About Vibrators

Author: 
VE Staff

There seems to be an almost infinite variety of vibrating toys; choosing among them can be intimidating. What we'll do here is break down the choice by a number of factors you'll want to consider when looking through our offerings.

The short answer

The first factor is how you plan to to use the toy: is it for clitoral stimulation? for penetration play? Maybe a bit of both? Toys designed for clitoral use tend to be smaller and less powerful than penetration-play toys (which can also be used on the clit, of course). We rate our vibrators according to how powerful they are, and how noisy—consider these with respect to your body's sensitivity and your need for privacy.

Other things to consider are style and quality: as with most manufactured goods, there is a very wide range of materials and attention to detail in the world of sex toys. More expensive toys are usually made of superior materials (such as 100% silicone), to a higher standard of quality, and with ease and comfort of use in mind. Inexpensive toys are lots of fun, but may not last as long and are less likely to display ingenuity and inventiveness of design. The range of price and quality in our offerings means that it's easy to get something inexpensive as an experiment or something more pricy that will offer years of pleasurable service.

Use

Vibrators can be used on the clitoris, the g-spot, the penis … any pleasurably sensitive body part really enjoys vibration. The right toy can also be used for anal or vaginal penetration. (The "right toy" for anal play must have a base so it doesn't get, um, lost.)

Some small toys, such as the "Mini + Bullet" vibes, are built for external stimulation specifically because their size makes them impractical for internal use. They also tend to offer very focused vibration moreso than the other toys, which spread their vibration over a larger area. If you want to experiment with using these toys in the vagina, you can toss one into a condom and leave the mouth of the condom hanging out of the vagina for easy retrieval.

Other toys are meant to be used internally—they are long and, well, phallic—but make good clit toys as well. There are lots of vibrating toys that do a good job at all sorts of stimulation, but remember that if you want to share a toy or use it both in a butt and a vagina, it has to be silicone (and cleaned between uses) unless you plan to use a condom every time you use your toy.

Any vibe that you plan to use in your butt should have a base on it to make sure it doesn't get lost up there by accident. Check out the "Harness Use" vibes or the vibrating butt plugs for toys meant for penetrative anal play.

Power

Some women need a lot of vibration to get off, others find too much power numbing or painful. Our most powerful vibe would be the Hitachi Magic Wand. The Magic Wand is a large electric vibrator (it plugs in, as opposed to using batteries), and has two speeds: high and higher.

If you've never had a vibrator before, it's a good idea to get something multi-speed so you can turn it up and down depending on your mood and sensitivity. If you end up with a vibrator that's too strong for you even on the lowest setting, you can try putting something between you and it to tone down the effects: try a blanket, underwear, or a pillow. Or try holding the vibe away from your clit and other sensitive bits for indirect stimulation. Vibes that are too strong or too weak in one area might be just the thing, used someplace else!

Look for the lightning bolts for our power ratings. Power is scored out of 5, with 5 being the most powerful. The power is determined at the highest setting: if a multi-speed vibe is rated 5, you can turn it down from there; if it's rated 2, then you can't turn it higher than 2.

  1. Faint: a very mild, almost non-existent sensation: not too many toys land in this category
  2. Mild: a little more power but maybe not enough for most folks; most useful on more sensitive areas
  3. Moderate: enough power for many people, and useful for both more and less sensitive parts ofthe body
  4. Strong: on high this toy may be too much for many people, especially when used directly on the more sensitive areas
  5. Mighty: this is a rare category, and not for the faint of heart (or clit)

Noise

Got kids or nosy room-mates? Noise may be more of a factor for some than for others. Look for our noise ratings. Noise is rated fom 1 to 5, with 5 being the loudest. Noisiness is determined at the highest setting: if a multi-speed vibe is rated at 5, it will likely be quieter at lower settings.

  1. Barely audible: a low hum.
  2. Humm: You can distinctly hear it when you're using it. If someone else is in the room they might be able to hear it, but not with the radio on.
  3. Buzz: Makes a clearly-audible noise that can't usually be heard in the next room.
  4. Grrr: This one can be heard in the next room: you may want to use this one in the shower, when you're home alone, or with the stereo on.
  5. The Big Buzz: clear out the house and crank the stereo!

Aesthetics

We distinguish between a number of different "looks" in our vibrators. The "classic vibrator" is smooth and cylindrical, and is made out of either slick, hard plastic or a solft, yielding latex. This design is good for both clitoral and penetrative stimulation. Some manufacturers offer a variety of innovative designs (which we call "Unconventional"), with undulating surfaces and varying widths and textures. These toys are generally made to a higher standard of quality, and are intended to appeal to our sense of design and beauty as well as to our sense of tactile pleasure.

Materials

Silicone is hypo-allergenic and non-porous, making it a snap to clean and easy to share. Silicone toys may be used both anally and vaginally with only a good washing with hot soapy water in between. Silicone also warms quickly and maintains heat so it's more comfortable more quickly. Silicone is so hardy that you can boil it for a few minutes for extra cleanliness or throw it into the dishwasher if nobody objects. The only thing that will really harm silicone is a knife—and it shouldn't be used with silicone lube. 

Jelly Rubber is porous and has a chemical smell that some find unpleasant. Though jelly rubber isn't as long-lasting as silicone, it is cheaper and gives you a chance to experiment with dildos without breaking the bank. Because jelly is porous, we recommend that your jelly toy not be shared or used both anally and vaginally unless you are willing to use it with a condom each time. That way bacteria and odor don't have a chance to be trapped in the pores of the toy. If that isn't practical for you, then we suggest you invest in a toy cleaner such as Foreplay and use it religiously. Just don't forget that jelly is a short term ride, not a long-term relationship. There are some concerns with toys that contain pthalates, check out this article for more information.

Cyberskin is a new material, and is a combination of silicone and PVC. It offers a very realistic texture but is quite porous. Cyberskin toys should be used with a condom and should be powdered with corn starch after being washed.

Hard toys such as plastic, acrylic, and glass can be fun, especially for g-spot play where a lot of pressure is nice or necessary. On the other hand, sometimes they can feel too hard, and the larger toys may be uncomfortable at times. The glass and acrylic toys are often very beautiful and are appealing to those people who like their toys to be as pretty as they are fun.

A note about Dual Vibes

Chances are you've seen these toys around. The Rabbit Pearl has been on Sex in the City, played a major role in Better Than Chocolateand been reviewed in every magazine from Chatelaine to Bust. The Twinsu had an opening scene in Tristan Taormino's Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women video. Dual vibes have a shaft that rotates and vibrates in the vagina while a separate piece vibrates stimulating the clit or the perianum and/or anus. The dual vibes that we sell are all made in Japan or Germany, so you can be sure you are getting a high quality toy. Beware of knock-offs made more cheaply in China or Malaysia: they're similar enough in looks to fool most anyone, but they don't last long and, in our opinion, aren't worth bothering with. Ask where your toy was manufactured before you make a purchase.

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