Sex toys can be expensive. And it can be confusing to browse adult stores online if your experience with them is nothing past missionary, sometimes with the lights on, sometimes with them off.

However, DIY sex toys can be a way to dip your toes in the water before taking the plunge — or even just to heat things up on a budget.

This past weekend, my husband and I decided to try as many DIY sex toys as we could. The results were far more intriguing than either of us expected.


Vibrators tend to be the first sex toy people think of, and as any woman knows, can be super pricey. Vibrator apps, however, are free.

Women Feel Love read like an app that was meant for the purposes we were after. It didn’t disappoint — and was my favorite of the ones we played with. It offered a variety of timers and settings. I felt the love.

Try not to just immediately spelunk a phone before taking proper precautions, however. Phones are filthy, and experts everywhere recommend cleaning anything before it goes places. I covered mine with your run-of-the-mill Ziplock bag and it seemed to do the trick just fine (surgical gloves or saran wrap would do just the same).

This an 8/10. It's not as fun as actual sex, but it got the job done. It was a fun add-on to foreplay, too.


Dildos are another sex toy staple that was surprisingly easy to DIY.

The Internet — of all places right? — recommends plenty of DIY dildo options, from hair brushes to cucumbers and zucchini to bananas. But … the idea of sticking a fruit or vegetable in my vagina was a little weird to me even though the Internet says it’s highly recommended.

It should go without saying, you shouldn’t just stick a banana right in your vagina; cover any vegetables or fruits with a condom first.

Before doing anything, my husband and I first slid a condom on a banana per our own directives, a la eighth grade health class, and gave it a shot.

Bananas were kind of bizarre for my taste. I found the cucumber was a lot better. It was easier to manage myself and since there are more varieties of length and thickness, I was able to pick one that was comfortable for me.


Things for anal play are also surprisingly easy to hack from home. Just remember the first rule of at-home butt play: Don’t put it in unless you have a way to pull it out. Having to go to the ER and explain why a household item is up there — because you’re “too cheap or poor to get sex toys” — might make for an awkward visit.

We went to Google to see what others were saying. Many claimed that a tampon made for an excellent butt plug. I was skeptical, if only because butt plugs don’t really do it for me. But, it does work.

Rosary beads was another option people suggested, surprisingly enough. I’m not Catholic, but on the chance God is, I didn’t want to risk pissing him off by taking sacred things and sticking them up my butt.

To avoid sacrilege, plastic Mardi Gras beads were supposed to work the same way. But that’s a terrible idea too, because as we were driving home from the party store, some of the beads actually broke. Something that breakable was not something I wanted to stick up my ass. Into the trash they went.

I gave at home anal play a 5/10. Only about half of it worked, and there's definitely a little more risk involved with household items getting stuck. Maybe skip this. Anal options seem like a good investment for actual sex toys if anal play is your thing.


From what I’ve heard in the past, the holy grail of male sex toys is supposedly a “pocket vagina” — which is exactly what it sounds like.

There are a few versions, and my adventurous and understanding friend Jeremy was kind enough to give it a try, as my husband passed on the responsibility.

Pocket vaginas can be constructed in a number of ways. The ones Jeremy felt most comfortable with were found on Let’sTalkSex.Net. Though in the spirit of only using things Jeremy had on hand, and whatever took the shortest amount of time, he tried the “towel pussy” and the cucumber pocket vagina.

For the towel masturbator toy, all that’s involved is a folded towel with a latex glove rolled up in the middle of it and secured with rubber bands.

This next step is important, however. Lube is essential for all pocket pussies.

“The towel one was easy to do,” said Jeremy, “and it was the quickest one to make.”

For the cucumber contraption, things are a bit more involved. First, cut a cucumber lengthwise, hollow it out, and then line it with a condom. When that’s finished, tape it together and stick in your dick (again, use lube).

Jeremy said he had a harder time getting this one together, especially after the ease of the towel version. One thing he noted was to let the cucumber get room temperature before using it. He did not. It did not go well at first.

Jeremy offered a 9/10 rating for the towel puss, and 7/10 for the cucumber one. I split the difference and put male masturbating toys at a 8/10.

“I feel like guys can be a bit less complicated with women in getting an orgasm," said Jeremy. "These are less fun than sex or a hand job. But they do get the job done.”

He recommends at least trying both, and added, “It was a fun afternoon anyway.”


Lastly, if you’re looking for sex toys to get a sex life with your partner going elsewhere, the sky really seems to be the limit.

My husband and I tried as many as we could.

Hair scrunchies (like these, NOT hair ties )make for good substitute cock rings if you’re in a pinch. Those worked surprisingly well for both my husband and I.

Nipple clamp substitutes included chip clips and clothespins. Chip clips hurt majorly, so unless that’s what you’re looking for, I don’t recommend it. Clothespins were a bit better, but still a little tighter than what I was comfortable with.

In fact, most kitchen items can be fun for sensory play — spatulas and wooden spoons for light spanking and feather dusters for tickling. I personally hate being tickled, so the feather duster wasn’t my thing, but my husband said it was “okay.”

Bandanas and scarves make excellent blindfolds and bondage ties, too. Just be sure to keep scissors handy in case you can’t undo the knots (on that note: be certain they aren’t too tight.)  


At risk of sharing way too much on the Internet (unless it’s already too late), straps are something I’ve loved for a while. It’s something we do a lot, and have invested in some of the actual sex toy straps from the store. However, I prefer it the DIY way, it just seems more sensual. Especially if I’ve been wearing the scarf all day.

Belts work the same way, and I recommend them too.

Overall I'd rate these (toys and straps) at 9/10. They were a lot of fun and a good way to spice things up. Other than the chip clips, and clothespins, my husband and I liked them all. I absolutely recommend trying a few just to maybe explore what kinks you might have. And if they don't work for you, you haven't dropped hundreds on a BDSM kit.

If you have some time, imagination and desire, DIY sex toys can be a good option for the creative, broke or simply frugal horny men and women of the world. Lots of them are fairly simple and can be items around the house or under five dollars at the store — and pretty fun to give it a shot even if your sex dungeon is full of the most expensive toys on the market.

Just make sure to use some common sense along with it, or you might wind up in the ER trying to fish Mardi Gras beads from your ass.

[cover photo by Angelina Litvin via Upsplash // originally published January 09, 2018]