Gwyneth Paltrow is no stranger when it comes to, ahem, unique wellness hacks. The Oscar-winning actress and founder of goop has raved about the benefits of oil pulling, vaginal steaming, and jade eggs over the years, even once selling a candle titled “This Smells Like My Vagina” on her site.
She hosted a show last year titled Sex, Love and goop, where couples were guided through counseling and therapy sessions, and encouraged to try using some of the best sex toys in the bedroom to boost overall wellbeing.
This year, the goop Holiday Gift Guide has hit headlines after including a $28k sex chair (or, as the GG calls it, a "tufted boudoir chaise"). Under the "ridiculous but awesome" section, the chaise is described as “a foundation for fantasy” with “curves that mimic the contours of the body”. Decked out with stirrups and restraints, goop suggests displaying “it in your bedroom, living room, dungeon, what have you”.
Sure, sex chairs might sound a little out there, but here at Marie Claire UK, we're all about promoting sexual wellness, positivity, and working out what works for you. "Designed specifically for pleasure, sex chairs can make an incredible addition to your sexual repertoire," explains sex expert and creative director at Tapdat, Alice Leach.
"Sex - and specifically satisfying, pleasure-based sex - is so important," adds Leach. "It's well documented that great sex and orgasms can improve our physical health, mental wellbeing, and alleviate stress, too."
Keen to learn more about said chairs? Keep scrolling, and shop Leach's edit of the more affordable options currently available, while you're here (we are in a cost-of-living crisis, after all).
How do sex chairs work?
N.B.: Some are designed for more support, to allow for more flexibility or easier access to all the good bits, shares the expert. "Some also include additional toys, restraints, textures, and a range of motions to allow you to play with a new range of movement," shares the expert.
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What are the benefits of using a sex chair?
“Sex chairs are great for exploring new positions, but the biggest benefit of having such great support is being able to comfortably hold positions, enabling you to explore your partner's body, rhythms, and sensations for longer,” explains Leach.
“They can open up our range of movement or provide a hands-free experience allowing for more time for touch. It’s also good to remember that you can use any chair, cushion, bean bag, or sofa to try a more supportive upright position. But, if you’re looking for some sexy new furniture, these are my favourite (much more affordable) alternatives to Gwyneth’s pricey pick.”
Best sex chairs: 5 budget-friendly options
Best sturdy sex chair
Pros: Great for alleviating stress | Works for those with limited mobility | Can be used for self pleasure.
What the expert thinks: “This chair is perfect for alleviating some of the stress and strain on your body as you move into different positions and works well for people with limited mobility,” says Leach. “Be it vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or even used for self-pleasure, this chair allows you to try out a variety of positions whilst remaining comfortable.”
Best inflatable sex chair
Pros: Fun | Inflatable | Can be used for self pleasure.
What the expert thinks: “This inflatable chair is bright pink and super fun,” says Leach. “It comes with an attached realistic vibrator for bouncy penetration play and is perfect for those looking for self-pleasure with a closer-to-sex experience or who want to keep their hands free. It’s quick and easy to inflate and has a handle on either side for something to hold onto!”
Best sex cushion
Pros: Comfortable | Supportive | Can support a range of angles.
What the expert thinks: “For those wanting optimum comfort, this love heart shaped ramp supports hips, neck, or back during intercourse, and can aid comfier sex for longer,” says Leach. “It can give you better angles for deeper penetration and is made with a lush velvet fabric that feels soft on your skin.”
Best sex sling
Pros: Offers counter movement | Offers deep penetration | Can support a range of angles.
What the expert thinks: “If a chair is too run of the mill – try a swing. This hammock-style sex swing is ultra-padded and fully adjustable. Offering a counter-movement, the sensation of swinging offers deeper penetration, supported movement and a new range of experiences and angles,” says Leach.
Best sex chair accessories
Pros: A good starting point | Lower price point | Comfortable.
What the expert thinks: “Any chair can be a sex chair with the right accessories,” says Leach. “Fiylon’s Sinful Bondage Kit is a great choice for those who want to explore the world of BDSM. Use the ankle and wrist cuffs on an ordinary chair and you’ve got your own sex chair without taking up any of the space. This set comes with a quilted surface for maximum comfort and its hot pink colour will get you in the mood.”
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Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.
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