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love tips 'Sex Siopa' owner explains how you can spice up Valentine's Day - even if you are flying solo

Shawna Scott, owner of Ireland's multi-award winning, sex-positive online boutique SexSiopa.ie gives her top buys to help you get jiggy with it

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Shawna Scott

Shawna Scott

Shawna Scott

Flowers will wilt and die but a good sex toy will last forever, provided it's a rechargeable one.

This Valentine's Day we're championing self-love in all its guises, so today is the perfect time to pull out all the plugs and prioritise yourself.

Sex Siopa founder and owner Shawna Scott explains how you can spice up your sex life on the most romantic day of the year regardless of whether you're coupled up or flying solo.

I don't think there should be just one day dedicated to telling someone you love them," she says.

"And I don't think people should feel obliged to buy each other gifts to do so (don't worry, the irony of an online retailer waxing lyrical about the pointlessness of Valentine's Day is not lost on me).

"However, if you are going to buy each other something, sex toys are a good place to start. First of all they last way longer than chocolate and flowers.

"A non-vibrating silicone toy will last you a lifetime.

"Good vibrators should generally have a lifespan of two or three years. Sex toys can also be an excellent starting point for conversations about pleasure and what new, exciting things you want to explore with yourself or with your partner."

Recording a surge in sales, the businesswoman says the pandemic has given many people a new appreciation for self-love, with Ann Summers alone reporting a 900 per cent increase in sales of its sex toys during the first lockdown.

"Valentine's Day is always an incredibly busy time but lockdown has meant I am even busier.

"Couples and single people are locked down and then there are couples who are trying to find a way to create a sense of intimacy over Zoom if they are living apart.

"Given the year we have had it has never been more important to give yourself grace and love."

If you're looking for fun but don't know where to start, the 35-year-old, who has recently relocated to Sligo, adds: "I think it is really sexy idea for Valentine's Day to say 'we are going sex toy shopping online', and have a conversation while you are shopping about what you like.

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"Having those conversations and opening up those lines of conversation is important. It means you and your partner, or just yourself, can have the most fulfilling sex life.

"The biggest hurdle is opening up and being vulnerable in the first place.

"You have to know what you like so I always say masturbate and figure out what you like when you are having fun on your own.

"Tune into what sensations you personally like and then you can decide what you would look to expand on.

"There is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to sex toys.

"Do you like external or internal stimulation, are you particularly sensitive or do you need a bit more oomph in your vibrator?"

For those hoping to get their rocks off, Shawna shares her top buys to help you along the way.

The TENGA SPINNER, €35

The Tenga Spinner for men gets its name from the colourful coil that gently squeezes and twists with each stroke. It's super easy to use. Just take it out of its storage container, pour a bit of water based lubricant inside and pull over your penis. With careful cleaning and storage, the Tenga Spinner is reusable for up to 50-75 uses.

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The Tenga Spinner, €35

The Tenga Spinner, €35

The Tenga Spinner, €35

Sliquid Sassy thick gel water-based lubricant, €25

As well as being glycerin and paraben free, this Sliquid lube (below) is made with extra plant cellulose to give it an extra thick gel consistency. This means it creates more padding for intercourse. Sassy is water-based, so it's compatible with all toys and condoms. I love Sliquid because all their lubricants are 100pc vegan and cruelty free.

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Sliquid Sassy thick gel water-based lubricant, €25

Sliquid Sassy thick gel water-based lubricant, €25

Sliquid Sassy thick gel water-based lubricant, €25

Rocks Off Touch of Velvet bullet vibrator, €27

The Rocks Off Velvet (right) is a stylish bullet vibrator that's perfect for someone who is new to sex toys, folks on a budget or as a gift. It's whisper quiet, waterproof, and boasts 10 vibration functions despite its compact size. The Velvet's iridescent peacock colour makes it as gorgeous as it is pleasurable.

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