Never owned a sex toy before, but curious to try one? Read on for our guide to choosing one that meets your needs.
Types of toy
There is a truly overwhelming selection of sex toys out there, and if you're new to toys you might not know where to start. We've broken down the main types of toys you can expect to encounter below.
For those with vaginas/vulvas, these are the main types of toys:
Internal/G spot stimulation: Insertable vibrators and dildos are designed to stimulate the internal erogenous zones such as the G-spot. If they vibrate, they can be held in place to provide pleasurable sensations. They can also manually thrusted in and out to simulate the feeling of intercourse, and there are even some toys that do the thrusting for you such as the Fun Factory Stronic Petite.
External/Clitoral stimulation: These range from manual or vibrating pads for grinding your vulva against, to vibrators designed to be held against the clitoris. Clitoral vibes can range from very small bullet vibes to very large and powerful wand vibrators, or even 'suction' vibes that pulse air on your clitoris and are designed to mimic the sensation of oral sex.
Dual vibrators: These have two 'arms' - one that is for inserting into the vagina, and one that is external and is for stimulating the clitoris. They are often called 'rabbit' vibes due to the fact that many dual vibes have a structure that resembles rabbit ears that are designed to vibrate on either side of your clitoris. Dual vibrators can give the best of both worlds since they stimulate both the external clitoris and the internal G-spot at the same time.
For those with penises, the main types of toys available are:
Masturbation sleeves/strokers: These are tube-shaped toys that you can put your penis into. They can be manual, meaning you have to move the toy back and forth on your penis, or powered to provide vibration or a sucking sensation that is meant to simulate oral sex. They can engulf the entire penis, which work best when you have an erection, or only the glans (head), which can feel good any time.
C-rings (aka cock rings): these are designed to be worn around the base of the penis and/or testicles. While many c-rings are designed primarily to keep more blood flow in the penis and provide a firmer erection, some c-rings vibrate and are designed to be worn during intercourse, providing pleasure to both you and your partner.
U-shaped vibrators: These toys have a U-shaped vibrating section that is designed to cup the penis anywhere along the length that feels good! They can be held between you and your partner's bodies during intercourse to make your penis vibrate, similar to a vibrating c-ring.
It's not just your genitals that you can use sex toys on - for many people, the anus is also a great erogenous zone, and having a toy in your butt can stimulate the prostate (an internal erogenous zone that penis-owners have) or the G-spot for vulva-owners. There are many toys designed for butt play:
Butt plugs: These are designed to be put in the rectum and left in place during other sexual activity such as intercourse. For many people, the feeling of fullness in the rectum from a butt plug amplifies the other good sensations they get from sex. Butt plugs come in a range of shapes and sizes. If you've never tried anal play before, it's a good idea to start with something small and non-intimidating as you'll want to be able to relax enough to insert the toy without discomfort. Butt plugs can be vibrating or non-vibrating - there are even plugs that simulate the sensation of rimming (having someone orally stimulate your anus).
Anal beads: These toys consist of rounded beads that are strung together. They are designed to be inserted and then gently pulled out, providing pleasurable sensation when pulled out due to the size difference between the beads and the string.
Dildos/vibrators designed for insertion: Many dildos and internal vibrators that can be used vaginally can also be used anally in the same way - with one important caveat: the toy must have a flared base. Why? Because unlike the vagina (which is a short tube with a 'dead end'), the rectum can actively suck things up into it, meaning a toy without a flared base can end up lodged high up in your colon and potentially result in an expensive trip the emergency room. A flared base prevents the toy from being completely pulled into your body.
An example - this Aubergine Stinger Mini dildo has a base that is flared enough for safe anal penetration:
But this Glas Chilli Pepper dildo does not, and is only safe for vaginal play:
A final tip - for all anal play, we recommend using plenty of lube. The anus is not self-lubricating like the vagina, so to make things comfortable and not painful, be sure to use a body-safe lubricant (see here for our lube guide).
Features and other considerations
To vibrate or not vibrate? All the types of toys mentioned above can be found in vibrating or non-vibrating varieties. Which is right for you? If you enjoy manual stimulation such as thrusting or grinding, a non-vibrating toy might work great for you. But if you need a little extra stimulation to reach orgasm, have physical limitations that make it hard for you to use a manual toy, or just want to experience next-level sensation, a vibrating toy is worth a try.
Material: There are only a handful of body-safe materials for sex toys (see our guide on that here):
Silicone is the most common material you'll encounter - it's versatile, can be firm or soft, and is more affordable than some other materials. Silicone toys are not compatible with silicone-based lubricants, however - so stick to water or oil-based lubes.
ABS plastic is a hard plastic and very affordable. You often find it used on the buttons or accents on sex toys, but toys such as some bullet vibes are made completely of it.
Borosilicate glass toys are durable and silky smooth. They are great for temperature play (heat it up gently or put it in the fridge before use) and require less lube than silicone toys. They have some weight to them, which can feel super nice inside your body as you move around.
Metal toys are typically made of stainless steel but can also be gold or silver. Like glass, they are hefty, durable and great for temperature play.
Wood can be a great toy material, as long as it has a finish that is non-porous and body-safe, such as the medical grade polymer that NobEssense use on their toys.
Price: Sex toys can range in price from very affordable (around $15) to very pricey ($1000+), so there's something for every budget. You do get what you pay for: more expensive toys will have more advanced features such as being waterproof and rechargeable, have better build quality and so will last longer, and may be more powerful and better engineered (so more pleasurable to use!). Cheaper toys will compromise on some of these points.
We recommend buying your first toy instore rather than online: In store at Aphrodisia, you can handle testers for all our toys before you buy, allowing you to see exactly what you're buying - how big or small it is, how it vibrates, what it feels like to hold. Our knowledgeable staff can also offer recommendations and answer any questions you may have, meaning you are more likely to go home with something that satisfies you.
While we recommend you come in store to buy your first toy, we thought we'd list a few of our favorite and most popular toys to inspire you.
Happy Rabbit Classic G spot Vibe (SHOP)
Happy Rabbit are our favourite rabbit vibrators due to their powerful, rumbly vibrations. Two strong motors - one in the shaft providing 12 amazing vibration patterns, and one in the ears providing 3 intensities. The curved shaft targets the G-spot for intense stimulation and fast orgasms.
Magic Wand rechargeable (SHOP)
Often considered the cadillac of external vibes, the Magic Wand rechargeable is the wireless version of the original - a decades-old design that has proven ever popular because it works! The magic wand is a very powerful vibe with a flexible silicone head and neck. The large surface of the head and rumbly vibrations mean that you don't have to be super precise in where you target it - it's going to feel good everywhere!
There are also a range of attachments for the magic wand that can be used to quickly turn it into a dual vibe, stroker, and more.
We-vibe Tango X bullet vibe (SHOP)
The Tango X is small but packs a punch - it produces powerful, rumbly vibrations. The silicone handle offers a more comfortable grip than some plastic bullets. One of We-vibes best sellers for over 10 years - it's not hard to see why!
Unihorn clitoral vibrators (SHOP)
Practical AND adorable, the Unihorn clitoral vibe line comes in three varieties: Mount'n Peak has a swirling tongue, Bean Blossom has a flicking tongue, and Heart Throb has a pulsating mouth. All three have dual motors and 20 vibration patterns, so you can pick the mouth action that works best for your clit. Or collect the whole set!
FunFactory Stronic Petite (SHOP)
FunFactory are known for producing innovative, ergonomic toys with powerful motors. The Stronic Petite is no exception - it is self-thrusting and can be used hands free! Its petite size makes it easy to insert for G-spot stimulation and great for beginners.
Arcwave Pow stroker (SHOP)
The Pow is a manual stroker with dual entry - one tighter hole and one looser hole - so you can pick the hole that fits you best, or switch it up each time! The sleeve is made from body-safe silicone and is removable for easy clean up.
Hot Octopuss Pulse Solo Essential (SHOP)
This glans stimulator can be used when erect or flaccid. It has 5 vibration modes and 8 speeds, a powerful motor and is fully waterproof. The glans is the most sensitive part of the penis, so we're confident this one will feel good.
B-vibe Snug Plug (SHOP)
The Snug Plug is an ultra-comfortable, weighted butt plug that is designed to provide a sensual feeling of fullness. B-Vibe Snug Plugs can be worn during partner sex or enjoyed anytime. Snug Plugs are made of body-safe, seamless silicone and feature a thin, flexible neck and a smooth grip, flared handle. Snug plugs come in a range of sizes from small (perfect for anal play newbies) to a whopping 4XL for those who really love being filled up.