MANUAL: How To Choose An Erotic Toy
What is better - a dildo or a vibrator? What is the difference between a plastic and silicone toy and which size is ideal for beginners? We bring you a comprehensive manual on how to choose from the sex shop offer.
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Sexual aids are no longer as taboo as they once were. E-shops with erotic goods also communicate openly on social networks, entertaining and educating their followers. Fewer and fewer eyebrows are raised at the mention of vibrators and other gadgets. We are educated by podcasts and shows about sexual health, but also by doctors and scientists who investigate the importance of sexual satisfaction for mental well-being or relief from chronic pain.
However, when you open any sex shop, the amount choices can paralyse you. New products are constantly being added, companies are outdoing each other in terms of who can invent something more beautiful, bigger, more bizarre or technologically sophisticated. You can connect some devices to mobile applications, soak them in water, heat or cool them, use them during activities in pairs, and use them on several parts of the body (sometimes even at the same time).
We have created a simple manual that will help you find out what material, what size and with what functions are ideal for you, step by step.
Material: for beginners silicone, for advanced glass
The best material, especially for the inexperienced, is silicone. According to Martina Melíšková from iSEXshop, this is a material that is easy to clean, is of high quality and lasts a long time. Both mechanical and manual aids for vaginal and anal stimulation, as well as various stimulators for the clitoris, are made from medical silicone.
Veronika Kubíčková from the sex shop Pink Elephant also shares this view. Silicone is the most hygienic and suitable for anyone, regardless of gender or preferences. However, silicone lubricants must not be used with silicone sex aids, as they may damage the aids. They are long-lasting, suitable, for example, for anal sex, so if you are looking for an aid for anal stimulation, do not forget to buy a suitable lubricating gel for it, which will not destroy it.
You can also choose from several other materials: glass, metal, gel or plastic. Each of them has its advantages and methods of use.
Metal (usually stainless steel or aluminum) and glass also clean-up quite well, experts from sex shops agreed. Their advantage is also the fact that you can play around with the temperature. If you put a metal dildo in warm water, it will heat up. If you put it in the fridge for a while, it will cool down.
You can use the temperature game during solo masturbation as well as during activities with your partner, but it is not for everyone. Despite this advantage, Martina Melíšková would not recommend glass aids to someone who has never tried any other toy in their life.
As we learned from the owner of the Czech company ONNA Lifestyle, which manufactures glass erotic aids, customers praise the weight itself. These dildos are significantly heavier than silicone ones - not so heavy that you get tired quickly while using them, but heavy enough to be used for internal vaginal or prostate massage, for example. The feeling of more weight can be grounding and for many users is exciting in itself, according to ONNA's Instagram page, where they regularly post customer reviews.
For lovers of vibrating toys, Kubíčková recommends tools made of hard plastic, which transmits vibrations better. And for those who are looking for something softer and more flexible, he advises to try gel aids. However, it is only for those who care about cleaning, as gel toys are porous.
– The safest is medical silicone, which is also ideal for beginners and easy to clean.
– For the more advanced, glass is also good: you can easily heat it in warm water or cool it in the refrigerator for extra playfulness.
– Firmer material is also suitable for internal massage (prostates, vaginas).
The representatives of both e-shops agreed that they will not jump on the wave of materials inspired by esotericism (various minerals and crystals). These materials are not safe, especially for internal use, because of the way the mineral stones are processed. There are small cracks on the surface that can cut the woman or carry bacteria, as the uneven surface cannot be disinfected 100%.
– Buy a suitable cleaning agent for the tools (choose according to the material, most e-shops will offer you a suitable cleaner for a specific tool).
– Every tool deserves to have its own "home": keep them packed away in their own clean bag, away from dust.
– Don't forget to top up your batteries or charge your tools regularly.
Start with the size of your finger
People usually know what they want from a sex shop, Melíšková told us. Few people contact the isexshop infoline or chat room saying that they don't know where to start with the selection. "It is true that men call the helpline more often. Usually with the fact that their girl wants something, but left the choice to her partner. They want to get advice."
However, rather than in a specific category, people get lost in sizes. On monitors, a 15 cm and a 20 cm long dildo can look the same. For most women, according to studies, size does not matter that much. The average vagina is around 10 cm with the ability to deepen slightly, and the average European penis is roughly 15 cm. So for vaginal use this is a pretty good start. If the tool "fits" you, then it's time to invest in something bigger.
Even on the topic of anal stimulation, Melíšková and Kubíčková agreed: the golden middle way is to start with something the size of a finger. It is universal advice for both women and men. You can easily verify this hypothesis yourself before buying a home. "I would recommend conical pins to beginners. Inflatable aids are also a great option, which can be used in their original size or can be inflated to a larger one," Kubíčková from Pink Elephant advised us.
According to her, ball pins are more suitable for the more experienced, but if it is a shape in which the balls themselves gradually increase in size, even someone with little experience can use them. If you still don't know whether you're looking for a vibrating or non-vibrating device, there are several affordable options on the market that won't break the bank and allow you to try it out.
Dildo vs. vibrator: does my gadget have to vibrate?
Most people already know the basic difference between a dildo and a vibrator: dildos are manual (you have to move them yourself) and vibrators are mechanical, that is, they have a motor and produce stimulating movements themselves (you can still move them if you feel comfortable).
The name vibrator can be a bit confusing, as motorized gadgets do a lot more than just vibrate these days. Some pulse, suck or emit small electric shocks. Devices specifically for the penis, such as a mechanical masturbator, produce a different movement.
According to Kubíčková, it is important to find out what you like before buying. If you enjoy penetrative vaginal sex, chances are you'll enjoy dildos too. If you prefer clitoral stimulation, vibrators and clitoral stimulators offer you more possibilities of play. And if you like anal sex or anal stimulation and you already have some experience, you can always choose a new material, vibration variant or a different size.
There are also combined aids on the market, which were recommended to us by Kubíčková and Melíšková. These are devices that work like dildos, but also have a motor and vibrate when turned on. It's a two-in-one solution, but it's a "more expensive splurge".
Most mechanical aids have several levels, so you can customise them a bit. Most of the aids are affordable, clitoral stimulators are among the most expensive, costing hundreds of euros.
However, keep in mind that the electronics will simply be heard. If you live in a shared apartment (or even in a shared room) or at home with your parents, you must choose the circumstances of using the device carefully. Kubíčková revealed that pressure devices (intended for clitoral stimulation) are usually quieter than regular vibrators.
On the contrary, a masturbator with a motor can be heard more. Everything also depends on the circumstances: under the duvet or with music on, you don't have to disturb anyone even in the silence of the night. However, the greater the power, the louder the result.
Not everything is suitable for a shared household.
– Electronics will never be completely silent, but usually the sound can be muffled by music or under the duvet.
– Battery powered tools usually have a lower power, so they tend to be quieter.
– If you cannot imagine the volume according to the frequency in the product description, ask the e-shop for a practical comparison (is it audible more like a refrigerator or a razor?).
Technological conveniences: apps, locks, water resistance
The number of brands that create gender-neutral aids is gradually increasing. They are not stereotyped in design (they are not red for women and blue for men) and are suitable for anal use by both genders. Theoretically, one device per household is enough. Some of them even offer stimulation for both when used together: for example, a part is inserted into the vagina and a part lies on the clitoris from the outside - thus stimulating both the clitoris and the penis during penetration.
In this way, the producers cater not only to the queer community, but also to people who are more open in their sexuality and do not have pleasure boxed in as only female or only male. If you are one of them, you can look for more neutral tools.
Smart erotic aids that you can connect to an application on your phone are also suitable for couple use. Through it, you can control switching on and off, as well as the intensity of vibrations.
Stimulation in two places is also a standard feature of vibrators for women. Inspired by the so-called rabbit, a vibrator that also has a small protrusion for stimulating the clitoris. It often vibrates on its own. For a fuller experience, you can choose a version with a protrusion for anal stimulation (and again you have a choice of vibrating and non-vibrating versions).
Manufacturers are already thinking about travelers who want to treat themselves on vacation. Practically every type of erotic aid already has a travel size version – a smaller version with comparable performance. The smartest of them also have a lock, i.e. a system that locks the tool. You are not in danger of something suspiciously vibrating in your suitcase during airport check-in.
When it comes to vacations and trips, some mechanical aids are suitable for use in water. They must be waterproof and are usually built for a maximum of 30 minutes of immersion. They are also safe to use in the shower or bath.
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