpret toy firmness.

Finish

The finish of a toy is the appearance and texture of the surface itself. Toys can come in many different finishes on a scale between matte to super glossy.

  • Glossy: Shiny and smooth
  • Satin: Shiny, but not overly so
  • Matte: Not shiny; often skinlike

Sparkle and shimmer are stronger in glossy finishes and more subtle in matte finishes. In use, toys may slide smoother in glossy finishes, but they won’t hold onto water-based lube as easily as those with matte finishes (due to glossy finishes having less surface area) so may need lube to be reapplied more often.

Glossy finishes dull over time as a result of friction. This is most noticeable with super glossy toys. It’s very unlikely that a toy will completely lose its shine, but after a bit of use, a toy won’t look as shiny as it did on day one.

Matte toys in 00-20 firmness or softer may feel tacky to the touch.

Hodge Podge Entourage Kirin and Neotori Noax. Kirin is extremely glossy, with a glass-like finish and strong shimmer. Noax is completely matte, with subtle gold shimmer in some areas.

Colors and Pours

Makers add colorants—usually cosmetic grade micas or pigments specifically intended for silicone—to liquid silicone before pouring a toy. The final pattern depends on the way the silicone is poured. Because silicone is a liquid medium and because some colors are hand-mixed, no two pours will look alike.

Common pour styles:

  • Solid: Single color
  • Fade: One color blends into the next for a smooth ombré effect
  • Marble: Multiple colors form abstract patterns without blending together
  • Split: Hard division between colors
  • Drip: Silicone painted in a drip pattern with a pour style beneath
  • Handpainting: Designs painted on the toy with silicone
  • Inclusions/Confetti: Small silicone pieces (such as hearts) inside a translucent pour

These styles have variations, such as a marbled fade (where the transition from one color to the next is marbled instead of smoothly faded), feathering/ribbons (tighter and smaller marbles), or wet splits (a soft division between colors). Splits can involve multiple styles, such as a marbled shaft and solid base.

Color types:

  • Shimmer
    • Matte: Non-shimmery colors
    • Shimmer: Shimmery colors
    • Pearlescent: Shimmery colors made from mica coated with metal oxides
    • Metallic: Shimmery colors made from larger particle mica to create metallic ripple effects
    • Sparkle/Dazzle/Glitter*: Large-flake mica or micro glitter added to another color for a glittery effect
  • Effects
    • Glow in the Dark (GITD): When charged with UV light or sunlight, the toy glows in the dark, with color depending on the GITD pigment, which may differ from the pigment visible in daylight
    • UV: The toy glows under blacklight, with color depending on the UV pigment, which may differ from the pigment visible in daylight
  • Translucent: Lightly pigmented silicone
  • Unpigmented: Translucent silicone without pigments added

Color variation is normal and should be expected. Between cameras, lighting, screen displays, and (for custom toys) custom pigments and possible color blending, the color that you see or request will not always be the exact shade that you get. If you are particular about exact colors, I would recommend checking out candid shots of the shop’s toys on social media (whether it’s an image of a bunch of toys on a table or images from customers) to see how accurate the colors are and how much of a shift there could be with different lighting and/or different cameras.

* Large craft glitter can easily cut out from silicone, but large-flake mica and micro glitter are usually safe when used by reputable shops who ensure products are stress-tested and materials are high quality.

Three toys in opal-style colorways: Strange Bedfellas Fornax, Hodge Podge Entourage Isonade Penetrable, and Creature Feature Toys Kose. All three are shimmery and feature pastel shades of pink, blue, and purple, but the exact colors and pour styles vary.

Purchasing

Shops offer premade toys and toys made by request.

  • Customs: Poured to the customer’s specifications
    • Full Customs: Colors or styles that are not on a standard menu, or which are based on a mockup from the customer, typically with a conversation between the shop and the customer
    • Semi-Customs/Color Chart Customs: Colors and styles chosen from a list
    • Made to Order (MTO): Preset color combos
    • Surprise: Colors are a surprise
    • Guided Surprise: Exact colors are a surprise, based on a theme or a reference image
  • Inventory Drops: Restocks of premade toys

(The categories under “Customs” are not standard terminology. Some shops may refer to “Semi-Customs/Color Chart Customs” as “MTOs” while others may call them “Full Customs,” for example. Other shops may use shop-specific terms not on this list. Always check the details on a shop’s listings when ordering.)

Not every shop offers customs. The time and effort put into making a single custom could be spent working on a batch of inventory instead, and customs can be a source of stress for toy makers. On the other hand, some shops focus entirely on customs and rarely or never drop inventory.

Here is a list of shops that accept custom orders. This is a user-run resource. Always check a shop’s site directly for their current offerings.

The wait time after purchasing depends on the shop’s schedule and workload. Always review the information in a shop’s FAQ and custom listing details. Some toys can be poured or shipped within days; others may have a wait time of up to a few months.

Customs may not turn out exactly as expected. As mentioned in the previous section, the tones and shades of colors can vary for a number of reasons. Color distribution is not guaranteed. Colors may blend, especially in softer shores. There may be a pigment freckle or a smear, which some collectors consider unsightly. Always review a shop’s customs policy and standards before ordering, and understand the possibilities for how your custom may turn out. Shops do not provide refunds for buyer’s remorse.

Drops

Inventory restocks are called drops. Shops tend to schedule drops and some have them on a regular basis. Shops may drop new inventory weekly, every other week, every month, every other month, or less frequently. Some drops may be unannounced and some shops may restock toys as they make them rather than having full drops.

Social media and newsletters directly from shops are the best ways to keep up to date with drop dates and previews of toys that will be restocked. There is currently no up-to-date resource keeping track of drops from all shops, but I track drops and sales every few months in my Phenomenal Fantasy newsletter.

Drops can be competitive. Certain models and colors may sell out in under a minute if they’re in high demand, especially for new model releases. If you’re really interested in a specific item or anticipate that the drop could be highly competitive, check out these drop shopping tips to prepare for a speedy purchase.

There’s a lot of inventory left over after most drops, so it’s not necessary to try to make a purchase right when new inventory is added. If you want a new item but don’t want the stress of drop shopping, it can be worth it to wait a few drops until there’s less competition.

Price

Silicone is expensive. On top of the material and equipment cost, toy makers put a lot of labor into their business, from designing to marketing to shipping, and complex pours can take a lot of time to prepare. Between the designs and the colors, dildos are pieces of art; the skill, quality, and aesthetics can warrant a higher price for the artistry.

Most small and medium size fantasy dildos are priced within the range of $40-$120. Some shops have an efficient process that allows them to price on the lower end, while others charge a higher price for their work.

If you’re shipping to a country that charges VAT, such as countries in the EU, be prepared to pay VAT either when purchasing or when the package goes through customs.

Saving Money

Fantasy toys may be worth the price, but they’re not always affordable, and sometimes we’d like to save a few bucks. Fortunately, there are a few ways to save on toys, depending on what a given shop offers.

  • Low-price toys: Shop around — there’s a number of shops that offer small toys for $50 or less
  • Coupons: Coupon codes may be offered via newsletter, shared on social media, or sent out with packages
  • Sales and promotions: Sales on Black Friday, holidays, or other times of the year (such as a spring or summer clearout)
  • Flawed toys: Flawed toys are sold at a discount
  • Affiliate links: Bloggers, content creators, and other community members may offer affiliate links with a discount for anyone who clicks that link
  • Giveaways: Shops and collectors hold giveaways on Twitter and other platforms
  • Reward programs: Earn points for buying toys
  • Domestic shipping: Save on shipping by purchasing from shops in the same country as you

For more on discounts, giveaways, and rewards programs, check out this article.

Secondhand sales are another way to purchase a toy at a lower price by purchasing from a collector. Some toys are sold unopened, but many have been opened and used. Silicone is non-porous and can withstand high temperatures, so toys can be sanitized by boiling in water or soaking in a bleach solution. (Do not boil bleach.) Aside from possible wear and tear (see Flops and Toy Care below), the toy should be good as new and safe to use.

Flops

Given the handmade nature of silicone toys, flaws are bound to happen. Most flawed toys are safe to use and are sold at a slight discount. They are normally labeled “flops” (or a similar term) with the flaw disclaimed in the description.

Unsafe flops are usually not sold, or may be advertised as display only.

Mold flaws are unavoidable imperfections that are built into the mold for the specific model and size. These may include a patch of rough texture, slight warping of the shape, or small nicks. Mold flaws are not always disclosed since they are a normal part of the model. They are normally safe and should not impact the longevity of the toy.

Cosmetic flops that are normally safe include:

  • Nicks
  • Bubbles on the base
  • Pigment specks/beauty marks under the surface*
  • Rough trim around the base
  • Repaired tears
  • Debris inclusions (like a fully embedded fiber)

High-risk flops that require extra care, or turbo flops that cannot be sold, include:

  • Rough tears
  • Delamination (parts of the toy separating from each other)
  • Pigment specks close to the surface that are very likely to burst open*
  • Curing issues (silicone that is not fully cured)

For more flop examples, click here.

* Pigment specks that break open will release mica. If these specks are close to the surface, they may be removed and cleaned out by the shop, creating a nick on the toy.

Always check a toy thoroughly before opening the bag (if it’s packaged in a clear bag). If you encounter an undisclosed flaw in your toy, or if a pigment speck breaks open, discontinue use immediately and contact the shop for guidance.

FOMO

FOMO (fear of missing out) is what drives us to read everything on our social media feeds, check our phones the second we get a text, and get the cool new thing that everyone admires. When it comes to indie dildos, collectors may rush to get the cool new thing before realizing they’re not that into it or their finances can’t manage it.

If you’re worried about making impulse purchases or getting swept up in FOMO, the following may help:

  • Budget in advance
  • Make a specific list of items to buy and sticking to that list
  • Consider if you already have toys that suit the same purpose
  • Stay away from drops and instead browse existing inventory
  • Only buy discounted toys
  • Only buy toys in your favorite colors

What helps me avoid FOMO is looking at collecting as a long-term hobby. It’s okay if I miss a purchase that I might like because there will still be beautiful dildos next year, five years from now, even ten years from now. There isn’t any rush to get one right now.

I also take a look at the toys currently in my collection. Do I already have one with a nice curve, and does this new model have something that the others don’t? Do I already have a mini penetrable that’s perfect for me? Have I already fulfilled my Khajiit fantasies? These questions help me stop and think about whether the new toy will be worth the cost or if it’ll just be another one gathering dust in the toybox.

Shops may not stay open forever. Some shops go on indefinite hiatus or shut down after a while, either unable or unwilling to continue, and customers regret not purchasing from them. That can definitely fuel the FOMO when small shops carry a model that you love. Consider all of the above to ensure that you don’t overspend or make bad impulse purchases.

A stout, mechanical, humanoid penis with a strong curve. It is highly detailed. The pour is a marble of blue, black, and foggy grayish silicone.
Sentry: A design by Qimera Forge. Sentry is currently produced by Pleasure Forge, who owns the rights to the design and poured the pictured toy above.

Toy Care

Silicone toys are easy to care for. After each use, wash them with hot soapy water, then either dry them with a clean towel or let them air dry. Washing them before use also gets rid of any lint and anything missed in the last wash.

If a toy has been used by one individual and is going to be used by another, sanitize it between uses by either boiling it in water for five minutes or soaking it in a 10% bleach solution. (Do not boil bleach.)

Over time, silicone may become slightly firmer, especially if boiled. The difference is not typically noticeable unless the toy is made from Near Clear, which may become drastically firmer when boiled. Translucent silicone may take on a yellow tint. The shiny finish on a toy will dull over time with use as a result of friction. It cannot be made that shiny again, but it will very likely remain pretty and relatively shiny even if not as glossy as before.

Toys may pick up scents from the environment or from body contact. (If you put it in your ass, it may smell like ass.) Some scents will dissipate after washing with unscented soap or letting the toy air out. To get out more stubborn smells, you can soak the toy in a baking soda solution or a vinegar solution; let it sit in dry baking soda; or rub a layer of coconut oil on it.

Storage

Silicone sex toys may be stored touching other silicone toys as long as all toys are platinum cure silicone. If stored touching toys made of other soft plastic materials, like TPE or tin cure silicone, the materials may react and cause one or all toys to degrade. However, platinum cure silicone toys will not react to each other, so it’s perfectly safe to store them together.

Silicone toys will react to glass, including glass toys and glass shelves. I admit that I don’t know all the science behind it, but it has something to do with the silica in the glass bonding with the silicone in the toys. Multiple collectors have reported toys becoming tacky, losing their shine, or fusing to glass shelves after prolonged contact. While some collectors display their toys on glass shelves, I would advise against this unless you know the glass has a coating that will not damage silicone.

Storage bins and wood shelves should generally be safe for both silicone and the storage/display material, but there are instances where this is not the case due to the specific material or coating. Try a spot test with a sacrificial squishy or line the material with something like cotton fabric in order to ensure the toys don’t react or stick.

Texture transfer can slightly change the shape of your toys. If you’re storing your toys on or in something with strong texture such as wire shelves, invest in a plastic liner to create a flat surface that won’t indent your toys. Do not store your toys in a bent position or you will risk permanent creases. Some of these changes can be massaged out of the toys, but others may be permanent.

Cornstarch is safe to use on silicone and makes the surface less tacky, but also less shiny. A few shops dust their toys with cornstarch before bagging and shipping. If using cornstarch, wash the toy thoroughly before using and make sure to wash it regularly; the longer the cornstarch stays on, the more difficult it is to wash off.

I individually bag most of my toys and store them in a large plastic storage bin. This keeps the lint minimal and makes it easy to dig around without catching any of them with my nails.

Three bags of different sizes: Small, medium, and large. The large is over 17" long. Each bag features different pinups of Neotori's canine character Lina: Lounging and looking back over her shoulder; just her head, with a thought bubble thinking about bones; and a full frontal view, pulling her panties off with stickers covering her nipples.
Bags from Neotori that arrived with my Finn

Lube

Lube makes the world go round. Well, maybe not, but it’s basically a necessity when it comes to silicone sex toys. There’s a bit of drag when using silicone toys that can end up chafing, especially if you don’t produce a lot of your own natural lubricant. (Even if you do, I strongly recommend lube in order to prevent damage from tearing or chafing.)

Water-based sugar-free lube is the standard: It’s easy to clean up, doesn’t damage silicone toys, and is usually safe for your body. It may need to be reapplied occasionally during use.

Oil-based lube, or just plain oil (like coconut oil), won’t damage silicone toys but may require more research to figure out if it’s safe for you to use. It can also stain. It does not need to be reapplied as often as water-based lube.

Hybrid or silicone lube runs the risk of damaging silicone toys. Avoid any lubes with ingredients ending in -cone or -siloxane as these are silicones that may react with toys. While some individuals report that their toys remain undamaged if washed off immediately after use, silicone toys can become tacky or swell and create microtears as a result of interactions with silicone lube.

There’s a ton of information out there about lubes and body-safety, way more than I have space for in this article. Check out Phallophile’s Lubricant Safety Guide for information on which ingredients and traits are safe or unsafe, along with information on 52 specific lubes on the market.

Accessibility

Fantasy toys are great, but they’re better when we can use them comfortably. Between companies with mainstream products and small shops working to provide a better experience, there are a number of tools out there to make using toys easier and more comfortable. These include:

Lust Arts handle, Lust Arts suction cup, and a Pleasure Forge suction cup with Paladin Pleasure Sculptors Titan attached to the top

What’s Right for Me?

Identifying what works best for you can involve a lot of trial and error. For some people, the ideal dildo is extra small and super soft with minimal texture. For others, it’s a firm XXL with intense texture. Not everyone likes or prefers dildos—there’s plenty of options out there for both internal and external toys.

For dildos and other insertable toys, I would recommend starting out with something that is low-cost and on the smaller side.

Most small or extra small dildos would serve as great starter toys. You may be able to gauge your desired girth by inserting a few fingers and measuring the circumference of the comfortable number of fingers. A girth of 4.5-5.5″ circumference / 1.5-1.8″ diameter is around average penis size. Length-wise, most vaginas bottom out around 6-7″ deep, and many people’s comfort zone (for vaginal and anal) is between 5-6″.

In these small sizes, a firmness of 00-30 or 00-50 works for most. A tapered tip works best for gentle insertion, especially anal use, and a firmer toy can be easier to insert.

Some people need toys that are smaller or softer than what most shops offer. If you are texture-sensitive, a firmness of 00-20 may work well. If you have vaginismus or otherwise require a thin toy, search for models with a diameter under 1″. Faux Phallus Lupine is one such model.

If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. It’s possible for most people to size up over time if desired, but it’s okay to own a toy that doesn’t work out for you. If it hurts, slow down or stop. Figure out what’s going on—if you need more lube or need to warm up further, take the time to do that, but if the toy is causing bruising or bleeding, it’s best to stop, heal up, and reconsider using that toy.

For penetrables and sheaths, silicone can stretch to an extent, but these toys may tear if they’re too tight. I recommend 00-20 firmness to start out with; this is the standard for penetrables. A penetrable with thick walls or a small passage can feel too tight, and one that’s too long can feel intense to someone with a sensitive head. Try a toy with a more relaxed passage if you are well endowed or prefer an experience that’s less tight.

For grinders, I would recommend something in 00-20 or 00-30 firmness, especially if there’s a fair amount of texture, since most people’s external bits are pretty sensitive.

Starter Indie Dildos

Paladin Pleasure Sculptors’ Elemental Line

These shops produce dildos that are well suited for beginners thanks to their human or streamlined shapes, minimal texture, and/or relatively low prices. Not all dildos or shops in this list are fantasy themed, but they are all great quality.

There’s no right or wrong way to choose your first indie or fantasy dildo. The tips mentioned above will help you pick something regardless of which shop you’re purchasing from, and the shops listed at the top of this article all have at least a couple toys that would work great for people new to these toys.

Conclusion

Fantasy sex toys have helped me explore my body, sexuality, and fantasies, and I’ve developed a passion for them that I hope to share with others. We have more sex toy options than ever before in a dazzling variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Take your time, find what you love, and try new things. You might just find what you’ve been waiting for.

Six dildos, one stroker, one grinder, a suction cup, and a squishy. All are marbles of brown, white, cream, and/or gold.
Part of my coffee toy collection: Paladin Pleasure Sculptors Snark, Neotori Theotolax and Noax and a Nekoras Chonky, Chillow Fantasy MadEye Vortex, Pleasure Forge Merfolk, Wandering Bard Toys Grick, Pleasure Forge Murloc, Made to Were Zayn, Lust Arts Suction Cup

Additional Resources

For more information on fantasy toys, check out the following resources.

Last updated: 7/15/23

* Etsy carries both trustworthy indie shops and unsafe toy sellers. They have recently removed products and shops that carry safe sex toys. Exercise caution when purchasing through Etsy and research the shop if you are not certain whether or not they use platinum cure silicone.

** Secondhand sales require additional caution to verify the toy quality, verify the seller is not a scammer, and ensure the toy is sanitized by both the seller and the recipient.

*** Many parts of the community do not involve porn, while others welcome and encourage pornographic content. Make sure to check the rules when entering a certain space and/or tag any explicit content appropriately.

Thank you to everyone who shares their knowledge with the community, creates resources, or otherwise contributes to or participates in the indie market and collecting community; thanks to those who helped out with this article; and thank YOU for making it through this article. I wouldn’t be blogging, sculpting, or collecting if not for the efforts and support of the collaborative indie sex toy community, including the amazing shops whose work we admire. You are all awesome!

This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission from qualifying sales. Any resources linked above may or may not be comprehensive and up-to-date. This article is not sponsored.

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