How to Choose a Vibrator: A Checklist

Excerpted from Sex Toys 101: A Playfully Uninhibited Guide

The truly amazing variety of vibrator styles, sizes, and materials can be both inspiring and a little daunting. Finding the perfect vibe may require some self-loving homework. Answering these few simple questions can help cut through the information overload and prevent buyer's remorse.

  • What Do You Want to Use it for?
    Do you want to use it on your clitoris? Do you want to put it in your vagina or anus? Because just about anything that vibrates feels good on or around the clitoris, phallic-shaped vibrators suitable for penetration can also be used outside the vagina if the vibration is strong at the tip. Do you want both the full feeling of penetration and that allimportant clitoral buzz? Dual-action vibes mean never having to choose one feeling at the expense of the other. Electric vibrators are the most powerful, so if you have a more difficult time orgasming, you may want to try one of those first.

If you intend to use a toy for anal insertion, make sure it has a flared base so that it doesn't slip all the way in. While there are vibrating toys made especially for anal use, most are not, so it's best to get one specifically designed for anal play, if that's what you fancy.

  • How Strong Do You Want Your Vibration to be?
    If you've never used a vibrator before, this is tough question to answer with certainty, so prepare to experiment! If you masturbate with a firm rub on the clit rather than a light touch, you're more likely to appreciate a strong vibration. Plug-in models vibrate the most powerfully, while jelly-rubber vibes that use only one AA battery vibrate the least intensely. Pick a toy with a variable speed control so you can play around until you discover just what amount of vibration starts your motor. After some initial investigation, you'll be ready to home in on your vibrating dream date.
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