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How To Choose Your First Vibrator

By: Good Vibrations

Your First Vibe

Maybe you’ve scrolled our site and said to yourself, “How could there be this many vibrators?” We hear it in person all the time when people walk into our stores and see a whole wall full of them. And of course, the next question is “How can I possibly choose just one of all those?”  

Pro tip: You don’t actually have to choose only one, because many of them are quite different in their function and sensation. BUT! Everyone starts somewhere, right?

Here’s a guide to the different kinds of vibes to help you decide where you’d like to begin. 

Some of the biggest differences are the vibrator’s size, its strength, whether it’s insertable or external-only, and the material it’s made of. Many people are also very interested in whether a vibe is waterproof, rechargeable, remote-controlled, or has lots of varying patterns and power settings. Or all the above! Oh, and maybe it has to match your bedroom decor. 

It’s a myth that your sex toy has to be insertable—this is an assumption people make who might associate toy play and masturbation with intercourse. Simply adding vibration might not be the answer to the orgasm gap, though, because for most, orgasm is centered in clitoral stimulation. With that said, there are certainly people who love the sensation of insertion more than anything. Not trying to talk you out of an insertable toy at all! But we want you to be maximally happy with your purchase.  

So first think about this: What kind of sensation and activity gives you the most sexual pleasure? Is it intercourse—or the turn-on play that sometimes leads up to it? Is it solo play where you can focus on the clitoris, glans of the penis, anus, or where? (It might be all at once! There are toys that do more than one thing.)  

If you are all I Just Want Something Inside Me Now, we got you! You want an insertable toy (and if that’s anal insertion, make sure the one you choose has a base and is anal-safe. Some anal plugs vibrate, so that might be a great choice). Think of your optimal size, since bigger isn’t always better; you might in fact want more girth than length—and this is one of the situations where material will matter. (Very firm toys will feel larger because they don’t have “give”; you might like that or want something softer.)  

Secondary question about insertable toys: Is this about G-spot hunting or stimulation? If so, choose something pretty firm, with a curve or a bulbous end (or both). Don’t forget to use plenty of lube if this is your goal, and get well-worked-up before you start to seek the G-spot; it responds better when you’re turned on, plus the firm pressure will feel so much better then.

Speaking of insertion—if you want a vibrating toy to insert into, that’s a whole ‘nother kind of vibe—and we love the toys that help people with penises enjoy vibration. Sleeve-type toys are great whether or not they vibrate, but if they do, the sensation is even more… sensational!  

Maybe insertion isn’t the goal; clitoral or penile head stimulation is. Those body parts often both love vibration. (No surprise—they both develop from the same type of tissue.) And they tend to be the focal area for orgasm! Several styles have been developed to optimize clitoral play in particular: wands, mini-vibes and bullets, and vibrators you hold in your palm or slip into panties all function as external stimulators, and you can focus them on the clit or anywhere else you like.

External toys come in a wide range of strength (and with varying patterns); wands are usually strongest. Wands and palm-held vibes usually offer the greatest surface area, which means they stimulate the whole vulva (or other region you use them on), while the small vibes may not seem as strong, but have a much narrower focus and might feel more intense to some. (Think of whether you enjoy a focused finger on the clitoris or other sensitive area, or the more diffused feeling of a palm over the vulva.)  

Another clit-focused type of toy uses air technology, which creates an effect that feels like suction. Some of these can vibrate too.

If you want it all, you might choose a twice-as-nice vibrator, designed to combine vaginal insertion with clitoral stimulation. Rabbit vibes are a classic style, and the WeVibe stimulates this way too, with a very different look. Or just pick out a toy for each hand and use them together or separately, as you prefer!  

The color scheme of your room is up to you, but we can give you a little more advice about the material your toy might be made of. Silicone is an excellent choice for vibrators, and hard plastics and metals are also common too. Those materials are non-porous, so they are easy to clean (just be sure to stick to water-based lubes with the silicone toys, though.) Other softer materials are made of elastomers; which are porous so we recommend covering those with a condom, as well as washing them, to keep them shiny and new.

Whatever you choose, enjoy! And learn what you like about it as well as thinking about which bells and whistles you wish it had. If you decide to try a new style next time, the things you like (and wish were different) about your first vibrator will help you choose Pleasure Product 2.0!  

-Carol Queen PhD, Staff Sexologist