Courtesy of merchants
June — and thus Pride season — rolls around every year, and with it, we start to see the corporate support that comes in the superficial form of advertisements, billboards, and rainbow products "supporting" the LGBTQ community while they donate to politicians, organizations, and support companies that actively want to take away the rights of people in the LGBTQ+ community.
So, what can you do to ensure the businesses you buy from are actually doing good things during Pride month? You can support small businesses and members of the LGBTQ community that are actually making a difference and supporting the community in one way or another. (Related: The LGBTQ+ Glossary of Words All Allies Need to Know)
Good news: As a sex expert and relationship therapist, I made it easy for you. Here are some of my favorite sex toys you can buy to celebrate Pride, and they're all from small businesses that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community in some way.
'Love Never Ends' Pride Nipple Clamps Set by Stript Erotic Designs
Owner Maxine Lynn, an active ally in the LGBTQ community, created these nipple and clitoris clamps to "introduce people to a type of sex toy that they may not have tried before, and therefore, a type of pleasure they may not have yet experienced." They don't have to be painful (unless you want them to be!) and it's a fun thing to try solo or with someone else. (Ditto with nipple play in general.)
Stript Erotic Designs' mission is to show that sexuality — in whichever way a person chooses to embody, characterize, or express it — is normal, natural, and exquisitely beautiful. This includes the entirety and diversity of the spectrums of genders and sexual orientations.
Rainbow Bubble Dildo by Crystal Delights
First of all, this glass dildo looks like a celebration of art, sexuality, and Pride in one. Second, it feels so good to use. Think of the stimulation you get from anal beads but with ascending girth and a phenomenal density. It's made of Borosilicate glass and can be used vaginally, anally, or externally. (Here's more about why glass sex toys are amazing.)
The brand, run by owners Shellie Yarnell and Andrew Schwartz, is dedicated to supporting the communities that support them. They're dedicated to giving back through a variety of ways, "including charitable donations, supporting sex education, animal charities, the LGBTQ+ community, and helping the environment," according to their website.
Bia by V for Vibes
It looks like another cool sex toy, but it's really one of the best ejaculating rabbit vibrators and squirting self-lubricating dildos I've seen on the market. You simply fill the base with water and the ejaculation button makes it spray out of the top. It has 12 settings and can be used for solo play or massage.
Plus, founded by Tatiana Preobrazhenskaia, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, V For Vibes welcomes all people, regardless of sexuality or gender into their community.
OhNut Penetrative Sex Aid
This one-of-a-kind penetrative sex aid can be used with all humans; use it on a penis, dildo, vibrator, strap-on, etc. to change the depth of penetration. You simply slip it on — almost like a condom — down to the base of the shaft, and it creates a sort of bumper to limit the amount of penetration possible. You can use one, two, three...as many rings as you want. This is wonderful for vaginal or anal penetration, in addition to helping folks "deep-throat" during oral sex without gagging themselves (if you don't like that feeling). You can use them with any type of lubricant because they're made of a thermoset polymer blend material that is body- and skin-safe, FDA-approved, and BPA, phthalate, silicone, and latex-free. Using condoms too? It's totally condom compatible (just put it over the condom after you put it on).
OhNut is one of the most celebrated pleasure products out there because regardless of your sexuality or gender this can help you have enjoyable, pain-free penetrative sex with your partner(s). The rainbow edition is a perfect way to celebrate Pride and your sex life all at the same time.
Fux Pads (Rainbow Pride Edition)
Rachel Hill and Courtney Hanney, two childhood best friends, created a women-owned, sex-positive, end-to-end ethical retailer of sex/play pads. Not only are these women part of the LGBTQ+ community, but they've also made a product that can service all genders and sexualities. Most of their raw materials are from the United States and Canada and all of their production and packaging takes place in Providence, RI. They hire individuals in the community who are homebound and provide them with work-from-home jobs with fair pay and flexible hours. These sex pads are ideal for keeping your sheets and bed clean and dry — and you can celebrate Pride this year with their rainbow pad.
The Butters Hygienics Co. Original Lube
This Black- and LGBTQ-owned company makes a lube made primarily out of aloe and shea butter that creates less irritation, UTIs, and yeast infections, compared to using either no lube or water-, silicone-, or oil-based lubes. It's luxurious, never tested on animals, 100 percent vegan, and has no scents, dyes, parabens, alcohol, gluten, or phthalates. Founded by Jerome Nichols, a queer black man, this company is inclusive to its core — and a purchase from The Butters is a perfect way to support the community while upgrading (and adding slip) to your sex life.
Bumpher by Banana Pants
Banana Pants is a woman/non-binary-owned company that created dildo-base stimulation cushions — and they're amazing. This is a must-have for anyone who enjoys strap-on or harness play. Founder Nancy Weisman is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community who worked in mainstream media for years, but is now making sex toys for queer folks and couldn't be happier about it.
Gbulb by Gvibe
Yes, this is a vibrator in the shape of a lightbulb. Just 3.5", this bulb has multiple settings and is a really fun and small external vibrator that you can use all over on all bodies. Plus, Gvibe is offering discounts, free products, workshops, and are donating a few dollars from each sale during June to select LGBTQ+ organizations. (Related: Wand Vibrators for Anywhere Pleasure)
Ember by Deep Fantasies
Canadian couple Chris and Debbie Joy make custom artisan pleasure products, and this particular one is a favorite: for Pride: it's a fiery unicorn horn handmade custom dildo, and 25 percent of the purchase of one goes to the Pride Centre of Edmonton in Canada. This business was founded on inclusivity, fun, and openness, and you can tell in everything they make. (Check out these other dildos to add to your collection, whether you're a beginner or sex toy veteran.)
'Shroom by EngErotics
The 'shroom is a great example of how a sex toy can be both inclusive and accessible while ditching the gendered looks that have plagued the sex toy industry. The 'shroom is a wonderful design for vulva owners, penis owners, as well as individuals who are intersex — as its unique shape lends itself well to providing stimulation in a variety of ways. (Related: I Tried the Newest Gender-Free Sex Toy Line — and My Orgasms Have Never Been the Same)
"We know first hand how demoralizing it is to walk into a store and not see yourself represented (or worse, see yourself only represented in a specialty section that may not resonate with you)," says Heather Bahr, EngErotics formulation specialist. "Superior products and education should be available to everyone. Period. The vast majority of our products are intentionally designed for all people to be used in multiple ways. We aim to bring this functionality mainstream."
Vesper by Crave
This necklace is gorgeous and, yes, it's also a vibrator. The founder, Ti Chang, has won international design awards and led Crave to mainstream partnerships with the likes of Nordstrom, MoMA Design Store, Standard Hotel, Goop, and Saint Laurent. In 2021, Ti also co-founded Design Allyship to provide anyone with actionable resources to improve the condition of historically marginalized designers in the industrial and product design industry. (ICYDK, you should totally consider adding this or other stainless steel sex toys to your bedroom set.)
Kix'ies Thigh Highs
As someone who has always been self-conscious of my thighs, I've never felt drawn to wear thigh highs to feel sexy — until Kixies came into my life. These thigh-high stockings and socks are truly for every body; they offer a wide range of sizes for people from 4' 11'' and 90 lbs. to 6' tall and over 260lbs. Their catalog and website are a diverse place where anyone would feel comfortable to shop for thigh highs.
Plus, owner Samantha DeMartini is donating 20 percent of certain items to The Trevor Project (a suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ+ youth) during June. I cannot recommend these enough for any human who wants to feel sexy in thigh-highs!
Rachel Wright, M.A., L.M.FT., (she/her) is a licensed psychotherapist, sex educator and relationship expert based in New York City. She's an experienced speaker, group facilitator, and writer. She's worked with thousands of humans worldwide to help them scream less and screw more.