While doing press for her new movie “Hysteria,” about the invention of the vibrator, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal said that she was sent several high-priced sex toys during the making of the film. And because she wanted to share the wealth, Maggie then shared the sex toys with some of her friends.

Though helping your friends spice up their sex lives is a pretty noble cause, Maggie should know that swapping bodily fluids with them is not necessarily the coolest move. Even the most conscientious vibrator user still should avoid sharing those toys with people other than their own sex partners, but if you want to help boost your friends’ sex lives without putting them at risk for a yeast infection, here are five other things you can try:

1. Buy them their very own sex toys

In one of the most famous episodes of Sex and the City, good-girl Charlotte falls in love with the “Rabbit” vibrator after Miranda tells the girls it’s a must-have. Sex toys – especially ones that come with personal recommendations – are the best gifts a girl could ask for. “Sex toys, unless it’s something extremely special and rare that you can’t replace, should be kept among you and your sexual partners,” says Rachel Kramer Bussel, who edits the Best Sex Writing book series. “If you’re that enamored of a particular toy, rave about it, give a gift certificate, or just send your friend a link.”

Related: 5 Sexual Role Play Scenarios That Aren’t Played Out

2. Keep your toys safe

If you just can’t resist sharing vibes and other sex toys, do what you can to keep your toys as clean and safe as possible. Planned Parenthood has a great guide for care and maintenance of sex toys. Some things to keep in mind: use condoms on the toys and clean them according to their material (plastic, silicone, glass, etc each have different cleaning needs).

Related: How to Have Great Sex in a New Relationship

3. Think of other sexy gifts

If you’re planning a bachelorette party, birthday, or other occasion where a sex toy is a great gift, think about some other accessories instead. A brand new still-in-the-packaging toy is always welcome, but you can branch out a little bit with everything from cool condoms (like these designer-branded ones by everyone from Charlotte Ronson to Alexander Wang) to flavored lube. Both of these things go well with an existing sex toy collection or make a good plus for a new one.

Related: The Real Benefits of Getting Yourself Off Before a Date

4. Trade tips and tricks instead of toys

While vibes are nice, there’s more to a healthy and happy sex life than just props. If you have a vibrator you like, you can recommend it to a friend. But you can also talk about what you learned, what turns you on, or what exactly it is about this particular toy that makes it better than the others. You can give a woman a sex toy, but if you teach her how to please herself it’s a gift that lasts forever.

Related: Sex Columnist Leaves Steven Colbert Speechless

5. Remember that sex is about more than just the act.

Yeah, a new toy can definitely help spice up your sex life. But it’s not the only thing. If your friend has confided in you about a dull phase in their sex life, there are plenty of things you can do to help bolster the emotional or mental side of sexuality. Chipping in for a weekend getaway or babysitting the kids so they can have a date night will help you support your friend and her love life without having to share germs.


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