Alex's Answer

I'd like to know more about sex toys

Your Question

What is an appropriate age to have a sex toy? What can you use instead of expensive toys? 


Hi there and welcome to Ask Alex. 

You have asked about sex toys and in particular, when its appropriate to get one and what to use instead of expensive toys. You are very brave to reach out about this topic. We at Ask Alex believe that knowledge is power and having the correct information keeps you safe and healthy so well done for getting in touch.

Let’s start by explaining what we mean when we talk about sex toys. Sex toys, also called adult toys or “marital aids”, are objects people use to enhance pleasure during sex or masturbation. Sometimes sex toys can also have medical uses in the case of sexual dysfunction or a medical condition. There are many different types of sex toys, and people use them for lots of different reasons.  

About the appropriate age for getting one, the following results of an annual poll conducted by one of the most trusted companies in America for adult products may help to provide some information around this and allow you to make up your own mind: 34% of the people who answered got their first sex toy when they were 21-30 years old; 30% got it in between the ages of 18-20; 13% were over 40; 11% were in between 31-40 years old and 12% were under 18 years of age. 

It’s totally normal to use sex toys, but it’s also totally normal not to — it’s a personal decision, and everyone’s different. Make sure that the sex toys are being used safely by keeping them clean to avoid irritation, abrasions or STD transmission and by storing them correctly. 

You were also asking about what to use instead of expensive toys. The easiest and most common substitute for a sex toy would be to use your hands to explore and get to know your own body or someone else’s body and what are they aroused by – provided everyone is of legal age and consent has been obtained from all parties involved. If using any other objects, it’s important to use something that won’t cause harm to your or anyone else’s body, to use a condom and to be very mindful about sanitizing the item you use. Again, cleanliness is key! 

You are always welcome to talk with Childline about this too. The Childline team are here to listen to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you can contact us at any time. We are available by free phone on 1800 66 66 66, by text at 50101 or by web chat through: The services are free, confidential, non-judgmental and we offer a safe place to talk about anything that is going on for you. We would love to hear from you! 

Take care,  


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