Sex toys may not be the perfect gift for everyone on your list, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they were? I mean, when you think of all the junk that circulates and is re-gifted (ohhhh … thanks for … this) every year, wouldn’t it be awesome if we lived in a world where we could all hand out amazing orgasms to everyone we loved like holiday candy?

That would be cool. But, alas, if you're going to give a sex toy as a gift – to anyone – you had better choose your recipient – and your toy – very carefully. Here are some things to consider before you slip something sexy under the tree.

Get on the Same Page

Whether you’re planning on tucking a little something sexy into your partner’s stocking or giving them the latest, greatest sex toy as the main event, it’s a good idea to suss out whether your partner is, well, cool with sexy toys. If your partner already has a naughty wishlist, you’re good to go. If sex toys aren’t something you’ve discussed with your partner before, then a gift probably isn’t the best, most respectful way to broach the subject. Yes, we know, an orgasm machine is a beautiful gift, but not everyone will see it that way, and springing it on them could make them feel embarrassed, exposed and even angry. Be sensitive to your partner’s feelings around sex toys and broach a discussion about whether they’d be interesting in owning/trying one. If they’re excited and receptive, it’s time to start doing some research. If not, it’s time to start digging up other gift ideas.

Don’t Do It For You

Here’s the thing about buying a sex toy for someone else: It’s hard to not get excited about using it with them. And that’s totally cool – sex toys aren’t just for solo play. That said, it’s important to try to frame your excitement in terms of getting excited for your partner, not excited for the time you get to have with your partner and that toy. Not only is this a more generous gift-giving mind-frame, but it also puts your partner's desires and preferences front and center. In other words, don’t buy your partner anal toys because you’re way into trying anal with them. Do it because that’s something your partner has expressed interest in experiencing. See the difference? If you want to negotiate a new sex act, that’s for another time and another place. A gift is all about giving your partner something you already know they will love.

Pay Attention to Quality

The best gifts tend to be things people really want, but maybe wouldn’t buy for themselves. Sex toys may or may not fall into this category for your partner, but if you decide to buy one, pay attention to quality. We often hear sex toys referred to as “the gifts that keep on giving,” but that’s only true if the gift you give is a high-quality toy that will not only do what it does well, but also do it safely and for a very long time to come (pun intended!). Also, many of the higher end sex toys out there are impeccably designed and stylishly packaged, making them a lovely, luxurious gift experience overall.

LELO SONA Cruise
LELO's SONA Cruise is adorable and comes beautifully packaged - all the bling of jewelry, but with orgasms!

Do Your Homework

You can outright ask your partner what they’d like and, you know what?, that isn’t a terrible strategy. Sex toys are very individual and people tend to be the best judges of their own bodies and what they are likely to enjoy. You could even provide your partner with a sexy card and an offer to take them shopping! (Many retailers also offer gift cards.) If you decide to surprise them, though, make sure that you already have some general parameters to work within. Does your partner have a sex toy they already love? Can you find something that does something similar? For example, if you partner is into clitoral stimulation, you could go looking for the latest, greatest clit toy people are loving this year (be sure to read plenty of reviews!) Or, if they love prostate play, you could hook them up with a top-rated toy from that category. You should also research the toy you are considering, read reviews, learn about its pros and cons and essentially do your best to find out if it’s the right fit for your partner. Most sex toy retailers don’t accept returns (for obvious reasons!), so it’s best to get this purchase right.

Give It in Private

Some people are totally open about their sexuality – and even their sex toy collections. But most people would prefer not to receive a sexy gift (and possibly some awkward stares) in front of mom and grandma. If you’re giving something sexy, find a private place and time to do it. The added bonus is that you and your partner might get to play with that new toy right away!

Trim the Tree

No, I’m not talking about your bush, although personal grooming is never a bad idea. What I mean is be prepared. If you’re going to give a sex toy as a gift, make sure you provide everything your partner will need to use it right way. Remember being a kid and getting a super-exciting toy on Christmas morning, only to realize you don’t have the right-sized batteries to make it go? Giving a sex toy without the lube, batteries, or anything else required to play with it right away can be a bit of a let-down. Make sure your partner has everything they need right in the box. You could even charge the toy in advance!

Have Fun With It

It’s so easy to put a lot of pressure on sex and our sex lives and the things sex toys can do to spice them up. Instead, try to keep things light. Give your partner a sexy gift without expectations, just because you want them to feel good. After all, isn't that what the best gifts are really about?