Getting your first vibrator is both exciting and nerve-wracking, so congratulations on being here and taking the first step! You may have a lot of questions about vibrators, and understandably so. There are a lot of different types of vibrators on the market, but, unfortunately, there are not enough conversations about them—and it’s time we talked about vibrators!
There are several things you need to consider before you purchase your first vibrator. The first and most important thing that you should determine is whether or not you’re ready for one, as we previously discussed in our “Am I ready to face my own erotic self?” write-up. When you open up yourself to erotic experiences and conversations about them, it gives you a new and deeper understanding of yourself.
And we’re sure that there are also more practical and technical questions that you need to be answered. You need to know what type of vibrator you should get, what settings you need, what material is safe, and all the other considerations you’re itching to know about.
Vibrator styles are largely dependent on the type of stimulation they offer. Some mimic and help enhance masturbation, and some can be used with your sexual partner. Sex and wellness writer Hannah Rimm’s article on how to pick the right vibrator underscores the importance of understanding the types of vibrators and the kinds of stimulation they provide:
Internal vibrators. If you enjoy penetration and want to stimulate your G-spot, then these are the types you should go for. These are often long and cylindrical, imitating the shape of a penis.
External vibrators. As the name suggests, these vibrators are for the external pleasure points: the clitoris and labia. These are for those who prefer no penetration or those who are looking for clitoral stimulation. External vibrators come in varying shapes, but most of them are wide and non-cylindrical; covering a bigger surface area.
Combo vibrators. These are often called “rabbit vibrators” because of their shape. Combo vibrators offer both penetrative and external stimulation at the same time, often looking like cylinders with an added arm.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to vibrators. The sizes vary depending on the purpose you want it to serve. There are palm-sized vibrators, for example, for easier grip for clitoral stimulation. On the other hand, internal vibrators can vary from one- to multiple-fingers size.
Vibrators can also come in several dimensions, what’s important is that you find a size that you’re comfortable with. It all comes down to preference. Some people opt for larger dildo-shaped vibrators while others choose small, discrete ones like bullet vibrators. The latter is becoming increasingly popular. According to PrettyMe’s guide to bullet vibrators, these handy self-pleasure devices are often used for external stimulation; and they’re just the right size to help you reach and target high-pleasure areas for targeted sensations.
Manufacturers keep coming up with vibrators made of different materials, but not all materials are made equal. Since there’s so much contact between you and your vibrator, both internal and external, you’ll need to read the fine print and look at what material a vibrator is made of.
Staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, Carol Queen, Ph.D., identifies silicone as one of the best materials for vibrators. “It can be softer or firmer, but it’s non-porous and easy to clean,” she says in Glamour’s list of best vibrators for beginners. You can also consider hard-shelled vibrators made of hard plastic or even metal. But for those looking for softer options, vibrators made from thermoplastics are a great alternative, too.
It may be tempting to get a jelly rubber toy, but it shouldn’t be your first choice. While these may be inexpensive and fun-looking—they look like brightly colored Jell-O—these vibrators usually contain chemical components that may irritate. They’re also difficult to clean, which may attract bacteria and other pathogens that you don’t want anywhere near your vagina.
When shopping for a new vibrator, it can be overwhelming to read about the levels of speed and power of each toy. This is why we recommend starting with a vibrator that offers multiple settings. You want to be able to experiment and figure out what gets you off, literally! This way, you can confidently choose a vibrator that performs specifically well for your preference, come time for you to move on to your next non-starter vibrator.
There’s a wide range of vibrators currently available in the market. There are fairly simple and inexpensive ones that you can get for just around $15. But if you’d like to invest more in your pleasure, somatic psychologist and certified sex therapist Holly Richmond, Ph.D. explains that the more premium vibrators usually have more features, like accessible power buttons, extensive vibration options, and multiple attachments—and longer life.
For first-time vibrator owners, however, you may not want to splurge too much. You don’t want to be stuck with something you don’t enjoy, all because you spent too much money on it. So do your research and set a budget, and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Now that you know how to find the right vibrator, all you need to do is have fun and enjoy your sexual self-discovery!
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