Buying a Vibrator

buying a vibrator shopping bag

Buying your first vibrator or an additional vibrator can be an intimidating experience! Even if you have owned one before, the technology and materials behind these products are continually changing.

Understanding the features each device provides is important when making a selection. Use this guide to understand some of the "basics of vibrators." Our recommendations will always focus on body safe vibrators made from materials that are known to be non-porous and safe for a woman’s health.

Styles of Vibrators

External stimulation

Most vibrators can be used for external or clitoral stimulation (approximately 75% of women are only able to orgasm from clitoral stimulation). Some vibrators for women are designed only for external stimulation. Some might be shaped to fit a woman’s anatomy or designed as a “lay-on” vibrator that can rest on the pelvis while laying down. Other types of external vibrators include bullet vibes and wand massagers.

Consider choosing an external vibrator with a full range of vibration so that different levels of intensity and various patterns can be experimented with.

External vibrator styles

  • Bullet vibrator: typically very simple, small (about 3” in length) and affordable. It is designed for external use and can sometimes be used in tandem with a non-vibrating toy. Examples include: We-Vibe Tango and Jimmyjane Iconic Bullet Vibrator.
  • Lay-on vibrator: usually curved to fit a woman’s pelvis and can “lay on” the body while laying down. Examples include: LELO Lily 2, Mimic and We-Vibe Wish.
  • Wearable vibrator: designed to fit within the folds of the labia or worn on the hand. Examples include: Eva 2 and the Fin.
  • Wand massager or vibrator: large and powerful, these can be rechargeable but are often corded. Can also be used with attachments. Examples include: Magic Wand and Doxy Die-Cast Massager

Internal stimulation

Around 25% of women are able to orgasm from penetration (this could be due to the clitoris being stimulated indirectly during penetration). If you are purchasing your first vibrator, choose a vibrator with average girth (about 1” to 1.5”) and little or no texture like the Jimmyjane Iconic Smoothie or the B Swish Bgee Classic.

Internal vibrator styles

  • Smoothie: a classic style that is straight and made of smooth plastic. Examples include: Jimmyjane Iconic Smoothie
  • G-Spot: a curved vibrator or one with a slight bump or angle towards the end to stimulate a woman’s G-Spot. Examples include: LELO Gigi 2 and We-Vibe Nova.
  • Petite: smaller and shorter in size than most internal vibrators (4”-5”), these are useful for women with a tilted uterus or a shorter vaginal canal. Examples include: Jimmyjane Form 4 and Fun Factory Jam.
  • Large: wider (girthier) and/or longer than most internal vibrators, these are recommended for women with a longer and wider vaginal canal or those looking for a “fuller” feeling. Examples include: We-Vibe Rave and Fun Factory Moody.

External and internal stimulation

A duo-style or “rabbit” vibrator will stimulate both internally and externally. These types of vibrators may also include rotation or pulsating, for additional sensation. Typically, duo-style vibrators have motors for internal and external stimulation that can be controlled separately. Examples include: Je Joue Fifi and LELO Ina Wave.

Stimulation for both partners

Couples-style vibrators can be found in various shapes and sizes and are often wearable for either the man or the woman so they can be used hands-free. In a couples vibrator like the We-Vibe style, the toy is inserted and worn by the woman, following the curves of the vaginal canal to allow room for penetration. The woman can then experience both internal vibration and the external, clitoral stimulation.

Couples vibrator styles

  • C-shaped vibrator: worn by the woman during intercourse to stimulate internally and externally. Examples include: We-Vibe Sync and We-Vibe Unite.
  • Vibrating erection ring: worn by the man, this is an erection ring that would provide external stimulation for the woman through an additional portion of the toy that extends from the front. The man receives constriction and stimulation at the base of the penis or at the perineum. Examples include: Je Joue Mio Erection Ring and Hot Octopuss Atom Erection Ring.

Vibration types and levels

Types

Vibrators may indicate several different types of vibration which is related to how the motor is designed. These could include: buzzing, oscillating, rumbling or pulsating. It may take a few vibrators before figuring out what type of vibration feels right for you.

Levels

If one is having trouble having an orgasm or does not have one frequently, something with significant power might be most helpful. A vibrator with a good continuous range that goes from very low to very high can help discover the best level. Every woman is different, and sensitivity may also change over time. Strong motors are also great for helping women push past where they normally might stop themselves.

Materials

What size and texture do you feel most comfortable with?

Vibrators are made of a variety of materials. The products we offer are all made with quality body-safe materials that are phthalates-free. Phthalates are a group of chemicals added to hard plastics to soften the material and make it more flexible. They are commonly found in lower-quality vibrators. Some studies have shown phthalates to potentially cause health risks and, unfortunately, there is not enough data to show exactly how harmful they can be. To be on the safe side, all of the products we represent do NOT include them.

Hard Plastic (ABS), Lucite and Acrylic

  • Non-porous, hard, shiny and transmits vibration very well
  • Usually safe for people concerned with sensitivity issues
  • Clean with your favorite device cleaner
  • Safe with any lubricant

100% Silicone

  • Made from the highest medical-grade polymers
  • Pliable, durable material that does not contain phthalates
  • Non-porous and hypoallergenic.
  • Retains heat for a more realistic feeling
  • Clean with your favorite toy cleaner; can be sterilized
  • Use with water-based lubricants only

PLEASE NOTE: A vibrator only has to be 10% silicone to say silicone on the manufacturer label; be sure it is 100% silicone. ALL of the vibrators and devices on MedAmour that are labeled “Silicone” are 100% Silicone

Non-vibrating devices

Glass

  • Non-porous and hypoallergenic
  • Great for G-Spot or P-Spot stimulation
  • Clean with your favorite toy cleaner; can also be sterilized
  • Safe with any type of lubricant
  • Can be cooled down or warmed up for different temperature sensations

Lubricant

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of lubricant! Menopause, pregnancy, medications, medical treatments and other conditions affect your hormones and the amount of natural lubricant you produce. Lube can help! Many conditions can benefit from the soothing and slippery assistance lubricant supplies. In addition, condoms, vibrators and other devices can absorb a lot of natural moisture. Choose a good water-based lube that works with any type of vibrator material.

Cleaning

It is important to keep vibrators clean, dust and bacteria-free to avoid infection or irritation. Clean them with soap and warm water or an antibacterial toy cleaner before and after each use. You may also consider keeping them in an anti-bacterial storage bag or bin. A device like the Uvee can clean, charge and store your toys.

Power Source

There are three main types of power for vibrators.

Battery-operated

There is nothing worse than running out of batteries! Fresh and high-quality batteries make a big difference in a vibrator's performance. If purchasing a battery operated vibrator, please be sure to have plenty of batteries on hand.

Rechargeable

When using a rechargeable device, try keeping it plugged in next to the bed. Whenever not in use, plug in the device or set it on the charger to be ready anytime! After purchasing a vibrator for the first time, the toy may already be charged or it may require a longer charging time to start. Check your instructions for the indicated proper charging time.

Electric

Vibrators powered by electricity or that have a cord typically provide the most power. These types of vibrators have long cords and can only be used when they are plugged in.

Myths & misconceptions around vibrators

Q. Can people become addicted to vibration?

The concern here is that if a person tries vibration, they might never be satisfied with sex or other stimulation with their partner. The best way to explain this is that we teach our bodies to respond sexually to certain types of stimulation. If the same thing is done over and over, the body will learn to respond to that. As long as the types of stimulation vary, (penetration, manual stimulation, other vibrators, etc,) a person will not become "addicted" to a specific type. The good news is that the body can always be retrained to respond sexually to something else.

Q. Can vibrators replace a partner?

Vibrators are not replacements, they're accessories! Vibrators are objects that people cannot create relationships with or create intimacy with. Instead, they can help create intimacy between couples when used during lovemaking or to help regain one’s libido and interest in sex.

Q. What happens if I tried it once and didn't like it?

Keep an open mind and try everything at least three times before deciding. Hormonal changes throughout the month change a woman's sensitivity. Different angles and positions can also create different effects to discover. Also, be careful of personal recommendations because what is great for one person may be very different for another person.

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