On today’s show we welcome Annabelle Knight. Annabelle is a dating, sex and relationship expert along with being a certified couple’s councilor. She’s also written a novel, The Endless Autumn, which has been featured by Cosmopolitan.
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Annabelle has her own range of sex toys available online and is a resident sex and love expert for online retailer, Love Honey. Our topic for today is sex toys. Thanks to Annabelle’s expertise on the subject she is able to share with us just how useful they can be and how they can cause breathtaking pleasure.
We’re also talking about getting your partner on board with using sex toys during sex and the different types of vibrators and sex toys available. For an incredibly insightful conversation, be sure to tune in to today’s episode!
Watch My Interview Here
Key Points From This Episode
- Hear more about Annabelle’s background and how she started her own line of sex toys.
- How sex toys can improve your pleasure, whether you’re alone or with a partner.
- Annabelle’s favorite sex toys – the cock ring and the vibrating bullet.
- Advice to people wanting to buy their first sex toy.
- Why some guys are hesitant about using sex toys during sex.
- Ways to help your partner get on board with using sex toys.
- Why using sex toys has nothing to do with how good you are in bed.
- Different types of vibrators for clitoral stimulation.
- What to look for when buying a sex toy.
- Sex toys that are unisex or male specific that men can use.
- Learn more about prostate play and prostate massagers.
- Toys to use during sex that can give different sensations.
- Anal first-timers prep.
- Main types of lubricant: water based, silicon based and oil based.
- Using the right type of lube with your sex toys.
- What to do if sex toys just aren’t for you.
- And so much more!
“Sex toys are like the cherry on the cake so you don’t need the cherry to make the cake tasty but it kind of gives you a third dimension, a little extra something.” — @missbelleknight [0:03:10]
“Sex toys provide different type of stimulation and that’s not a better type or worse type, it’s just a different type.” — @missbelleknight [0:07:50]
“The end goal for any sex toy manufacturer is pleasure and the better their toys and their products provide pleasure, the more popular they are.” — @missbelleknight [0:18:26]
Resources, extended show notes and Annabelle’s details can be accessed by clicking here.
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[0:00:54.7] Sean Jameson: Today, I’m talking to Annabelle Knight. Anabelle is a dating, sex and relationship expert along with being a certified couple’s councilor. She’s also written a novel, The Endless Autumn, this is Cosmopolitan’s top one to read. Annabelle has her own range of sex toys available online and is a resident sex love expert for online retailer, lovehoney.com. Annabelle, thanks so much for coming on the bad girl’s bible podcast.
[0:01:22.5] Annabelle Knight: Thank you very much for having me.
[0:01:25.3] Sean Jameson: I love to start off with little bit about your background if that’s okay and then how one comes to create their own line of sex toys.
[0:01:35.5] Annabelle Knight: Yes, sounds fabulous. Well, I mean, where do I start? My background is a little over the shot, I started off in local radio as a general presenter and then I thought, you know what I want? I want to go to TV, I really enjoy it but presenters are really 10 and penny, so I decided, how can I fan out and specialism was really the only answer.
Kind of like a long thing kind of discussed it with friends and family about what I’d like to specialize in and I have a background in psychology and I have a psychology in levels and other causes that I’ve done. I thought, maybe I’ll go in to something like counseling. I did a couple’s counseling course and then just have loads of other courses recently got qualified as a psycho sexual therapist as well and I was trying to balance kind of that kind of work with doing TV and radio and writing.
That’s how I ended up working with Love Honey who are the company that stocked my range of sex toys. I met them through an advert on star now for a general presenter and I went in with everyone and yeah, I’ve been working with them for about eight years now.
[0:02:49.0] Sean Jameson: Awesome, sounds like fun.
[0:02:51.0] Annabelle Knight: It is, it never dulled out.
[0:02:53.8] Sean Jameson: Let’s just launch straight in, I’ve got a bunch of questions about sex toys. Let’s say you’re a female listener, it’s just a general question but how can sex toys improve your pleasure, you know, whether you’re alone or with your partner.
[0:03:10.1] Annabelle Knight: I always say, sex toys are like the cherry on the cake so you don’t need the cherry to make the cake tasty but it kind of gives you a third dimension, a little extra something. As far as solo pleasure goes, you know, you just get so much wider variety of stimulation and different types of stimulation that you rather than what you would get just from manual masturbation.
As part of a couple, guys have got it pretty tough if you’re in a straight relationship because it’s really hard for a guy to stimulate a woman internally and externally at the same time because our clitoris, our pleasure point is on the outside of our vaginas, it’s really hard during penetrative sex to stimulate that.
There are toys that help kind of blend the sensation. It’s more, you get more satisfaction as the female partner.
[0:04:02.8] Sean Jameson: It makes a lot of sense to – if you want that orgasm and you’re struggling to have an orgasm during sex. You know, perhaps use a vibrator?
[0:04:12.6] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, absolutely. There were toys, my favorite sex toy and I think this should be in the bedside drawer of absolutely every couple and I have just added one to my line of sex toys, it’s a love ring and you get vibrating ones and they sit at the base of penis, they offer kind of a gentle constriction so for the guy, you get a longer lasting, harder erection, which is a plus points and lot so guys report kind of bigger and stronger erections as well.
The vibrating bullet sits on the outside and makes contact with the clitoris so you get to stimulate your partner externally while you have penetrative sex. That absolute little miracle workers and if you’re looking for shared orgasms or even just an orgasm through sex at all, then delivering is definitely the toy that I would recommend.
[0:05:02.2] Sean Jameson: Awesome, some people will call that maybe a cock ring.
[0:05:04.8] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, I didn’t know about language on the podcast. I always find a kick on the day time TV friendly but yeah, cock ring is what we –
[0:05:11.8] Sean Jameson: Yeah, absolutely, say all the foul language you want.
[0:05:15.5] Annabelle Knight: Okay.
[0:05:17.6] Sean Jameson: What advice maybe besides a love ring, a cock ring, what advice would you give to someone they’ve never owned a sex toy, they don’t want to go into a high street shop to buy one so they’re going to get it online, maybe from Love Honey?
[0:05:32.0] Annabelle Knight: I don’t know many people, whether they’re sex toy professionals or not.
[0:05:36.7] Sean Jameson: Unlike yourself.
[0:05:38.9] Annabelle Knight: Sex toy professional that would like to kind of just go in to a high street toy, stock store, sorry. Of course online, you get the wealth, you get like the entire stock rather than just a few items. It’s none of this as well, if you order from Love Honey for example, your package will come in a brown box, there will be no logo on there, not even the name appears, it says LH Trading rather than love honey. Even if your post man happens to shop there himself, he’s not going to look at the box and immediately know what’s inside.
If you buy online, you’ve got your distance selling regulations as well, which means that even if the product works fine and does exactly as it says on the box, you can still return it and Love Honey have a very generous returns policy.
The other thing is just the titillation of shopping for sex toys online, it’s brilliant. If you’re doing it as a couple, it can be a really fantastic bonding experience and lots of people report having better, whether it’s solo sex or sex in a couple, having better sex post shopping experience because they’ve got all these ideas in their head and they’re in a much higher kind of sensitive state than they would have been – had they not gone online and looked in the first place.
[0:06:49.4] Sean Jameson: Awesome, I love that. Making it a shared experience.
[0:06:52.7] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, that’s what I’m completely about the shared sexual experience and it should be very equal and no one should be left out.
[0:07:01.0] Sean Jameson: From what you’re saying, sex toys sound fantastic, a really fun experience but then why are some guys hesitant about using sex toys during sex?
[0:07:12.6] Annabelle Knight: That is a good question and there’s a lot of different answers and I’ve asked this question many times. Some guys feel that they’re being replaced, the sex toy is a necessity rather than just like a fun thing to have around and they don’t like the idea that they can’t satisfy their partner but that’s a really unhealthy and unhelpful narrative to a deity because sex toys, they’re not there to replace anyone.
They’re there to enhance that experience and as a lover, you should want your partner to have the best experience possible. Sex toys just, the bare bones of it is that sex toys provide different type of stimulation and that’s not a better type or worse type, it’s just a different type and sex is all about experimentation and trying new things and finding bits and pieces that you never tried before.
Finding new things that you really like.
[0:08:08.8] Sean Jameson: I 100% agree. Would you have any advice then maybe for one partner, to help their hesitant partner, you know, to get over that hesitation?
[0:08:19.5] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, the shopping online together, making it a shared experience is something that really helps. Definitely helps to take the taboo out of things when you see, you know, for example, on I keep talking about love honey but it’s my kind of main experience level but when you see that there’s user friendly videos, there’s guides, there’s a whole community. Once you take the taboo and the kind of stigma away from it.
Because a lot of people, even now will think of sex toys as these kind of hyper realistic, very phallic fake penises and there’s just so much more to sex toys than that. You can have them as realistic or as unrealistic as you like. Yeah, just make it a bonding experience and make it, you know, we’re taking a step together rather than I have this because you can’t do that.
[0:09:09.6] Sean Jameson: you know, you make such a great appoint there. You know, a lot of people get caught up with their own thoughts and their own ego and really, you know, sex is about two people enjoying themselves and having a fun adventure, you know?
[0:09:23.2] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, absolutely. It’s not all men by any stretch, there are hundreds and thousands of couples that enjoy sex toys or enjoy sex with sex toys and without sex toys, just wish you have a way the wind blows. But there are also lots of couples that are really missing out because of this close mindedness about what using a sex toy means in terms of their own sexual performance and really, sex toys are not as common on how good you are in bed, it’s more common on how good you want your shared experience to be in bed.
[0:09:56.6] Sean Jameson: Let’s say there’s a female listener listening, presumably she’d be listening if she was a listener and she wanted to use – she wanted to get a vibrator for more clitoral stimulation alone or with her partner. Could you talk a little bit about the different types of vibrators she could try out?
[0:10:15.4] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there are so many different types but you’ve got kind of a few basic ones. The first one would be the bullet vibrator, which is, they’re about an inch and a half to three inches in length, they’re quite petite, they usually have a tapered tip, which is fantastic for kind of pin point clitoral stimulation. If you are using them with two people, they’re nice and petite and discreet so they can slip easily between lovers in bed, they’re not going to get in the way.
The next type would be it’s what we call a lady finger vibrator and it’s the same shape but a little bit bigger, a little bit thicker and can be used for kind of penetrative stimulation as well. They usually have a twist base so you don’t get different kind of pulses and patterns but what you get is this continual vibration that you can build up so it’s kind of progression play if you’re someone who likes to think like slow and steady wins the race then that kind of vibrator will really help just take things up a notch ever so slowly, ever so steadily.
Then you have things like classic vibrators, which are a little bit larger, they can have different shape shafts, you can get ones that have like a rippled shaft or a swirled shaft and they’re brilliant for adding a new dimension to internal stimulation, they often come with loads of different settings so you can kind of tailor make your own orgasm.
Then there’s like magic wand vibrators, which are usually main powered, they’re for the power hungry woman, they originally were designed to kind of work aching muscles and your shoulders so that they vibrate with a lot of power. If you are going to get a magic wand vibrator, I’d always say, kind of first few times you use it, maybe use it on top off your underwear so you can build up the sensation, get used to that incredible amount of power.
That’s really kind of your basic vibrators and there are lots of different brands and types but there, you kind of main points for the vibrating sex toy.
[0:12:18.0] Sean Jameson: Would you be able to talk a little bit about a newer type of vibrator, the womanizer and similar vibrators too?
[0:12:25.2] Annabelle Knight: I Was about to talk about that. The womanizer works, it is absolutely amazing. They all work on the same technology, which essentially, if you imagine – I can’t even really describe it but it has a little hood that sits over and around the clitoris and that creates a gentle suction as well as vibration. It works on suction rather than just direct vibration stimulation directly on the clitoris.
It’s a much more gentle experience, we call it a non-numbing experience so you can use this toy for a great amount of time without experiencing any kind of temporary loss of sensation or numbness, which some women report as feeling if they use a vibrator for a long time.
You can get lots of different types of the womanizer now so the star is a really small one that has a case that fits over it so you can’t even tell what it is that’s really travel friendly and really discreet. You’ve got tons that you can get couples womanizers, you can get kind of bigger ones, smaller ones, they’ve got a fantastic handle that doesn’t vibrate so you don’t get any numb pins and needles, feelings in your fingers.
The main point of the womanizer is that they work from gentle suction rather than direct vibration.
[0:13:44.8] Sean Jameson: Let’s say people want to go online to choose a vibrator or any sex toy. What should they be looking for besides just the reviews? Is there anything else, like the material it’s made from?
[0:13:58.2] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, absolutely. Well, firstly, I’d encourage people to think about what they want from their sex toy and where they’re going to be using it, which I know sounds strange but some people like to have kind of like underwater sex, especially if you’re in a shared house and the bathroom is the best place to masturbate, you’ve got a lock on the door, anytime you go in there, people are not going to just burst in, it’s nice and private.
If you’re in a shared house like a waterproof sex toy would be really good. Also, you kind of get what you pay for. If you want something cheap and cheerful, that’s great, you’ll get something battery operated that perhaps won’t last you a terrific amount of time.
If you invest a bit of money in something and you get a rechargeable sex toy that’s perhaps made out of silicon or high quality materials then you’ve got a sex toy that’s going to last you for years and years and especially, if you look after them well, I have a lot of people always say to me, “What do you mean look after them? Tuck them in bed at night?”
It’s really about making sure that you clean them properly, you store them separately from other sex toys and that when you use them, you use them with an appropriate lubricant.
[0:15:09.5] Sean Jameson: So then I am thinking, we have talked a lot about vibrators, women’s pleasure with sex toys but what about men? Are there sex toys that are either unisex or that are male specific that men can use?
[0:15:23.1] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, if you have a penis there are plenty of sex toys for you, there are a lot of kind of – so if we start off with probably the most well-known male masturbator is the flesh light and these come in discrete torch shape cases, you take the lead off and inside is a very realistic feeling sleeve and you can have a variety of orifices. You can have an anus, a mouth, a vagina. There is porn stars that you can literally take home that reads vagina or you Lou Pay for enter like lots of famous porn stars will have a mold made of their vagina and then lend their anatomy to flesh light.
And so they have lots of different textures so you can recreate sex and their temperature responsive as well. So you can warm the sleeve in warm water to body temperature and you’ll get super realistic experience especially if you use it with their good quality water based lube as well and then you’ve got lots of vibrating sex toys for men. Love Honey have a toy that they call the blow yo and it is kind of a palm sized cylindrical sleeve that fits in your hands that you use to masturbate with and it recreates the feeling of a blowjob.
So there’s absolutely loads to choose from and I always say with guys as well cock rings aren’t just for couples play. They are great for adding new sensations to masturbation for solo play for men as well.
[0:16:51.2] Sean Jameson: Sure, could you talk a little bit then about maybe prostrate play and prostate massagers?
[0:16:57.8] Annabelle Knight: So you can get a specific type of toy, they are made by a company called Aneros and they are very firm. The majority they’re made from plastic but they have started experimenting with a little bit of materials and they are inserted into the anus and they are non-vibrating but they create a rocking sensation. So they push against all your sensitive nerve endings or pee spots really nicely. You can wear them during sex, you can wear them during masturbation.
There is no rules, whatever you fancy is fine just make sure you are using anal lubricant with any anal toy because the anus isn’t self-lubricating. So you need a little bit of help to make sure there is no friction there and no risk at all of there being any tiny tears or anything like that and there’s also urethral sounding, which is the skinny little rods and you push them inside your penis and you actually access your pee spot from the other side rather than through your anus.
Quite a niche form of pleasure but it is becoming more and more popular. You have to use medical grade stainless little toys and make sure you are cleaning them very thoroughly and properly and of course you are starting off small and working your way up but men that do use urethral sounding is a form of pleasure report extremely strong peaceful orgasms.
[0:18:14.1] Sean Jameson: Awesome. It sounds like there is a ton of sex toys out there for men then as well.
[0:18:18.8] Annabelle Knight: One thing I love about the sex toy industry is that it is an industry that is constantly trying to batter itself. The end goal for any sex toy manufacturer is pleasure and the better their toys and their products provide pleasure, the more popular they are. So it is very much a win-win situation for everyone involved.
[0:18:39.4] Sean Jameson: So Annabelle, we’ve talked about toys for women, toys for men. I like to talk just a little bit for now about toys to use during sex. I know you’ve already mentioned love rings, cock rings but what other things say like the We-Vibe vibrator can couples use during sex to give different sensations or just increase their likelihood of mutual orgasm.
[0:19:07.3] Annabelle Knight: So We-Vibe are a fantastic product. They are like a C-shaped vibrators and they actually fit the woman’s anatomy. So you insert one end of the C and it wraps around the clitoris and into the vagina. So you wear it during penetrative sex and what’s inside is inserted into the vagina is ribbed. So you get lots and lots of very fine but delicious sensations. You can control these through so many different ways. You can control them with the button on the toy, with the remote control or they have their own smart phone app.
Which means you can create your own patterns, you can have control over to your partner and they’re also able to work from Bluetooth. So if you are not even in the same room as your partner say if you have a long distance relationship where your partner works away or you are just not in the same room for whatever reason, you can still enjoy shared stimulation without even having the same post code.
[0:20:08.3] Sean Jameson: Awesome. So that sounds like a ton of different ways to use it.
[0:20:13.1] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, I mean there is lots and lots of toys that you can wear internally and use at the same time and of course, there’s not just the vagina that you can insert things into, you can use things like anal beads and if you remove anal beads slowly and steadily at the point of no return or your PNR, during orgasm then lots of people report much kind of higher levels of sensation and more sensitive to everything they’re feeling.
So it delivers a better or different orgasm. So anal toys are a possibility and of course, we all have an anus so they can be used by both partners or whoever else you are sharing your bed with.
[0:20:55.3] Sean Jameson: Absolutely. I love to talk about that for a little bit Annabelle if that’s okay. Are there anal toys people can use maybe they want to have anal sex, they are worried about pain and they want to try something out first before they are with their partner.
[0:21:11.5] Annabelle Knight: So if you are entertaining the idea of anal play, you have to – it is not something that can particularly happen spontaneously. You have to put their preparation in. You have to spend a bit of time stretching. So you can get anal stretching kit to start off very thin and you work your way up. You can get anal inflating butt plugs that you insert and then you have like a hand pump that you gradually increase the amounts of air within the toy and that stretches you out.
I have in my sex toy range a butt plug set that starts off with a little small one and the second one is a much larger one. So you can work your way up and then we call it progression play. So you can work your way up with those. I would always recommend whether you are wanting to use sex toys or not with your partner buying an anal kit of sorts at least if you are going to engage in anal play because it can be a really uncomfortable experience.
If you are wanting to do something and you want it to be a good experience then do your homework, put the preparation in so that when you actually come to having sex, it is not in any way a traumatic or uncomfortable experience.
[0:22:24.8] Sean Jameson: Absolutely. I wholeheartedly agree on that one. I guess things can get messy especially if it is unplanned.
[0:22:29.9] Annabelle Knight: And it is always a good idea to douche before and after if you are engaging in anal play and make sure you use plenty of anal lubricant because as I said before, the anus isn’t self-lubricating and if you have kind of any level of friction that you can use yourself, no one wants to have a trip to ANA and have to explain that. So just practice good anal safety.
[0:22:56.2] Sean Jameson: For sure, so on lube would you mind talking a little bit about the different types of lube, what they’re for and then maybe what’s on the drawbacks of certain types of lubricant are.
[0:23:10.3] Annabelle Knight: Okay, so your main types of lubricant are water based, silicon and oil based and water based is really the best in my opinion. It is great all around but you can use it with condoms, you can use it with sex toys of any material and you can use it just between two people or your hands it is nice and slick. You buy a good quality one as well. It will last you a decent amount of time. Silicon lubricants are although they are water proof.
So if you are having sex in the water or you are using your toy in the water that it won’t wash away and they are not as readily absorbed by the skin. So water base lube, you might have to reapply fairly frequently where silicon base lube will last a much longer time but silicon base lube is not suitable for use with silicon made sex toys and that it reacts badly with the material and over time you can get this degradation of the material.
[0:24:06.8] Sean Jameson: It becomes sticky and tacky and –
[0:24:08.8] Annabelle Knight: Yeah, well silicon toys tend to be more expensive as well. So you really want to be using the right type of lube to go with them because otherwise you could just be wasting your money and then oil based lubes, I am not a fan of. I don’t tend to promote them or use them or really give them much time. Some people love them, they’re great if you are having a massage but for me, oil just stains your sheets.
It is really long lasting that is one plus point but sometimes, you want to mix things up. Well you don’t want to still be covered in oil later and it is difficult to wash off. So I would use oil based for maybe massages and more sensual touch rather than for the act of sex itself.
[0:24:50.9] Sean Jameson: That’s a fair point. You tried out sex toys, you’ve got a vibrator, dildo, maybe a butt plug and you haven’t liked any of them. It just didn’t do it for you either during sex or during masturbation. Is that like a problem? Is that person broken or is that?
[0:25:08.3] Annabelle Knight: No, absolutely not. You know not everyone likes everything and people who are particularly sensitive as well perhaps don’t need that different types of stimulation to reach orgasm or they may just not like the sensations. I have a – I will say a friend but it’s someone I met once who was extremely ticklish and couldn’t even stand any kind of vibration. She’d absolutely wet her pants laughing, which obviously really destroys the sexy mood if your partner is wetting themselves with laughter.
So avoided all vibrating sex toys but instead like to indulge in kind of restraint play or you should wear a blindfold to reduce if you reduce one sense the other sense are heightened. So by depriving yourself of one of your senses, you are more sensitive to physical touch anyway. No, if you don’t like sex toys, you just don’t like sex toys. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that whatsoever. There are lots of other ways you can spice things up without bringing a sex toy into the bedroom, you’ve got erotic fiction or restraint play or sensory deprivation or you don’t’ have to indulge in any of it. You can just have straightforward sex.
[0:26:23.4] Sean Jameson: Absolutely. I just think you know, there’s so much information, so many ideas, so many products out there. So much pornography with so many different scenarios that people get this idea in their head that straightforward sex is just it’s terrible, you know?
You have to be out there doing the craziest thing to enjoy yourself and that’s just not the case you know?
[0:26:47.2] Annabelle Knight: I mean, I find porn really unhelpful when you’re trying to educate someone on what sex is really about because it gives you such an unrealistic idea of what the average person gets up to in the bedroom. Especially if you’re using porn as a form of sex education. But, porn is wonderful, definitely pro porn but only if people view it and use it for what it is, which is entertainment, it’s not there to educate particularly. It’s certainly not, you know, a mirror reflecting the general tastes and elections of the average person on the street.
[0:27:22.2] Sean Jameson: Absolutely. Annabelle, this has been fantastic. It’s been very eye opening for people I think, to hear about all the different types of sex toys that you can use to improve their solo play, their play with their partner and just you know, orgasm more easily.
I’m wondering if people want to learn more about you, if they want to get in touch with you or you know, even find out about your book or love honey. What’s the best way for all that?
[0:27:47.5] Annabelle Knight: Well, you can google my name and my website is just Annabelleknight.com. My social media trials are on there, there’s also contact form if you want any life coaching, couples coaching or sex therapy in any way. Or if you’re just really interested in my dogs and what I like to eat then you can go to my Instagram.
[0:28:07.6] Sean Jameson: Well, I’ll include a link to all that and your Instagram, got to find out about those dogs in the show notes.
[0:28:14.1] Annabelle Knight: Brilliant, I look forward to it.
[0:28:14.7] Sean Jameson: Annabelle, thanks so much for coming in the show.
[0:28:17.1] Annabelle Knight: No, thank you for having me.
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