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MASTURBATION AND SOLO SEX

Everything You'll Ever Need to Know About Choosing the Right Dildo for You

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Published: MARCH 15, 2022 | Updated: JULY 21, 2022 08:40:22
Presented by KINKLY SHOP
Size, shape, use and even color may determine the best toy for your pleasure.

If you hang around most sex toy discussions, you'll notice the star of the show tends to be the ever-presented vibrator.

But dildos deserve just as much praise as their vibrating counterparts. Selecting the right dildo for your needs is just as convoluted as selecting the right vibrator for you. And yet...people just don't spend nearly as much time talking about these insertable, phallic objects.

READ: 8 Steps to Picking a Dildo That'll Rock Your World.

So, let's change thattoday.

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Let's talk about what you need to think about when trying to find the best dildo for you. We'll start with taking measurementsand we'll end with thinking about how you want to use this dildo down the line.

Let's Talk Dildo Width

OK, I'mma get on a soap box for a second.

It drives me absolutely bonkers when people try to figure out what dildo they want by only mentioning the length measurement. Length is definitely an important part of the equation; but I'm going to argue the width of your potential penetration toy is actually much more important.

See, if you get a dildo that's too long, you can just enjoy shallower penetrationor pick up a set of OhNuts. If you get a dildo that's too short, you might not hit the internal spots you were looking for. But if you get a dildo that's too thick?

Ooooooh boy. You just ain't using that bad boy!

If you've ever had the not-so-pleasurable experience of trying to insert a toy that's simply too wide, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about: It stings, it burns and it's just a bucket of ice on top of what had been a good time.

READ: Tips for Having Awesome - and Pain-Free - Hand Sex.

That's why I really recommend starting your dildo journey with a good idea of the diameter you're looking for. For most people, this can be as simple as measuring a dick you've inserted into your bodywhether that's attached to a human or is another dildo you have.

You can also use your fingers as a springboard for measurements. Figure out how many fingers you enjoy having comfortably inserted and then measure the width of that many fingers with a fabric tape measure. (Ooooh, math!)

If you've had penis-in-hole intercourse and think the penis was about average, you're looking at a diameter of between 1.4 inches and 1.55 inches. When in doubt, though, go smaller rather than larger. (Remember, if it's too large, it might hurt to use; but if it's too small, you can still use it.)

If penetration is still very new to you and/or penis-in-hole intercourse hurts, stick to dildos between one and one-quarter inches in diameterand think about picking up a dilator or dilator kit.

Now Figure Out Length

Once you've figured out the width, you can move on to determining the ideal length for you.

As a baseline, the average biological penis ranges from five to six inchesbut most people find dildo length is an extremely personal choice.

Why? Well, it comes down to how you like using your dildo.

If you tend to enjoy lots of fast, rough penetration, ensure the toy is short enoughor get a penis limiter, like an OhNut, for it. Otherwise, you can easily bottom out (against the S-curve inside the butt or the cervix in the vagina) for some shockingly painful sensations.

More important than the length, however, tends to be the dildo's curvature.

Let's talk about it:

Hitting Dat G-Spot or P-Spot

The nerve endings for pleasure are primarily clustered in two spots for vaginal and anal sex: the entrance and the bundle of nerves that make up the g-spot and p-spot.

There are a few other internal "spots" some people love (looking at you, a-spot!); but the g-spot, p-spot and entrance tend to be the most common pleasure spots for dildo usage.

READ: G-Spot Hunting: How to Find It ... and Its Elusive Orgasm.

That means your dildo's length, width and curvature need to work together to help you reach those spotsif that's what you're after.

So, if you're looking for g-spot or p-spot pleasure, make sure to select a dildo that features the curve you think you needand has the rigidity and stiffness that your body needs to hit those spots.

The Glass Ribbed G-Spot: An eight-inch glass dildo with a ribbed handle for easy gripping and a shaft curving to the left.The Glass Ribbed G-Spot.
For example, my g-spot is deeper and it really needs hard, firm pressure for it to feel fantastic for me. That means the Glass Ribbed G-Spot is one of my favorite toys. On the other hand, my partner's p-spot hates rigid pressure and firm toys; and their p-spot dream is the Vixen Creations Maverick and the Nexus REVO Extreme.

READ: Quiz: What's the G-Spot or P-Spot Toy You NEED to Have?

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The Fun Factory Limba Flex: Two silicone dildos of varying lengths next to each other. The dildo on the left is longer and dark teal in color; and the dildo on the right is shorter and neon teal in color. Both dildos are surrounded by shadows of themselves to illustrate their ability to bend.The Fun Factory Limba Flex.
Not sure what you really need or where you really need it? A bendable toy like the Fun Factory Limba Flex allows you bend the toy's shape, experiment to find "the right fit" and rebend it if it isn't.

Alternatively, go with something that works for the majority of people (and hope that statistics are on your side for this) like the Njoy Pure Wand or LELO Ella.

Think About Material

Dildos are available in a wide, wide range of materials.

From jelly, to PVC, to silicone, to wood, you can find a dildo in virtually any material out thereincluding those that aren't all that safe.

READ: Sex Toy Safety: A Guide to Materials.

For the sake of simplicity, I'd recommend selecting a dildo made from non-porous, body-safe materials. That means looking for dildos made of, for example, silicone, ceramics, glass, stainless steel or sealed wood. (But that's not a hard-and-fast listyou'd be surprised how vast the array of body-safe dildos out there really is!)

You'll quickly notice some of those non-porous materials tend to be the most expensive options. And if you're on a tight budget, this can be a hard sell. PVC, jelly, TPR, and TPE tend to be cheaper optionsbut you'll want to:

  • Keep an eye out for phthalates.
  • Ensure your porous dildo won't be used for both anal and vaginal intercourse.
  • Understand it may be impossible to fully sterilize your porous dildo
  • (Preferably) use it with a condom.

Whew! That was a mouthful.

Even with those provisions on using a porous sex toy, there are some still people who really, really prefer the softer (and cheaper) sensations porous materials can provide. You can start getting similar softness and realistic plushness in silicone; but it has a heftier price tag than its porous alternatives.

I'm not here to tell you one is "right" and one is "wrong." But I do want you to make an informed choice and know how to best take care of your sex toy to keep any potential risks to a minimumespecially if you're interested in a porous toy.

If you want to dive deeper into sex toy materials, I'd recommend these resources:

Know Your Budget

Money always comes into the picture when we're talking about purchasing anything—and sex toys are no exception.

Higher-quality materials with more features tend to cost more. Brand names and a manufacturer's warranties become a factor too: Higher-end toys with longer warranties may cost more than alternatives.

I say it about pretty much every type of sex toy; and I'll say it here too: It's almost, almost, almost always worth it to save for a couple months to buy the dildo you really want instead of the thing you can afford right now.

You can find high-quality, body-safe, enjoyable dildos in the $50 to $80 range; Blush Novelties' silicone options (like the Blush Avant Pride P1 or the Temptasia Twist Kit) tend to be a good starting point there.

The Blush Avant Pride P1: A silicone dildo with a red head, orange, yellow, green and blue stripes down the shaft and a purple base.The Blush Avant Pride P1.
Basic glass dildos can be even cheaperwith standard, mass-produced designs running under $40.

Extra featureslike handcrafting (from a small business), dual-density materials, suction cup bases, hand-painting and optional vibrations can all raise the price of your potential dildo.

And keep in mind: As your dildo gets longer, thicker and more unique, the cost will go up.

It's common for fantasy dildo collectors to spend $150 to $250 on a single dildo. The detailing, required amount of silicone and handcrafted designs can dramatically raise the price.

READ: How to Use a Dildo.

On the bright side, if you get a dildo made from a high-quality material, it can last for years, decades or a literal lifetime with proper care. Since most dildos don't have any moving parts or motors to worry about, they don't have the same short(er) lifespan other sex toys might.

Njoy dildos, for example, boast that their stainless steel designs can last a lifetime. Some of my favorite silicone dildos are going on 15 years of their "dildo of the month" status.

Realisticor Nah?

Let's talk about the elephant in the room: realistic dildos.

The Vixen Creations Maverick: A silicone dildo resembling a biological penis.The Vixen Creations Maverick.
Some people live for them: The realistic look completes their mental fantasies while the lifelike texture and pronounced head add the sensations they're familiar withand already love.

On the other hand, some people absolutely abhor them. They can look like disembodied body parts, essentially, and that can creep some people out. Plus, some people just aren't into biological penises at any timeand that doesn't mean that they can't enjoy dildos!

Luckily for both camps, there are a huge range of dildos availableboth realistic and non-realistic.

Neither camp is "right" or "wrong." Just make sure to take your personal preferences into account and think about which style will fuel your fire better.

READ: Quiz: Which Sex Toy Is Best for You Based on Your Masturbation Style?

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If you plan on using this dildo with someone else present, I also recommend asking your partner their preference. While their input on the length, width and curvature isn't particularly important for a toy that will be used exclusively on your body, many people have strong feelings about seeing realistic toys. Having another "penis" in the bedroom can be uncomfortable and provoke jealousyespecially when it looks like a biological penis.

To make sure everybody has a fantastic time with this dildo, sit down and talk about both of your preferences before picking up your new toy.

Will You Be Strapping it On?

Do you want to wear this dildo in a strap-on harness?

If so, you'll want to look for two things:

  1. A flared base to secure it in the harness
  2. (Potentially) a base design that will provide the harness wearer with some pleasure.

The Sportsheets New Comer's Kit: A porcelain mannequin pelvic area wearing a black strap-on harness with a thin blue dildo poking out from the front.The Sportsheets New Comer's Kit.
For the former, you'll need to ensure your potential dildo is able to secure inside of your strap-on harness of choice. If you've chosen a Vac-U-Lock or another kind of lock-on dildo, this can be as simple as ensuring the dildo fits into the infrastructure of your harness.

READ: How to Build Your Own, Customized Strap-On Kit.

If you're using a standard O-ring harness, this just means ensuring your dildo has a flared base for the O-ring to grip onto. If you're using a double-ended dildo, make sure the harness doesn't get in the way of the wearer's end so both of you can enjoy it.

The Honeybunch: A black silicone toy attached to the base of a realistic dildo. The black toy is oval-shaped with vertically aligned bumps down the center, facing away from the dildo, to provide clitoral stimulation for a clitoris-owning wearer.The Honeybunch.

Speaking of the wearer's enjoyment, manufacturers have been getting creative lately.

Toys like the BumpHer, the Honeybunch, the Wet for Her Fusion, the Strap-on-Me Vibrating Bendable Strapless Strap-on and the Shagger were all designed for clitoral pleasure for a vulva-owning strap-on harness wearer.

If you're getting a dildo for those purposes, don't forget to look into some of those options to add a bit more pleasure where you may not have realized it was possible.

READ: How to Use Sex Toy Accessories For Next-Level Play.

What About That (Suction Cup) Base?

Some dildos offer built-in suction cup bases.

These bases, when pressed firmly against non-textured, clean, smooth surfaces (usually tile or glass) can help keep the sex toy in place. Especially for people who are hoping to use their hands elsewhere during pleasure, suction cup bases can keep a toy in a single spot and open up more use options.

The Blush Real Nude Ergo Mini: A neon pink dildo with a suction cup base. A shadow of the dildo is pictured in front of and behind it, indicating its ability to move forwards and backwards while staying in place.The Blush Real Nude Ergo Mini.
I, personally, tend to prefer Liberator sex toy mounts for this. A sex toy mount, essentially, holds your dildo for you; think of it like an accessory that holds your dildo in placehands-free. Since the sex toy mount can go anywhere in your house, you can use it on the bed, on the carpet, on the couch, and anywhere in-between.

Not only is it a sturdier grip than a dildo's built-in suction cup, but it also works with the vast majority of dildos and vibrators so you don't have to take the availability of a suction cup into mind when searching for a dildo.

Getting an amazing dildo is already hard enoughnevermind narrowing your search because you're looking for a suction cup. Using a sex toy mount takes that concern out of the picture. (As a bonus, most sex toy mounts can be used as sex position aids too!)

The Liberator BonBon: A gray sex toy mount with a flat base and a rounded top. Poking out from the top is a pink dildo.The Liberator BonBon.
However, if you'd like to forego the additional expense of a sex toy mount like Liberator's BonBon or Tula, look for a dildo with a suction cup mount.

I also recommend having a good idea where you want to use a suction cup dildonot all flat, smooth surfaces are great candidates for suction cup bases.

Getting a non-sexual, cheap suction cup (like the one that comes with a bath poof) and doing a trial run on your expected surface can save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run. While a dildo's suction cup might be more powerful than that of a bath poof, it still uses similar suction technology. So if your bath poof is falling off, this surface likely isn't a great candidate for your suction cup dildo either.

READ: 5 Things to Know When the (So-Called) Best Sex Toy Doesn't Work for You.

Consider Lubricant

Do you have a favorite lubricant?

It seems like an odd thing to consider when purchasing a dildobut it matters! Some lubricants aren't compatible with some sex toy materials; and you don't want your favorite lube to accidentally hurt your brand-new, shiny dildo.

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Most notably, not all silicone-based lubricants are compatible with silicone material dildos. The silicones can interact and leave your dildo feeling gummy and weird. Some TPR and TPE toy manufacturers also don't recommend using silicone-based lubes with their toys.

On the other hand, if your favorite lube is water-based, you have a green light for virtually everything. Water-based lubes are compatible with nearly every material out there; they're the real "work horse" of the lube industry.

READ: The Best Kind of Lube for Every Sexual Scenario.

So when in doubt, pick up a small bottle of water-based lube to go with your dildo. Not only will the lubricant make everything more pleasurable, but you'll also get the chance to experiment with a new lube (and see how it compares to your current fave)!

Think About Vibrations

"But, Mistress Kay," you say. "Wouldn't vibrations make my dildo a vibrator?"

Well, the line is a bit fuzzy here; but vibrating dildos do exist.

The line seems to be as follows:

  • If the primary purpose of the toy is the vibrations, it's a vibrator (even if it can be inserted).
  • If the primary purpose of the toy is insertion, it's a dildo (even if it's equipped with vibrations).

However, that means most vibrating dildos have softer vibrations (since the majority of the manufacturing cost and focus goes towards having the best penetration object possible, the vibrations can be an afterthought).

The Fun Factory ShareVibe: A pink double-ended dildo with a short end designed for vaginal penetration and a longer end designed for penetrating the wearer's partner.The Fun Factory ShareVibe.In a lot of cases, vibrating dildos may actually just feature a hole in the base where you can insert a bullet vibrator like the Fun Factory ShareVibe.

Craving powerful vibrations inside of you? An insertable vibratorlike the Diamond Wand or one of the myriad g-spot vibrators and anal vibrators out theremight be a better fit.

Bought a standard dildo and kinda want to see what it would feel like if it vibrated? Here's a fun cheat: Simply press a wand massager against the base of your dildo while it's inserted. The majority of wand massagers (even the littlest ones like the Mini!) have strong enough vibrations to shake the entire toy's length even while inserted.

READ: 9 Ways to Use a Wand Massager in the Bedroom.

Experiment and Have Fun

As with everything in the world of sex toys, the entire purpose of buying a dildo is to have fun. In your quest to find the best dildo, don't forget to actually enjoy yourself and enjoy the journey.

You're likely to find a few dudsand possibly wear some dildos out to the point where they require a retirementbut you're also likely to find some amazing dildos that teach you something about yourself and how you enjoy pleasure.

And if that isn't the point of sex toys, I don't know what is.

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Photo for Mistress Kay
Mistress Kay

Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.

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