Product Specs: Internal/external vibrator, body-safe silicone, waterproof, water-based lube compatible, 2-hour battery life, comes with charging cable and user guide
Wondering what to look for when shopping for sex toys? We tapped the experts. “For folks with vulvas and vaginas, we need to remember that three out of four women need direct or indirect clitoral stimulation for optimal sexual pleasure,” shares Rosara Torrisi, PhD, a licensed clinical social worker and AASECT-certified sex therapist at the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy in Syosset, New York.
“Vibrators are a typical favorite and they come in both external, clitoris-focused design as well as internal, phallic options,” shares Jenn Kennedy, PhD, board-certified sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist in Santa Barbara, California. (She is also the founder of Riviera Therapy and The Pleasure Project.)
Most sex toys are great for solo play but they can also be a fun part of partnered sex if you want them to be. Browsing for toys together “can be a big part of the foreplay as the mind starts to imagine how toys might be used,” says Dr. Kennedy. “It’s also a way to signal more of what you like, which is a thrilling way to grow the relationship.”
(PSST: For first-hand accounts and explorations on all things sex, check out Doing It, a column penned by sex educator Varuna Srinivasan.)
“Toys that focus on the external clitoris that I love are air pulse toys from companies like Womanizer and Satisfyer,” says Dr. Torrisi. These use gentle pressure to surround and stimulate the clit, a sensation similar to oral sex.
These types of vibrators typically stimulate the internal erogenous zone — you’ve probably heard referred to as the G-spot, though that term isn’t totally accurate. Whatever you call it, there’s a whole class of vibrators designed for G-spot stimulation.
These are typically bigger vibrators used to stimulate the clit or other external zones. They’re often described as having rumbly vibrations.
These are all about dual stimulation. They usually have a longer shaft that goes inside, plus a smaller, flexible shaft – often with two soft nubs, or ears – that stimulate the clit. “Some folks appreciate internal and external stimulation,” Dr. Torrisi tells us. I most appreciate when internal and external stimulation have separate controls.”
While most vibrators have built-in buttons to adjust settings to your desired effects, some are controlled via remotes or even apps on your phone. These are especially fun for partner play, since they give you the option to let your partner control the speed, pattern, and intensity of your vibrator.
These encompass any vibrating or non-vibrating toy that can be used anally. “If you’re new to anal play, start slow and small,” advises Dr. Torrisi. Any toy that’s designed for anal use should also have a flared base for safety. Lube is also essential for easy gliding since your body doesn’t produce any natural lubrication in this area.
These tend to be penis-shaped toys that can be used anally or vaginally. They’re usually made of silicone, glass, or metal and many of them are compatible with harnesses for strap-on play. Some of them vibrate, but it’s more common for them to be non-vibrating toys.