If you've ever walked into a sex toy shop—or just lingered nervously near the door before deciding to bail—you know that there's an overwhelming number of vibrator options out there these days. Shopping online can curb any feelings of embarrassment that might've kept you from buying your first vibrator, but without a guide, as a beginner, you've only got photos and product-description copy to go on (though, any sex shop worth your money should make you feel welcomed and respected from the moment you walk in). How can you be expected to make the right purchase if you don't know what you like yet?
You've got loads of reasons to try a vibrator: Masturbation can offer a wealth of physical and mental benefits, from stress relief to improved sleep. For menopausal women, increasing blood flow to the vagina can stave off dryness and atrophy. Above all, they're called "toys" because they're fun; you can use them alone, or with a partner during sex to spice up your foreplay. (Here's how to clean your sex toy afterward).
Here's a primer on investing in your new favorite self-care tool—prepare to fall in love with 15 of the best vibrators for beginners.
Look for a vibrator that has multiple speed settings.
If you're new to getting off with a toy, it's normal to be unsure about what levels of speed and power you'll need. That's why you should consider buying a vibrator that offers multiple settings: One that solely operates with a whisper-light touch may leave you frustrated. On the other hand, you don't want to spend a chunk of change on something you're scared to place on your crotch without a comforter-barrier, either.
Babeland, a women-owned sex shop with stores in Seattle and New York City, categorizes their selections by intensity level—you can pick up to level 5, if you like a "go hard or go home!" type of stimulation. Toys that feature multiple vibration patterns can also help you discover what you enjoy in a vibe, too.
You can also search Babeland's site by volume level if you're seeking a quiet vibrator (a concern for some who live in close quarters), length, and every other preference you'll eventually know you prefer.
The best vibrators for external stimulation:
Versatile, small enough to stash in a weekend bag, and discreet, this pink cutie is bendable (knowing your angles isn't just for selfies). "Not only is this compact micro-wand vibe adorable, it definitely gets the job done," says Lisa Finn, a sex educator at Babeland. "The Flutter Wand has three intensity speeds, and it’s splash-proof and USB-rechargeable."
If the clitoral stimulation from the "bunny ears" isn't your thing, you can detach them—or buy the earless Whisper Wand version.
Flutter Wand by Pleasure Works, $26.00, Babeland Shop Now
Whisper Wand by Pleasure Works, $26.00, Babeland Shop Now
The Zumio X is an exceptional option for those who experience painful sex or genital oversensitivity, and find themselves shying away from the entire area as a result. Its unique technology uses rotation, not vibration, and targets where you want to be stimulated with precise accuracy. The results are HIGHLY effective, and it's quiet, too.
Though its single-setting push button offers a lighter touch than many toys on the market, you can increase the intensity by pressing the toy down harder. Their Zumio S model offers an even gentler, yet still effective, touch.
Zumio X by Zumio, $98.00 Shop Now
This wonder of design is waterproof, USB-rechargeable, and offers eight stimulation patterns. While on the pricier side, the Nea 2 is just plain gorgeous, and it works.
The floral-embellished toy comes in two colors, and its curved design effectively gives your nether-regions a hug. It also kind of looks like a paperweight or a fancy wireless computer mouse, so nightstand prowlers won't be the wiser.
Nea 2 by Lelo, $109.99, Babeland Shop Now
Dame Products, a woman-founded company, recommends their two-piece toy for beginners. Made with medical-grade silicone, this water resistant vibrator is meant to be worn on your or a partner's fingers. Or, you can take off the tether piece, palm it in your hand and let it roam. Fin has three motor speeds, and its shape offers a pointy side and a "squishy" side for different sensations.
Fin by Dame, $85.00, Dame Products Shop Now
Le Wand Petite
The smaller, cordless version of Le Wand's original plug-in is a great option for any first timer who's interested in a classic wand. Pressing the button in the middle offers 6 vibration patterns, and you can also adjust the intensity of the motor. The Petite's look is gorgeously retro—sort of like a "personal massager" [wink!] from the 1950s—but its lightweight with a flexible neck for angling that rumbly massage head. It comes in three colors (including rose gold) and comes in a discreet soft case.
Le Wand Petite by Le Wand, $139.99, Lovehoney Shop Now
Satisfyer Pro 2
Like the also-popular Womanizer line, the Satisfyer's suction design is meant to mimic cunnilingus, for women who'd enjoy an oral sex-like experience. While it doesn't feel exactly like the real thing, it's quite a sensation. The Satisfyer is waterproof, and offers 11 levels of stimulation (DEFINITELY start on the lowest). As with any toy that comes in direct contact with your bodily fluids, the easily-removable silicone tip should be cleaned after each use.
Satisfyer Pro 2 by Next Generation, $29.95, Amazon Shop Now
Designed by hip Japanese sex toy company Tenga, the waterproof Iroha Mini ticks so many boxes: Its motor is small but mighty (the sensation is more surface-buzzy than rumbly). It looks like a cool highlighter pen with a hidden "on" button on the side, so roommates and other nosey people won't know it's a vibrator. Its reasonable price point makes it worth experimenting with—and did we mention it comes in three cute color combos?
Iroha Mini by Tenga, $29.99, Babeland Shop Now
The best vibrators for internal stimulation:
If you've decided to seek out a penetrative toy, here are three tips:
Take it nice and slow—never force anything if it gets uncomfortable.
Make sure you're using ample amounts of lube.
Use a water-based lubricant, because silicone-based products can break down a sex toy's material.
The Dahlia comes in two colors, offers six pulsation patterns to play with, and boasts a motor Finn calls "diverse, so you can take Dahlia from a gentle rumble to a powerful buzz."
"If you're someone who has never used a toy before, and you're not sure exactly what you're looking for in one, the Dahlia is your versatile answer," Finn says. "The shaft of the toy is a solid size and has a curve great for finding the G-spot, while the tip has a rosebud shape that's perfect for hugging around the clit when used externally."
Babeland Dahlia by Babeland, $89.00, Babeland Shop Now
Mantric Rechargeable G-Spot Vibrator
The curved shaft of this silicone vibrator may be a bit intimidating at first glance, but it's designed for easy insertion. The Mantric is waterproof, and a button at the base lets you switch things up with 7 vibration options.
Mantric Rechargeable G-Spot Vibrator by Mantric, $49.99, Lovehoney
"This vibe is sleek, sophisticated, and chic—but don’t let its delicate appearance fool you," says Finn. No fancy attachments here, which makes it a great (and affordable) starter vibrator for those who want to keep it simple. At six-and-a-half inches long, it's waterproof, offers five modes of vibration, and requires AAA batteries.
The Electra by Pleasure Works, $17.99, Babeland Shop Now
Lovehoney G-Slim G-Spot Vibrator
This waterproof offering from Lovehoney is eight-inches long, with an egg vibrator at the top to "hit the spot" that buzzes at several speeds.
G-Slim G-Spot Vibrator by Lovehoney, $19.99, Lovehoney Shop Now
The best vibrators for internal and external play:
Tracy's Dog Rabbit Vibrator
Tracy's Dog has earned a reputation for affordable sex toys that don't sacrifice quality when it comes to body-safe silicone. This rabbit model is ergonomically designed for easy insertion, and its twist on the classic bunny ears design is meant to please even more of the clitoral surface area.
Rabbit Vibrator by Tracy's Dog, $21.89 Shop Now
Play and Please Set
For beginners who love options, the Play and Please set is great for both solo sessions and adventurous couples.
"The kit includes a USB rechargeable motor with five rumbly vibration modes, and three unique toy styles that snap on for play: a powerful petite Pebble for external stimulation, a smooth contoured Classic internal vibrator shape, and a flexible Cock Ring perfect for wearing or using as a finger vibe," Finn explains. "For under $50, this kit definitely delivers on the please part of its name."
Play and Please Set by Je Joue, $34.99, Babeland Shop Now
I Rub My Duckie
This waterproof toy will make bath time lots of fun. The Duckie comes alive with a squeeze, and there's three levels of vibration all over—beak to tail. With its discreet "nothing to see here!" design, it's also the rare vibrator you can leave out in your bathroom when company's over.
I Rub My Duckie by Big Teaze Toys, $37.99, Babeland Shop Now
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