What do you want in a sex toy? Serious question to Boomers, seniors, elders

Sex toy manufacturers and retailers are aware that we Boomers, seniors, and elders use sex toys and are often frustrated when we buy products that don’t fit our needs or wants.
You may not realize that many of those manufacturers and retailers follow this blog. They are eager to know what we want, exactly. They want to understand us. And of course, they want to make and sell products that appeal to us and keep us very happy.

Let’s help them out. If you’re over 50, I invite you to comment on this post and describe the kind of sex toy you wish you could find. (If you think you already read this post, I’ve updated it and added more.)

Here are some ideas to start you out. Many of us want these qualities:

  • Strong intensity.(Our king is the Hitachi Magic Wand.)
  • Vibrations last a long time without losing the charge.
  • Long-lasting product — does not break or die.
  • High quality, body-safe materials, accurately described. (Don’t tell us it’s silicone if it’s not.)
  • Materials and construction that doesn’t pinch, pound, or scratch delicate tissues.
  • Instructions we can read without a magnifying glass. Or better, make the instructions truly intuitive.
  • Handles and controls that we can use with fingers slippery from lubricant.
  • Dimensions provided in your retail description. 
  • If insertable, slim version available (under 1.5″ diameter).
  • Ergonomic — don’t make our arthritic wrists hurt.

Your turn — take it from here! What do you look for? What problems do you try to avoid? What should sex toy manufacturers and retailers know about how to serve you best? Here’s your chance to tell them.

Request: when you comment, if you want to remain anonymous, I’d appreciate it if you would use a first name of your choice (it doesn’t have to be your own). That way, instead of a string of comments from people all named “Anonymous,” we can keep track of who said what. Please include your real age in your comment or in the name you choose.

Note: By posting here or emailing me, you’re giving me permission to use excerpts in my new book, The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty (Cleis Press) if they fit. What you tell me may help others significantly. (If I use your comments in my book, I won’t identify you in any way, and I’ll be careful to delete any details that might lead someone else to identify you.)

Note #2: If you represent a sex toy retailer or another sex-themed or other-themed site, read and learn, but do not try to pull my readers to your site using a link. I moderate comments, I look at the links, and your comment will not see the light of day if you do this. If you’d like information about advertising on this blog, or if you want me to review a toy that fits what my readers are requesting, please email me. If you try to spam my readers, I get very cranky and it doesn’t do you any good anyway. (If you’re an educational site or an author or sex educator, we do want to know about your site — you’re not spamming if you link.)

Toy charging frenzy


  1. Caitlin @ Marriage Sex Life on December 13, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Even if you're 40+ and above you can still use sex toys. There's nothing wrong using them, except if you have health concerns about it, consult your doctor about it. 🙂

    • Joan Price on December 13, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Caitlin, I can't imagine any health concern that would preclude vibrator use (as long as you're using body-safe vibrators) — what did you have in mind?

  2. Joan Price on November 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Speaking of charging toys, I wish the various chargers were labeled with the toy they match. For some of us with many toys and many chargers, it's annoying to have to try a dozen before finding a match. My own fault for not labeling them myself at the beginning, I know.

  3. Michael (54) on November 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    It's unfortunate that most, if not all, rechargeable toys can't be used while its charger is plugged in. Sometimes, it's hard to tell how much power a toy has remaining, and it's frustrating to have to switch out a toy when it loses too much power during use. Of course, many toys have short or fickle charging cords, particularly those with magnetic connection charging systems, so that wouldn't work for them.

  4. Anonymous on November 17, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Hey Joan, Dan says:

    Cell phones? Banned in my bedroom!

    Here's an idea: how about a Butt Plug 3 size starter kit. I got one after talking to a lady who was knowledgeable at a sex shop; was 3-4 inches or so. But I've been too scared to use it on my sweetpea; came w/ a bullet vibe; which we use.

    How about three sized starter kit for scardy cats?
    a) hello
    b) hello, hello
    c) HELLO big ass w/ foxtale

  5. Bob Fischer in KC on November 16, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Why don't vibrators have the same charging system as cell phones. Every bedroom in America has cell phone chargers next to the bed.

  6. WOODY on September 2, 2013 at 12:28 am


  7. Healthy Wealthy Aging on April 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    This is the first time I've seen a website like this, and its very interesting. I haven't given thought that seniors can still be sexually active.

    • Joan Price on April 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Really, HWA? And you represent an "aging" website? Hmmm! At what age did you think we gave up sex? Tell us more.

  8. David Pittle on April 17, 2013 at 6:11 am

    That arthritis issue is important. I like the Tenga products, but their best male masturbation sleeve is the wonderful Flip Hole. Unfortunately, when my arthritis is acting up, it is just too heavy and awkward. (When my wrist is not painful, it is great.)

    A friend introduced me to using a stethoscope with double earpieces. So you can listen together to each one's heart beat.

  9. Dan, 65, Santa Cruz Mountains on April 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    One word: leather.

    Never thought, Joan, that I'd appreciate some kink but I now do. Especially black leather. Sex and sex toys these days are 95% of the time all about this or that orifice; or just going over the edge. How about playing with and celebrating the edge. Retailers are missing sales here.

    I was in a leather art shop last week and the poor guy was whining about going out of business. (He even admitted he was still doing as a leather artisan 1970ish style journal covers and belts. I swear I'm going back there and getting honest with him: "Hey Retailerman. How about a Badass Section? Like the naughty video section in the old VHS stores? Every typed 'leather' in the Google bar?"

    Seriously, dress up and foreplay and sex play and after play–at 65 it's got to be more than just squirting. Or 8 second orgasm moans. His or hers.

    Give me edge and ways to get there. Give me some Badass. And give me some power play toys. Give me a little Dark Eros even. And this from a 98% Vanilla traditionalist guy. Starting from a blindfold. Yes, a blindfold is a sex toy. Honest. And you don't even have to wash it after each use.

  10. Anne on April 5, 2013 at 4:46 am

    I don't need hard driving vibrations. In fact, don't make them vibrate so much that my hand turns numb!

    Could you make a curved bendable dildo that was truly customizable? If the dildo is inside, the other part never quite fits over the clitoris.

    I like medical grade silicone, waterproof, rechargeable.

    Thanks for asking!


  11. Mary on April 5, 2013 at 2:43 am

    More toys that do not rely on batteries but instead come with a charger.

  12. Walker Thornton on April 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    At age 58, I have no menopause related symptoms or challenges around sexuality…which I think is important to share as many people believe WE all have problems!

    I prefer a lighter touch in vibrators ( I have the Magic Wand but have to use it over a piece of fabric to mute the intensity) and size isn't a problem. My favorite right now is the Jimmy Jane Form 4. Waterproof, for shower play. Three speeds so if I want more intense it's available! Easy to handle, works well if my partner wants to use it in combination w/ oral stimulation. Perfect for clit play and insertion.

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