Contemporary sex toy designers are experimenting with all sorts of shapes, sizes and unusual materials in order to move away from products centering solely on penetration and towards ones that promote sensual pleasure and foreplay.
Some of the more unconventional products promise new forms of pleasure and are designed to heighten sexual experiences through sensations such as tingling, vibrating and probing.
Read on for a selection of six unusual sex toys featured on Dezeen:
Heralded as the "world's first ball-dildo", this silicone sex toy is intended to be worn around the user's testicles and can be used for penetrative sex.
British startup Nadgerz Inc created Balldo to optimise on the pleasure that can be experienced by the testicles – an area that has around 6,000 nerve endings. The company hopes that users will experience a new kind of orgasm in this unexplored region.
Sex technology entrepreneur Lora DiCarlo created a trio of sex toys called Drift, Sway and Tilt that are designed to replicate "the warmth of human touch".
Made from thermally conductive plastics, the products increase users' blood flow and enhance sexual pleasure. Once warmed up, they can be used to stimulate the genitals and other parts of the body with varying vibration settings. Tilt and Drift are pictured here.
A magnifying glass, a steel ear trumpet, a headset that can listen to a heartbeat and a thimble with multiple tactile attachments are among the items in this sex toy kit for the elderly created by design graduate Dmytro Nikiforchuk.
Each unique object is designed for couple foreplay and works by stimulating the senses of sound, smell, touch and sight. When used in conjunction, the toys allow users to explore body parts that aren't traditionally associated with sex, such as noses and ears.
Designer Coby Huang crafted these explorative sex tools, which include material probes and haptic balls to help people work out what and where sensations feel good for them.
Rather than using silicone – which is the material most sex toys are made of – Huang used wood, glass, tin and wool for the toys, which come in a variety of unusual shapes. She also created a set of smooth, spiky, bumpy, wavy balls that can be rolled across different areas of the body.
This artificial insemination tool doubles up as a sex toy that can be used in the same way as a conventional dildo. It is made with medical-grade silicone and comes in a soft pink tone with a ring at its base, which contains a removable bubble to hold the semen.
Design student Kamila Rudnicka wanted the tool to appeal to couples trying to conceive and offer them a more pleasurable experience than other insemination products on the market.
The erotic toys come in comical styles including a butt-plug shaped like Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel and a dildo that looks like 50 Hudson Yards by Foster + Partners. The designers wanted the toys to show how humour can be used to critique the city, while drawing attention to the way in which skyscrapers are often said to have phallic shapes.