What’s bigger than a candy cane, sweeter than chocolate and will provide your significant other with comfort and joy throughout a long winter’s night?
If you guessed “sex toy,” you’re right—but do you know which one your beloved will covet? With hundreds of vibrating steel, glass, silicone, rubber and palm-size instruments of pleasure available in specialty shops like Babeland, The Pleasure Chest and Eve’s Garden, buying the perfect one might seem overwhelming. Couple that with universal “no return” policies and it could be downright stressful.
Still, there’s no more perfect present to turn ho-ho-ho humdrums into hymns of joy.
“Holiday sales have been great,” says Jamye Waxman, an educator and event coordinator at Babeland (she’s also the author of the new book "Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation"). “Sex toys are more and more mainstream each year. There are lots of geeks making sex toys these days, which is a fantastic thing, so we’re seeing a new generation of sex toys that are really fun and unique and doing things differently.”
And this year, perhaps in greater amounts than previous holidays, New York City sex shops have employed plenty of experts to help customers navigate the daunting selection. Guys shopping for their boyfriends, women shopping their boudoirs, or couples searching for a bit of marital spice: 'Tis the season to select something.
Before you break out the credit card, though, consider these sexpert recommendations. After all, “you don’t want to spend $100 on a vibrator and not like it,” says Monica Laljeit, manager of The Pleasure Chest’s West Village location.
Here’s what the experts recommend (and check out our photo gallery if you're not at work):
Form 6 ($175): Elegant, rechargeable, with a “velvety purr,” this is one of the hottest new sex toys on the market. “It’s really luxurious,” Babeland’s Waxman says, noting the device’s six speeds, six functions and five levels of intensity. Plus, “it’s got vibration on both ends…or either end.” Buy it alone or as part of Babeland’s “Lap of Luxury Kit,” which includes a sleek glass bottle filled with slippery, high-quality Entice lube and a 1-ounce bottle of Babeland Toy Cleaner.
LAYAspot ($45): “It’s very portable, it fits into the palm of your hand,” says Kim Ibricevic, manager of Eve’s Garden. “It kind of looks like a computer mouse, so it’s very discreet.” LAYAspot’s also credited for its ample features and quiet buzzing. Says Waxman: “It’s perfect, curved and small to hit the G-spot internally.” Plus, it’s splash-proof, so you can use it in the shower.
Delight ($165): This squiggly pink gadget is, hands down (ha), the coolest looking of the new toys. Plus, “it’s super curved to hit the G-Spot and ridged to hit the clit,” Waxman says. Bonus: It recharges in its case, too.
Rabbit Habit ($90): Gift givers can’t go wrong with the most coveted and well known of all the vibes. “It’s an oldie but goodie,” Waxman says.
Pocket Rocket ($21.95): Traveling for business? Double your pleasure. “You can’t go wrong with a Pocket Rocket or Pocket Rocket junior,” says Waxman. Kim Ibricevic, manager of Eve’s Garden in Midtown, says this 4-inch (by 1-inch) gadget, which fits into most clutch purses, is an ideal stocking stuffer.
Jupiter Wand ($75.20): With its 24 ounces of heavy metal packaged in a lustrous curve, the Jupiter Wand’s gotten quite a number of name drops among toy purveyors.
Lelo Lily ($129) The line of upscale, quiet Lelo vibrators “are selling like crazy,” says Monica Laljeit, manager of The Pleasure Chest’s West Village location. “Women love it because it’s designed very nicely. Think small but “very powerful. It’s got about 27 different settings.” If you like it, you can upgrade to the slick, metal Lelo YVA ($1,300).
Other gift ideas that make great, inexpensive stocking stuffers include candles made of wax that melt into body oils when poured on the body, or any flavor of oil or condom. Feeling a little naughty and gaudy? Eve’s Garden’s Ibricevic suggests remote-control panties: “You can zap your partner from about 20 feet away.”
WHERE TO GO
94 Rivington St., (212) 375-1701; and 43 Mercer St., (212) 966-2120. babeland.com
119 W. 57th St., Ste. 12, (212) 757-8651, evesgarden.com
The Pleasure Chest
156 7th Ave. South, (212) 242-2158, thepleasurechest.com
Part two of our story finds sees our writer Marisa hit up Babeland for a sex workshop...and she figures out which ones she'll want to attend after the New Year as well.