Sex toys and products

8 Mistakes People Make when Gifting Sex Toys

Published: DECEMBER 20, 2021 | Updated: FEBRUARY 11, 2022
You want your present to spark joy, not cause bad feelings! Here's what NOT to do when gifting a sex toy. 

Selecting the perfect gift is hard. Selecting the perfect sex toy gift? Now that's like trying to give gifts on "Expert" difficulty.

And that level of difficulty really makes sense!

Sexual preferences are different for every single person - and most of us don't really talk about them with one another. Even if you're having regular sex with someone, you may not spend a ton of time talking about the pros and cons of realistic dildos versus fantasy dildos. This can lead to a giant open hole of missing knowledge when you're gifting sex toys - and everyone knows the best gifts are given out of ignorance, right? RIGHT?

Especially when we're raised in a society that doesn't like to openly discuss sex, it isn't your fault. People usually give sex toy gifts with the best of intentions, but that doesn't always mean those gifts are going to be well-received - even if you only are gifting the item out of care for your partner.


Read: 5 Reasons Your Partner Just Bought You a Sex Toy

Looking to avoid some of those mistakes? Let me help by laying out some of the most common mistakes people make when gifting sex toys - and providing a bit of advice to circumvent those oopsies before they happen:

1. Eyeballin' It

Shopping for sex toys - especially online - is entirely a pursuit of measurements. While product pictures can help you figure out if you like the texture or look of a sex toy, those same pictures can be misleading when it comes to figuring out the real-life size of a sex toy. That realistic-looking dildo that seemed lifelike in the pictures can arrive at your doorstep looking like a 15" monster.

Forgetting to measure your current toys is one of the biggest mistakes someone can make. Especially if the giver is already enjoying sex with this person, it can be as simple as pulling out the tape measure on the sex toys that the receiver inserts most often. Alternatively, if the giver has a penis and regularly enjoys intercourse with the receiver, measure the penis and don't go any larger than what is already there unless specifically requested. This isn't for ego purposes: it's very possible that anything larger may be painful to the recipient.

If you're giving a sex toy to someone you aren't already intimate with (and I'll assume you have a good reason to assume this will go well!), it's always best to ask. Alternatively, if they don't know what they'd like, use these simple rules of thumb: If it's for vaginal use, look for something in the 1.2" to 1.4" diameter range. If it's for anal use, look for something near the 1" diameter range. In general, these thicknesses are slim enough that most people can insert them - which at least means that your recipient will still be able to use the sex toy - even if they want to move on to something larger at a later date.

2. It's Their First Toy

If someone doesn't already own a sex toy, it can be tempting to provide "the first one". However, that can (and regularly does!) go poorly. Instead of your expected gratitude, there may be undiscussed reasons that the recipient doesn't own a sex toy. Sex toys may make them uncomfortable - or they may not want to use a sex toy at all.

If someone doesn't own a sex toy, it's worth swapping that sex toy gift for a sex toy giftcard. Not only does this give you both the opportunity to have open conversations about sex toys, but it also puts the final decision back in the recipient's hands. Especially for a first sex toy, ensuring the recipient had a choice and wants to use it is a big consideration!


3. Gettin' Kinky

Has the recipient experienced kink before - or expressed a desire to try it? If not, you'll be making a mistake by getting them some kinky restraints, vampires gloves, or impact play toys.

Not everyone is open to kink - and that's a-okay! Kink can feel uncomfortable to some people - both physically and mentally. This means that gifting some kink kits to someone - especially if they haven't tried kink before or expressed an interest - can feel really jarring - and not in a good way!

If you really want to try giving something kinky, consider a blindfold. I know, I know. It seems too little. But a blindfold can be a great introduction to the world of kink. It's non-threatening to most people, easy to remove if something goes wrong, and still magically enhances pleasure with just its simple design. To really make your blindfold gift stand out, pair it with something else they'd like - like massage oils for a pampering massage or a lotion for a foot massage while they're blindfolded.

4. It's Actually for the Giver

This problem isn't unique to sex toys, and it can apply to anything you can give to someone as a present. If the giver is gifting an item because they'd secretly like to be involved with using or enjoying the gift, things can get a bit messy. This happens often with lingerie (which we'll get to next) as the giver is hoping to see the receiver wear it. It can happen with other types of sex toys, too, like sex furniture or couple's sex toys.

If the giver is primarily gifting the item because they'd like to experience it, it might be time to rethink the gift - or at least have a discussion with the recipient ahead of time to ensure everyone is on the same page.

5. Gifting Lingerie

At a glance, you'd think gifting lingerie would be a great idea. It's expensive, it's an unnecessary splurge, and it can make the receiver feel amazing. In practice, it rarely goes like that.

That's mostly because, like most clothing, lingerie may not fit every body in the same way. Add that on to the fact that lingerie exposes more skin and potential self-conscious zones than most clothing, and you have a recipe for disaster. This can be further compounded by the fact that some people gift lingerie with the sole hope that their partner will wear the lingerie for them - and may even pressure someone to "put it on now" as part of an elaborate, well-meaning night of romance. Now someone is going to "try on" these skimpy, exposing garments for the first time in front of another person. That sounds like the plot for a nightmare.

(On that note, you should really wash your clothes before you wear them for the first time - whether it's frilly lingerie or a comfy sweatshirt.)

If you're set on gifting lingerie, consider taking your partner to a lingerie store for an "experience" rather than just choosing the lingerie for them. This way, they can feel pampered while simultaneously picking out the items that seem like the right fit for their body. At the same time, they can try on lingerie in private - but also invite you in during the try-ons if they find pieces that make them feel confident. Win-win!


Read: How To Find Lingerie That Makes You Feel Sexy

6. Getting Caught Up in the "Results"

As I've mentioned before, sex toys are a personal thing. Similar to a favorite food or finding that perfect shade of lipstick (or the perfectly-fitting work boots), we all have preferences. Even the best-laid sex toy gift intentions won't make up for a toy that just isn't the right fit.

That's why it's really important not to get caught up in the "results" after the body-safe sex toy is gifted. The last thing anyone wants is the receiver feeling "forced" to use the sex toy or else there will be hurt feelings - even when the sex toy doesn't feel very good for them. This can sour everybody on future sex toys.

Instead, it works best if the giver provides the receiver with ample time to use (and try out) the sex toy - especially in private. Especially with new technology (like an air suction vibrator or something like the Balldo, Liberator sex furniture, or Strap-on-Me Strapless Strap-on Dildo), there can be some trial and error required to even start the journey of figuring out whether a sex toy is a good fit.

7. Springing It During Sex

A sex toy is made to be used during sex, right? So it almost seems like a good idea to surprise the recipient with a brand new sex toy in the middle of foreplay.

Only that doesn't always go as you'd expect. Not only is there now a lot of pressure on the recipient to use and enjoy the toy for the first time as the giver watches, but sex toys as gifts are so loaded in expectations to begin with. Does a dildo mean that your penis isn't long enough? Does a vibrator mean sex has been unsatisfying? Does a penis stroker mean that you think you are having too much sex?

All of these questions can come up in the seconds after receiving a sex toy as a gift, and when your brain is fogged with horniness, it's not the best time to reassure yourself that all of those things are just a story your brain is concocting.

This makes gifting a sex toy during sex a bad idea.

Instead, give the gift outside of foreplay. Choose to present it after a romantic dinner - or wrap it up like other gifts you may be giving. Write a hand-written note about why you're gifting the sex toy - or preface the gift with an explanation about why that seemed like the perfect gift for them. This can help alleviate some of those worrisome inner dialogues. This also gives you some space for trial-and-error during some casual use like with some more complicated options like a Liberator Plus Size Ramp or a Satisfyer Partner Multifun 3.


Read: The Ultimate Guide to Giving Someone a Sex Toy

8. Making Assumptions

Just because the receiver loves having sex, it doesn't mean they're up for the requirements of caring for a sex doll or sex machine. While making some assumptions is the name of the game for gift-giving, you'll want to be particularly careful when we're talking about sex toys. Just because someone likes intercourse with their partner's penis doesn't mean that they'll enjoy receiving a realistic dildo. People's sexual tastes are very personal!

Instead of making assumptions about what toys someone wants, it can be worth having a conversation with them about the toys they want to use. They may have been eyeing a specific sex toy manufacturer like Kinklab products - or maybe have just been looking to try out a specific style of sex toy like a Satisfyer Men Wand or Wild Flower Enby. Either way, asking them ensures you get to make their desires come true!

If you're really into gifting a surprise (I get it. I love providing surprises too!), I'd recommend gifting a sex toy giftcard instead. This way, you have your surprise under the tree, but the recipient gets to make the final selection about the sex toy itself - which eliminates any potential assumptions getting in the way. (Want more tips about gifting sex toy gift cards? I wrote about it last year to give you some great ideas for really upping the "wow" factor on your gift!)

Mistress Kay

Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.

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