Let's drop the sugar-coating and relegating a crap toy to "good for beginners"

Dangerous Lilly Dangerous Lilly
I kinda let loose on my blog today with a bit of a rant against the term "good for beginners" which is used too often on vibrators that are mediocre, weak, etc. Just because someone is new to sex toys doesn't necessarily mean that they want or need a subtle vibrator. It's about one's level of sensitivity to sensations, not one's "experience level" with sex toys. Had I listened to reviews of weak, surface-buzzy toys when I was starting out with sex toys I would have continued to assume that orgasm wasn't possible and that I was broken.

I'm pretty sure I've done this myself in reviews and have vowed to do it no more.

Call a spade a spade. Say it didn't get you off. Say that it would be good for someone who is very sensitive to vibration. Or maybe it's so weak that it could possibly only ever be good for a tease and rarely an orgasm. But let's not steer wrong those who are desperate for an orgasm and are unable to achieve it via fingers/tongue/cock etc.
01/05/2012
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Chilipepper Chilipepper
link

We had a great time discussing this very issue. Thanks for bringing it up again.
01/05/2012
Cherrylane Cherrylane
Quote:
Originally posted by Dangerous Lilly
I kinda let loose on my blog today with a bit of a rant against the term "good for beginners" which is used too often on vibrators that are mediocre, weak, etc. Just because someone is new to sex toys doesn't necessarily mean that they ... More
Oh my god for months now I had been thinking that exact same thing every time I saw this in a review or thread! Just the other day someone said it in the forums and it was a reviewer I totally wouldn't have expected it from and I was SO close to being like "wtf you should know better."

To me, "good for a beginner" is more about being easy to use and being, idk, unintimidating. Not in a sensation way, but in a "not a giant veiny loud vibrating dong with foul pictures on the box that's going to make someone feel insecure about using the toy and toys in general" sort of way.

Versatility is also a good quality for a beginner toy, because they can use it in different ways to find out what they like, instead of necessarily having to buy three different things to determine whether they prefer internal or external vibrations, strictly penetration, etc.

The number one thing for me in a "good beginner" is that it should have a higher likelihood of not giving them a bad experience or otherwise letting them down. Not mediocrity. Many of us may have started out with crap toys when we began, but it's not because they are good for beginners. It's because we didn't know better or have people to tell us otherwise. Hint: those people are us. Why are we perpetuating the meh first toy tradition now?

I've even heard someone say the Hitachi wasn't good for beginners because of it's strength and whatever. It's the top rated vibrator of like all time. It's the #1 rated vibrator on Amazon. How the heck does it magically become an inappropriate choice for a beginner? It's a good toy. It will always be a good toy. I do not understand lol
01/05/2012
Dangerous Lilly Dangerous Lilly
Quote:
Originally posted by Cherrylane
Oh my god for months now I had been thinking that exact same thing every time I saw this in a review or thread! Just the other day someone said it in the forums and it was a reviewer I totally wouldn't have expected it from and I was SO close to ... More
Versatility, yes! Unintimidating....eh. Again I think that that is more down to the person. Are they looking at vibrators and giggling? Then they're not comfortable with their own sexuality and *owning* their sexuality and their orgasm. For others, having something that resembles a bio-cock might be just what they want.

I'm not sure if the market-flood of "anatomically correct" dildos and vibrators is because the el-cheapo manufacturers think everybody wants that (for the "fantasy") or because it's always been flooding the market and newbies see it as "oh that's what is the most common, therefore I should get it too".
01/05/2012
Silverdrop Silverdrop
I agree 100%!

There are so many inexpensive QUALITY toys that are good for beginners. Your first vibe doesn't have to be a luxury vibe, but anything that's crap, should never be recommended to beginners! My first sex toy was one of those, and it was so disappointing, I didn't try again for years.

To me a beginner toy should be presented in a friendly and sex-positive manner, as Cherrylane said, be easy to use, and be well-made. I'd say also, being under $30, though of course that's going to vary depending on the beginner. A career woman looking for her first vibe will have more money than a college student, most likely.

As for vibration strength, a too-strong vibe can be muffled by using through clothes or not directly on the clit, but there's not much you can do to make a too-weak vibe feel stronger. A weak vibe may be fun for foreplay or teasing, but I imagine most beginners looking for their first vibe want something for orgasms.

For beginner vibes, I'd recommend the classic "egg with a remote pack", a pocket rocket style, or a simple bullet for women wanting external stimulation. For internal, there are many affordable and well-reviewed rabbits and G-spot vibes.

But if the toy is a piece of junk, it's junk, and shouldn't be foisted off on beginners.
01/05/2012
Silverdrop Silverdrop
Quote:
Originally posted by Dangerous Lilly
Versatility, yes! Unintimidating....eh. Again I think that that is more down to the person. Are they looking at vibrators and giggling? Then they're not comfortable with their own sexuality and *owning* their sexuality and their orgasm. For ... More
The realistic penis used to be the default sex toy for women, with the blow up doll being the default for men. I'm talking 20 years ago, when I made my first sex toy purchase. There was a lingerie shop that had a sleazy back room for 18 and overs, and that's where the toys were sold.

Some sex toy manufacturers (Cal Exotics is particularly bad for this) still use a lot of porn imagery on their packaging, which I think would be off-putting to most beginners - heck, it's off-putting to me! But if the 'sleazy packaging' warning is included in the review, the buyer can make the decision for themselves.

The main thing is that there's a difference between a toy that's just a poor match for you and a toy that's crap. If it's crap, it's crap. Don't recommend it to anyone, especially sex toy newbs.
01/05/2012
Katelyn Katelyn
Quote:
Originally posted by Dangerous Lilly
I kinda let loose on my blog today with a bit of a rant against the term "good for beginners" which is used too often on vibrators that are mediocre, weak, etc. Just because someone is new to sex toys doesn't necessarily mean that they ... More
I soooo do this! I will stop immediately : )

I am always thinking, "well if I had never had a toy before I guess this toy would be fine..."

I have a fried who is a virgin and has only had an orgasm twice and while recommending toys for her I am definitely shying away from those cheap crappy ones so I think from now on I will think about what I would tell her about a toy before I write it in a review.

Good Advice!
01/05/2012
Owl Identified Owl Identified
This was actually brought up before in this thread. I think as a community a lot of us have dropped the phrase from our vocabulary, at least as a synonym for "this toy sucks". Some toys are best for beginners and disappointing for advanced players. But, no one likes a shitty toy. No one.
01/05/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Cherrylane
Oh my god for months now I had been thinking that exact same thing every time I saw this in a review or thread! Just the other day someone said it in the forums and it was a reviewer I totally wouldn't have expected it from and I was SO close to ... More
"The number one thing for me in a "good beginner" is that it should have a higher likelihood of not giving them a bad experience or otherwise letting them down. Not mediocrity. Many of us may have started out with crap toys when we began, but it's not because they are good for beginners. It's because we didn't know better or have people to tell us otherwise. Hint: those people are us. Why are we perpetuating the meh first toy tradition now? "

Cheers!

I proudly do not wish my first (purchased) sex toy experience on anyone! A toy which is good for beginners is one that piques their interest (if I were 18 again I hope someone would direct me to be all over the Tantus Flex instead of this monster), and is made of a safe material, and is reliable and a reasonably good bang for their buck.


For someone like me, yeah, the Hitachi would not have been a good first toy, because I am sensitive to vibrations (and still am, even though I'm hardly a beginner anymore)... but for others? It is! I think just saying what a vibrator is and does is enough to let a beginner know whether or not it's a good place to start. Though, if if was your first of X kind of sex toy, and it worked wonderfully, say so! (I heard Kayla saying how excellent the Bend Graduate was for one of her first dildos, so I'd recommend that one for new folks all the time).
01/05/2012
Antipova Antipova
Also!

Owl's Ultimate Newbie Kit thread.

Everybody should contribute and link to newbies as appropriate!
01/05/2012
sktb0007 sktb0007
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
link

We had a great time discussing this very issue. Thanks for bringing it up again.
Yes I remember it was talked about before!
01/05/2012
LilLostLenore LilLostLenore
you dont know whats good for you untill you try it.
01/05/2012
Curiouscat Curiouscat
Quote:
Originally posted by Dangerous Lilly
I kinda let loose on my blog today with a bit of a rant against the term "good for beginners" which is used too often on vibrators that are mediocre, weak, etc. Just because someone is new to sex toys doesn't necessarily mean that they ... More
I agree whole heartedly! I hear this all the time, and have been thinking about it the past few days. When I started buying sex toys I kept getting crap ones because they were recommended for beginners. I to felt horrible because they didn’t work for me and I stopped buying toys for a time because I thought that was how they all were.

Now I buy and recommend top quality toys THAT WORK to everyone. It can still be high powered and for beginners. It really depends on the person.
01/05/2012
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Oh! Another thing. I do think mentioning size IS relevant, and experience IS relevant when talking about size. But, beginner to sex toys doesn't mean beginner to penetration. I try to say stuff to the effect of "This is not a toy for those new to penetration." More precise, solves the problem of confusing and stereotyping newbz re: size.
01/05/2012
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Quote:
Originally posted by Silverdrop
The realistic penis used to be the default sex toy for women, with the blow up doll being the default for men. I'm talking 20 years ago, when I made my first sex toy purchase. There was a lingerie shop that had a sleazy back room for 18 and ... More
Wait, so I shouldn't leave a gigantic blow-up doll on the front porch of my male-bodied friend's house, ring the doorbell, and run away? You mean that this is not the best way to introduce him to sex toys???????

01/05/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
I actually don't recall that I've ever classified vibrations as "beginner" or "advanced" before as that's dependent on preference and not experience level. I usually will say "good for beginners" if it's not too large, easy to use, not too heavily textured, good quality material, and (like other have said) won't leave a bad taste in the mouth for sex toys.

I usually break things down by "the size is good for XYZ" and "the material is good for XYZ" and then give a summary at the end of my overall option of who the toy would be good for. So sometimes the material itself could be beginner friendly but the size is not which would make the overall toy not beginner friendly. I maybe over complicate things. I think too much sometimes...

A junk toy gets a "this is junk" from me. Not a "good for beginners."
01/05/2012
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Quote:
Originally posted by Owl Identified
This was actually brought up before in this thread. I think as a community a lot of us have dropped the phrase from our vocabulary, at least as a synonym for "this toy sucks". Some toys are best for beginners and disappointing for advanced ... More
I think you're mostly right. I haven't seen a thread like this come up in a while.

I agree that writing off a disappointing toy as "good for a beginner" is a cop-out. But, on the other hand, a more inexpensive toy would be more ideal for someone who doesn't know what they like. It does vary from person to person.
01/05/2012
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Owl Identified
Wait, so I shouldn't leave a gigantic blow-up doll on the front porch of my male-bodied friend's house, ring the doorbell, and run away? You mean that this is not the best way to introduce him to sex toys???????

... More
No, dear, didn't you read? Beginners need small toys! Try a manageable-sized blow-up doll, like the sheep or one of the pigs!
01/05/2012
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
No, dear, didn't you read? Beginners need small toys! Try a manageable-sized blow-up doll, like the sheep or one of the pigs!
YOU PEOPLE HAVE TOO MANY RULES. WHAT HAPPENED TO A GOOD OL' FASHIONED PERSON-SHAPED POOL TOY WITH THE DISTORTED SILK-SCREENED IMAGE OF A PORN STAR PLASTERED ON THE "FACE"?
01/05/2012
Owl Identified Owl Identified
In all seriousness though, there are probably good blow-up dolls out there, I just haven't seen any yet.
01/05/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
I try to go into depth at the end of each section such as "The vibrations would be good for someone with less experience or who is very sensitive," and then later (if I don't like it) "But the shape isn't good for anyone that I can think of." I feel like this is a good way of giving advice but still allows them to consider the different aspects separately.
01/05/2012
RonLee RonLee
Excellent posts made by all. I try to share the knowledge of this site and forum to those I suspect would be receptive. As such I hope that those folks new to adult toys would read this forum thread.
01/05/2012
Elnoa Elnoa
Thanks. Usually if a toy says "great for beginners", I won't touch it. In my mind "good for beginners" is equated with "shitty toy". Now, if the review goes on to explain how it's good for beginners, maybe. Maybe some explanation about ease of use, intuitiveness, body safe material and improbability of injury for first timers.. that makes sense.
01/06/2012
OhMy! OhMy!
Totally agreed. It's generally a good exercise to stop using the overused vocabulary in a review when you can. Obviously there are times when it is appropriate, especially when people explain why they feel it meets that criteria, rather than just label it as a beginner toy.

Then again, it's no different than the news channels using "speaks out" for every interview they conduct rather than saying "talks", "discusses".
01/06/2012
Red Vinyl Kitty Red Vinyl Kitty
Quote:
Originally posted by Cherrylane
Oh my god for months now I had been thinking that exact same thing every time I saw this in a review or thread! Just the other day someone said it in the forums and it was a reviewer I totally wouldn't have expected it from and I was SO close to ... More
I just wanted to say that I own a Hitachi, and I love it.. But I am one of those who doesn't recommend it for beginners.

Lots of people have different opinions, but my reasoning is this: when I first got my Hitachi, I was no stranger to sex toys, and it intimidated the crap out of me! It's big, it's scary, it's super powerful, and it is LOUD! I think that while there are some beginners who will love it, most of the people I know and have talked to have found the toy itself to be a bit intimidating at first.

It's true that a weak toy should not be relegated to "beginners", but I think that a lot of people who are new to sex toys want something that is not going to be scary off the bat, and for me, the Hitachi was scary.
01/06/2012
pasdechat pasdechat
Just found this post, and I have to say, I have ALWAYS wondered about the exact same thing. Even when I WAS a beginner I knew I wanted a fairly strong toy--a toy that's too weak to get you off is, I would say, actually worse for beginners because it might convince them that nothing will ever work. I really try to avoid this in my reviews--if a vibe is weak, the most I'll say is that it's good as a warm-up or for people who are very sensitive to the point that stronger vibrations hurt.

That said, I think there are instances where it's appropriate to say a toy is "good for beginners." A dildo with a smaller diameter (assuming the "beginner" has little experience in any kind of penetration), a traditional style vibe that can be used internally or externally so the person can figure out what he/she likes, etc. But yeah, not so much for weak vibrators.
05/25/2012
Woman China Woman China
You know. I used to use the phrase "good for beginners" simply because the helpful hint thingie on the reviews asked, "Is this toy good for beginners?" (or something to that effect).

I have been trying to shy away from that phrase because I find it insulting. If I didn't get off with a toy, or the toy and I will not be friends, I explain why and then I explain which toy I prefer over that toy and why.

I'd really love to go back to some of my older reviews and yes say something like, "this was a total waste of my toy because the vibrations never even left the toy."
05/25/2012
Total posts: 27
Unique posters: 19