Adult Toys – Uses and Care

There can be no denying that when it comes to sex, nothing beats the real thing. However, one cannot also ignore the popularity of several sex toys and the continued introduction of newer models to satisfy a demanding market. This market is growing and as such we should pay attention to how people integrate these items into their sex lives. You should be aware that sex toys can also be used to enhance your sex lives and bring you and your partner to a new level of closeness and intimacy.

Loosely defined, sex toys are devices meant to pleasure the user sexually, usually used on erogenous parts of the body. There are a lot of sex toys available in specialty shops and through the internet, though most condom retailers are offering a product called the vibrating ring.

Probably the most common and most popular sex toy is the vibrator. Majority of its users are women, and most admitted to curiosity as the primary reason for initial usage. Though some prefer to use vibrators in private, it can also be used with a partner. For heterosexuals, vibrators can be handy when the guy comes off too fast. It can also be a part of your foreplay, to arouse you and your partner to greater heights. In instances when the vibrator is shared, as in lesbian couples, slip a condom over it before inserting into the vagina and put a new one before handing it to your partner. Make sure that it is also properly cleaned before storing.

Dildos are also quite popular among the ladies, as they mimic the shape, texture, and size of a real penis, though they require considerably more effort than battery operated or rechargeable vibrators. Again, it would do some good if you slip on a condom over it before using, especially among lesbians who use it to pleasure their partners. And even if you are using it alone to masturbate, a condom would still be advisable unless you are pretty sure your storage place is totally devoid of germs and other irritants.

There is also one recently introduced product that is fast gaining a loyal following, the vibrating ring. It is a device that is slipped on the penis, and over a condom, and is used to enhance the pleasure of both partners. The vibrating ring has a small battery within the rubber casing. Women who have tried it claim of achieving multiple orgasms through the use of vibrating ring. And the best part of this is that men can take part of the action, too. A vibrating ring is known to extend the erection of the penis. It also has bumps and raised surfaces for heightened pleasure. And because it is stretchable, a vibrating ring can accommodate any size of penis. Vibrating ring users also revel in the fact that this device is portable, easily concealed and thus can be carried almost anywhere.

Though the use of sex toys to achieve self-gratification is an effective method of birth control, don’t think it will turn you away from the pleasure of real, consensual sex. With the availability of contraceptives and protective devices such as condoms and pill, sex is and will always remain to be life’s most enjoyable activity. However, there is still no denying that dildos, vibrators, and the vibrating ring afford much pleasure to their users and will continue to enjoy great popularity.

Science and Discovery Toys Provide Wonderful Educational Experiences for Children

Whether your child wants to be a future geologist, archeologist, chemist or scientist there are a wide variety of excellent science and discovery toys for them to have fun and learn with. There is an endless array of kits, toys, play sets and devices available to experiment and explore some of which include; animal kits, archaeology and geology toys, astronomy tools and play sets, bugs and insects, chemistry and physics sets, electronic and robotic kits, geography and globes, habitats, microscopes, telescopes and binoculars.

Most children are enchanted by anything to do with animals. There are plenty of fun and exciting habitats and play sets to keep your child entertained for hours. Frog habitats, horse and stable play sets, plastic dinosaur kits, a variety of sea monkey habitats from magic castles to mini aquariums, creature keeper (for catching beetles, butterflies and praying mantis etc.), farm animal play sets, plastic wildlife animals, hermit crab kits, reptile habitats, sea life plastic toy sets, plastic reptile sets, foam t-rex dinosaurs, foam lizards and foam great white sharks to name only a few.

The archaeology and geology sets and educational toys offer wonderful educational experiences for children, allowing them to have fun while enhancing their learning skills. Some of the great toys and ideas for play are; rock polishing kits, metal detectors, wooden dinosaur bone building kits available in different sizes (no glue or hardware needed), volcano making kits, outdoor adventure equipment kits (available with flashlight, compass, working camera, binoculars, digital watch and telescope) and 3D wooden dinosaur puzzles.

For a future aspiring astronomist anything to do with the planets, stars, galaxies and universe causes excitement. Some of the great astronomy items that can be found for children include; telescopes (if this is something your child is very interested in, be sure to find a quality telescope that will last and work properly), rockets (complete with sound effects and vibrations), 3D solar systems that glow in the dark, binoculars, space mission play sets, glow in the dark stars and planet sets, solar system mobiles and hand held star navigators (electronic devices used to locate and identify stars and their constellations).

Bugs and insects are interesting to children and adults alike, there are some excellent kits and observatories great for viewing and keeping critters. Something to note with most kits is the larvae or bugs will only be sent separately once the kit is purchased). Some of the exciting kits available are butterfly gardens (complete with supplies for feeding and observation chamber and informative booklet), ant farms, lady bug gardens, butterfly flowers seeds and net sets, silkworm sets, plastic bug play sets, creature viewer (magnifying scope) and special bug jars. The butterfly kit allows a child to see the complete metamorphosis from larvae to butterfly, both an exciting and wonderful learning experience.

Aspiring chemists and physicists will love the great snap circuit kits which allow your child to build an array of exciting projects from radios to light bulb testing set ups. Other great chemistry and physics kits available include; science kits (color mixing, making soft crystals, or rainbows in test tube), water wizardry kits (allowing children to make snow, gels and rainbows in test tube all with the addition of water), and wonderful chemistry sets complete with microscope, accessories, material and equipment allowing first time scientists to conduct simple and fun chemistry experiments.

The electronics and robotics choices for children come in several exciting devices and kits. Metal detectors are one device that offers children a sort of “treasure hunt” experience through use on a beach or the backyard where they will find all sorts of lost treasures and trinkets. There are great electronic kits which allow children to build everything from clock radios to robots and aliens that will respond to sound. Other fun and educational toys available are walkie-talkie kits, snap circuit kits and moving robot kits for building an endless array of moving vehicles and robots. These wonderful kits teach your child a variety of great skills while proving that learning really can be a lot of fun.

One of the most practical and great learning aids for geography is without question the globe. Globes today come in all sorts of different designs some with raised relief land formations and others with lovely prism designs. Popular electronic globes come with geographical facts, trivia, national anthems and world clock times. There are electronic interactive books available with talking maps giving names of states and capitals offering children excellent and fun learning opportunities. Puzzles are also another popular learning aid made in a variety of designs and sizes. Regardless of the globe you choose for your child it is sure to be of use for years to come.

Lastly there is a vast selection of children’s microscopes, telescopes and binoculars available for viewing bugs, stars and wildlife. Microscopes offer future scientists and biologists a view of the physical world through magnification. While telescopes give a glimpse of the wonderful night sky and binoculars bring wildlife up close. All these devices will change the way your child looks at the world. These toys are made in both plastic sets and higher quality metal sets. Which set you choose will depend on the age of your child and how often they will be using the device. An older child will probably prefer a better quality set that will withstand wear and tear and be more optically correct.

Science and discovery toys, sets and devices should inspire fascination and inquisitiveness in your child helping to encourage a love and desire for learning. All the wonderful toys in this category are sure to provide any child with hours of entertainment while providing an awareness of science and how it works. These toys are sure to open doors and teach skills on a variety of different levels. The endless array of choices can at times be a bit overwhelming, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research before making your purchase. Reviews and recommendations on toys are a great way to get a bit of an idea on what to expect.

The Psychology of Online Dating: The Psychologist’s Viewpoint

Psychologists interested in dating and attraction have learned a great deal by reading and examining the personal advertisements and ‘lonely hearts’ pages of local and national newspapers. Since we psychologists have benefited from the people who use these services it seems only right that some of the things we’ve found should be given back. In this series of articles I will outline some of the more practically useful findings that have come from this research and provide a summary of the results reported in academic psychology journals, written for those who probably have the greatest interest in this knowledge: the daters themselves.

There is quite a bit of material to cover so I have organised it into a series of six articles:

The Psychologist’s Viewpoint

This article gives an idea of the scope of research using personal advertisements, the way personal profiles are used in research, and the kind of things psychologists can find out when they put their minds to it.

He wants and she is

This outlines research into the things that men say they are looking for in a partner. Alongside this we look at how women describe themselves. Combining these we can assess how accurately women understand what men want and use the right kind of language to attract a man’s interest. This one is particularly useful for the girls and should help you write something for the ‘in your own words’ bit of your profile.

She wants and he is

This article gives the opposite perspective to the previous one, looking at the things that women say they want in a partner and the way that men describe themselves. Do these match up? Have men got it right or are they missing the point completely? This one might help the boys rethink the content of their ‘own words’ parts of their dating profiles.

Like for Like or Opposites Attract?

This article summarises the results in the previous two and uses these to outline the current psychological theories of attraction. It explains how ‘like attracts like’ and ‘opposites attract’ can both be true and how this can help you when you are first making contact with someone after reading their profile.

Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy

This article looks at research into general approaches to dating including the results found by researchers who experimentally placed different versions of personal advertisements and then sat back to see how many and what kind of responses they got.

Summary and Practical Uses

The final article of this series summarises all that has gone before and places this new knowledge firmly in the context of online dating, describing how these results can be constructively used to make fewer mistakes and to improve your chances of attracting responses to your profile and getting a positive response to your first approach to someone.

Before getting into the results of the research we need to take a brief tour around the ways in which research psychologists use personal advertisements and the kinds of things they can find, so we have some idea of the sort of things that psychologists can and cannot say about personal advertisements and internet dating profiles.

Content Analysis

Personal advertisements have been a rich source of information for social scientists investigating dating behaviours. To give an idea of the scale of this enterprise, my own research in this area is based on the analysis of nearly five thousand advertisements collected from UK local newspapers. Apart from this I have copies of more than sixty research reports published by colleagues in Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Poland, UK and USA. This adds up to about thirty thousand individual profiles that have been analysed by psychologists, sociologists and other professional researchers. Most of this research has used printed personal ads extracted from newspapers and magazines as these are more useful to us (as explained below) but the information and insights gained can be applied to any situation where first impressions come from written descriptions, so these results are directly relevant and useful to people using internet dating sites.

Creating a profile for an internet dating site usually involves describing yourself on a whole host of listed options such as eye colour (blue, green etc.), smoking habit, attractiveness, salary etc. This information is usually entered into the site using a form. Within this form each person makes their own choices from the options available but because it is a form, everyone has to mention the same kinds of things. In a sense, the dating site has already decided what the important features are and you simply tick the correct boxes when describing yourself and describing the sort of person you want to meet.

With printed personal advertisements there is no detailed form to fill in and you can write whatever you want. The only restriction is on the number of words with an escalating charge per word up to a maximum limit. As a result these advertisements are quite short, averaging about 22 words. This is typically enough space to mention about nine things, whether these are your own attributes (age, hair and eye colour, looks) or things you are looking for in a partner (sense of humour, marital status, age range, personality, height). Given these restrictions we can reasonably expect that people mention the most important things as they see it, so the content of these advertisements tell us what characteristics the writers think are important to the other sex, and what key things they are looking for themselves. For example, a personal advertisement that says “Stunning, curvy and adventurous 22 year old blonde female is looking for a financially secure older man, ideally with own hair and teeth, who will spoil her rotten.” gives a pretty clear indication of what matters to this person and what she is offering in return.

Researchers have taken thousands of personal advertisements and analysed them to look for general patterns. From this, they have identified some very clear differences between the kinds of things that are important to men and women when looking for a partner. They have also looked at how well the self descriptions of each sex matches the features that the other sex says they want, giving an indication of how much each sex understands about what the other sex is looking for. Results from this kind of research are discussed in the articles He wants and she is, and She wants and he is.

Apart from the specific attributes and features mentioned, there are also more general differences in how people write these descriptions. For example women tend to give more detailed information about the sort of person they are looking for than men, while men are more focussed on describing themselves. Looking at a profile from this perspective tells us quite a lot about the approach people take to dating, including whether they are looking for a few high quality matches or just want as many dates as they can possibly get. This research is summarised in the article Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy.

Knowing how people describe themselves and the sort of thing they are looking for also allows us to look at broader questions such as whether people are looking for others who are similar to themselves or would prefer a partner who is different but, in some sense, complementary. This is discussed in the article Like for Like or Opposites Attract where we find that both are true once we understand a more basic and useful theory of attraction.

Experimental Research

Apart from examining the advertisements that real people have written in the hope of finding a partner, psychologists have occasionally become active researchers and have placed experimental personal advertisements to see how many and what type of response they get. For example, if two almost identical advertisements are placed and one receives twice as many responses as the other, this tells us that the difference between these ads (which may be as small as one word) has a big effect on the chances of attracting a date.

Some psychologists have also used this type of research to investigate the sort of things that men and women write when responding to an advertisement. This has given researchers another way to classify the different approaches to dating and to identify groups such as the ‘blitzers’ who send responses to everyone in the hope that some of them will score a hit. Results from this experimental research are presented in the article Blitzers, Boasters and Being Choosy.

This article has outlined the organisation and content of this series, has introduced the ways in which psychologists approach dating research, and has indicated the sort of things they may be able to see from their viewpoint as researchers.

In the next article we move on to looking at some actual findings. He wants and she is looks at the features that women tend to emphasis when advertising themselves, the things that men are actually looking for, and whether or not womens’ self descriptions suggest they are marketing themselves well and have an accurate insight into what men want.