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19 Best Vibrators for Beginners: How to Pick Your First Vibrator

If you’ve been roaming the internet to find the best vibrators for beginners, you probably noticed the selection is basically infinite, and that can be overwhelming and intimidating. But props to you for taking this time to focus on your sexual health (reports show that sex toy sales were through the roof back when the COVID-19 quarantine first started). Orgasms are one of the best forms of self-care, and while you can totally get yourself there for free, a little extra help can take the experience to the next level.

There’s no one-size-fits-all vibrator, and many have to experiment with different toys until they find what feels awesome for them. Just because one friend—or even thousands of people, swear by one (hii, Womanizer), doesn’t mean that same toy will get you off, so make sure to do your research and pinpoint what you want to get out of a vibe before you click on the purchase button.

First: Get to know the five types of vibrators.

You’ve got internal vibrators, which are meant for penetration and some are designed especially to stimulate your G-spot. There are external vibrators, which focus on the clit and labia. There’s the best of both worlds, which is the rabbit-style (combo) vibe, and those give you both external and internal stimulation simultaneously. Lastly, you have anal vibrators, which have a flared base (so nothing gets lost up there), and penis vibrators (or cock rings). No one type of vibrator is “better” than the other, it just depends on what you like and what you’re in the mood for.

Vibrators come in all different shapes and sizes, depending on what purpose you want it to serve. You can try a mini or palm-style vibe which is great for clit stimulation. An insertable vibrator (which is generally phallic in shape and sometimes curved) can also be used externally on clit. Some external vibrators are also long and have bulbous or round, contoured-shaped tips for optimized clit contact and stimulation, while bullet-style vibes are more compact and have less surface area (but can be just as powerful as a wand vibrator).

The rabbit-style vibes (which Good Vibrations calls “Twice as Nice”) are insertable and have a clit stimulator that branches off and is designed to stimulate both parts at once. But note that a rabbit-style vibrator might be overwhelming for vibe newbies at first. Carol Queen PhD, staff sexologist at Good Vibrations tells Glamour, “Note to novice vibe shoppers: This sounds great, right? It can be really great! But many people find it’s a lot to focus on all the body parts all at once, while you’re also learning to enjoy vibration. We generally suggest that people start with a vibrator or two that they can explore (if you get an insertable one and a clitoral one, you can use both hands and have a comparable experience that you have more control over).”

What kind of sensations are you looking for?

Last but not least, look into what sensation you want your vibrator to provide. There are buzzy vibes and rumbly vibes. A lot of people prefer rumbly vibrators for levitating orgasms, because the vibrations are more low-pitched and go deeper into the body, which helps stimulate the outside and inside of the clit, hitting as many nerve endings as possible due to its frequency. “Buzzy vibes provide more of a high-pitched hum, comparable to the vibrations of an electric toothbrush which focuses stimulation more on the surface of the clit,”  sexual health educator Navy Bastiaans explains to Glamour.

What type of material do you want in a vibe?

Queen tells Glamour that “Most good quality vibrators are clad in silicone these days, which is great material—it can be softer or firmer, but is non-porous and easy to clean. But you can also get softer vibes made of other thermal plastics, or hard-shelled vibrators made of (or covered with) hard plastic and even metal.” 

What you want to avoid are jelly rubber toys. “These are not easy to clean, and they contain a chemical component (phthalates) that many consider to be toxic (or at least fear that it might be),” Queen tells us. How do you know if it’s a jelly vibe? “It’s generally fairly inexpensive. It’s clear and often brightly colored. It looks like jelly or Jell-O. And if you choose one, use condoms with it,” Queen adds.

How much are you willing to spend?

Vibrators can get pricey! And when you’re trying out your first vibrator, you may want to try the more budget-friendly ones first, just in case they don’t end up being your thing. While it’s totally okay to stick to cheaper vibrators, try to make sure that they still offer a range of speeds and modes. “If you choose one that has a variety of settings, you may find you mainly like only one — but you’ll get to choose the one that suits you best, so that’s a win. In other cases, people find they like to explore them all,” Queen explains.

What to watch out for.

While there are some great mini vibes out there (and we’ll suggest a few), just beware that although they’re small, they can be quite mighty. “Because they are so small, all their power is focused to (usually) a pretty small surface area. For some people, that just feels too intense! Something with more surface area, all other things being equal, might be more enjoyable. Think about the difference between a palm over the vulva and clitoris, vs. just one finger on the clit. The latter can be too focused compared to the former (for some people—others are happy with focused stimulation),” Queen says.

Psssst: Use lube!

If you’re new to sex toys, try them out with lube. Even folks who consider themselves sex toy veterans love to pair their toys with lube, since it the slip-and-slide sensation can make the experience all the more powerful (yet smoother, and you mitigate the risk of overstimulation or too much friction). Queen’s favorites include the Please Cream, which is a water-based gel cream perfect for vibrator use. Another great option is this water-based lube from Unbound.

“Whether you are a newbie or a pro, I always recommend trying different lubrications with your vibes. One of the most disturbing myths concerning lubes is that they’re only for menopausal women. No! Lubrications not only offer extra lubrication, but they also allow for different sensations and can really intensify your play. Keep in mind that any lubricant that is flavored (has sugar or sugar-substitutes in the ingredients) should not be used internally,” advanced sexual health and pleasure educator Micki Allen tells Glamour.

Without further ado, here are 19 of the best vibrators for beginners.

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