When it comes to getting off, I am what you might call "pro-choice." I believe that women should have as many orgasm-inducing options at their disposal as possible. Actually, I believe that everyone and anyone should have as many orgasm-inducing options as possible at their disposal. But that's just how I roll. Even so, there's something to be said for a vibrator. A good vibrator's erotic efficiency is a truly gratifying experience. Just turn it on and you'll be in O Land in a few short minutes. Whether you're someone who struggles to orgasm without electronic intervention or you're just someone who loves lots of orgasms on demand, that's a pretty sweet deal.

Of course, a vibrator is more than just a way to get off. Exploring your body and your sexuality is (or, um, should be) a way of life. So how can you cultivate the best possible relationship with your trusty bed-side friend? Here are 23 tips to help.

Be Grateful

I'm not going to go so far as to say that we live in an enlightened age, but we do live in a digital one, which means that you can have any vibrator your vulva desires delivered to you in plain brown packaging. That's a far cry from earlier eras, where orgasms, or "paroxysms" as they were called at the time, had to be administered by doctors, or sex toys had to be disguised as "body massagers." Masturbation is now endorsed as normal, healthy and even necessary, including the tools that go along with it. How's that for gratifying?

Buy One

Just do it. Statistics suggest that one-third of adult American women own at least one vibrator. If you aren't one of them stop appropriating back massagers and putting your junk in front of Jacuzzi jets and buy yourself the right tool to do the job. Vibrators are designed for pleasure. If you haven't used the real deal, you'll be impressed with what they can do. Actually, even if you have used one, you'll be impressed with what they can do.

Seek Out Body-Safe Materials

Some sex toys are made of high-quality materials. Sadly, many others are made of a toxic soup of plasticizers that can cause skin irritation and have even been linked to cancer. The highest quality vibrators are typically covered in medical-grade silicone, a silky, safe material that's also easy to clean.

Pay for Quality

You can get off with a cheap vibrator, but chances are you won't get off as well, or for as long. That's right, high-quality vibrators are more than their fancy packaging, pretty colors and sleek shapes. The best toys are typically more powerful, more thoughtfully designed and tend to last a whole lot longer than their less expensive counterparts. You are also more likely to get a toy that's fully waterproof, rechargeable, has a warranty and is made of silicone (see above). In other words, you're paying for a toy that gets you off better, more easily and for many years to come. Think of it as an investment in your sexual health.

Do Your Research

Oh, but hold up. You can't just drop more than $100 on a vibrator without doing a little research. After all, a pricey toy, in and of itself, does not a fabulous orgasm make. That's because you need to make sure you're investing in the toy that's right for you. Maybe you like clitoral stimulation. Maybe you prefer something insertable. Maybe you'd like to try something with suction. No matter what you enjoy, find out which toys fit the bill and how well they deliver by visiting manufacturers websites and reading reviews online.

Pay Attention to Warning Signs

You can also narrow down your sex toy wish list by using the same common sense you'd use to buy anything. The "as seen on TV" sauna pants that promise to help you lose weight? That's called too good to be true, people. Sex toys with too many bells and whistles, or manufacturers that make huge, sweeping claims about their multi-orgasmic abilities often fall flat. The best sex toys focus on quality, design and usability - you know, the things that actually matter.

Listen and Learn

One thing many people fail to consider when choosing a vibrator is sound. If you live alone, this may not be an issue for you. If not, you'll probably feel more comfortable getting off with something that doesn't make it sound like you're having a closed-door date with a buzz saw. Test out toys at your favorite sex toy shop, or read reviews to get a sense of how noisy your toy of choice might be.

Think About Discretion

Some vibrators like, say, the Hitachi Magic Wand, are absolutely huge and hard to hide. Others, like the Minna Limon or JimmyJane Form 3 or the Revel Body SOL, don't resemble a sex toy at all. If you're concerned about having to explain a vibrating dong to your nosy 5-year-old, or do a lot of traveling and are worried about having to watch a TSA agent wave it in front of your fellow passengers, just know that there are plenty of incognito options out there too.

Pick a Toy You Can Look in the Eye

OK, vibrators don't have eyes, exactly, but pick a vibe that looks friendly and approachable to you. One that looks cute. Maybe even one that inspires you to give it a name. A lot of people do this. Like this person. And Barbara Walters. Trust me, it's a thing. The best vibes are like BFFs. Pick one that speaks to you.

Go for Waterproof

Just about any decent vibe these days should be fully waterproof. This, of course, means you can bring your little friend into the bath or shower. It also means you can properly clean that thing, which is probably a good idea considering where you have been - and will be - sticking it. (Some vibrators are even designed to be used in the water. Check out our review of the Revel Body SOL, which promises the Best. Bath. Ever.)

Get to Know Each Other

Every vibrator is a little bit different; different shape, different settings, different buttons. So, in order to really enjoy it, you have to get to know it. Try all the different settings and speeds. Try all the different positions and angles you can think of to use it in. Try it alone. Try it with a partner. It's only when you really get to know what your vibrator can do that you'll understand what it can do for you. Or maybe you just have a lot of time on your hands. Either way, fun times ahead!

Relax

Once you've got that high-quality, buzzing, body-safe little beauty of your choice in hand, it's easy to get excited. Oh god, yes.

Relax.


Seriously. Clenching makes a great orgasm very hard to come by. Just take some deep breaths and enjoy the ride.

Learn What You Like

Sex toys are a great avenue to sexual self-discovery. So, rather than just applying pressure to your genitals, flicking the "on: button and hoping for the best, go in like a sexual explorer. Tease yourself. Try different settings. Move the toy to different areas of your vulva, vagina and even your body. You may be surprised by what you learn - and what you learn you love.

Switch Things Up

A vibrator is a great orgasm-producing tool, but because it does the job so well, it's easy to get a little dependant on it, perhaps even to the point where you can no longer orgasm without its familiar buzz. A healthy relationship is one in which you love your vibrator - not one where you can't enjoy your sexuality without it. Try varying the intensity of vibrations to ensure that you don't get physically dependant on ultra-high stimulation. Also remember that your hands are amazing tools for sexual pleasure as well. By mixing things up and varying your routine, you can train your body to orgasm from a variety of types of stimulation. That's great news for your sex life - and your long-term relationship with your vibrator.

Learn the Art of Self Love

Masturbation isn't just about orgasms - or it shouldn't be. It's about learning the art of self love. When you discover the fireworks your body is capable of producing, loving it - all of it - becomes a whole lot easier. This love translates to your sex life as well. The use of sex toys among women has been found to boost sexual satisfaction. Now how's that for a buzz?

Create an Experience

A good vibrator can probably bring you to orgasm in a few short minutes - or less. But sometimes it pays to take your time. Lock yourself in the bathroom, run a bath, light some candles and take some time to fully relax and enjoy your body. Taking time for self care is something we should probably all be doing more often. But, hey, if it takes an earth-shaking orgasm to motivate you, so be it.

Believe to Achieve (Orgasm)

It sounds like a corny movie from the 1980s, but you are more likely to achieve orgasm - against all odds - if you just believe in yourself. Really. One research study found that women who had positive beliefs about their vibrators reported better sexual satisfaction. So, have some confidence in the power of your battery-operated friend. Yes, yes, yes!

Incorporate Your Whole Body

It's only natural to immediately send your vibe's good vibrations below the belt, but if that's the only place you're headed, you're missing out on a lot of major erogenous zones. Instead, try running those vibrations across your breasts, thighs, stomach and anywhere else that feels good. Teasing yourself helps build pleasure. You may even find a hot spot you never knew you had. Plus, stretching out your play-time means you're getting your money's worth.

Use Lube

You might think lube is just for sex, but even if you're only using a clitoral vibrator, lubrication can make the experience So. Much. Better. Lubricant helps reduce friction and prevent your most sensitive skin from getting over-stimulated - and therefore less responsive. It'll also make it possible for you to play for longer. And that's never a bad thing.

Play With a Partner

Sex toys can bring new possibilities to partnered play, especially in a long-term relationship. Plus, your favorite vibe can be even better with a partner - more hands!

Clean and Care for It

You can keep your vibrator as your dirty little secret, but using it should always be good, clean fun. Sex toys that aren't properly cleaned and sanitized can introduce bacteria and other nasty things into your body. That's because bodily fluids can linger on the surface of the toy. Keep your favorite vibe squeaky clean by washing it in soap and water after each use, or wiping it down thoroughly with a sex toy cleaner.

Don't Settle

Sexual exploration - and the pleasure it can bring - is a life-long process. If you aren't satisfied with your sex life or the pleasure your body is or isn't producing, don't settle - keep exploring! Try new things, try new toys and be open to new experiences. Your earth-shattering orgasm is out there somewhere!

Expand Your Collection

Vibrators are a way to help you expand your sexual repertoire and explore new avenues to pleasure, but you probably can't get there with just one toy (although some vibrators do provide additional attachments, essentially giving you more bang for your buck). Try a clitoral vibrator. And one designed for penetration. And maybe throw in a rabbit style vibe. Chances are you'll end up with more than one favorite. Or maybe you'll just figure out exactly what your true favorite is. Either way, you're bound to have a lot of fun on your journey of electronic self-pleasuring. A lot of fun. Just be sure to keep your relationship with your electronic devices a healthy one. After all, cultivating a healthy relationship with your vibrator is pretty much the same as cultivating a healthy relationship with your sexual self.