It’s an often-asked question as there are so many products, styles, materials, and vendors to choose from with hard to differentiate descriptions that most people don’t find helpful. Unfortunately, like asking the question “where is the best place to go on vacation” or “what is the best type of food” the answer isn’t straightforward and there’s no universal favorite or best place for everyone to start.
That said, with a little information about you, there is some helpful guidance that can get quickly get you oriented in what will make you happy and that is what we tried to capture in the below guide. This particular guide for women or anyone with a vulva, primarily for the purpose of self-pleasure, as I will be covering how to choose a sex toy for couples and penises in a future article.
I find the best place to start the discussion is by asking you to put yourself into one of the two following categories.
1. I have no idea what I like sexually
Don’t worry, everyone starts here at some point and our website traffic shows that more people click this link than the other so you are in good company.
The first thing I always recommend is to explore your body with your fingers first. Sex toys can be an investment of your money and a challenging first step so you’ll want some idea of what feels good before jumping right in. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and it’s normal for your body to respond differently to stimulation than others so take pride in who you are and don’t focus on what you may see or read that other people like.
If you aren’t sure how to start exploring, try rubbing your clitoris gently in a circular motion. We recommend you use a small amount of lubrication on your finger first or insert a finger in your vagina if you are wet enough. The sensation will feel better with less friction. You can also trace your fingers up, down, and around the clitoral hood which is at the top of the clitoris and designed to protect this sensitive area or even pull back the hood and touch very gently.
After exploring external stimulations, try internal. Try inserting one or two fingers into your vagina and curve it upwards to your belly to try to locate the G-Spot. It can be very difficult to locate so don’t give up after a try or two. A lot of people enjoy internal and external stimulation at the same time. Try having a finger or two inside while rubbing the clitoris. See if it enhances the pleasure or if it takes away from the experience.
Also, consider any sexual experiences you may have had or try all of the above with your partner. What did you like that your partner did? What didn’t you enjoy as much? Recognize that sometimes other people touching you will feel differently than you do the same yourself.
I recommend doing this a few times on different days in different positions and always while in a relaxed mood – not after a stressful day of work or when dealing with people problems. Done? Good, proceed to the next section …
2. I have at least some idea what I like sexually
At this stage, we can start to rule out some things or focus on some specific categories of products right off the bat. Read through each of the two boxes below and see which one you best identify with.
|Your pleasure focused mostly on your clitoris… |
Look at the wands, bullets, and air pulse categories below.
|Your pleasure focused mostly on vaginal penetration…|
Look at the dildo, G-Spot vibrator, and dual stimulation categories below.
If you sample enough people that have tried all the different categories of toys, you will discover most find a wand is the most common favorite which makes it a great place to start. It’s also what most people picture when the word “vibrator” comes to mind. Wands are purely external toys and provide broad stimulation of the clitoris. In almost all cases, they are larger and noisier than other types so if discretion is important because of your living situation, consider starting with a bullet instead. Wands are most often subcategorized as plug-in or battery-powered, rumbly or buzzy, waterproof or not, and by varying degrees of power.
Without knowing or having detailed experience and preferences for all of those factors, for a first wand, we recommend the following based on a few things you may value:
If you value inexpensive, battery-powered portability, small, and waterproof – The FemmFunn Ultra Wand. It has a great blend of everything if you want something battery-powered while maintaining most of the power of its larger peers. It’s small, easy to travel with or hide in an inconspicuous location, and waterproof so it’s safe for use in the shower or bath.
If you value a lot of power and inexpensive – The Magic Wand Plus is an all-time great if portability is not important. This wand is near the very top of the power scale and is a great value for the price.
If you value battery-powered portability– The Magic Wand Rechargeable is the portal version of the Magic Wand Plus. It gives up a small amount of power from it’s plug in sibling but is conveniently portable.
If you value power above everything else – By all measures, the most powerful vibrator available is the Doxy Die Cast. It’s big, expensive but there’s nothing like it’s top tier power.
Bullets are smaller and always battery-powered vibrators. Because they have less surface area, they provide more focused stimulation of the clitoris and many can also be used for minimal vaginal insertion. They are a great option if you need to be discreet due to your living conditions – most are easy to hide and are usually quiet enough to not be heard from an adjacent room. In most cases, bullets will provide a buzzier vibration than the often-rumbly vibration of a wand and is a highly popular choice for many purchasing a first toy.
Without knowing or having detailed experience and preferences for all of those factors, for a first bullet, we recommend the following based on a few things you value:
If you value lots of power, very quiet, and inexpensive – The We-Vibe Tango X is the best of nearly all attributes for bullet vibrators and is a top seller on HappyBed. It has amazingly strong and rumbly power and very quiet operation while still being relatively inexpensive. This one is a category winner and as close to a universal favorite as there can be. That said, because of its tiny size, it’s not very useful for vaginal penetration and can be classified as a single-purpose toy.
If you value versatility – The Lelo Mona 2 is technically a G-Spot vibrator but the pointed tip of the insertable end is precise enough to be used as an effective bullet. It also means you are getting two toys in one as the Mona 2 is a highly sought-after G-Spot toy for its classic shape and deep, rumbly power. Because of its size and slightly louder operation, it’s not as discreet as the We-Vibe Tango X noted above.
If you value versatility while being very inexpensive – The FemmeFunn Ultra Bullet is a low-cost option while remaining body safe. It doesn’t have quite the powerful vibrations of the We-Vibe Tango X but it holds its own and is highly regarded as a low-cost alternative. It’s also longer than a typical bullet making it a versatile option to also use for vaginal penetration.
Air Pulse Vibrator
I must add a disclosure to the top of this category noting that although air pulse tops are among my personal favorites, some women don’t respond at all to them and others may even have a painful effect. Unless your heart is set on starting with one of these, it would be wise for me to recommend a wand or bullet for your first clitoral vibrator. See section 3 recommendations below in these categories if/when you are ready.
All Around, Remote Play, discreet – The We-Vibe Melt is one of the most popular items on HappyBed, and for good reason. It provides the highest power vibration and air pulse and has the added benefit of being app controlled and relatively quiet compared to others.
Luxury and lots of power – The Womanizer Premium matches the intensity and vibration quality of the Melt but comes in a moderately larger, more solid feeling product. It has technology that automatically senses pressure on your body and turns itself off automatically.
Inexpensive – Many of the inexpensive air pulse toys tend to produce an almost annoying buzzy pulsation that many people don’t like. The exception is the Womanizer Starlet 2 that rivals the quality and intensity of products twice its size and is a great value for its price.
While primarily designed and purchased for internal stimulation of the G-Spot, many G-Spot vibrators also make good products for direct clitoral stimulation like a bullet or wand. Sure, the vibration on your clitoris may not be as powerful as a wand or as pinpoint as a bullet but it does provide versatility that should be considered.
Without knowing or having detailed experience and preferences for all of those factors, for a G-Spot vibrator, we recommend the following based on a few things you value:
If you value versatility, strong pressure, and vibrations – The Lelo Mona 2 has a classic G-Spot vibrator shape that many others try to replicate while providing deep and strong rumbly vibrations. As noted in the bullet section above, the pointed tip of the insertable end is precise enough to be used as an effective bullet so you are getting two toys in one.
If you value remote play and deep, rumbly vibrations – The Lovense Lush 3 is plastered all over the internet for good reason. Its remote connectivity features are second to none and the vibrator itself provides deep, rumbly, hands-free power that makes this a fun choice to use by yourself or with a partner.
If you value inexpensive and versatility -The Pillow Talk Sassy is a surprisingly high-quality product for the $50 range. It’s covered in body-safe silicone and has a long round, bulbous end that makes finding and exploring your G-Spot an easy endeavor. And because of its long handle, it can also be used for external stimulation.
If you value high quality, temperature play, no vibration – The nJoy Pure Wand has legendary appeal as the preeminent G-Spot finder. Sure, it doesn’t have any vibration but you are in full control with the heavily weighted stainless-steel arm to locate and stimulate your G-Spot.
If penetration is your thing, there are so many sizes, shapes, and materials of dildos to explore. Because of this variety from manufacturers, this is definitely a category to be very careful with product safety and to do a lot of research on materials or purchase from a retailer, like HappyBed, that only sells body-safe toys direct from reputable manufactures. Unsafe knockoffs and visually appealing products that contain harmful chemicals are commonly advertised and sold on large retailers like Amazon and even specialty sex toy websites.
For a first dildo, pay more attention to the width than the length and note that products feel larger in person than look on a computer screen. If you have experience with a partner, use their size as a reference point. If not, start with something 1.3″ in width or smaller.
Luxury, temperature play – The Desirables Dalia is a truly unique product hand-made from porcelain. It’s a beautiful design and ultra-smooth porcelain finish is compatible with all lubes and just glides across the skin with ease. We love that the porcelain can be warmed or cooled to add additional sensation.
Dual use for vaginal and anal (with cleaning in between of course) – The nJoy Pure Wand is not only fantastic as a vaginal dildo, but its large bulb at either end makes it also great for anal use. Please note that only products with a well-flared base should be used in the anus. Otherwise, you run the risk of it getting stuck and having an embarrassing trip to the ER.
Realistic – VixenCreations is an artisan boutique maker of realistic, silicone dildos. Their Mustang is the standard in regular-sized dual-density dildos with a very realistic look and feel.
Non-realistic – The Avant series from Blush is a very economic line of safe, platinum silicone dildos. The P3 Beauty, D10 Ergo Mini Indigo, D15 Visions of Love, and D16 Purple Haze are all well-sized for first-time use.
Dual stimulation toys provide simultaneous vibration to both the G-Spot and clitoris at the same time. It’s a challenging endeavor that will take some practice.
Vibration based – If you want to experience a coveted blended orgasm with both clitoral and vaginal stimulation, the Lelo Ina 2 will do just that. With the same basic shape as the very popular Lelo Mona 2, the Lelo Ina 2 adds a clitoral arm that will vibrate the clitoris at the same time as your g-spot.
Air pulse based – Same as above but if you prefer the focused, intense stimulation that comes with an air pulse vibrator like the Womanizer Premium than the Womanizer Duo is the top choice. It combines Womanizers leading air pulse technology that is top of the intensity spectrum with a rumbly clit vibe.