Choosing the Right Vibrator

When buying a new sex toy, it’s very difficult to know where to start. Even if you have an idea of what you might like, there are so many options to choose from! The variation of toys that you can get, even from the same category, can be overwhelming. This guide breaks down some of the most common sub-categories of vibrators to help you make an informed decision. Let’s jump in!

Traditional Vibrators

The basic vibrator, or traditional vibrator, is a simple sex toy, designed for vaginal and/or clitoral stimulation. These toys are usually completely straight (those with a curve in the design are often categorized as g-spot vibes, which we’ll get into later) and made of a hard, inflexible material. Traditional vibes are made from a number of sex toy materials, but usually plastic or silicone.

While hard plastic is body-safe, vibrators made from this cheaper material are often weak, can die easily, and usually require batteries. For example, the Doc Johnson Velvet Touch is a very standard, traditional design that runs off AA-batteries and has a dial control at the base. The Blush Gaia Eco is another example that puts an environmentally-friendly twist on the traditional vibe. You can also get waterproof traditional vibrators, such as the Naughty Bits “Screw It” vibe, which are safe to bring into the shower, tub, or pool with you. Make sure the model you get specifically says it’s designed for underwater use if that is your intent.

Pros: cheap, take common batteries
Cons: cheap ones are weak, they die easily, can be rigid/uncomfortable

Vibrating Dildos

This category is a really picky distinction, but I think it deserves its own section. While there are many silicone vibrators, they are usually constructed of a hard plastic and then coated in a layer of silicone, making the outside of the toy body-safe. “Vibrating dildos,” in comparison, are toys that are made entirely of a soft material (such as pure silicone).

Vibrating dildos sometimes have a hole in the base where a bullet vibrator can be inserted to add functionality while keeping the soft, more realistic feel of the dildo. Alternatively, the Blush Silicone Willy’s are a good example of vibrating dildos without the bullet insert. 

Pros: more realistic look and feel
Cons: vibrations tend to be on the weaker side

Bullet Vibrators

A bullet vibrator is a small vibe that’s generally used for clitoral stimulation, but can be used to stimulate any sensitive areas. These toys are often inexpensive, compact, and great for travel. Cheaper models run off batteries and tend to be on the weaker end of the spectrum, while higher-quality models have upgraded to a rechargeable design and can pack a lot more power into their small size. The Exposed Nocturnal is a fantastic model that has the luxury of magnetic charging as well as a waterproof design for a low price point. Another popular model in this category is the We-Vibe Tango, which is on the higher end of both price and power.

Pros: most are inexpensive, compact, travel friendly
Cons: some take batteries, cheap ones are weak and die easily

Finger Vibrators

Finger vibrators are a specific kind of compact vibe that are designed to either be held in between your fingers during use (like the Aria Mi) or may even slip onto your fingers for more control, like the Fin Vibrator. These vibes make exploring your own body very easy, as they work as an extension of your own hand, making them a good option for a first vibrator for someone. They’re non-insertable so if penetration is what you’re looking for, you might want to try another vibrator style, but for those who are all about the stimulation of sensitive external areas (clitoris, testicles, nipples, etc.), these are a good choice.

Pros: good for self-exploration, very fine control of the vibe, compact
Cons: non-insertable, not the strongest type of vibrator

High-Frequency Vibrators

High-frequency vibrators are intense little powerhouses that stimulate the clitoris or other external sensitive areas. These toys are a personal favorite of mine, as someone who loves high-intensity toys. If you’ve ever tried a regular vibrator and thought that it was maybe too strong, you should steer clear of these vibes! Great for masochists (forced orgasms, anyone?) or anyone with a clitoris of steel, these toys are for those who can’t get enough of that direct, intense, clitoral stimulation. I don’t recommend investing in a high-frequency vibrator as your first toy because it’s probably going to be the most powerful you try (similar to the strength of vibrator wands, but with a lot less surface area to distribute the intensity).

The most popular brand in this category is Zumio, whose line currently consists of the Zumio X, Zumio S, and Zumio E. These are very high-quality toys that are super powerful, waterproof, and totally rechargeable, but they come at a pretty high price. Alternatively, the Blush Quiver is a great low-cost option for a high-frequency vibrator, so long as you don’t mind the noise level being a bit higher than the Zumios.

Pros: super powerful, small enough for easy travel
Cons: not beginner-friendly (can be too intense for some folks), noticeable sound

Pressure Wave (Suction Toys)

Also known as “suction” or “sucking” toys, pressure wave toys are able to stimulate the clitoris in a way that is completely different from other vibrators. The sensation is akin to receiving oral sex and is incredibly quick to bring most people to orgasm (though, keep in mind all bodies are different and that’s okay).

There are two very popular lines that dominate this category of vibrators (which may not even count as vibrators), Womanizer and Satisfyer. The Womanizer Premium is an industry staple for a lot of folks. It’s a great model across the board, but can be a little pricey. Alternatively, the Satisfyer Pro 2 is a great starter toy in this category due to its simple design and affordable cost. We-Vibe has recently also put their hat in the ring and came out with a pressure-wave toy called Melt that’s winning over lots of hearts (and clitorises).

Most pressure wave toys are totally waterproof, making them great companions for the shower, tub, or pool. In fact, some models even note that they work better underwater or with water-based lubricant.

Pros: deep stimulation, simulates oral, most are waterproof/rechargeable
Cons: can be difficult to place comfortably on some bodies

Wands

Perhaps my favorite of the vibrator family, the wand. The strong, rumbly vibrations that a wand vibrator gives you makes them a very popular toy style. Here in the United States, wands have an interesting history with connections to the 1960s feminist movement. In fact, it’s kind of known as a feminist sex symbol. These vibrators are big, often bulky toys that pack a lot of power.

Originally, models were all corded for maximum power, but fully rechargeable versions have been popping up more and more over the years. This has led to toys like the Magic Wand Rechargeable, the We-Vibe Wand, and the Doxy 3R. Some rechargeable wands are even waterproof but many are not, so if taking your toys in the shower with you is something you want to do, make sure you’re getting one that is designed for that.

Wands can be used in combination with other sex toys or during sex with a partner. They’re a great way to add clitoral stimulation to PIV (penis in vagina) sex, which can the help many people with vulvas who cannot orgasm without clitoral stimulation.

Pros: strong vibrations, can be used for massage
Cons: bulky/heavy, too intense for some folks, often loud

G-Spot Vibrators

G-spot stimulation is huge for a lot of people. The g-spot is located an inch or two into the vagina, on the upper vaginal wall, toward the belly button. While not everyone enjoys g-spot stimulation, it can be intensely pleasurable for others. Roughly 10% of people will ejaculate when their g-spot is stimulated, making it a popular tool for those who want to explore the wonderful world of squirting.

G-spot vibrators are almost always designed with a slight curve and bulbous head, which helps ensure you can more easily reach the g-spot. Toys like the Pillowtalk Sassy or Blush Wellness G Curve are great, body-safe options for those looking to explore their g-spot.

Pros: g-spot stimulation can result in strong orgasms, great tool for those looking to achieve a squirting orgasm
Cons: can be uncomfortable for some bodies, no clitoral stimulation (although g-spot rabbit vibrators exist so keep reading if you’re interested in those).

Dual Stimulation (Rabbit) Vibrators

“Rabbit vibrators” are dual stimulation toys, meaning they have both an internal and external motor. These toys get their name from the most common design for the external vibe–a set of flexible bunny ears that flicker to stimulate the clitoris. If cutesy bunnies aren’t your thing, don’t worry–there are loads of modern options that don’t use the actual rabbit design, but the name has stuck over the years.

Dual stimulation toys are great for people who need clitoral stimulation to orgasm but still want a toy that works for penetration. Since the majority of people with vulvas can’t orgasm without clitoral stimulation, these toys are a very useful upgrade from traditional vibes. The clitoral stimulation can vary a lot across models–some models use vibration, some use a flickering motion, and others use air-pulsing technology.

Rabbit vibes are a staple for many, but finding the right one can be a little tricky. Since anatomy can be quite varied, rabbit vibrators might not always work with your body the way you want them to. Some may find that the clitoral arm of their toy doesn’t sit quite right on their clit or that the arm is too close to the internal shaft for comfort. Some trial and error might be necessary to find the right style or design that works best for your body.

Keep in mind that since rabbit vibrators are commonly made with porous materials like PVC, jelly, or TPR, you should be extra careful in ensuring that the toy you’re investing in is a silicone rabbit vibrator. Silicone is non-porous, easy to clean, and sanitizable, so it makes for a much higher quality toy than something that poses health risks or would need to be immediately replaced.

Pros: dual stimulation, easier for most people to orgasm, variety of clitoral stimulation options
Cons: not all designs work for everyone

Thrusting Vibrators

If you can’t afford the luxury of a fucking machine, thrusting vibrators might be the next best thing! These toys really pull out all the bells and whistles to give you an exciting time. They’re not something I would recommend for someone’s first toy or for someone on a budget. However, for folks who have tried several styles of vibrators already and know what they’re looking for, these can be a lot of fun. 

Thrusting vibrators can be super bulky and loud but they pack a lot of power, especially if they have a long thrusting range. However, more compact models like the Fun Factory Stronic Real or the Orange County Cutie might be a good alternative for those whose space or privacy is limited.

Pros: luxury toy with exciting features, powerful
Cons: tend to be expensive, bulky, loud

Remote-Controlled (Wearable) Vibrators

If you’re interested in taking your play to the next level, you can try a remote-controlled toy. These vibes can either be inserted or tucked into a pair of panties for clitoral stimulation and are perfect for discreet public play. Whether you’re looking to use the remote yourself in bed, have your date use it across the table, or have a long-distance partner control it from another continent, there are a lot of exciting options in this category. Some luxury models even come with the option to use an app on your phone to control the vibrator through Bluetooth, but these models don’t come cheap.

Owning a remote-controlled vibe gives you the option to explore your sexuality in ways that other vibrators can’t. For those who love the thrill of being stimulated in public but don’t want to expose non-consenting bystanders, they’re a fantastic addition to your toy box. For many people, these toys are all about teasing, so some folks will find reaching an orgasm with a wearable vibrator to be difficult. I don’t recommend investing in a remote-controlled vibrator as your first or primary sex toy, but for those looking to expand their collections with something unique, they’re a lot of fun.

We-Vibe has a number of app-controlled toys such as the Moxie, which is an external vibe that magnetically attaches to a pair of panties. On the less expensive end of the spectrum, there’s a line of remote-controlled vibes by CalExotics whose remotes look like FitBits for subtle public play.

Pros: discreet public play, options for long-distance play, compact/travel-friendly
Cons: connectivity issues are common (especially in plus-size folks), models that use Bluetooth tend to be expensive

It might take some trial and error to find not only the right style of vibrator for you, but the specific model that you like best. Since there’s so much variance among these sub-categories of sex toys, not every model is going to work the same for every person. Try to decide which of these vibrator types you think you’d enjoy most and research the models available to you. There’s definitely something out there for everyone!

This article was sponsored by Naughty North, a Canadian sex shop but if you’re in the US, you can find most of the toys mentioned here over at Betty’s Toy Box.
As always, all writing and opinions are my own.

 

One Reply to “Choosing the Right Vibrator”

Leave a Reply