The future of sex toys is gender-neutral

Binary shminary (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Inclusion is vital, and even industries that make products tailored to specific genitalia like, say, the sex toy industry, are catching up with that need.

Times are a-changing to be sure, but those who operate outside the gender binary are still fighting for adequate representation.

When it comes to the sex toy industry, the cis binary is slowly being chipped away to make room for more inclusivity.

Cecile Gasnault, Brand Director at Smile Makers, tells us: ‘The way human sexuality has been traditionally represented and researched is still very heteronormative and penetration-centric.

‘This has been doing disservice to a lot of people. In the UK, only 16% of vulva-owners climax through penetrative stimulation, and that misrepresentation of vulva pleasure is a big factor in explaining the orgasm gap for cisgender heterosexual women.

‘Additionally, the heteronormative representation of sex leaves out many other sexual expressions that simply cannot identify with it.

‘By extension, the product offering in the sex toy industry has for a long time been a reflection of this narrow and partial understanding of human sexuality.’

She adds: ‘Deconstructing gender roles in the bedroom plays an important role to build a more inclusive and more pleasure-positive society.

‘When people’s individual preferences are validated and self-exploration is enabled whatever your gender expression or sexual identity, it allows people to write their own sexual journey based on what works for them instead of standards that are given to them.

‘Instead of excluding or negating their experiences, it empowers them.

‘The pleasure product offering should cater for this more real and authentic understanding of human sexuality, and this is why gender-neutral products are important.’

In fact, this is already creeping its way into the present, with some brands offering more gender-inclusive toys.

Smile Makers recently rebranded and redesigned their original collection, with the two toys with previously gendered names in the bunch becoming gender-neutral – the clit and labia stimulating Fireman become The Firefighter and the tongue-shaped Frenchman turned into The French Lover.

The vibrators page on their website also says the toys are designed ‘for people with vulvas’ rather than ‘for women’, as women aren’t the only ones who have vulvas.

Hand drawn vector illustration in modern abstract style of a happy non binary face. Abstract modern androgynous face portrait.

Cecile says: ‘Gender-neutral products allow for more experimentation and fluidity’ (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Kate Moyle, sex and relationship expert for Lelo says: ‘We are already seeing sex toys hitting the market which are less binary and more based around sensuality and pleasure – rather than being designed for a specific gender.

‘The future of sex toys and sex tech is moving quickly, and innovation, pleasure and inclusivity are top of the agenda, which [sextech expert] Bryony Cole often talks about.’

For anyone looking for a recommendation, she says Lelo’s Alia is ‘the perfect addition to all over body touch and stimulation, building up desire and anticipation for both partners.’

On the importance of having gender-free toys in the bedroom, Cecile says: ‘Gender-neutral products allow for more experimentation and fluidity.

‘A sex toy can be gender-neutral by its design, allowing stimulation on different types of anatomy, and/or by the way it is explained.

‘At Smile Makers, most of our products are designed to be used on parts of the vulva or the vagina, regardless of the gender of the vulva-owner.

‘Our French Lover, a tongue vibrator, can be used on all anatomies and The Ballerina, which is originally a vulva vibrator, can be used to massage the prostate.’

No matter what toys you use, Kate says: ‘The important thing, as always is that if you are using toys with a partner that you communicate with each other if there are any body parts that you do not want touching or would rather have avoided; and are able to set clear boundaries and have them heard.’

Where to buy sex toys any gender can use

Feel like doing a little shopping? Here are some gender-non-specific toys that you can enjoy solo or with a partner regardless of how either of you identify.


ohnut sex toy rings

These little rings interlock over the shaft of whatever you or your partner wants to be penetrated with to stop anything from going too deep – perfect for people with endometriosis, adenomyosis or who are experiencing post-partum pain (Picture: Ohnut)

Price: $65 (£46.10)

Get it from: Ohnut


the fin sex toy

A vibrator specifically for fingers that you can use to tease someone with a penis and/or bring someone with a clit to climax (Picture: Dame)

Price: $85 (£60.28)

Get it from: Dame

b-Vibe Rimming Butt Plug

a b-vibe butt plug

This remote-controlled butt plug is designed to feel like you’re being rimmed too (Picture: Lovehoney)

Price: £99.99

Get it from: Lovehoney


Price: $95 (£67.38)

Get it from: Dame

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.

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