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The Vroom: A Women’s Buyer’s Guide to Vibrators

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Whether it’s your fortieth or your very first, there are many factors to keep in mind when choosing a new vibrator. We’ll lay it all out for you. We might even test-drive a few.

  Traditional Vibes

When many people visualize a vibrator, what they're thinking about is a slim-line vibe, which is also known as a traditional vibrator. These old reliables were customarily made with a hard plastic case and a cap at the base, which not only handled the on/off and speed control, but also fully unscrewed for battery-changing. Today’s offerings, however, include a variety of materials from the less-safe jelly style, through the range of safer plastics and silicones, so there are oodles and oodles of options to choose from!

The traditional-style vibes can be used for a variety of ways of getting your groove on. Obviously, many women like to have them inserted vaginally, to provide some internal buzz to the walls of the vagina and to the G-spot; however, they can also be used directly on the clitoral area, the inner and outer labia, and against the anus (though if you insert it rectally, you’ll want to put a condom on it if you plan on using it vaginally later, to prevent bacterial transmission). They also make fantastic toys for guys who like the buzz, especially against their anus or their taint (the bit of skin between the base of the scrotum and the ass), which will give them some indirect prostate stimulation as well.

Some great new options exist out there in this grouping:

My First Mini Massager is a fantastic choice if you want to test-drive a traditional vibrator with a few extra goodies. It’s got a plastic smooth-cote finish, which is far safer and kinder to your body. Plus, its tiny size makes it great for traveling, and it’s waterproof, so it’ll hold up to any kind of wet that you want to get into!

Want a fun workout set to your fave playlists? The OhMiBod is a traditional vibe that hooks up to your iPod and vibrates in tune with your music. You’ll find yourself making up your playlists in a whole new way, with your own pleasure in mind! It also works pretty fabulously when it’s detached from your player, making it even more versatile.

For the ultimate in safe, long-lasting, eco-friendly vibes in this category, the Little Chroma is perfect. Not only is it body-friendly metal, it’s also waterproof, and it comes with a replaceable motor – so this is one toy that you can have as a long term investment with some VERY good returns!

Silicone-friendly? You’ll love the Leon. This professional is made out of 100% silicone, yet keeps that clean, traditional look (albeit in a flaring yellow-and-orange scheme, which makes it easy to find in your toy box).

Something totally different? The Sinnflut Benjamin Bond will push all your private Benjamin's buttons. It's visually startling, yet amazingly yummy. It’s a cross between traditional vibrators and more phallic-shaped vibes, with a ghostly style all its own, and designed to work all over your top ten erogenous zones. Best of all? It sports one of the most eco-friendly (as well as sex-friendly) new qualities: it’s got a recharging base, so you can quit buying the 100-pack of double A batteries at the warehouse store every month!

  Rabbit-Style Vibes

Made famous by a certain TV show that had something to do with women enjoying carnal knowledge in the confines of a modern metropolis, Rabbits (also known as dual-stimulation vibrators) are probably the most well-known type of vibrators out there, especially among the younger crowd. Let’s face it – they’re fun-looking, non-intimidating, and they offer both internal stimulation AND penetration, as well as an external vibrating stimulator (usually used on the clit, but can be turned around for perineal teasing).

While some do depict animal shapes - rabbit ears, a dolphin nose, a snake tongue, panther paws - others have more abstract clitoral stimulators, with shapes such as waves, flames, and so on. The shaft of each Rabbit-style vibe differs from toy to toy – some shafts vibrate, others rotate or thrust, and some even have beads that move inside the shaft for additional stimulation.

The original Rabbit vibes were made of phthalate-laden plastics, but today’s range of safer materials give you plenty more options! If you want an updated retro-bunny, look no further than the Silicone Rabbit Pearl! With body-safe silicone, dual-control vibration in the bunny’s ears, and waterproof qualities, it's a super-duper starter dual-stimulation vibe!

If price is a factor, you can find some fine dual-stimulation vibes for under $30. One of the most popular is the White Heat Double Delights vibe (which comes in small, medium, and large sizes to suit everyone’s preference). This line of vibrators offers reasonable power, easy cleaning, and an attractive appearance at a price that is affordable for most everyone!

Want a more hands-off function, or want to put the power into your partner’s hands? The Jr. Caterpillar vibe is a stroke (or two) of genius! There are two sets of controls – one located on the vibe itself, and a separate remote control that can be handed to a trusted helper, for double the fun. And between its physical features (the tickling antennae, the ribbed body) and the huge range of vibration levels and patterns, you’re sure to find lots of ways to get off with this fella!

If you want a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famously Horny-looking vibe that incorporates the famous pearl feature of the traditional Rabbit, take a look at the Silicone Beaded Butterfly. With its LED lighted controls which help you intuitively adjust the speed and rotation to your own preferences, it makes it an easy vibe to handle (and really, who wants to try to think about which button to push when you’re getting close to your big O moment?). These make wonderful gifts, too – I mean, who doesn’t love to get pearls?

  Clitoral Vibes

These are the tried-and-true of the vibrator hierarchy, designed with a solitary raison d'etre: to get your clitoris to sing! And possibly do a little dance as well. Clitoral vibes come in all different shapes and sizes: the bullet or egg-shaped vibes, with or without a power pack and a cord; the curved, hand-held vibes that are shaped to literally fit your own unique contours; the power-house vibes that serve only to jar your bits with as much vibration possible; and the novelty-shaped clitoral vibes, which can either be more discreet or add a little cute factor to your private time.

The Hitachi Magic Wand is the sun-strewn mother of all clitoral vibes; its size and shape make it easy to use on yourself or your partner, and it offers one of the biggest bangs for your buck when it comes to the strength of the vibrations it offers. It also doesn’t need batteries – it plugs right into the wall, and will run as long as you keep paying your electric bill! A bonus is that there are a number of attachments for the Hitachi, from textured caps to g-spot attachments, so you can get even more for your money.

The SaSi is one of the new wave of clitoral vibes buzzing through the market. With a quick charge-time (45 minutes!) and 11 types of motion/vibration patterns, it’s already ingenious enough. But the best part? You can arrange the vibration and motions any way you like (in any order, with repeats, etc.), and the toy will remember exactly what you like! It’s like having a partner that pays attention and vibrates, too. Only problem? It doesn’t cuddle afterward.

By far the cutest clitoral vibe is I Rub My Duckie – a plastic rubber ducky with a vibrator in it’s behind. It looks like a rubber duckie and is waterproof, so no one will ever know the difference unless they squeeze its back and feel the vibes. If the duckie is too blasé for you, there is also a bondage duckie, a devil duckie, an I Rub My Fishie, an I Rub My Wormie and believe it or not, an I Rub My Penguin. All look like cutesy little bath-time toys…until the vibrations start!

Lily is one of the most popular vibes to come out in the past few years. Its ease of use, rechargeability, and gorgeous appearance make it perfect for throwing into your purse, backpack, or toybag for those opportune moments. In fact, we can’t even imagine that the TSA folks would take a second, awkward look at this beauty! It's also highly ergonomic, meaning that you'll never develop carpal tunnel syndrome from masturbating!

  Vibrating Dildos

If you're looking for something that’s penetrative, vibrates, and has a bit more girth than a traditional vibe, your best bet is probably going to be a vibrating dildo. Some toys on the lower end have the vibrator built into the toy itself, while higher-end vibrating dildos (especially silicone models) come with a removable bullet so that the death of the vibrator doesn’t mean that the whole toy is destined for the great Sex Toy Graveyard.

Dildos are often thought of as looking like real penises, and certainly, some do. However, they come in a large a variety of shapes, sizes and colors (they even make a tentacle dildo!). Keep in mind, though, that the buzz on these babies (or big daddies, depending on your perspective) is likely to be a bit muted by the quantity of material that the vibrations have to buzz on through.

The Perfectly Hot Pink vibe is a terrific starter realistic vibrating dildo; its cyber-silicone material is slick and will slip up and down your curves. And its easy to use, built-in vibrator will have you whirring away into happy-land in no time flat.

Buzz 1 is a beautiful dildo by Tantus with a vibrating bullet in its base. If worn in a harness, the dildo vibrates both the wearer and the person being penetrated – two for the price of one. It’s a gorgeous design with – oh, joy of joys! – medical-grade silicone AND a removable bullet vibrator, ensuring you years of exemplary service with just a little easy cleaning and storage (don’t we wish all our partners were so easy to take care of?)

All the Feeldoes (Slim, Regular and Stout) are unique choices for the vibrator lover who wants to share – they each have a removable bullet vibe, and the Feeldoes themselves are built to get both you and your partner off – you can insert one end in your ass or vagina, and the other end in the orifice of choice on your partner, and let the dancing commence!

  Wearable Vibes

Wearable vibrators can be a ton of fun, and while they are extremely popular with couples, they can also be used singly as part of a full-contact masturbation session, or when you want to get revved up for later. Originally, most of these vibrators were made of rubber or cheap jelly material, but today there are more alternatives that are better for your body, yet still very affordable. You have a few added options with wearables – a number of them have external-only stimulation; some have an internal probe; some come with remotes, and some are wearable during penetration – so you have a pretty good chance of finding one that you’ll love using.

One of the newest on the market is the amazing We-Vibe. This brilliantly-designed vibrator is cleverly shaped to fit into the vagina, and wrap around the outside of the body for clitoral stimulation as well (and you can do the same thing with ass play!). It’s a rechargeable vibrator that has a protected switch under the silicone cover on one end of its U-shaped body, so it’s easy to clean and take care of. Best of all – it’s got a low profile, so if you’re wearing it vaginally, your partner can use their cock inside of you at the same time (and get a vibrating treat for themselves, too).

The Power G Arouser gives you two textured wings with an angled g-spot stimulator in the center, and straps hold it onto your body so that you can move around a bit without interrupting your fun. This is a lovely choice for under-panty wear…think of a romantic dinner with your sweetie while you’re shimmying about in your chair!

The Waterproof Remote Control Venus Butterfly deserves a look as well. Its coated egg-vibe sits right over the clit (or can be adjusted to be closer to the vagina, depending on your preference), and the remote control can be tucked into your purse, pocket, or partner’s hands, so you can get some covert fun in under the proverbial radar.

Like the idea of a remote control, but want even less bulk? Try the Remote Control Panty or its sister, the Remote Control Thong, for full-on wearability!

  Finger Vibrators

As complicated as this may seem, these are vibrators that are worn – you guessed it – on your finger(s). Some are meant to be worn on a single finger, while others are designed for the entire hand. These are great for solo masturbatory play, with a partner for mutual stimulation, or as a bit of additional stimulation during intercourse. And, sadly enough, they’ve been known to be used as… (gasp!)...body massagers, as well.

One of the coolest finger vibrators available on the market is the Fukoku 9000 – it’s got a power pack that connects to one of three included silicone finger-sleeves, allowing you to explore the different textures and see what works best where. And don’t skimp on the guys with this one – these fingertips are amazing for perineal or external anal stimulation, delivering vibes up towards his p-spot for a little extra stimulation!

If you want to add a little color, the Mycero Set by Feelztoys is a fantastic option – it’s even made out of medical-grade silicone, one of the highest quality materials available! The set comes with two finger-vibes – one green and one red. Each has a removable bullet (which takes watch batteries; you can either replace the batteries, or replace the bullet). Once the bullet is removed, you can clean the sleeves to sterilize the toys, making these great toys to share with friends, partners, lovers and more.

Want to go a little high-class? Meet Chandra, a beautifully shaped finger vibe from the British company Emotional Bliss. She’s cleverly shaped to fit clitoral contours (and does a bang-up job in most every other reachable place you can think of), is made of a non-porous high-grade plastic, and even comes with three different finger-bands for a perfect fit. Chandra is definitely a step above the rest!

The NymphO by Nasstoys comes with two rose-shaped stimulators that turn on with a simple push-button, and then can be used together on one finger, or separately (try one on your index and middle finger, and rub, pinch, and gently twist your favorite body parts between them). Interestingly enough, the batteries in the bullets are not replaceable, so these seem to be relatively short-lived toys. However, we’ve found that the roses themselves can be used with other bullets and stimulators, so you can rub a little extra life out of these babies!


1. Batteries

Batteries are still the most common source of power for vibrators. Some take watch batteries; others take the traditional AAA, AA, C and D batteries. Toys can take anywhere from one to four batteries, and each toy uses them differently, so it’s hard to predict when they will need to be replaced.

It is highly recommended that you take your batteries OUT of your toys when not in use – it will give them a longer life, prevent corrosion in your toys, and keep them from turning on accidentally at the most in opportune times (like at the airport). If you do decide to leave them in your toys, PLEASE do not forget to remove them when you clean them!

Batteries, while handy and easy to get, are not good for our environment. We recommend investing in rechargeable batteries, to save you money, and to help our environment. If you MUST use disposable batteries, please make sure you get rid of them properly, instead of just dumping them in your trash.

2. Plug-Ins

There aren’t that many toys that plug into your average wall sockets, but the ones that do pack a punch like no other. The most famous of these toys is the Hitachi Magic Wand, which is meant as a clitoral simulator (well, originally meant as a back massager, but hey, let’s not split hairs). However, various companies now make tons of attachments for the Hitachi, like the Gee-Wiz, the Tri-Pod, the G-plus massager attachment and more, so that you can use this weapons-grade vibrator with penetration as well.

Plug-in toys should be unplugged between uses to cut down on energy waste, and should be cleaned with a cloth, as compared to under running water – don’t forget, water and electricity are NOT good friends. A final note – if you’re buying these overseas, you’ll have to get an adapter!

3. Rechargeables

These types of toys have increased in market share over the past several years, as people make a push towards being more environmentally-conscious. By recharging toys instead of using batteries, you cut down on costs for yourself (how much do you spend on batteries for your sex toys ALONE?), as well as reduce landfill and chemical seepage. Lelo and Fun Factory offer tons upon tons of rechargeable toys, and other companies do as well. They now even make a rechargeable Rabbit vibe! Better yet, many companies are now making these toys, so while there are many high-end options, people on a budget are starting to be able to find rechargeable toys in their price range as well.

Keep in mind that anyone not in the US will need an adapter for these toys; these are easy to get at your local travel store. Be careful with cleaning, so as not to get anything into the charging area, and only charge them as long as they need. Overcharging and/or leaving the charger plugged in only uses up more energy, and that just ups your bill for no reason! Fortunately, these toys tend to come with explicit cleaning & storage instructions, so unlike less expensive toys, you won’t have to figure it all out for yourself.
  • Co-authored by Essin Em



Wow, what an extensive article on vibrators! I love that you mentioned Benjamin Bond. He is one of my all-time favorite toys.


Thank you for the article, I have been looking for something to point me in the right direction(s)


Thanks so much, great article,will be sharing my my friend, a toy virgin


Thanks for the article! I am too going to be sharing this with a few friends!


Good article. Covered the basics very well.




great article.


What an excellent article! After having bought two of the ol' reliables, I've been looking into getting a new type... This really helped out.




great article


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Great detail!


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