I have something of a reputation as sex toy snob. I admit it: I love some big ticket toys. That said, I also think it’s important that we understand that sex toys are not an elite thing and that it’s possible to have not just toys, but good, body-safe, quality toys on a budget. I have put together this list of 10 toys I love, and each and every one costs less than $50 (five of them are under $25!). They are toys that I personally vouch for and, in most cases, actually own. Check it out - and have fun doing some budget-savvy, sexy shopping!
Get Off Without Going Broke : A Sex Toy Snob's Top 10 Toys for Under $
OK, so these aren’t "toys" per se, but they make for awesome play! These massage bars come in an array of yummy scents, feel wonderful and at only $6 a pop they are a wonderfully affordable luxury. Plus, each bar is good for 10 to 12 massages. That’s a lot of bang for your buck ... so to speak.
These are a nightstand staple! Designed as disposable masturbation sleeves, they are actually super-versatile - and reusable. Yes, they feel fabulous when lubed up and slipped over a penis for masturbation or a hand job, but they they can also be turned inside out and slipped over a hand or your favorite toy for a new play sensation. Packaged like cute little easter eggs, the actual sleeves come with multiple internal texture options and with a little care, they're good for a couple of uses a piece. I keep some on hand at all times!
I originally bought this simply because it’s cute and I liked the idea of walking around with a vibrating cock ring on my finger at all times (I felt like a sex toy James Bond). I didn’t have much hope for it as a sex toy, but I'm happy to report that I was wrong! This ring fits comfortably around the penis and testicles and pleasantly transmits vibration down the shaft of the penis. Also, unlike many vibrating cock rings, it doesn’t interfere with your sex - it just adds to it. I still love the idea of wearing a sex toy accessory though. I own it in two colors! (Learn more about penis rings in Curious About Cock Rings?)
This vibrator impressed me because even though it is powered by two AA batteries, the vibrations are strong. Beyond that, the vibrations from the Blue Venus are rumbly - inexpensive toys can be buzzy - which makes for a richer experience. It’s a handy little vibe.
This one is super-fun! The Night Rider is smooth and sleek and has a corded remote so you can insert it and adjust the vibration levels without having to contort yourself. The shape makes it great for prostate stimulation too.
5 More Awesome Sex Toys For Less Than $50
There are a lot of Kegel balls out there but I like the Smartballs because they are all one piece with nothing to take apart during cleaning, and they have a lovely silicone coating. Smartballs are also textured, so they stimulate while strengthening. So much fun! (Learn more about the importance of Kegel strength in For Better Orgasms, Flex This Muscle.)
I’m not going to lie to you: I originally bough this toy because it is decorated with pirate stuff and has shiny gem things in the handle. But I was on a trip when I bought it and it was the only toy I had, so I started using it and learned that this toy delivers. It has three speeds and two variable vibrations, it’s reasonably powerful and rumbly, and it really works for me. It even comes with a storage pouch, which is a nice touch for the price.
This is another nightstand staple! The Bootie is probably my favorite plug. It’s perfect for beginners and awesome for anal warm up. Clean-up is a breeze because the whole thing is medical-grade silicone, so you can use soap and water and even boil it if you want!
The Acute is a lovely piece with a wonderful shape for either vaginal or anal play. It is harness-compatible and 100-percent medical-grade silicone, so you can sanitize it (just boil it) and it will last you a life time
OK, this one might break $50 depending on where you get it, but the Plunge Paddle is seriously awesome. It packs quite the punch as a paddle (it really stings!) and it does double duty with the handle functioning as a G-spotting dildo. As if that wasn’t enough, the entire thing is made of medical-grade silicone and, as such, can be boiled. This means that unlike leather paddles, you can use this one with more than one partner as long as you sanitize it before moving from one to another. (Discover the benefits of silicone in What's the difference between a wood, leather or silicone spanking paddle?)
JoEllen is a writer, speaker, researcher and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead.
JoEllen is currently writing her first book: “The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression & The Conversation We Aren’t Having”