Vibrator 101: Recommendations for Beginners

“Happiness is what sex is all about. Sex toys enhance one of the most playful and liberating parts of adult lives. For many women, a good vibrator can mean the difference between having orgasms and just wondering about them.” Sex Toys 101: A Playfully Uninhibited Guide,” Rachel Venning & Claire Cavanah, Founders: Toys in Babeland.

So you’ve decided that you want to buy a vibrator but you don’t know where to start. Read on! First, congratulate yourself for shelving the shame and mustering the courage to claim your right to experience sexual pleasure on your own terms! Buying a first sex aid/toy can be a huge and empowering step for many women.

Walking into a store for the first time that sells vibrators and other sex products can be terrifying including stores that are sex-positive, bright, open and women-staffed. Our culture does not support a positive view of sex toys, and as a result, many of us can feel loads of shame around the very thought of owning and using a sex toy and can erroneously equate all such products and stores with XXX windowless porn shops and their attendant sleaze factor. With the proliferation of high-end, high quality sex aids and sex-positive, women-owned stores it’s time to rethink sex toys and how they can be part of our sexual fun and our sexual health!

Remember that while sex is many things for many people, for me it is above all else about deep connection—with our partners and with ourselves. In this context, a vibrator, dildo or other product cannot possibly threaten or replace your partner, if you are with a partner—a sex toy can only enhance your joint and solo sexual experiences. Anyone who is threatened by a partner’s use of a sex aid is missing a wonderful opportunity to explore pleasure together and deepen connectivity through shared learning and vulnerability.

Buying a vibrator or dildo also can be intimidating because of the sheer number of products on the market—how in the world is anyone supposed to know what to buy? Thus, I recommend the following:

Look online (or in a book) first, but buy from a store: A first time buyer can relax a great deal by looking at sex aids online before heading into a store. Simply being exposed to the range of available products, features, what they look like and how they operate can go a long way to alleviating fear. That said, there is nothing that will normalize buying a sex toy more than going into a place where people are comfortable talking about sex and can answer your questions! More on this next week. You can also pick up a copy of the wonderful book, Sex Toys 101: A Playfully Uninhibited Guide,” Rachel Venning & Claire Cavanah, Founders: Toys in Babeland.

Keep it simple but buy high quality: Given that most women need direct clitoral stimulation to experience orgasm, staring with a simple external vibrator is a good way explore. Plan to purchase a vibrator made with high-end materials such as medical grade silicone. Avoid cheap toys with jelly-like textures as most are manufactured with the toxin pthalates, which readily absorb into delicate genital tissues. The following are a few good options for the beginner:

LELO products: According to its website, LELO, a Swedish Company, “LELO is the world’s leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products.” Locally, you will find LELO products displayed at high-end distributors such as the eco-conscious Eugene store “As You Like It,” Broadway Apothecary, and “Good Clean Love” corporate offices. Several good beginner options include the MIA-2, SIRI-2, and NEA.

Jimmyjane: Also offering high-end products, Jimmyjane (love that name!) of San Francisco states that it ”is a design-centric brand founded on the belief that life is better with a sexy twist. [It] designs products and experiences to provide pleasure, strengthen connection and create provocative possibility.Like LELO products, you will find Jimmyjane products at the above locations. Two models you may wish to consider: Iconic Bullett and Little Chroma.

BMS: A Canadian sex toy company, BMS offers the Palm Power, which is receiving rave reviews for its power-packed delivery in a lightweight package. Previously, the Hitachi Wand ruled the heavy-hitters of vibrators, yet its delivery was compromised by its heaviness. The Palm Power delivers all the vibration without fatiguing arm muscles! The Palm Power may be ideal for the woman whose orgasm has diminished in strength, or who has not experienced orgasm at all—or for a long time!

Whatever first vibrator you choose, remember, you are worth it, and you have every right to experience intense sexual pleasure and connection!

Next week: Where is a girl to go to buy a sex aid/toy?