What to Know Before Buying a Vibrator

It is important to note, as we begin to talk about vibrators, that vibrators are not a substitute for a partner. They are a tool that can be used for pleasure, with or without a partner.

 

First, let’s talk about the difference between dildos, dongs, and vibrators. A dong has testicles or a base. A dildo does not. Both can be inserted and manually used to masturbate. Although if you use a dildo on yourself, do not put it in your butt. As sexual educators, Anne Hodder-Ship and Sunny Rodgers like to say, “Without a base, without a trace.” Vibrators can be shaped like dildos or dongs, but they vibrate. There are some vibrators, like a bullet vibe, that are tiny. Don’t put that in your butt either.

 

Power Source

 

(Image by RJA1988 from Pixabay)

 

Vibrators come in all shapes and sizes and many rely on a power source. Some need batteries, some you need to plug in, and others are rechargeable. In regards to batteries, there are two main types of batteries, alkaline, and lithium-ion lithium-ion batteries.

 

When using a vibrator that requires alkaline batteries make sure to remove the batteries when you are done. I found this out the hard way, after leaving alkaline batteries in my favorite vibrator the batteries begun to leak and ruined the sex toy. Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and say that they last for a long time, but really it’s 2-3 years. You also need to keep them at a certain level of charge, if you let them completely run out of power, then they won’t work.

 

(image via Good Vibrations)

 

Vibrations

 

Many vibrators offer more than one setting of vibrations.. If the package says that it oscillates, that means it goes in tiny circles. If it says it “pulsation” (or something along those lines) it moves in tiny arcs and “sonic” means it reverberates. “Thrusting” vibrators go up and down and suction vibrators provide vacuum pressure. If you’re in an adult store, you can always ask a sales associate if they could put batteries in the toy so you can feel how strong it is. They usually have tester batteries behind the counter for this purpose. Usually you have to buy the batteries separately.  

 

Materials

 

The material used for a vibrator is very important. After all, you are putting it inside of you. One of the most common materials used for vibrators is silicone. Silicone is odorless, tasteless, and cannot be used with silicone lube. If you are using these internally, I always recommend you put a condom on it. That way, it’s easier to clean up afterwards. However, most condoms that are lubricated tend to use silicone lube. Therefore, if you’re going to put a condom on a sex toy, use an unlubricated condom. Otherwise, the silicone lube will react with the silicone and make the toy porous and it will be easier for bacteria to grow. As you can imagine, this is not ideal, especially if you spent a lot of money on it.

 

Plastic is also common in the production of sex toys. However, these tend to be cheaply made and depending on the products used to make it and can be harmful for you body. Keep an eye out for TPE and TPR, which are nontoxic toys, but porous. They have an odor and a flavor so, put a condom on it. Lubricated condoms are fine for these types of toys.

 

PVC toys are made of carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and plasticizer. These come together that make a jelly. Sex toys made out of this  are very porous, but many people like them because they feel lifelike. If you want to put a condom on it, use a polyurethane condom.

 

Stainless steel and aluminum toys can be used with any lube, but beware if you have a nickel allergy.

 

Wood toys are body safe and can be used with any type of lube, just make sure there are no splinters.

 

Glass toys are good for transferring heat and don’t worry, it will not break inside of you.

 

(Image via Unbound Babes)

 

Cleaning and Storage

 

Please refer to the manufacturer for cleaning directions. Usually, you can buy a toy cleaner that you can spray on then rinse off with mild soap and water. Dry it before putting it away in a safe and dry place. Make sure to clean the sex toy before your first use!

Each toy needs something different and each body is different. Remember that what may be safe for you might not be safe for everyone else. There are so many sex toys out there, but with a little more research you can find the one of your dreams!