There's no reason why you shouldn't experience the naughty, sexy world of intimate toys. Picture: Pexels

Did you know that the sexual wellness market accounted for R575-billion in 2017? But that's not the end of it - experts predict that sex toy apps will become a major part of our sex lives over the next few years. The question is: Are you ready for it?

Or have I jumped the gun? Chances are while reading this, you've considered dabbling in a bit of bedroom play by introducing a toy or two. But the thought of buying a sex toy drives you to anxiety, or because of the many choices readily available, you just don't know where to start?

Either way, there's no reason why you shouldn't experience the naughty, sexy world of intimate toys. Sex toy shops have come a long way since the days of dusty shelves and questionable sell-by dates. 

"Today’s upmarket boutiques are designed to be welcoming and accommodating to women so the chances are that you'll find something that tickles your fancy," says expert and online intimacy boutique owner Jenni Holdsworth. "Every woman deserves to find sexual pleasure - with a partner as well as on her own. And there is nothing wrong with that."

If the thought of going it alone scares you, Holdsworth suggests taking a friend. "There are lots of toys out there and it can be overwhelming to a first time buyer, so a friend that helps you to relax and take your time choosing is what you need," she added.

Other things to consider are:

Toy safety

If you're allergic to certain materials and chemicals, you should take note of the materials used in the manufacturing of certain products. Always stay clear of toy containing phthalates. They have been associated with lung, kidney and digestive system issues, as well as reproductive system disorders.

Do your homework

You don't want to end up having buyer's remorse, and that's why the internet is your friend. Once you've got your heart set on a certain product, check out the online reviews. Also, going on recommendations is a great starting point.

Only buy from reputable retailers

When buying online, read the terms and conditions. Ask questions like: Do they ship to SA? Will you have to pay a further import tax? And if you're not happy with the product, what is their returns policy? If a few simple questions go unanswered or if you're not happy with their response, it's a no-go zone. Also, read up on the customer satisfaction ratings that the company has received online.

Lube up

Lubrication goes hand-in-hand with sex toys. Invest in a lube that contains only natural ingredients. And if you're prone to sensitivity and allergies, go with something that's water-based.

What stimulation do you prefer?

Don't go acting all coy now. This is something that you need to know. From dildos to bullets, there's a vast range of products out there. But if you don't know what you like and what you prefer, it will be like faffing around in the dark.

Reputable websites:

Dr Eve Online Store

HunnyBunn