There are a lot of sex toys out there. They come in just about every shape, size and color imaginable. But no matter what sex shop you walk into, you'll find they all carry a few basic types of toys.

They're all designed for pleasure, but knowing what they are and what they do is a great first step in choosing the ones that'll work best for you.

Consider it your sex toy reference guide. You're welcome.

Dildos

You probably have a basic idea of what a dildo is, but this is one very diverse group of toys. They can range from very realistic to simplistic to fantastical. No matter what kind you’re looking for, if you want to use one anally or with a harness, you’re going to want a flared base.

Always make sure you buy a high-quality dildo that is body-safe! If you're purchasing a silicone one, make sure it's non-porous and made of platinum cured silicone.

Our top tip: Even if you’re not into anal, a flared base can still be useful for holding onto; sometimes they also double as a suction cup!

Pride rainbow dildo by Avant

We recommend: Pride by Avant is an awesome, colourful dildo with a suction cup base! It's ergonomically curved head is great for hitting all the dream erogenous zones, and it's compatible harness compatible, so you can create tons of fun adventures with it!

Read: How to Use a Dildo

G-Spot Massagers

These are insertable toys that range from straight to curvy, and are found in every non-porous material there is. Some famous wand toys include the nJoy Pure Wand and the more recent Key by Jopen Comet G. Many (like these two) are curved for G-spot stimulation.

Our top tip: A curve is usually necessary - or at least helpful - because the G-spot is located above the pelvis inside the vagina. A curved toy made out of a hard material is ideal for the pressure a G-spot craves.

Mystim Sizzling Simon E-Stim Vibrator

We recommend: The Mystim Sizzling Simon E-Stim Vibrator. This dual-ended wand dives you one angled-tip for target G-spot stimulation and a second thick, rounded end for you to play with. Since it's made of crystal premium glass, you can also play around with temperature play with this toy!

Vibrating Insertables

Vibrating insertables usually fall somewhere between a dildo and an insertable massager. They are defined as anything made to be used internally that also vibrates.

Our top tip: You can use a vibrating insertable anally, but if you do it needs a flared base to keep it from getting lost. Otherwise, it may get sucked into your rectum (especially during orgasm) and you won't be able to get it out - at least not without the assistance of an emergency room.

LELO MONA 2 vibrator

I recommend: The LELO MONA 2. The MONA 2 has the perfect curve to target your G-spot and it's vibrating head is sure to leave you thrilled. It's also 100% waterproof, so you can take it on all kinds of wet adventures!

Couple’s Toys

While I’d posit that any product can be used by couples, this category specifically pertains to c-shaped vibrators intended to be used by those with a vagina to vibrate against the clitoris and G- pot.

These products can be used during penetrative intercourse so that the penetrating partner may feel the vibrations as well.

We-Vibe Chorus vibrator with remote and smartphone app

We recommend: We-Vibe is one of the best brands on the market when it comes to couples vibrators, and their newest toy, Chorus, is their best one yet. This wearable vibrator can be worn during intercourse to stimulate both the clitoris and G-spot, and it's intuitive remote is pressure controlled, so all you have to do is squeeze and release!

External Vibes

External vibes range from tiny bullet vibes to big, powerful ones like the Hitachi Magic Wand and other wand-style toys. They come small, big, wired, wireless, everything in-between and more.

These are some of the most popular sex toy styles out there, and the variety available is a reflection of that.

Our top tip: Look for one with vibrations that are deep and thumpy rather than thin and buzzy. These vibrators can be used externally anywhere on the body - nipples, testicles, outside of the anus, on the penis, on the clitoris, anywhere that’s sensitive and external. You don’t want to use these internally because they're either too big or too small to be work well for this.

Le Wand Feel My Power- Wednesday Edition vibrator

We recommend: Le Wand Feel My Power- "Wednesday" Edition. This luxurious wand is all about those deep, rumbly vibrations that will leave you breathless. The Le Wand also has a flexible neck and comes with a textured cover so you can create all kinds of amazing sensations in all kinds of amazing places.

Kegel Balls

Ben Wa and Kegel balls are becoming more popular every day. Ben Wa balls are usually small and metal. They are designed to be held in the vagina to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles; they are often too heavy for beginners and can fall out.

Kegel Balls, on the other hand, tend to be larger so they stay in place, and there’s a ball inside of the ball that rolls around and stimulates your muscles, causing them to contract involuntarily and remind you to exercise.

Our top tip: Kegel balls usually have a pull string! Those are the ones I'd recommend for beginners.

Jimmyjane Intimate Care Kegel Trainer Set

We recommend: Jimmyjane Intimate Care Kegel Trainer Set gives you two different kegel balls for you to practice with. Each silicone bulb has a steel ball inside that provides you with natural, dynamic vibrations to stimulate your vaginal and pelvic floor muscles.

Read: Here's What Happened When I Exercised My Vagina Every Day for a Month

Anal Toys

Butt plugs, anal probes, anal beads - all these and more are fantastic unisex anal toys. You’re going to want to look for hard, smooth materials because these qualities make them easier to use.

Our top tips: Hard toys are easier to insert, and anything that isn't smooth can be uncomfortable. The anal tissues are very sensitive, so any seams or roughness will be felt. Start small, work your way up. Don’t forget the flared base!

You need to exert pressure on the sphincter with the toy to get it in, but don’t try to force it. If you press the toy against the sphincter and hold it there, it will eventually accept it on its own. You need to find the right medium between too little pressure and too much; pay attention to how your body (or your partner's body) reacts and it should go smoothly.

b-Vibe Anal Training and Education Set

We recommend: b-Vibe's Anal Training and Education Set is the perfect package toy if you're new to anal play. This kit gives you everything you need to enjoy anal play (including three different butt plugs!), and comes with a complete guide that helps walk you through the steps!

Read: 5 Tips for Buying Anal Beads

Prostate Massagers

OK, so a prostate massager is an anal toy too, but it belongs to a group of specialized anal toys that are specifically meant to stimulate the prostate. Everything I said about anal toys applies here, but the shape will usually have a slight curve or a more extreme curve to massage the prostate.

Aneros Helix Syn Trident prostate massager

We recommend: Aneros products; they’re the industry specialist for prostate massagers. They have both vibrating and non-vibrating massagers for you to play with!

Cock Rings

There is a wide variety of cock rings on the market. Some are soft models that have vibrators attached for added stimulation, while others are made out of firm materials and meant more for their traditional use of holding blood in an erect penis to bring it to its full physical potential - and keep it there.

Our top tip: No product can make a penis larger, but most people cannot maintain an erection at its fullest physical capability; this is normal. These products are traditionally marketed toward those with erectile dysfunction, but I personally think they’re great for anyone with a penis. Some even have a teardrop shape that stimulates the perineum!

LELO Tor 2 Vibrating Ring cock ring

We recommend: A vibrating cock ring that stimulates both partners during intercourse, like the LELO Tor 2 Vibrating Ring, gives you all the benefits of a cock ring plus the added delight of vibrations for both partners!

Masturbation Sleeves

Masturbation sleeves can be very realistic, have a fantasy shape, or be very engineered and modern-looking. Most are made out of porous materials like elastomer and need to be powdered to stay "fresh," although a growing number of these toys are made of silicone.

These products are great for enhancing masturbation and foreplay for anyone with a penis. The squish and added texture are completely unlike anything a hand could do. Some sleeves also provide vibrations and other stimulating sensations.

Our top tip: These can be great for stamina training, experiencing the fantasy of a threesome without having to bring in another actual person, and sex in a position that just doesn’t work out physically for you. Get creative!

Fleshlight Quickshot Vantage masturbator sleeve

We recommend: Fleshlight produces some of the most common elastomer products that are very well made in comparison to the rest of the elastomeric hordes and are at the opposite ends of the "realistic" and "non-realistic" spectrum.