What types of vibrators are there?
January 20 2022 | Written by Miranda Vanhaarlem (She/Her)
As I was out for my mental health walk last week I came across a sign that stated “new year, new vibrator”. To say I sprinted into that store is an understatement. Sex Toy stores have always been a safe place of mine, kind of like a book store, but different. As intimidating as they can be from the outside, the environment they foster on the inside is usually as inclusive and welcoming as it gets. This store was no different. As I walk towards the back of the store, eyes wide open, I see a big wall of colorful vibrators and dildos. All sizes, shapes, colors, a different vibe here, a different vibe there. “Overwhelming?”, the woman working behind the counter said. Just a tad I thought to myself. We continued to have a lengthy discussion surrounding the different types of vibrators and why one might prefer one over another. Not only did I leave that store with a new vibrator in hand, I left more educated than I walked in, something I wasn’t necessarily expecting. Because of this exceptionally positive experience, I’ve decided to take you on a journey to learn about the different types of vibrators - not all sex toys - simply the ones that go buzz.
Good Vibrations: The Unusual History of the Vibrator
As Marlow stated before, vibrators have come a long way, and that is why we are going on this journey together today, seriously there is a lot of toys that buzz. It is however important to mention that by no means have we broken down the stigma surrounding sex toys completely and what’s a better way to smash some stigma than with conversations surrounding vibrators and self-pleasure.
So you want a vibrator, but you have no clue where to start. Luckily, I know a thing or two about materials. Materials matter. I’ll say it again, materials matter baby. Think about where you will be using these toys, intimate areas right? It is important to pick materials that are going to work to please you, not give you a rash.
What You Don’t Want
Currently, the sex toy industry is not regulated in Canada, meaning, any material can be used to make these sex toys. In general, you should be avoiding these two materials at all costs:
- Porous surface/materials: these materials are difficult to keep clean, meaning bacteria can get trapped inside these sex toys = irritation and/or infection.
- Phthalates: chemicals typically used to increase plastic’s flexibility and softness but they can cause problems when used with intimate contact so it is safer to stay away.
What You Want
Hold your vibrator to the same standards as your next intimate partner, and you will be safe and sound, and might I add, sexually satisfied. There are several phthalate-free, non-porous vibrator options. Look for the following materials:
- Silicone: silicone is your new best friend if you stress safety and cleanliness with sex toys.
- Glass: don’t knock it till you try it plus they look like art pieces.
- Metal: super easy to clean and allows for temperature play.
- ASB (Hard) Plastic: common material used in more affordable sex toys but tends to be inflexible and on the harder side (using lube can help with this)
Types of Vibrators
Oh, the bullet vibrator, it’s unlike me to overshare in these blogs (just kidding) but definitely a personal favourite. Don’t let their size fool you, these small, discreet, handheld vibrators can come packed with a lot of power and different vibrations. I would say if you are looking to enter the vibrator world, start here. While bullet and egg vibrators are generally used for clitoral stimulation, they are to be used anywhere vibration might feel nice.
Think back massager meets microphone. Most likely the most famous vibrator of all time, wand vibrators offer high-intensity vibrations. In comparison to a bullet vibrator, the broadhead and longer handle make these vibrators great at accessing hard-to-reach places as well as being astounding for partner play (they can also be used to relieve pain from sore muscles).
Cleaning Your New Friend
I know, I know… you already have to pee after sex and now you have to clean your sex toys, but trust me, you need to do it. In order to keep infections at bay and ward off unwanted bacteria, it is important to clean your sex toys after every use. Seriously, chuck those babies in the sink. When it comes to what to clean your sex toys with, it depends on the material. The instructions are usually included in the box. A general rule of thumb is to use an unscented soap that you would use on your body and warm water. Afterward, make sure you dry them off completely before throwing them wherever you store them or plug them in, future you will thank you.
Visiting a Sex Shop/Buying Online
Miranda, you’ve told me all this divine information regarding vibrators but I don’t want to go into a sex toy shop. I get it, these places don’t scream “come inside”, especially if you are new to this world, but grabbing a friend or a partner might make this experience more comfortable (message me I’ll come with you). If you are from the Toronto area, Hanky Panky, located at 764 Queen St W, fosters an amazing, welcoming, environment as well as an online store where you can get your toys delivered. Other accessible websites such as Dame, Indigo, and even Amazon, offer discreet shipping directly to your home. Well, happy New Year Marlow readers, and I truly hope you decided to get a new vibe for this new year.