Going Deep with Jodie Layne

I hope I have managed to imprint the idea on you that masturbation and orgasms are important and that sex toys are nothing to be ashamed of – and I hope I have given you some of the tools to explore your own sexuality and feel empowered to experiment with new things.

The Manitoban takes a break in December during some of the most stressful weeks of the year; holidays and exams are waiting to keep you up all night and take all your money. Well, dear readers, I have been testing different sex toys for such a time as this. Even if you’re up late studying bio instead of the body of a lover, here are some things you can steal away a few minutes with and bring that stress level back down. Besides, it’s the holidays and toys shouldn’t just be under the tree.

For beginners: Durex Allure Personal Massager ($22.99 from www.well.ca or drugstores)

Yes, that Durex. I was skeptical, too, but this wand vibrator is the kind of toy I wish I had bought my first time. Its shape is perfect for providing internal stimulation with a big enough surface at the end to provide more than adequate external stimulation as well.

You control the power by turning a knob at the end, and instead of having different power settings it is just “more” or “less,” letting you get that exact right buzz. The end is also flared enough that it makes it perfect for those desiring anal stimulation without penetration. Just make sure you clean any toys that have been used anally before using them vaginally!

The coolest toy ever: Minna Ola ($165.00 available from www.comeasyouare.com)

The Minna Ola is one of those toys so fun to use because it encourages a little self-love. The toy is a flared wad with a pillowy tip. The intensity with which you squeeze the tip controls how strong the toy vibrates; the stronger the squeeze, the stronger the buzz.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, you can save a vibe pattern that you like and use it again later – oh, and it’s totally waterproof! Being able to score some solo shower sexytime can be great for those of you living with a roommate or at home. It’s soft and curves just right, making it welcoming and pleasurable. Its easily varied speeds make it fun to hand over the controls to a partner.

As well, for any Kegel enthusiasts, insert the pillowy end and the harder you clench the more you are rewarded with strong vibes. The Minna Ola is the embodiment of a playful attitude towards masturbation.

For the music lover: ohmibod Freestyle W Vibe ($150 from www.comeasyouare.com)

Ohmibod is primarily notable because they make toys that vibrate to music. When I actually got to try it out, I was in awe.

This wand is big on thickness and shape; it is much thicker than most vibes on the market and has two little knobs strategically placed to deliver the maximum vibrational pleasure. There is also a vibrating nub for external stimulation.

The set also comes with a headphone jack that can connect to your music-playing device and allows you to plug in your own headphones so you can hear what you are vibing to. I was skeptical about how sensitive the toy would be to the bass in the music, but it delivers even the tiniest vibe for the tiniest bass thump. I tested it out with Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange and it is like the two were made for each other.

The toy can also be controlled by an app (downloadable for $0.99), which is a great way to incorporate this toy into partnered play. For someone with a huge music collection, the possibilities and pleasures are endless – although it does come with seven preset vibe modes for days when your iPhone needs a break.