This could actually be titled, “Rosemary rates sex toys” because I really do, and I’m not ashamed to say it any more – thanks in no small part to the moment in Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman when she discovered masturbation. “It doesn’t cost anything, I don’t have to leave the house and it isn’t making me fat. Does everyone know about this?”
It turns out that yes, it’s most likely that everybody does know about this (although a friend of mine was shocked when, on a recent hen, it was revealed that most of those in attendance hadn’t even considered masturbating until they turned 16). What you might not know – and yes, I’m talking to you, gentle readers – is that you needn’t be giving yourself a hand with a frightening, 16-foot dildo that looks like something that just leapt out of Loch Ness.
Instead, modern times (ah, technology) has equipped us with the tools we need to make staying in a whole lot more attractive than going out, in both a figurative and a literal sense.
Lelo YVA, €2,990. This claims to be one of the world’s most exclusive sex toys, and coated in 24-carat gold with that hefty price tag, Swedish brand LELO may indeed be telling the truth. How it works? Pretty self-explanatory – not only does it vibrate (with a deep and resonant vibe, as opposed to a pulsating rhythm), the cold metallic surface adds an extra layer of pleasure. Bonus points for coming in a slick carry-case that wouldn’t look out of place on your mantelpiece.
Leaf life, €100 from Sex Siopa. This strikes me as more of an Orla Kiely fan’s sex toy – can’t you imagine it placed delicately atop some Orla Kiely bedsheets, or on an Orla Kiely tablecloth (post-washing, please)? It’s designed to fit the contours of the body, while the narrower ends can be used for intense stimulation. But really – isn’t it cute? And practically free compared to the YVA, at €100.
The Silicone Cock Ring, €38.75. For traditionalists – and those afraid of real sex shops – Ann Summers will be the first name that comes to mind when considering sex aids. Bolstered in no small part by Sex and the City (c’mon, who doesn’t remember Charlotte’s refusal to leave her room once she discovers the Rampant Rabbit?) and then by 50 Shades of Grey, Ann Summers does a great line in, frankly, vulgar penis-resembling things and overpriced candy-coloured underwear. This cock ring is one of the few exceptions. I personally would place it around the neck of a wine bottle and hang little decorations from its ears.
Lelo Smart Wand, €139. Another from the Swedes, this is a bit more financially palatable than the YVA (is anyone else saying that aloud like Wall-E’s cry to his girlfriend?) – although what you gain in money, you lose in the fact that, well, it looks a lot more like a sex toy. Hilariously, Playblue.ie says that you should use the Smart Wand to “target areas such as the arms, legs, shoulders, neck and back for a full submission into relaxation”. Yeah, right. I’m loving the metallic detail – and if you hate the purple, it’s also available in black from sexsiopa.ie.
Tickler Rocket Toyfriend, £39.99. I first encountered Tickler products when I was in Portland, Oregon – where, incidentally, sex shops look practically like Avoca in terms of being bright and open and airy, and the shop assistants are only dying to tell you all about what would be the best choice for you. I wouldn’t be Irish if I hadn’t nearly died. Anyway I invested in a Toyfriend, a small silicone vibe that comes with a handy stand, five speeds and is fully waterproof. I have it on my bathroom shelf – and would you believe it, no one has ever asked what it is.