When you’re looking to add some variety, novelty, and extra pleasure to your sex life - whether you’re playing solo, having sex with a partner, mutually masturbating and more - sex toys are a great (and very enjoyable) way to go.
You might think of something like a rabbit vibrator or dildo when you think ‘sex toy’, but really, any device or tool designed to provide sexual pleasure can be defined as a sex toy - even if orgasm isn’t the end goal. Some sex toys, like bondage gear, for instance, provide unique physical stimulation and new sensations that can help you explore new sexual dynamics with your partner, or with yourself.
The sheer number and variety of sex toys available these days can be confusing - even a little intimidating. Where to start? You’ll want to think about what type of stimulation you find most pleasurable, or what types of pleasure you’re interested in exploring. Then, it’s time to play!
Here, we’ll be sharing some must-have sex toy information, top toy categories, and how each sex toy can and should be used for your - or your partner’s - maximum pleasure.
How To Use: A Dildo
What is a dildo?
A dildo is a type of sex toy that’s meant to penetrate the vagina or anus and anal canal, but dildos can certainly be used orally, or for external teasing, too. Dildos are often phallic or penis shaped, but they can also be completely non-detailed.
Dildos generally don’t vibrate (some do, though), so you or your partner will need to move or thrust it. Many dildos come complete with a suction base, faux testicles, or both. If your dildo has a suction base, it can be attached to walls, floors and many other flat surfaces. Hands-free, anyone?
What does a dildo do?
Many folks will use a dildo to recreate the sensation of penetrative sex with a partner, or to reach and stimulate inner erogenous zones, like the g-spot and prostate. Dildos also star in most strap-on and/or harness play scenarios, including pegging.
What types of dildos are there?
Dildos come in many, many sizes and shapes, from long and thin to short and girthy, curvy, straight or anything (and we do mean anything!) in between. If you’re looking for a dildo to stimulate specific sweet spots, like the g-spot or prostate, there are plenty of curvy and contoured dildos available. Love the look and feel of a penis? You’ll be in luck with a realistic dildo. For tons of creative penetration options, solo or with a partner, try a double-ended dildo.
Dildos come in a wide range of materials, including glass, metal and silicone. If you like a softer touch, go with a silicone dildo. If you like to play with temperature and love lots of firmness, pick out a glass or steel dildo.
Size-wise, you’ll want to choose carefully, depending on how you’re going to be enjoying your dildo. A larger dildo will usually stretch and stimulate more dramatically, while a smaller version will feel more manageable to folks looking for a more subtle penetration sensation. Read the measurements carefully, particularly if you’ll be using your dildo with a harness or strap-on system.
How do I use a dildo?
How you use your dildo will largely depend on what type of pleasure or stimulation you’re seeking, and what body part(s) it’s going to be penetrating. Whether you’re using your dildo vaginally or anally, alone or with a partner, go slow, use lots of lube, and pay attention to what feels good - or what they tell you feels good. Experiment with different depths, thrusting speeds and positions to stimulate internal pleasure places. If you’ll be using your dildo for anal penetration, please be sure to choose one with a large base, balls, or a handle.
How To Use: A Vibrator
What is a vibrator?
A vibrator is a sex toy that can be used for vaginal or anal penetration and/or all-over external stimulation. Vibration comes courtesy of an embedded motor, which can be powered by electricity or a rechargeable or standard battery.
What does a vibrator do
Well, it vibrates! A motor causes very fast inner oscillations, which can be felt through the surface of your vibe. When vibration is applied to your skin, it causes blood vessels to dilate. Dilation increases blood flow to nerve endings, which triggers pleasure receptors. It also signals your brain to release feel-good endorphins. That, in a nutshell, explains the magic of a vibrator.
What type of vibrators are there?
Soooooo many! Seriously, from the most discreet little bullet vibe to the beloved rabbit vibe and the mack daddy Magic Wand, we can pretty much guarantee that there’s something for everyone.
Plenty of folks reach for their trusty vibrators when they’re craving direct, tireless stimulation with an orgasm in mind, but orgasm doesn’t have to be the endgame. Vibration feels good body-wide.
Small vibrators, like the compact pocket rocket or bullet vibrator are a great choice for vibrator newcomers. Folks craving more length and power may like a more traditional vibrator, many of which can be used for penetration and/or external stimulation. The beloved rabbit vibrator is designed for penetration and clitoral or external stimulation at the same time, and is a go-to for anyone seeking a toe-curling blended orgasm. Some vibrators provide a double penetration experience, some were specifically designed for anal penetration or prostate stimulation, and some are wearable or harness and strap-on compatible. Thrusting dildos and vibrators mimic the movements of penetrative sex by propelling back and forth.
We mentioned the Magic Wand above, and we’ll reference it again to tell you that the wand and massagers like it remain one of the top selling and best-loved vibrators of all time. Wand massagers, along with bullet vibes, clitoral vibes and many finger vibrators, are often used to stimulate external areas like the clitoris, nipples, penis tip, outer anal areas, but of course, they’re not limited to any specific body part.
How do I use a vibrator?
The vibrator is possibly the most versatile of all adult toys, and there are a million and one ways you and your partner can enjoy some good vibrations. Vibrators can stimulate any body part or area that you or your partner finds erogenous. This includes some of the most obvious below-the-belt areas, but also the inner thighs, underarms, or feet. The journey is half the fun, as they say, so spend some time experimenting with vibrator placement, position and situation. Most vibrators feature multiple vibration rhythms, settings and intensities, so the sky’s the limit, sensation-wise. Go slow, take your time, and pay attention to what feels good.
If you’re planning some penetration, be sure to stock up on a good body-safe lubricant beforehand. Some extra slip ‘n slide can make just about any type of sexy play feel amazing, but lube is particularly important when the anal area is involved.
How To Use: A Cock Ring
What is a cock ring?
A cock ring – also known as a penis ring, love ring, erection ring, or enhancer ring – is a circular band or strap that fits over the base of a penis (or dildo), or over base and balls. Some are very plain and no-frills, while others are fancier. Standard cock rings don’t vibrate, but (surprise!) vibrating cock rings do.
What does a cock ring do?
In some cases, a cock ring is used to help keep blood in the shaft of a penis. When a penis-owner is aroused, blood flow to the penis increases, and ta da! Erection. A cock ring constricts the base of the penis, trapping blood in the shaft and helping to keep that erection firm. Many cock rings come with an added vibration feature, which helps make sex feel even better for everyone involved.
What types of cock rings are there?
In the most basic form, a cock ring is a simple band or strap. A cock ring can be worn over the base of the penis only, or over the base of the penis and scrotum simultaneously. Many cock rings are made of soft materials, like silicone, but there are firmer options in metal or even glass, too.
Vibrating cock rings feature that same core band or strap, but add in vibrating bullets or built-in vibes above or below (or above and below) the ring. Plenty of vibrating cock rings are remote-controlled, while others feature an attached butt plug.
How do I use a cock ring?
You or your penis-owning partner can use a cock ring during partnered sex, or to extend a masturbation session. Vibrating cock rings, by the way, are just as great for masturbation as for sex with a partner - alone, they offer lots of added buzz, and together, you’ll both feel the pleasure.
If you’re a cock ring beginner, or aren't looking for a tight grip, go with a softer, stretchier cock ring in a larger size. Smaller rings will feel tighter and more intense - same goes for a firmer c-ring material. Use some of your favorite water based lube to help get your cock ring into that perfect position.
How To Use: A Masturbator
What is a masturbator?
Also known as a sleeve or stroker, a masturbator is a sex toy designed for penetration, usually by a penis. Some are small and meant to be held in your (or your partner’s) hand, while others are larger and more anatomically realistic.
What does a masturbator do?
Usually soft and textured, masturbators are meant to be either partially or fully penetrated during masturbation. Some are designed to look and feel like oral, anal or vaginal sex, but others are non-detailed.
What types of masturbators are there?
You’ve probably seen a masturbator or stroker sleeve, even if you weren’t aware of it! Self contained strokers like the Main Squeeze make a point of being discreet. The soft inner sleeve / hard outer case design is super popular, but plenty of folks love the look and feel of more lifelike vagina, ass and mouth pocket strokers or real-sized masturbators, too. Some come modeled after adult film stars, and others can be mounted on a solid surface so you can thrust into them instead of holding them in your hand during masturbation.
Vibrating strokers offer extra sensation, while mechanized, or auto strokers do the work for you.
How do I use a masturbator?
Preference is key when choosing a masturbator. Some penis-owners crave more detail when it comes to their strokers, while others want a simple sleeve to add extra sensation to solo sessions or manual stimulation with a partner. On the other hand, full size masturbators and love dolls are always up for realistic fantasy fulfillment.
Whatever type of masturbator you choose, using lots of lubricant is key! Apply it inside and out, and to yourself. Then, stroke - or have your partner stroke - at a pace that feels best.
How To Use: A Penis Pump
What is a penis pump?
A penis pump is a device that uses suction or internal pressure to draw blood into the penis, which can trigger an erection. Most are manual (you operate it), but some are automatic, powered by batteries or a rechargeable motor. Penis pumps can be used to aid erectile difficulties, enhance erection, and to get a penis harder, faster.
What does a penis pump do?
First off, contrary to popular belief, a penis pump won’t permanently increase your penis size. Penis pumps can, however, help you get an erection quickly, and, thanks to increased blood flow, may help your penis look bigger - temporarily.
What types of penis pumps are there?
For the most part, penis pumps follow along the same design-lines. A plastic or acrylic cylinder surrounds the penis as a squeeze ball, trigger handle or motor activates inner air pressure or suction. Many pumps include a soft sleeve or cover over the entrance to cushion skin and ensure a tight seal. Aside from encouraging erection, some pumps double as pleasure tools and feature lifelike cover shapes or added vibration. Some pumps, like Bathmate's, even feature a water-powered design.
How to use a penis pump
Generally, pumps are pretty user-friendly. To use one, insert your non-erect penis into the cylinder, get comfortable, and start gradually increasing inner pressure by squeezing the ball, pulling the trigger handle or activating the motor. Beginner pumpers should start slow, gradually increasing suction while getting used to the sensation. Always follow the pumping directions and safety precautions included with your pump.
How To Use: Anal Toys
What is an anal toy?
An anal toy is any sex toy designed for safe penetration of the rectum and/or anal canal. Some anal toys vibrate, and some are designed for targeted stimulation of the prostate gland.
What does an anal toy do?
The anal canal and opening is positively packed with sensitive nerve endings, so stimulation of the anus and surrounding / inner areas feels really good for a lot of people. The anal canal houses the prostate gland and runs parallel to the g-spot, so a properly chosen anal plug, dildo, probe or massager can bring on some serious pleasure.
What types of anal toys are there?
The best known of all the anal toys would have to be the butt plug. Tapered and generally smooth, the main function of a butt plug is to stretch, stimulate and provide a ‘full’ feeling that many folks adore. Butt plugs come in many materials, like glass and silicone, and there’s a wide variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate all levels (and preferences) of anal play.
Anal beads are also hugely popular. Shaped into several spheres or swells, anal beads add a pleasurable ‘pop’ as they penetrate or are removed. Like plugs, anal beads come in all sizes and shapes, and can work for beginners to advanced anal players.
Any good anal-intended dildo will feature a big, flared base, and for one very good reason. The anal canal doesn’t have an ‘end’, so if a toy slips too far inside, it could become hard to remove. A big base will help prevent that from happening.
Some anal tools are meant to be worn by one person as they anally penetrate another - pegging is a great example of this. Strap-on and wearable dildos can be used for both anal and vaginal penetration, and there are many sizes, shapes and textures to choose from.
The prostate massager is another anal-specific type of sex toy that’s definitely worth a mention. Prostate massagers are designed to help target and stimulate the sensitive prostate gland, which is accessible via the anal canal. Many sex toys - including some butt plugs - are specially designed for p-spot pleasure, but some firm, curvy dildos or vibrators can work, too. Again, just be sure that any anal sex toy your using has a large base.
How to use an anal toy
First up: you’re going to need LOTS of lube, as the anal canal doesn’t self-lubricate. A lube designed for anal play is your best bet , it’ll be thicker than regular lube, and won’t dry out as quickly.
If you’re an anal play newcomer, start with a smaller - shorter and thinner - toy. You can explore what feels good, and size up from there. Always go slow - even slower than you think you should. If you feel pain or discomfort, stop! If you’re using an anal toy with a partner, check in often to be sure they’re comfortable.
Anal sex toys can be used on their own, or in combination with other toys. For instance, you can use a butt plug while stimulating yourself with a vibrator, or have a partner stroke you with a masturbator while you pop in some anal beads. Many anal toys can be worn during sex, provided they have a large, flared base.
How To Use: Bondage Toys
What are bondage toys?
Bondage, BDSM or S&M is a type of play that usually involves dominant and submissive power dynamics. Bondage toys, tools and accessories can help people explore their fantasies safely and pleasurably. Bondage play can involve restraint, impact play and infliction of pain for pleasure.
The world of bondage is vast and multifaceted, but informed consent is always a key factor. All partners need to be comfortable with the scenario at hand and all that it might entail.
What types of bondage toys are there?
Bondage toys run the gamut from beginner-friendly fuzzy handcuffs and silky blindfolds, to more intense whips, collars, and chastity cages. The type of bondage toy or tool that’ll work best for you depends entirely on what your specific bondage scene entails, or what you and your partner(s) find pleasurable. Some folks will be thrilled by a bit of silky ribbon, while others will want to deep-dive into impact play with a BDSM paddle, feel the pinch of some nipple clamps, or experiment with a urethral dilator.
How do I use bondage toys?
Consensually! It’s absolutely vital that anyone engaging in BDSM, with or without toys, carefully, openly and honestly discuss their desires, preferences, and boundaries with any partners who may be involved. No exceptions. Once you have enthusiastic and informed consent, bondage and S&M play can be extremely satisfying and fulfilling for folks that enjoy playing with sexual control dynamics. Play safe!