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Guide to Vibrators

Vibrators are one of the most popular sex toys on the planet. Out of all the things people buy first, vibrators are included in the list of introductory sex toys.

Vibrators started out being more popular with women, but after time there became an entire line of vibrators dedicated to male pleasure, as well. After all, they provide stimulation and no matter what genitalia someone has, stimulation is something everyone enjoys.

In this guide we will cover what vibrators are and where they came from, what types of vibrators are out there, the best vibrators to buy and some tips on how to use them with partners or solo!

Guide to Vibrators

Vibrators are one of the most popular sex toys on the planet. Out of all the things people buy first, vibrators are included in the list of introductory sex toys.

Vibrators started out being more popular with women, but after time there became an entire line of vibrators dedicated to male pleasure, as well. After all, they provide stimulation and no matter what genitalia someone has, stimulation is something everyone enjoys.

In this guide we will cover what vibrators are and where they came from, what types of vibrators are out there, the best vibrators to buy and some tips on how to use them with partners or solo!

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Table of Contents

What is a Vibrator?

A vibrator or otherwise known as a massager is an electromechanical device that uses motorized vibrations to produce pleasurable sensations and muscle relaxation. Older vibrators were more phallic (penis-shaped) in design or looked more like modern “massage guns” or a drilling tool than a sex-toy. Today, they come in an incredible range of sizes, shapes, textures and vibration intensities. Some have motors that pulse and throb while others shake, move, and twirl.

The strange story of vibrators originated in the Victorian era, specifically in France and Britain, as a means of treating physical ailments.The original massagers were claimed to be used by medical professionals to treat headaches, fatigue, morbid irritability, cramps, anxiety, sleeplessness, lower abdominal heaviness or hysteria. The patient would have to set up an appointment and come in to use the electric powered massager. Previously, doctors had to manually massage the patient to assist them. In the case of women with hysteria (a term derived from the latin word for uterus and meant to describe conditions associated with reproductive organs such as PMS) they would massage the pelvic region until the patient experienced a paroxysm (what we could now easily call an orgasm).

And here is where the history starts to border on myth and assumption.

There are countless retellings of this grand and secret sexual revolution started by Granville’s electrovibtatory massagers. Author and historian Rachel Maines published The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction in 1999 which recounted events that were so sensational that educators, newspapers, magazines and radio shows talked about it. A movie called Hysteria starring Maggie Gyllenhaal was produced to retell the tale of the physician who administered ‘pelvic massage’ for hysteria.

Nearly everyone took this story to be true until Hallie Lieberman and Eric Schatzberg of the Georgia Institute of Technology took a closer look at her citations and wrote a paper challenging the book’s premise as untrue. “From what I knew of the history of sexuality, it sounded unlikely that doctors would be doing this,” Lieberman said of the book and stated that while women did have access to back massagers in the 1900’s, there was no evidence that this was available or even culturally acceptable during the Victorian Era. To put it simply, there simply was no way doctors would be that naive, and if history has shown us anything, it’s that women’s pleasure has been historically low on the list of medical priorities.

By the early 1900’s, electricity became more readily available in the home and patients could save up to order their own home-version of the vibrator. At the time, it was still being advertised as a massager for physical ailments and pains for both men and women. After all, there were many obscenity laws in place that would have banned any type of sexual product from being sold.

Around the same time, however, the medical field began to realize that things such as hysteria were not a medical condition that needed to be treated and considered all vibrators as “quack medicine” and anyone using them to be considered frauds. Vibrators were still being produced, and so the companies had to pivot and refocused on the pleasurable aspects of having an at-home leisure device such as a personal massager.

Vibrator companies started selling the idea of personal home health with ads that claimed that “vibration is the source of life” and thus health. They were said to be renewing and to promote beauty, yet had an increasingly compact and penis-shaped design despite many facial products being flat and round instead of long and cylindrical.

Advertisements were more directed towards personal pleasure rather than personal health by the 1950’s, and included a degree of nuance to them, however, including phrases such as, "thrilling, invigorating, penetrating, revitalising vibrations" and that it would help with treating “strung-up” nerves. In one Sears Robek ad, the product is described as a “7 inch long facial massager” and looks suspiciously phallic.

By the 1960’s, vibrators were far more accessible and widely accepted as more than just a “massager” for muscles and deep aches.

From then on, manufacturers sought to improve upon the original model and started paying closer attention to female anatomy. Instead of focusing on penetrative toys, they included parts that would stimulate the clitoris and the G-spot. This was revolutionary in and of itself because only 30% of women can orgasm from penetration alone. This means that there is a range of up to 70% of women who need clitoral stimulation to orgasm.

After some time, luxury vibrators came onto the scene and began to look and feel like something elegant and refined. Body-safe high-grade silicone really made a difference both in how manufacturers could design the toys but also in the quality of their products. Finally, due in part to demand from gay men and a need to fill a niche market, vibrating prostate massagers were invented and changed the vibrator industry forever.

At the moment, vibrators are considered the most common and versatile sex toy. They can be used anywhere with anyone and still elicit pleasure. Whether used on the nipples, lips, labia, G-spot, prostate, cock, clitoris or in the anus or vagina, they are here for solo or couple play, to enhance sex and, even after all this time, can help relax the the one using them!

Why You Need a Vibrator

Vibrators come in so many varieties, it’s easy to find one for just about anyone. While the main point is to experience pleasure, these toys act as tools for some and healthy alternatives for others. Some people want to be able to give themselves pleasure and not rely on others, so they use vibrators to handle that job. Others want to explore sensation and vibrators feel like the safest way to start. Below is a list of the most common reasons people enjoy this type of toy.

  • Masturbation & Solo Sex Vibrators are great at stimulating areas that are either hard to reach or not as stimulated by hands alone. Most people are able to take the edge off by using vibrators to achieve orgasm on their own.
  • Better Partnered Sex Partners who have enjoyed each other and want to explore something new often introduce a vibrator as one of the first shared sex toys in the bedroom. It can be fun to play with different types of vibration and explore which erogenous zones turn each other on. Vibrating cock rings or clit stimulators are the most common first-timer shared toys in this genre.
  • Forced Orgasm For those who enjoy playing with edges and limits, forced orgasm can be achieved with strong vibrators. The Thunderstick Wand is a popular choice for those who want to tease their submissive into a sexual frenzy and then consensually force them to cum again and again and again...
  • Access Hard to Reach Erogenous Zones Not everyone can reach their erogenous zones. It can be difficult and near impossible for some people to reach their prostate or G-spot, for example. Some people are large or heavyset and choose to use tools that help them get deep vibrations where they can feel them. Others have disabilities that limit their mobility, and vibrators provide ease of access to their sensitive spots. Additionally, some older folks may aggravate their arthritis if they try to rub one out, but with a vibrator they can find ways to please themselves well into their Golden Years.
  • Easy Stress Relief Plenty of articles have been written about the benefits of masturbation and sex. A good orgasm can release endorphins and dopamine, increase circulation and balance hormones. Vibrators help the user get there quicker with less fuss, thus improving their health as well as their sex life.
  • Long Distance Relationships For couples who can’t touch each other in person, there are now ways to include vibrators during a steamy video call to give themselves and each other pleasure. This can improve the bond between both people and satisfy needs not being met while apart.
  • Quickies There are many great travel-size vibrators that are easy to take on vacation. Couples find it fun to use these vibrators to sneak a quick session in-between other travel plans.
  • To Enhance Other Sex Toys Dildos, butt plugs and cock rings all have variations that include vibrators that either are inserted inside the toy, built into the toy or placed on the toy (such as a bullet vibrator on a cock ring).
  • Female Orgasm Only about 30% of women on average can orgasm from penetration alone. With such a pleasure gap between sexes, vibrators have revolutionized female pleasure and sexuality so they can enjoy clitoral and G-spot orgasms on their own.
  • Prostate Orgasm It can take many men time to explore anal play and accept it as normal and healthy and not see it as something that determines their sexual orientation. When they discover their prostate and how amazing orgasms are when the P-spot is played with, they tend to be hooked! Prostate massaging vibrators are great ways to milk the prostate and can be inserted while masturbating for even more satisfying orgasms.
  • Extend the Duration of Sex If one partner is sensitive or has already orgasmed and wants less stimulation, simply switch to a vibrator and use it on the other partner until ready to join in again! Alternatively, one partner can put on a show while the other watches.
  • Solo Play for those with Past Sexual Trauma Statistically 1 out of every 6 women has been the victim of sexual abuse and 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male. With this being the case, many of them don’t feel comfortable engaging in sexual activities with others, but still have desires and fantasies. Vibrators help provide a safe way for them to rebuild trust in their own bodies and heal some of their sexual trauma around pleasure.

Types of Vibrators

Over time, the variety of vibrators has expanded so much that there is now a vibrator for nearly every erogenous zone and body part. Nomatter what the desire, if a toy has been made there is likely a version that has a vibrator built into it. Below is a break down of different types of vibrators:

  • Wand Massagers Large,long vibrators with a wide head that are very powerful and can be used with a number of adapters. Originally for body massage, these are great to use on all erogenous zones.
  • Rechargeable Vibrators A collection of vibrators that don’t need a battery, just a USB charger.
  • Rabbit Vibrators Designed to simultaneously offer penetration and clitoral stimulation, these often look like a dildo with a little rabbit head and ears attached to them.
  • G-Spot Vibrators Curved for female pleasure to hit the G-spot.
  • Prostate Massagers Specifically designed to hit the P-spot.
  • Unique Vibrators These include clit suckers, vibrating strap ons, thrusting dildos and more.
  • Bullet Vibrators Small, powerful insertable vibrators. Great for travel.
  • Traditional Vibrators A classic selection of vibrating dildos and insertables.
  • Sex Toy Kits More bang for your buck! These kits include a variety of sizes and styles to try.
  • Vibrating Cock Rings A variety of sizes and intensities that will be sure to keep him hard as you ride him and enjoy the vibrations. Check out our Guide to Cock Rings to learn more about how to use and enjoy cock rings!
  • Vibrating Butt Plugs Classic butt plugs with vibrators built in to massage the female A-spot or milk the male P-spot.
  • Remote Control Vibrators Hands-free controls can be used by the toy user or a partner.
  • Clit Stimulators Vibrators specifically designed to stimulate the clitoris.

Materials & Cleaning


  • Most preferred material used for sex toys
  • Longer shelf life than most materials
  • Easily cleaned before and after use
  • Can retain heat and cold for long periods of time so it can warm to your body temperature
  • Hypoallergenic and non-porous

To Clean: Wash with an antibacterial soap and warm water. Wipe clean with a soft cloth.

Safety: Do not use with silicone-based lube.


  • More affordable than silicone, great for beginners
  • More porous than silicone, so harder to keep clean; requires a condom
  • Can’t easily be disinfected
  • Can have a nice, heavy weight to them

To Clean: Rubber is very porous and the chemical composition of each brand varies. Some rubber products contain phthalates which can be harmful to your health. It’s best to use a condom with these dildos. Wash with mild soap and warm water.

Safety: Use a condom, as this material is porous and difficult to clean Remember to switch condoms when switching between holes or users.

Realistic Dildo Vibrators

  • Often made from phthalate-free PVC or TPE
  • Realistic look and feel
  • Detailed design includes veins, realistic head and scrotum-like feel that contains the balls
  • Great for maintaining the fantasy
  • We recommend trying the line of products from SexFlesh
  • Another fun addition, Squirting Dildos allow users to simulate ejaculate and feel the texture and sensation of being filled with cum as they climax.

To Clean: Clean with mild soap and warm water using a washcloth. Dry after each use before storing.

Safety: Use a condom as this material is porous. PVC is a plastic and TPE is a rubber, meaning they are more porous and sometimes contain chemicals harmful for the body, so make sure you buy ones that are labeled non-porous and phthalate-free or use a condom with it as a barrier. This type of material doesn’t stand up well to extreme heat, so store it in a cool, dark place.


  • Non-porous, phthalate-free, body safe & easy to clean
  • Pyrex-glass means it’s fairly durable
  • Smoother than silicone, which makes it great for insertion
  • Often handmade with unique designs they are pleasurable and aesthetically pleasing
  • Compatible with any lube

To Clean: Spray with toy cleaner and wash with antibacterial soap and warm water..

Safety: Steel can withstand more extreme temperatures than glass. If exploring with temperature play, be careful how hot or cold the steel gets before placing it in the body or on skin as it could burn or freeze the delicate tissue. Also be aware that the electronics aren’t meant to withstand extreme temperature and can be damaged from high heat. Can be used with any lube.

Vibrators with Batteries: Follow the instructions for each toy and never submerge in water.

To Clean: Take out batteries. Hand wash and wipe down with a cloth using soap and water. Allow the toy to air dry completely before putting batteries back in. Leave batteries outside of the toy while not in use.

Buyer’s Guide to Vibrators

There are so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out where to start! The best question to ask first is, “What kind of stimulation turns me on?” Below is a selection of zone-specific vibrators. Each one is catered a little differently for you pleasure!


The most versatile vibrator is the wand, hands-down. The Thunderstick wand. It has dozens of wand toppers to add to the powerful, vibrating head and can be used on any area of the body and enjoyed by both men and women.

Below are products that are more specific to each preference whether that is internal stimulation, external, G-Spot, clitoral, prostate or just general vibration!

Clitoral Vibrators (External)

SheGasm Intense 2 in 1 Clit Simulator This toy has a vibrating dildo on one end and a sucking clit stimulator on the other end.

Internal & External (G-Spot & Clitoral)

12X Come-Hither Rocker Silicone Vibrator This unique toy hits the spot, both spots! The silicone insertable is curved to press against the G-spot, while the external arch curves around the pelvis so that its vibrating, rotating beads massage and stimulate the clitoris.

Vibrating Butt Plugs

Vibrating and Thrusting Remote Control Silicone Anal Plug For those who like the pumping action of anal fucking, this butt plug simulates sex whil adding the humming vibrations of the vibrator. Use the remote control to change speed and pulse settings, and enjoy!

Prostate Vibrators

Rimstatic Curved Rotating Plug with Remote Made of silky-smooth silicone, this massager is shaped to target your P-spot and deliver intense sensations with every swollen bulge in the shaft.

Vibrating Cock Rings
Remote Control 28x Vibrating Cock Ring and Bullet Fun solo or with a partner! Wrap this silicone cock ring around your shaft and balls to help maintain a long-lasting erection. Let your lover slide down your shaft and rub themselves against the vibrating bullet, or just enjoy the sensation as you masturbate!
Remote Control Vibrators

28x Scrambler Vibrating Egg with Remote Control Small, discrete and powerful. Slip this inside you and use the remote to switch between 4 speeds and 7 different patterns! Hand the remote to a lover to invite them into the fun!

Thrusting Vibrators

Ultra Thrusting and Vibrating Silicone Wand This vibrator is both a vibrating wand as well as an insertable, thrusting dildo. Vibrate your clit and then insert this thrusting cock so it can hit your G-spot!

Safety Tips!

Wash after each use.
It’s important to keep toys clean to avoid any infections. While it can be tempting to just pass out and go to sleep, try to rinse toys with warm water and soap at the very least after using. There are disinfectant sprays that can be used in addition, but not as a replacement. Think of it as a new ‘good habit’, like brushing your teeth before bed.

Sex toys can spread STI’s.
Sex toys such as vibrators are bound to get some fluids on them. This means they can spread STIs (sexually transmitted infections, aka STDs) if participants aren’t careful! Remember that if both partners are not fluid bonded (meaning they don’t use condoms and regularly share bodioly fluids) then condoms and safe sex practices need to be implemented with toys just like they were genitalia.

Use compatible lube.
Pay attention to the material used and use the compatible lube. Use condoms when sharing with a partner or playing with anal.

Expert Tips & Advice

For those who are just beginning to try out vibrators…
Get a silicone toy and some water-based lube. Don’t use silicone lube with a silicone toy! These toys are soft, smoothe, body-safe and easy to clean.

Charge your vibrators and keep spare batteries.
There are few things more aggravating than the batteries dying right before orgasm. Yet, this is a common predicament for most vibrator owners. Make a habit of keeping them charged; your future self with thank you!

Get at least one waterproof toy and explore ultimate relaxation in the bath.
Some of the most sensual moments require that the person or people involved are first relaxed. This allows the mind to quiet down and for the user to be in their body. That is where the deep, erotic and releasing moments can come from. Try it alone first and experience the difference!

‘Waterproof’ and ‘water-resistant’ don’t mean the same thing.
A toy that is waterproof is one that can be submerged in water. Toys that are water-resistant are toys that can get water on them without being damaged, possibly be used in the shower and cleaned under a sink, but shouldn’t be submerged in a bath-tub or pool.

Use small, slender vibrators during couple’s sex.
For couple’s bringing vibrators into their sexual play, there are some areas that are hard to get to when simultaneously in a close embrace. Smaller vibrators will make it easier to reach those areas (such as the clitoris) while still wrapped up in each other's limbs.

For those who don’t “warm up” at the same rate, or those who don’t have as much stamina, let the vibrator do some of the work!
Quite frequently one partner or another may more easily get worked up while the other partner needs more time. In these cases, have the partner who needs to take it slow use a vibrator to allow them to relax and get the juices flowing. For instances when one partner may have premature ejaculation, they can use a vibrator or other stimulating sex toy on their partner to do most of the work and keep the sex going longer until they’re ready to ejaculate!

For those with ED (erectile dysfunction)...
Just because a penis is flaccid doesn't mean sensations aren’t enjoyable. Use vibrators on one or both partners and enjoy the stimulation. Sex is not just penis and vagina penetration; it can be anything that excites, arouses and brings pleasure.

For those who want low-maintenance masturbation…
Use a masturbtion sleeve wand-topper on a vibrating wand and allow the vibrations to stimulate the cock with a hands free orgasm!

Experiment with edging…
After getting accustomed to the new vibrator, people can explore bringing themselves to the edge of an orgasm and backing off. After doing this a few times, they finally let themselves go over the edge and orgasm. The resulting release is exponentially more powerful and intense!

Practice with new toys alone before bringing them to a partner.
For those who buy vibrators to try with a partner, they try the toy alone first and can get a feel for how it works, what they enjoy, and how to get off. It will save time and provide a sense of ease and confidence once both partners are together.


What kind of vibrator is right for me?
While it’s hard to tell what the perfect vibrator is for any given person, there are a few ways to narrow down the search. First of all, do some self-exploration and discover what kind of stimulation is pleasurable. Does anal penetration feel best, or just stimulation near the outside? Does prostate play sound exciting? For women, is it easier to orgasm clitorally, vaginally or both at the same time? Find out the answers to these and then look for a vibrator that stimulates the most erotic zones.

Are all vibrators the same?
Many of the early vibrators had one of two designs; either they were slender cylinders for “facial beauty massage” or gun shaped motors for body massage. Now, they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, with some specifically designed to be discreet and not look like a sex toy at all.

Can I use it too much?
All things require balance and moderation, but listen to your body and pay attention to what feels good.

Will I go blind, grow hair on my hands, or become an imbecile if I masturbate with a vibrator?
No, not at all! These were once common myths that people used to scare people out of masturbating. Once people started sharing information and sexual films and cinema were released (what we call porn) it was no longer something anyone believed.

Can I leave the batteries in my vibrator?
It is not recommended. Take them out so the vibrator doesn’t accidentally turn on and use up the batteries (or start rattling in your luggage when going through security). This will also reduce the risk of corrosion from the batteries getting old.

My partner wants to bring a vibrator into our sex life; am I not good enough at sex?
Adding a vibrator to the bedroom is an exciting thing for both partners to explore! While vibrators do offer a different sensation, they don’t replace human connection and intimacy. If a partner asks to bring a new toy into the bedroom, it shows they trust their partner enough to be vulnerable and try new things together!

If I use a vibrator too much, will I get desensitized to touch?
Using a vibrator on a high setting can numb the nerves for some people. Simply pause and give the nerves a break so gentler touch can also be arousing.

Disclaimer: XR LLC sells these products as novelty toys only and is not responsible for damages due to use or misuse.