Before we get started, you should know a few things about vibrators. First, most of them are designed as "novelties," which means they can have a very unpredictable lifespan - anywhere from days to months. A few (usually the more expensive "personal massager" types) have warranties, but for the most part, don't expect miracles from your vibrating pal. But good care and careful use will definitely prolong the life of your toy, so don't give up altogether. Second, vibrators can plug into a wall socket or use batteries. Some people prefer battery-powered vibes - they're less expensive and more portable. Others swear by AC-powered vibrators because of the stronger vibration and greater durability. The variable speed settings on most AC vibrators afford a little more control over what kind of sensation you experience, which is really nice if you like a fast, intense vibe interchanged with a slow, gentle pulse. AC vibes are also a little easier to clean: instead of immersing the whole unit in water, which can fry the batteries, you can keep the plug end dry and prolong your unit's life a little. If you decide to try a battery vibe, be aware that they are made in two basic forms: toys with internal batteries and toys connected to a battery pack by a little leash. Generally speaking, the battery pack vibrators last a little longer, mostly because you don't have to immerse the whole unit in water to clean it. Also, battery packs can provide variable speeds, while internal batteries usually have just an "on-off" switch. However, the vibration produced by both is equally strong so it's really a matter of preference.
By far the most popular and versatile category of sex toys, insertable vibrators are shaped like a phallus, which means they all vaguely resemble a penis. Some can be quite realistic, especially if they're made from silicone. Others look nothing like the male member. They come in all sizes, shapes, textures and colors, from the tiny pocket vibe to the (laughably) huge twelve-inch dildo vibe. However, they all have one thing in common: they were made to pulsate and penetrate.
When considering an insertable vibrator, think about what you want. Some people (especially newcomers) prefer the simple sleekness of the frictionless silver bullet vibrator. Others enjoy a more realistic shape and texture. Some people like small insertable vibrators and others like obscenely large ones. It's really up to you. You might try experimenting with different vegetables to determine what size works best for you. When you find a veggie that fits just right, hunt for an insertable vibe of approximate size and shape. If you're not comfortable with the vegetarian approach, you may have to let trial and error determine your acceptable girth. As for texture, stroke a few floor models if you're shopping live. Pick the material that appeals to you most. If you don't find it potentially erotic, it's a colossal waste of time.
Insertable vibes are available in a variety of different styles, most of which can be categorized into the following groups:
- Rocket vibrators Also called "bullets" or "smoothies," these more traditional units are usually made from plastic. A favorite with novices, rocket vibes can induce powerful orgasms from both internal and clitoral stimulation. Their frictionless exterior makes rocket vibes a poor choice for thrusting movements, but the gentle internal pressure can be quite nice.
- vibrator sleeves Made to slip over rocket vibrators, sleeves are made from silicone, cyberskin, jelly or rubber. Sleeves can resemble anything from penises to knob-studded cucumbers to cute little bunnies, and produce an enticing and versatile array of sensations.
- Realisyic skin These beefy units look just like the real thing: veins, testicles and all. Internally powered by batteries, these vibes are perfect for people who love intercourse with a powerful twist.
- G-Spot vibrator Usually long and slim with a tilted end, G-Spot vibrators are designed to reach that elusive place within every woman. Guys will also love what these vibes do for their prostates.
- Contoured vibrators These discreet units resemble anything but the male member. Ergonomically designed to fit the female body, these smooth, plastic vibrators have a slightly hourglass shape.
- Japanese style vibrators These insertable vibrators often have a small animal, such as a rabbit, bear, dolphin or beaver, perched near the base of the vibrator and facing forward. In addition to making you giggle, your animal friend will provide clitoral vibrations when you insert the unit into your vagina. Fancy models also come equipped with a rotating band of beads or "pearls," which provides G-Spot stimulation. Before you go out and purchase one of these fabulous (and expensive) tools, consider what you're buying. Can you handle simultaneous clitoral, vaginal and G-Spot stimulation? You betcha!
While any kind of vibrator can be used on the clitoris, certain vibrators were specifically designed to tease your lovebud. The most common type of clitoral vibe is small, egg-shaped and attached to a multi-speed battery pack by a long cord. Variations on the basic design include more narrow, bullet-shaped vibes, and vibrators shaped like cats, bunnies, bears, dewdrops, miniature rocket vibrators and large human tongues. Whichever design you choose, basic operation is the same: enjoy focused vibrations at varying speeds and intensities. The best thing about these handy little vibes is their level of control: all the fancy bells and whistles ensure you get precisely the clitoral pulse you require for a mind-shattering orgasm.
Clitoral vibes are for external use only - while some units claim they can be inserted vaginally, these vibes should never be inserted anally. And to be safe, we'd recommend you just keep things on the outside. As many of these "novelty" vibrators are of specious design, it's entirely possible for the vibrating unit to become detached from the cord and lodge itself somewhere you can't quite reach. While this kind of situation is hilarious for emergency room personnel, it's probably not something you want to experience.
Large, obtrusive and ostensibly intended for body massage, electric vibrators provide an incredibly powerful genital buzz. The Hitachi Magic Wand is the longtime favorite of electric vibe enthusiasts, but many other brands of wand will suffice quite nicely. Usually about a foot long, these vibes plug into a wall socket and usually have variable-speed controls. The unit consists of a long handle topped with a soft, vibrating head approximately the size and shape of a tennis ball. While you can, technically, use these vibrators for back and body massage, we highly recommend squeezing them between your thighs for an intense rush of electricity. Not for the timid.
A variation on the standard electric wand, the coil vibrator is reminiscent the battery-operated manicure sets popular in the 1980s. About the size and shape of a handheld electric mixer, the coil vibrator is topped with an interchangeable set of heads, which can include soft, round, bumpy and textured tips. This vibe produces an incredibly intense sensation and is almost noise-free. Some women find the sensation too intense; others just can't get enough.
Numerous attachments are available for both wand and coil-style electric vibrators. Ranging from the tame to the utterly wacky, these attachments can include suction cups, G-Spot wands, dual penetrators, cups, bulbs and soft rubber rings. We recommend trying the wand or coil alone, then adding attachments as your sense of adventure dictates.
Designed to resemble a harness or pair of G-string panties, the butterfly vibe is a small, intense vibrator held fast to a woman's clitoris for an intense, localized vibration. The miniature motor is housed in a plastic casing resembling a butterfly, dragonfly or some other kind of cute forest creature. The sensations produced by these happy little critters can be incredibly strong - too strong for some women's tastes. If you enjoy a deep, intense vibration, the butterfly vibe might be a great option for you, especially if you fancy wearing it out of the house. Yes, it's true: some women really get a kick out of wearing their vibrating panties to work. And why not? A quick rush of blood to the groin area might be just what you need to get through the day at your boring 9 to 5 job. For added excitement, try the remote-controlled panty. Your significant other will enjoy randomly turning you on and off during a movie, grocery shopping trip, bowling game, etc. Warning: the butterfly vibe does make noise, so only use it if you're relatively alone ... or if you don't care if people know your little secret.
While many butterfly vibrators have larger harnesses that make them only good for solo use, a number of newer models have been designed with less obtrusive harnesses and smaller units so that they can be worn during intercourse, adding clitoral vibrations to the excitement of penetration.
Finding the Right Level of Vibration
It's true that the intensity of modern day vibrators can range from very gentle and designed purely for relaxation to a vibration that's absolutely over powering and, quite frankly, uncomfortable. The level of vibration that will please any individual is completely variable, but we can offer some tips. Always start with your vibrator on its lowest intensity setting and then experiment with the higher settings to see what feels most comfortable for you. If your vibrator is simply too powerful, don't despair! Many women enjoy diffusing the vibrations from their vibrator by placing a towel or piece of cloth over any external vibrating units. This trick has been raved about for years.