When playing with your partner or with yourself, sex toys can help enhance pleasure.

A well-designed toy will help you reach orgasm, be made with body-safe materials, and be easy to control.

It’s healthy to be sexually active (with or without a partner)

Before getting into our recommendations, it’s important to understand the benefits associated with sex and masturbation. For both women, men, and non-binary folx, masturbation can help relieve stress, boost your mood, allow you to sleep better, and help you relax. For partners, self or mutual masturbation can also be a great way to better understand each other’s wants and needs and to have better sex.

It also has a significant impact on your health. As Dr. Barb DePree, gynecologist, women’s health provider, and founder of resource hub MiddlesexMD told Insider that for females, “vulvovaginal health is maintained or improved with regular stimulation and activity.”

It also has a significant impact on your health. As Dr. Barb DePree, gynecologist, women’s health provider, and founder of resource hub MiddlesexMD told Insider that for females, “vulvovaginal health is maintained or improved with regular stimulation and activity.”

“Genital activity promotes blood flow to the area keeping tissues more supple and elastic, and this also enhances the natural secretions that help maintain vaginal health,” she said. “Penetrative sexual activity, with or without a partner, helps to maintain vaginal width, length, and tone, or as we say, vaginal capacity.”

“Sex toys can add a spark of something new and fun,” says sex therapist Debra Laino, an AASECT-certified sex educator. “They can also help a couple explore each other’s bodies and find new erogenous zones.”

Using a vibrator also helps some people communicate about sex more openly with their partner, says Jess O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. “They’re more likely to talk about what they like in terms of speed, pressure, rhythm, angle, and position when using a vibrator, and this communication extends into other areas of their sex life and relationship,” she says.

But buying your first sex toy can feel like a daunting task. Do you go for something internal or external? A partner or solo toy? Whatever you do, it’s important to make sure you choose something you’re comfortable with and don’t feel intimidated by, says New York City sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a member of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research and author of She Comes First. He also recommends looking for a toy that provides some clitoral stimulation, as most women have an easier time reaching orgasm this way.