1. According to condom pioneers Durex, the message is simple: condoms are the only form of protection that can help stop the transmission of STIs and prevent pregnancy. And we happen to agree with them.

    In this day and age, with so many different colours, textures and varieties of condoms available, there is no excuse for not protecting yourself and your lover from infection and unplanned pregnancy.

    This guide will explain exactly why condoms are so important, how to use them and how to choose the right style of condom to suit your needs.

    How To Get The Sexy Gifts You Want (And Deserve!)

    If you don't want to be stuck with yet another box of chocolates and a book on HTML For Dummies on your special day, learn how to drop hints like a pro and sit back and watch the sexy gifts roll in…

    We know we should be grateful for what we receive, but sometimes it's hard to hide the disappointment on our faces when we get yet another yoga mat even though we haven't used last year's version yet. And as for the Egyptian cotton towel bale - nice gift, but hardly a Tantus FeelDoe Vibrating Double Dildo, is it?

    If you're desperate for a new sex toy but don't know how to approach your partner about it, dropping clear, concise hints about your sexy needs will get you close to that Double Dildo (without having to buy it yourself) than ever before. Dropping a clear hint about what you want is paramount, and will mean the difference between getting a Jessica Rabbit Vibrator and a copy of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

    Want a shiny new vibrator but scared it will sound like a jet engine taking off? Fear not, we're here to help you find a vibrator that's high on clit-stimulating vibes, not volume.

    The very definition of a couple's plaything, strap-on sex toys are designed to switch up the sexual dynamics in your relationship. They can be used by straight people, gay people, bi people, pansexual people... pretty much anyone!

    In this guide, we'll cover all the need-to-know information you need if you're looking to introduce a strap-on to your playtime, including how to choose them and how to use them.

    BDSM is an all-inclusive term given to any sexual behaviour that might be considered 'kinky'. Pain, physical restraint and servitude would be frowned upon in a non-sexual scenario. In BDSM circles, however, these practices are engaged in with the consent of both people involved for mutual satisfaction and excitement.

    Spanking, whipping, tying, binding, scratching - whatever you fancy trying, you can quickly become a sexual tigress and bring out your kinky side with our guide to BDSM and bondage

    Above: Not sure what the letters in B-D-S-M stand for? Watch this video guide with Jess Wilde to make knowing your B's from your D's as simple as A-B-C!

    So you're looking for a vibrator but not sure where to start in our vibrators category? Luckily, you can use our brilliant Vibrator Finder by clicking the image below.

    But if you're really not sure where to start, this guide will teach you how to tell a bullet from a butterfly vibe and everything in between, and help you choose the vibrators that will best enhance masturbation and sex with your partner.

    Butt Plugs

    Unlike other insertable sex toys, a butt plug is an anal sex toy that's designed to be inserted and left in place.

    Generally speaking, butt plugs are conical-shaped, starting small and gently graduating in size. They usually feature a slimmer 'neck' at the bottom and a flared base for safety.

    So why do people use butt plugs, we hear you cry?

    A butt plug gently stretches the anus, creating a sensation of fullness and pressure, and stimulating the sensitive internal and external nerve endings.

    When the pelvic muscles contract during an orgasm, a butt plug can intensify the sensation, as you're squeezing against something. Using one as part of your sexual repertoire can lead to intense anal fulfilment and amazing orgasms.

    It's a fabulous way to explore anal play for the first time, either through solo masturbation or with a partner.

    What was once considered a 'dungeon' fetish is now making its way into bedrooms the world over, so it's important to learn some rules to make sure your bondage play is satisfying and safe. When done correctly, bondage can be an intimate, sensual and sexy experience for all.

    While you may not yet participate in the more advanced or extreme forms of bondage, such as self-bondage, you should still exercise caution and safety in even the simplest practices. So if you want to be sexy and safe with your bondage play, here are some tips to get you started…

    Above: In this video, Jess Wilde explains why you and your partner should always agree on a safe word before exploring bondage, spanking, or any other kinds of "serious sex play".

    Batteries for your Sex Toys and Vibrators

    Many websites offer free batteries when you buy a vibrator or sex toys. Why doesn't Lovehoney? Because you need good ones!

    Sex toys and vibrators are high-drain electrical items that require quality, alkaline batteries. The free batteries supplied by some sites are typically low-quality non-alkaline batteries which don't supply enough power to get a decent buzz and are liable to leak under the strain.

    Summer lovin' had me a buzzin', as Olivia Newton-John almost sang. Find out which vibes are best to pack when you're heading off on holiday…

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