Sex Toys: A Beginner’s Guide

Vibrators! Dildos! Butt plugs! Oh my!

The world of sex toys is vast and richly varied, but if you haven’t purchased such a product before, all the choice can be a little overwhelming.

So here I am to help! This super basic guide will take you through the most common toys on the market, what they do, how to enjoy them and what to avoid.

Note: For a more comprehensive guide to product safety, please check out my Guide to Body-Safe Sex Toys for more info.



Vibrators do just that – vibrate! And they feel great on virtually any erogenous zone you can think of. I recommend investing in rechargeable models which will save money on batteries in the long term and of course help out the environment as well.

Bullet Vibrators

Bullets are the most recommended starter sex toy. They are petite and unintimidating, great for introducing to perhaps reluctant partners. They are primarily designed for clitoral stimulation but their pointed tips are great on nipples and penises too. While tiny, the right product can pack a decent punch!

I recommend the We-Vibe Tango X, Lovehoney Desire Rechargeable Bullet or the Blush Exposed Nocturnal Lipstick Bullet

A selection of Bullet vibrators
Left to Right: Blush Exposed Nocturnal Bullet, Lovehoney Desire Rechargeable Bullet, We-Vibe Tango
Clitoral Vibrators

Closely related to bullets are your clit vibes. Technically any conventional vibrator can be used in this manner, but for the sake of the guide I am referring to smaller toys designed for this specific purpose. They come in a huge number of shapes and sizes, from smooth and pebble shaped to sporting a pair of iconic bunny ears.

My faves are the We-Vibe Touch X, Fun Factory Volta and Happy Rabbit Mini Ears Clitoral Vibrator.

Fun Factory Volta and Happy Rabbit ears
The Fun Factory Volta & Happy Rabbit Mini Ears Clitoral Vibrator
Wand Vibrators

If you want the strongest most pelvis rocking vibrations going, then you need a wand, my friend. The “Magic Wand” (formerly “Hitachi”) holds a legendary status in porn and in bedrooms around the world. The official Magic Wand isn’t available in the UK, but we have its worthy adversary, the Doxy. There are cheaper alternatives out there if you’re not sure you’re going to commit (Le Wand or any of Lovehoney’s own brand mains powered wands are decent) but I highly recommend just going for the real deal!

The Doxy is available in a few different models. The Original has a plastic body and medical grade PVC head (which I wouldn’t normal endorse as a material, but as it’s not going inside the body I’ll let it slide), the luxurious Die-Cast (my favourite) which has an aluminium/titanium alloy body and silicone head and the Doxy 3 which is smaller but still extremely powerful and available in mains powered and rechargeable options.

Doxy 3 and Doxy Die Cast Wand vibrators
The Doxy 3 & Doxy Die Cast
Rabbit/Dual Stimulators

Immortalised in pop culture by Sex And The City, “rabbit” vibrators are a very popular choice. I mean, clit and vaginal stimulation all in one package? It’s not hard to understand why. While I have quite a good track record with this style of toy, I find them hard to recommend as one size does not fit all, anatomy is highly variable, so your mileage may vary!

However if you want to give one a go, I highly rate Lovehoney’s Happy Rabbit range or the We-Vibe Nova 2 which has a posable shaft to suit more body shapes.

Happy Rabbit vibrators
A selection of Happy Rabbits!
Internal Vibrators

Internal vibes, sometimes termed G-spot vibrators or vibrating dildos, do just what they say on the tin. These can be realistic or not but often have a pronounced curve shape or bulbous to reach the G-spot, or with an appropriate flared base stimulate the prostate.

Some models I recommend checking out are the Fun Factory Big Boss G5, Lovehoney Desire G-Spot Vibrator and We-Vibe Rave.

A selection of silicone G-spot vibrators
Fun Factory Big Boss G5 (pink), We-Vibe Rave (purple), LELO Mona Wave (blue), L’Amourose Rosa (green, discontinued) & L’Amourose Prism (orange, discontinued)


I love me a good dildo! These versatile sex toys come in a myriad of styles and materials. I’m a bit obsessed with them if I’m honest and have amassed an… impressive collection over the years. Here’s the low down on my faves.


These toys sport a pronounced or extreme curve with a bulbous end specifically designed to stimulate the G-spot/front wall of the vagina. Some are also appropriate for using on the prostate too.

The absolute champion of this category is the Njoy Pure Wand, a stainless steel c-shaped beauty. If metal/super hard materials aren’t your thing, some silicone options are the Lovehoney Satisfy Me G-Spot Dildo, the Godemiche Ambit or if you have a strong preference for squishy toys that still offer plenty of G-Spot delights, the Vixen VixSkin Mustang.

A selection of G-spot dildos in different materials
Left to right: Jopen Comet Wand, Njoy Pure Wand, Vixen Mustang, Godemiche Ambit

Speaking of VixSkin, the gold standard of realistic (penis like) dils is the VixSkin range by Vixen Creations. They offer a broad range of dick sizes to suit your mood. While these are a pricey option, in my eyes they are just the best you’re gonna get. My favourite models are the aforementioned Mustang, Johnny and Maverick.

Cheaper alternatives are the Lovehoney Lifelike Lover range (beware, some of these are not silicone so I can’t recommend them), Godemiche Adam (available in any colour you can imagine, a few sizes and softnesses, and suction cup or bullet hole options… phew) and anything from Tantus.

Realistic dildos
Left, clockwise: Fleshjack Boys Brent Everett, Tantus Mark O2, Vixen Maverick, Tantus Vamp, Vixen Bandit, Godemiche Adam Soft, BS Atelier Nude

Has it got a wide flared base? Then it should be safe for anal and probably suitable to wear in a harness for strap-on fun!

Some slim, butt friendly dils are the Tantus Silk (available in three sizes), Blush Novelties Real Nude Ergo Mini and Godemiche Peg or Apprentice.

Dildos with flared bases
A selection of anal appropriate flared bases

Anal Sex Toys

Eyyyyy, time for some butt stuff! The golden rule for safe anal play is do not insert anything (sex toy or otherwise!) into the anal canal that does not have a sturdy and sufficiently flared base. No, just don’t do it. Ever. It’s just not worth the hassle, trust me. So, let’s take a look at some suitable options.

Butt Plugs

Available in all sizes, from petite offerings no thicker than a thumb all the way up to rivalling a Coke can and beyond…! Butt plugs are simple souls. Some vibrate, some don’t. Once inserted they just sit there which sounds a bit lacklustre, but they are a great way to enhance masturbation and partnered sex. Some folks even wear them for longer periods of time (or even out in public) for added thrills. Metal or glass are my preferred materials but silicone is fine too.

Some options for beginners are the Godemiche Plug-B (available in two sizes), Njoy Pure Plug and b-Vibe Snug Plug in size 1 (beginner) or 2 (medium). Tantus make consistently well designed silicone plugs in all sizes.

A selection of butt plugs
Godemiche Plug B (Large, blue), Tantus Juice (black), Njoy Pure Plug (stainless steel)
Prostate Massagers

Extremely similar to butt plugs but shaped with more precision to stimulated the prostate.

The Aneros range and nJoy Pure Fun P-Spot Plug are highly commended.

“Air Pressure” Stimulators

Since the Womanizer exploded onto the scene in 2013, this style of stimulator has become immensely popular and spawned numerous copycats, including the significantly cheaper Satisfyer. Each brand claims to have its own technology but they follow the same basic principals and feel pretty much the same. They all use air pressure to stimulate the clitoris without direct contact. They produce a sucking sensation which is pretty rad.

Womanizer Pro40 and Womanizer Starlet
Womanizer Pro40 & Womanizer Starlet

I really rate Womanizer’s products for their quality – in fact all products now come with a 5 year warranty which is amazing! They are quite a lot more expensive than Satisfyer though so it depends on your budget which brand you choose.

I recommend the Womanizer Starlet 2, Liberty or Pro40 to start out with, though the Premium with its Smart Silence function is where it’s at if you have the pennies. They also produce the Duo and the InsideOut (exclusive to Lovehoney) which are dual stimulators with vibrating insertable shafts.


Fun Factory are industry innovators and their Stronic Pulsator line is nothing short of genius. These toys are unlike anything else out there, using magnets to produce a thrusting sensation. This makes for extremely lazy masturbation as the toy does all the work, which is also great for people who struggle to thrust insertables themselves.

Fun Factory Stronic pulsators
Fun Factory Stronic Drei (blue, discontinued), Fun Factory Stronic Eins (purple, discontinued), Fun Factory Sundaze (pink)

I own the Eins and Drei which are now discontinued. The line up that is currently available at Lovehoney consists of the Stronic G (for G-Spot stimulation), Real (penis shaped), Petite (smaller and textured) and the Bi Stronic Fusion (a dual stimulator)

Toys for Penises

Cock Rings

The primary function of cock rings is to enhance the size and sensitivity of the penis by constricting the blood flow a little bit. They are also helpful for folks experiencing difficulty holding an erection. I recommend starting out with a thick, silicone one for comfort, with more “advanced” models designed to hold the testicles as well. Metal cock rings are also a thing for those with more experience.

Some silicone cock rings
A selection of thick, black silicone cock rings

Vibrating cock rings are also readily available. These can be used to add additional sensations or to stimulate a partner as well during penetrative sex.


Penis masturbators or strokers, such as the iconic Fleshlight, are extremely popular. They can have a variety of different “openings” in the forms of realistic vulvas, mouths and anuses and plenty of non-realistic holes too. The appeal is pretty obvious!

The vast majority of strokers are made from porous or single use materials which is a shame. With the correct care, higher quality toys such as official Fleshlights and some pieces by TENGA can last a long time without getting manky, but unlike silicone they won’t last forever.

TENGA Eggs are a cheap-without-sacrificing-quality way of experimenting with this type of toy. I am always going to recommend the Fleshlight brand for quality and realism (especially the Fleshlight Girls range which is cast from popular pornstars!). For a silicone option, Godemiche have their Off-Beat masturbator, now available in a few different sizes and textures.

A selection of different sex toys for penises
Left to right: Godemiche Off Beat, Fleshlight Vantage Quickshot, Fleshlight Girls Stoya & a Tenga Egg
Penis Vibrators

Yes, any vibrator can be used on a dick, but there are specialised options out there too! Hot Octopuss make top of the line vibrators for penises which can even be used while flaccid – amazing for folks who struggle with their erections. The Fun Factory Manta and Cobra Libre II are also excellent choices.

Penis toys by Hot Octopuss
Hot Octopuss Pocket Pulse (left) and Hot Octopulse Pulse Solo Essential
Penis Pumps

Penis pumps are designed to temporarily increase size (length and girth) of the owner’s erection using a vacuum. This is safe and pleasurable although though offers no actual medical benefits or permanent growth. Just a bit of fun, as sex toys should be! Bathmate are a trusted brand if you want to get your hands on one.

Thanks for readying this non-exhaustive beginner’s introduction to the fantastic world of sex toys!

For more reading, check out my master post on Body-Safe Sex Toys and Guide to Strap On Harnesses (coming soon!)

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