6 Mistakes when Buying a Sex Toy

The TENGA Global Self Pleasure Report 2020 found that over 80% of Americans consider masturbation a form of self-care. Around 59% of Americans who currently don’t use sex toys are also open to buying a new sex toy in the future. If this is your first sex toy, however, you might not know what to buy, where to buy, and what to look for. Asking questions might be difficult for some, so in this article, we’ll look at some of the most common mistakes people make when buying a sex toy to ensure you don’t make them


  1. Buying Sex Toys made of Non-Body-Safe Materials
  2. Getting Lube Right
  3. Being Aware of Maintenance and Hygiene
  4. Not Checking Sizes
  5. Not Reading Customer Reviews
  6. Buying from Untrustworthy Sellers
  7. Summary

Buying Sex Toys made of Non-Body-Safe Materials

It may be surprising to learn, but depending on the country that you’re living in, sex toy manufacturing may not be regulated. This includes sex toys manufactured in the US. This means that there is a high possibility that without the right research, you may purchase a sex toy made of toxic materials. These materials include certain kinds of plastic, PVC and materials that include phthalates. 

The safest sex toy materials you can buy are silicone, stainless steel and glass among others. It’s always best to research a little further into whether the product you’re looking to buy is safe. If you’re interested in whether TENGA toys are body-safe, you can read our other article about why TENGA toys are indeed body-safe here.

Getting Lube Right

Using lubrication or lotion improves your experience with sex toys, and the right lube can even enhance the sensations. A common mistake, however, is not knowing which lube is right for your sex toy, as using the wrong kind may damage the material.

Generally, the following rules apply when searching for a lube that is appropriate:

    • Silicone-based lubricant is compatible with almost all non-silicone sex toys.
    • Oil-based lubricant is compatible with almost all sex toys but not latex & condoms.
    • Water-based lubricant is generally seen as compatible with all sex toys. Note: This is what we advise you to use with all TENGA products.

Another common mistake is not getting enough lube - all TENGA products come with a sample but you will need to purchase separately.

For more in-depth information on what lube is best for masturbation and sex toys, you can check out our guide here.

Being Aware of Maintenance and Hygiene

Although it may be a bit or a chore to thoroughly clean your sex toy after a satisfying masturbation session, it’s always advisable to take the time to do so. Not cleaning a product correctly can cause bacteria to spread, leading to possible product damage and worse, potential illness such as yeast infections. This is why we strongly recommend you consider how the item is washed before purchasing. 

Many sex toys can be cleaned with lukewarm water, a mild or non-damaging antibacterial soap and being allowed to dry sufficiently - this is what we suggest for TENGA too. *Some products, like some from TENGA, may have specific ways to help the cleaning process. For more information on how to clean TENGA products, you can check out this article.

Not Checking Sizes

Size is an important consideration to make when buying a sex toy - both too small or too big can make the experience different from what you were expecting. A lot of sex toys generally fit for an average size, but it is always better to double-check. The TENGA USA Store lists the insertion width and depth of all products and where applicable for stretchable products, the maximum the product can stretch to. Be sure to take the extra time to check these details before purchasing!

Not Reading Customer Reviews

Companies will always say the product they are selling is the best thing out there, but the customers may say differently. Although it can be difficult to trust all customer reviews, especially with the use of paid reviews for certain products on sites like Amazon, they can still be a great source of information. The TENGA USA Store has a review section for each product where you can see previous customers reviews out of five stars and comments which may help you decide which item to buy.

Buying from Untrustworthy Sellers

Big marketplace retailers such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba are a very convenient part of everyone's life these days. However, there are a few things you should always keep in mind when buying on these sites - regardless of the item

These sites generally have many retailers and offer as many brands as possible. This leads to several concerning situations:

1) Non-authentic Products

While Amazon does their best and we work alongside them and other retailers to keep counterfeit items off the market, the size and scale of their operations mean some items can slip through. Be wary of any item that seems too cheap to be true, or those from sellers that aren't recognizable.

2) Less Product Quality Control

Amazon and other marketplaces tend to carry any and all products that are available on the market. In any given situation, your search and their algorithms may bring up unsavory products, made from materials that we mentioned above.

If you're uncertain about product authenticity, the easiest solution is to purchase from the original manufacturer - in TENGA's case we have an official online store that sells all of our items. If that isn’t possible then you should try to use an authorised and trusted reseller. You can find those trusted by TENGA on our global store locator here.


Buying your first sex toy can be a little daunting if you don’t know much about what you’re looking for, are confused about the terminology used by companies or are just a little difficult to learn more. If you ever have any questions about TENGA products, we have a helpful FAQ page offering answers about all available products. If you can’t find the answer you need, then you can always contact our inquiries here and our staff will be happy to answer

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