When it comes to sex toys, the dildo is a classic. It's also an equal opportunity sex toy enjoyed by men, women and couples. Although both dildos and vibrators can have a similar shape or design, dildos do not vibrate, which makes them a very versatile tool indeed.
If penetration is part of your pleasure profile, dildos might just be your best friends. Just like finding your new BFF from a bar full of strangers, however, shopping for dildos can seem like a complicated and overwhelming process. Luckily, we have a guide to get you started on finding your new bedside toy. Think of it as your game plan to weed out the bad choices and bring you straight to the best options.
How to Choose a Dildo
No matter your anatomy, a dildo is excellent for adding even more stimulation to an already-pleasurable activity. Whether used vaginally or anally by anyone of any gender, dildos can satisfy hidden orgasmic zones that can be hard to reach without penetration. With hundreds of thousands of shapes, styles, and thicknesses on the market, it's no surprise that many couples (and solo players!) own at least one dildo.
With so many options out there, you might also find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the choices.
Small nuances between different toys might make it harder to narrow down what will work best for you. One dildo might add a half an inch of thickness while another might have a thick base designed for harness use. One might have textured and pronounced veins while another might be shaped like a wild animal. There's no way to give a test run of a dildo before you buy, but you can narrow down your search for the best toy by keeping in mind what you'll use your new sex toy for.
Here are some questions to help guide your search for an amazing dildo:
- What areas do you want to stimulate with your dildo?
- Would you like to use your dildo with a partner?
- Do you have a preference to how realistic your dildo looks?
- How thick would you like your dildo to be?
- Are you looking for general penetration or G-spot stimulation?
The staple of dildos, the classic dildo offers the basic penetrative experience. With a shaft that can be inserted into any orifice you'd like, classic dildos are simple enough to please most people without specializing in any one particular type of pleasure.
If you're looking for a versatile option that won't break the bank, the Vixen Creations Mistress offers vibrations, a flared base, and a long, slightly-curved shaft that many users have fallen in love with.
While classic dildos can be great for many people, some users want to pay special attention to the orgasmic G-spot. G-spot dildos have a curve near the tip of the toy to offer specific g-spot stimulation. Many female-bodied people find the G-spot to be extremely intense. Stimulation of this are can even lead to squirting for some people! For male-bodied anal users, most G-spot dildos can also be used to target the prostate!
Why Would I Use Dildos with a Partner?
While you can always enjoy your new dildo by yourself, just as much fun can be had when you share your intimate experience with a partner. Studies have shown that couples who share new sexual experiences have stronger relationships. Plus it can just be a blast to experience new ways to orgasm with the person you care about.
For More Sensations: Dildos can offer an easy way to stimulate internal orgasmic spots. The prostate and G-spot can easily be stimulated during penetration, and penetration with a toy can add even more stimulation to push someone over the orgasmic edge during other types of pleasure.
To Experience Even MORE At Once: Dildos allow you to bring that "third person" into the bedroom - without actually having to find a person. Enjoy the pleasure of double penetration and kinkier group sex without worrying about adding another person to the mix. Use your dildo in a dual-wield strap-on harness for a hands-free experience.
When Someone Isn't Feeling It: When someone is craving penetration and the other isn't, there's no need for a fight. A dildo can easily offer a stand-in option for a partner that just isn't feeling like intercourse tonight.
Erectile Dysfunction: With some hollow dildos that are especially designed to fit a flaccid penis inside, dildos can also be used as an option for those with erectile dysfunction. Instead of performance anxiety, knowing there's an easy back-up can offer relief to a stressful situation. Dildos can also be used to continue the pleasure if someone got a bit too excited too quickly.
How Can I Use Dildos with a Partner
As hundreds of thousands of couples have started to share their dildo experiences together, manufacturers have caught onto the trend and created harnesses just to make it easier to penetrate one another. Consider some of these popular options for shared penetration:
Handheld: The most popular option for using a dildo with a partner is for one of the partners to hand-hold the dildo to penetrate the other partner. Not only does this offer the flexibility of hundreds of sex positions, but it allows for easy switching between multiple toys effortlessly. It also requires no extra equipment. If you plan on hand-holding your dildo, make sure to select a toy that offers a comfortable base that's easy to grip. Try the Fun Factory Magnum.
Hip Strap-On: Especially popular for the partner who may not have a biological penis, the hip strap-on positions the dildo in the same place that a biological penis would rest. This allows for positions of the "usual" types of penetration. Plus, many people find that their hips offer a large, comfortable, and easily-maneuverable base for controlling a dildo. Manufacturers also make specific hip strap-on harnesses for those who are come pre-equipped with their own penis. In those harnesses, the dildo sits slightly off-set from where the biological penis would rest for comfort for the wearer. Try the Tantus Bend Over Beginner Kit.
Thigh Strap-On: Whether you have mobility issues or would rather enjoy the view, the thigh strap-on attaches a dildo to the thickest part of the thigh. This allows for access of both partner's genitals while using the dildo.
Unique Strap-Ons: Creativity knows no limits! Unique strap-on harness designs include harnesses for the hand (for those with gripping concerns), harnesses for the foot (for self-use or foot fetishists), and harnesses for the chest. While care must be taken with anything near the mouth, some manufacturers also make harnesses that attach the dildo to a partner's mouth.
What Do You Think Your Dildo Should Look (and Feel) Like?
Contemplate The Aesthetics
Pleasurable penetrative toys are available in hundreds upon hundreds of designs. Some are as realistic as possible. Others may be realistic - but come in fun, bright colors. If you keep exploring, you'll find toys in whimsical shapes like worms or dolphins. While thinking about how you'd prefer your toy to look, don't forget to think about the texture you'd like. Some people fall in love with deeply veined and textured toys while others prefer a very smooth surface. Looking for a whimsical shape? Try Double Trouble Glass G or NobEssence Tryst.
Know About Materials
Material is more important than you think. Not only does it change how a dildo is cleaned, how it smells, and how it looks, but material will also change how your dildo feels. Hard materials, like wood, glass, or stainless steel will require very little lubrication and will glide against the skin effortlessly. Softer materials, like silicone, Sil-A-Gel, or TPR may require more external lubrication and may offer more drag along the skin during use.
When selecting a dildo, it's important that you know whether your selection contains phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals that are used to soften PVC rubber. Some people are particularly sensitive to phthalates, but they are believed to carry health risks even if they don't cause a reaction. Most sex educators recommend using condoms with any toy that contains phthalates due to health concerns. However, many toy manufacturers will label their toy "phthalate-free" if it's made without phthalates, so it's possible to find phthalate-free options relatively easily.
Bonus: You can refine your new toy search by latex-free or phthalate-free items by using the Refine By menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
Think About Care and Durability
The lifespan of your dildo is entirely dependent on the material and design choice that you make. Some materials (such as jelly derivatives or PVC) may start to break down more quickly than high-quality options (such as wood, glass, or silicone). You also need to think about how much care you want to put into your new toy. Textured dildos may require more attention to detail during the cleaning process, and porous materials (such as the aforementioned jelly and PVC) may require more thorough and frequent cleanings. Some materials, such as some silicone, can be washed in the dishwasher (top shelf only) or boiled. (Learn more in Keeping It Clean: Top Tips for Sex Toy Sterilization.)
Check the Special Features
Some dildos offer special features that might lend themselves well to a particular use. Some penetrative toys are equipped with large, thicker bases that will work well for use in a strap-on harness. For those who occasionally want to enjoy vibrations with their pleasure, look for a dildo with optional vibrations.
Ask Your Partner
If a corner of your mind is hoping to use your new dildo with a current partner, you might want to ask for their input. While you always have the final say on any toy you pick up and use, you might be surprised to find that your partner is uncomfortable with a realistic design - or might want you to choose a design that you both can share later on!
What Fits Into Your Budget?
Like anything else on the free market, you'll find dildos in a wide range of prices. Unlike vibrators or other toys that offer moving parts, most of the rising cost of dildos can be attributed to the material. While the attention to detail and texture can also add to the cost, the bulk of the cost of making and producing a dildo comes from the material choice itself. You might think that a dildo is a dildo - no matter what it's made from - but in many cases, it's worth putting down the extra bucks to have a safe, durable, long-term option.
The least expensive dildos tend to fall in the $15 to $35 range. To keep costs down, these toys may be made with lower quality materials. Many of these toys are made from porous materials that may dye fabrics/furniture (be careful with storage!) and are not built to last. Many dildos in this price range should be used with condoms for safety. Try Pink Jelly Slim Dildo.
Mid-range toys are usually a good compromise between safety and durability when your budget is a bit tight. Falling in the $40 to $80 range, these toys are made from higher-quality materials (such as silicone) and there are more phthalate-free options. Many buyers will find a perfectly suitable, body-safe dildo in this price range. Try Luxotiq Isis or Vixen Creations Leo.
Once you start to get into this luxury category, you'll start to find the dildos that are designed to last a lifetime. Fitting between $80 to $200, these toys will usually last many, many years when cared for according to the manufacturer's specifications. Specifically made with high-quality design and packaging in mind, these toys may even offer a lifetime warranty. These expensive purchases may be best made after you already know what dildos appeal to you. If you find yourself constantly reaching for your favorite mid-range toy year after year, you may consider finding a similar high-end toy when you need to replace it. Most stainless steel, thick dildos, and wooden dildos will fall into this category. Try Jopen Key Comet G Wand.
Luxury dildos are the dildos that go above and beyond the standard job of a dildo and may be impractical for the average user. These types of toys are coveted due to their rare material choice or limited edition runs - not for their orgasmic potential. The LELO Olga offers a 24-karat gold option at $3,500, or you can make the "budget" choice of a stainless steel silver at $795.
That's All Folks!
That's it for our Dildo Buyer's Guide! We hope it has given you some good points to think about and consider as you look for a good penetrative toy for your pleasure.