Buying Your First Vibrator: A Beginner's Guide

Buying Your First Vibrator: A Beginner's Guide

I bought my first vibrator at a seedy adult store with blacked-out windows and flashing lights proclaiming XXX-Adults Only! The experience was rather unsettling -- between the guy at the counter reading a girly magazine, and the wall of sex toys beckoning like phallic monstrosities -- I was very overwhelmed.

I grabbed the least intimidating toy on the shelf and walked up to the counter with trepidation, hoping this would be over quickly. It was a crappy toy made of questionable materials that ended up dying after just a few weeks. So much for my first sex toy experience.

pinup girl

Credit: Tiffany Baker on Flickr

These days, purchasing your first vibrator is both easier yet also more complicated. It is easy to browse sex toys online and read various reviews to get an idea of what type of toy you may like. However, because there are literally hundreds of thousands of sex toys to choose from, this also makes choosing a good sex toy much harder. From the huge array of buzzing, osculating, penetrating, tickling, nuzzling, music driven, battery operated or rechargeable objects of pleasure, where do you start?

Vibrators versus Dildos

Seventy percent of women reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation alone, rather than sexual penetration, so for most beginners a vibrator is the best place to start, rather than a dildo. And, while that narrows down your choices, there are still many types of vibrators to choose from and not all of them are ideal for beginners.

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Types of Vibrators

Bullets & Eggs

pink bullet

Bullets and egg vibrators are very small and usually fairly powerful for their size. They are discrete and fairly affordable (many under five dollars) for first-time buyers. They come in many various designs, range in speeds from single to multiple speeds and vibrating patterns. All are fairly simple to use and are perfect for a first time buyer. I recommend the 5 Function Pink Bullet with Controller, as it is multi-speed, has a nice velvet coating, and is reasonably priced for anyone who is on a budget.

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Pocket Rockets

pocket rocket

Pocket Rockets are the best selling small clitoral vibrators on the market. They look like mini pocket flashlights and are very discrete, affordable (most under ten dollars) and simple to use. I prefer them over bullets and eggs because they are easier to manipulate and hold on to, especially if you are wet or slippery with lube. Basic pocket rockets are one speed only, which is usually enough power for a younger woman. I recommend multiple speed rockets because you have more variation and you won’t outgrow them. These are a bit more expensive (about thirty dollars) but worth the investment. I recommend the Pocket Rocket Plus by Doc Johnson as a sure bet for a great clitoral vibe.

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Magic Wands & Body Massagers

magic wands

The Hitachi Magic Wand is the best selling and most powerful vibrator ever made, but it is often way too powerful for a first-time buyer. However, body massagers are much smaller, have more variations in speed and are some of my most favorite vibes. My all time favorite vibrator is the Mini Wand Massager, also known as the Fairy Wand). It costs about thirty dollars and plugs in to give you that extra oomph of power. This vibe is great for the beginner and expert vibe enthusiastic as it is multi-speed, but also very discrete and quiet.

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Other Types of Vibes

couples vibes

There are several other types of vibrators on the market, but none as ideal for beginners as the three types above. You've heard of Rabbit vibes (Sex and the City?). These vibes feature a vibrating dildo for penetration and clitoral stimulator (flickering rabbit ears) in one. They are much more sophisticated than clitoral-only vibes and may be too advanced for a beginner. In addition, I have never found one that fits perfectly to the female anatomy (everyone is different), so I struggle a lot trying to make these vibes work for me.

G spot vibes are dildos with a curved shape that facilitate G spot stimulation. Most beginners have a hard time stimulating their G spot, so I wouldn't recommend these to start with. Classic and phallic shaped vibes are more geared towards penetration and are not ideal for clitoral stimulation. Strap-on (butterfly) vibes and vibrating panties are not very comfortable, lack power and are hard to position where you want them (hello, clitoris!). Couple's vibes like the We-Vibe are very expensive, not very powerful, and though fun to play with, I don’t recommend them for beginners. Luxury vibes are usually very beautiful, discrete, but super expensive and often lack power as well.

Love Rings or vibrating cock rings are great for beginners who want to explore together. They are inexpensive, usually disposable, and can be a great addition to sex with a partner. But, since we are mainly talking about masturbation and self-pleasure here, we'll get back to them at another time.

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A Few More Tips

  • Be prepared to shop around. While buying online is discrete and you usually get more selection, buying at a local girl-friendly sex toy shop is ideal, as the sales reps can offer help with selection, and turn the vibe on for you, so you can check out the strength.
  • Test the strength of a vibrator on the tip of your nose (seriously!). Your nose has a similar sensitivity as your clitoris, so if it tickles, that tells you it will work for your clit as well.
  • Make sure the sales person puts in batteries and tests it for you before you take it home if you purchase in store.
  • Avoid materials that contain phthalates or other toxic chemicals. Stay away from jelly and rubber and choose plastic, silicone and elastomer. Also, plastic vibes like eggs and pocket rockets translate vibration better than softer materials.
  • Check if the store has a returns policy. Most do, but only if the toy breaks. Keep your receipt just in case.
  • Bring a friend (or boyfriend) with you for moral support. If shopping online, browsing with your guy can be pretty fun.
  • Some vibrators are waterproof, but many are not. Keep that in mind when you purchase, if you intend to use it in the bath or shower.
  • Women over forty typically need more power to get off than younger women. Massagers are perfect for women who need that extra boost.

So, that’s the rundown on buying your first vibe. I hope your experience will be much better than mine was. If you have any questions or would like further recommendations suited specifically to you, you can contact me via Pop My Cherry Review.

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Domina Doll is a sex toy diva, pleasure adviser and your guide to the G-spot, penning sex toy reviews and female sexuality articles at PopMyCherryReview.com. She is a regular contributor to several sexuality e-zines and has worked for various sex toy stores, where she gains valuable product knowledge and gets to test out many adult products. She currently has a collection of over 500 sex toys… and growing. This piece was originally published on PopMyCherryReview.com

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