Feature photo by charmar

“I think God is a giant vibrator in the sky. A pulsating force of incredible energy.” -David Arquette.

Vibrators ARE divine. But why take my word for it when you can find out for yourself?

I’m going to go ahead and pretend you’ve never bought one before. Even if you already have a drawer full, each time should be treated like the first. Sh, sh, sh. It’s okay. I’ll be gentle.

First, let’s dispel a few of the ugly myths that keep us all from buzzing our way to heaven.

1. “Masturbation is evil.”
Um…no. It is amazing and completely healthy. We have to know our own bodies in order to ever be able to get any pleasure from sharing them with others. Masturbation on your own, in front of a partner, or while imagining yourself in front of a packed stadium that’s cheering you on is a natural expression of yourself.

2. “Only girls use vibrators.”
Not true. Boys are allowed in this club too and plenty out there can already bring their own toys. So relax! Not sure how to use a vibe on a male body? Erogenous zones that may enjoy a good buzz include the nipples, shaft, head, taint, scrotum, and yes, the ass. Every time someone discovers anal pleasure an angel gets its wings.

3. “I can’t compete with that.”
Many insecure partners feel that they can never provide the kind of stimulation a whirling, twirling pleasure machine can. Let’s be clear: this isn’t a competition. Your lover won’t become addicted or numb from a vibrator. You’re not being replaced, but if you’re such an insecure jerk that you’re still jealous of an inanimate object…well then maybe you should be.

Now on to the nitty gritty. In my opinion, it’s better to shop for vibrators in person than online. Just like internet dating, good pictures and clever sales pitches can leave you disappointed when the real deal shows up on your doorstep. In person, you can at least get a feel for the product and see if you want to take it home with you. Some stores have vibrators out of the packaging and on display for you to compare. Whether you’re looking to buy one for yourself, for your lover, or even a friend, there are a few things to consider when you head to the sex shop.

Sensitivity

Does too direct a touch on your sensitive parts make you want to scream or hit your lover with a golf club (in that bad, Tiger Woods way, I mean)? Then you definitely don’t want an industrial strength vibrator like the Hitachi Magic Wand which plugs into the wall. If you’re easily bored by light touches and subtlety, then you should pass on battery powered snoozers. If you don’t know what you like yet, try buying a vibe with adjustable speeds and keep fiddling with the dials until you find the intensity that’s just right. Or just follow your nose. When sifting through demos, take a buzzing vibrator and press it against the very tip of your nose. If it tickles, but doesn’t irritate, you might have found the one for you.

Style

Buying a vibrator is a very personal experience that will depend upon the user’s preferences. There isn’t one standard style of vibrator that’s going to get everyone to go wild. You need to think about your desires before you invest your time and money. Essentially, what is it you want the vibrator to do? Do you want it to be used externally, during penetration, or both at the same time? Form follows function. Plenty of vibes which are ergonomically designed to stimulate the clitoris, like the Layaspot, can also be adapted for use on men with a little creativity. Or maybe you’d be happy with the oh-so-simple yet versatile bullet vibe style of toy.

Vibes designed for penetration are usually phallic in nature. Some resemble a penis while others are sleek and smooth cylinders. Dual action vibes like the Rabbit Pearl gained popularity are designed to stimulate the clitoris while also penetrating. There are a variety of cute animals like Fun Factory’s Sally Sea, which is shaped like a seal. Other vibes are concealed to look like innocuous objects like a lipstick or a rubber ducky.

Safety

The sex toy industry is not actually regulated which is why people must be vigilant about the kinds of materials that make up the toys they use. Personally, I HATE anything that uses Cyberskin. It’s an evil, porous petroleum based material that harbors bacteria and gets gooey over time. Cyberskin is used by some companies because of what they claim is a flesh-like quality. Not a good enough reason for this girl. Also, stay away from soft plastics containing carcinogenic phthalates. While plastics are great for conducting vibrations, if it doesn’t say phthalate free on the package, don’t buy it. You’re better off with non-porous materials like glass, metal, silicone, and elastomer. They’re on the pricier side of the spectrum but oh so worth it.

Another thing to consider is the care and cleaning of your toys. In order to preserve your toy AND your body, make sure you follow the instructions on properly maintaining your new pet. Don’t get an infection just because you’re a slob. I highly recommend investing in an antibacterial toy cleaner just for the sake of making life easier. Keep your toy in a satiny bag or in a box so it’s not all dusty when you next reach for it.

That’s a good start for now. The rest is up to you. Tune in next week when we will discuss the truth about the clitoris. Yes, you ARE doing it all wrong.

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