How to Choose a Vibrator

A Person Holding an Adult Toy

You’ll want to choose a vibe that can deliver the internal and external stimulation you desire. There are also plenty of different shapes and sizes, so you can find what’s comfortable for your body.

Consider where you like to feel stimulation during partnered and solo play. That can help you decide on a size and features, like hands-free or remote operation.

Size

While many articles and blogs will tell you to choose between big and small, determining the size that will work best for you isn’t always so straightforward. Ultimately, it’s all about what kind of stimulation you want and how you plan to use your vibe.

Will it be used alone in the privacy of your bedroom or with a partner during sex? If you are planning to share, it’s important to be able to clean your device to avoid the transmission of STIs. While soap and water are sufficient for cleaning non-porous material like silicone or plastic, you may wish to invest in a toy cleaner made specifically for sexual wellness products.

Depending on your personal preference, you can also decide whether or not to choose a vibrator with one motor or multiple motors. Smaller and wand-style vibes tend to have single motors while combo options like the Lelo Soraya rabbit vibrator feature two separate motors, giving you the option of targeting your clitoris or massaging your g-spot.

If you’re looking for an even more customized experience, some vibrators offer a clitoral ring that allows you to target your clitoral ridge with the touch of a button. Keep in mind, though, that this is just an added feature and not a requirement for every toy. There are plenty of clitoral and g-spot vibrators that are perfectly capable of delivering satisfying orgasms on their own.

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Style

The way in which a vibrator is used depends on your own preference, but there are some tips that can help you figure out how to use your new device. Regardless of the type of vibe you choose, it’s important to take a few minutes to learn how to operate it before you get into a situation where you need to know its functions on-the-fly.

Vibrators come in many different shapes and sizes, from petite bullet vibes to multi-function rabbit vibrators that stimulate nerves you never knew you had. Many vibes also have multiple motors and settings, so be sure to test out the power and intensity levels on your forearm before you decide to try it in the shower or bathtub.

Pinpointing areas where you like stimulation without a vibrator can help you figure out the kind of toy you want, as well. For example, if you enjoy stimulating the clitoris or nipples, look for a toy that can reach those erogenous zones, such as a wand. If you’re interested in penetrative sex, there are internal vibrators that can be placed inside the anus or vagina to create intense sensations in the G-spot and perineum.

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Many people want to be able to adjust the intensity level of their vibe on-the-fly, so you’ll probably want a toy with a few power button options and vibration pattern settings to choose from. Some vibrators are remote-controllable, which can be convenient for long-distance relationships or when you’re using your toy alone.

Stimulation

A vibrator can offer a range of sensations, so it’s important to choose one that matches your personal preferences. “For instance, some people like a very focused sensation on the clitoris or vulva while others prefer stimulation that’s more widespread,” Corrado says.

A good quality vibrator will also be made of nonporous materials that won’t harbor bacteria or other germs, which can lead to infections or even systemic diseases, Story notes. It’s also a smart idea to choose one that’s made without BPA or phthalates, which are harmful to the body.

Finally, a high-quality vibrator will have consistent motor output. This can make a huge difference for many people who use sex toys during intimacy, because the vibrations can stimulate orgasms and help relieve stress and tension, Corrado says.

If you’re new to the world of sex toys, it’s best to start with something simple that will give you a feel for the different types of sensations a vibrator can offer. Then, as you get more comfortable using a toy, you can add features or try different techniques. For example, if you’re masturbating solo, you might enjoy a vibrator with a longer arm for insertion and short arm that targets the clitoris when rocking or thrusting against it. And if you want to use a vibrator during intimacy, make sure to bring a water-based lube that’s compatible with your toy.

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Safety

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing your first vibrator, but the most important factor is safety. Avoid any toys that are made with potentially toxic materials like jelly rubber or PVC, and make sure that they’re body-safe. “Body-safe silicones, plastics, and metals won’t degrade when warmed by the body, are easy to clean, and don’t contain BPAs or phthalates,” says Story.

Vibrators come in a variety of textures and flavors, but it’s essential to choose one that feels comfortable. The smoother the texture, the more pleasurable it will be on the skin. Some vibrators are even designed to provide a rumbly sensation. To avoid excessive noise, look for a quiet model. If a vibe has a decibel level listed, shop for models that are whisper-quiet or less than 40db.

It’s also essential to regularly clean your vibrator, especially if you use it between partners. This will prevent the spread of bacteria and germs that can cause STIs, UTIs, or other infections.

Always clean your sex toy with a gentle soap or detergent and warm water after each use, taking care not to get any liquid in the battery area of the toy. Many vibrator manufacturers sell cleaners, and you can find water-based lubricants at most stores that sell vibrators. If you’re using a silicone toy, opt for a lubricant that is labeled as body-safe, such as LBDO Essensual Lube.

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