How To Choose A Sex Toy: The Basics

Picking your first sex toy, or even your third, fifth, or tenth, can be an extremely frustrating, overwhelming, intimidating experience. As someone who worked in a sex shop trust me I know, I’ve heard it a thousand times.  Fortunately I’ve crafted up this ‘quick beginners guide on choosing a sex toy that might just help you find something you’ll love. 

Before you go on the hunt for a sex toy, here’s a few things to consider as they’ll help keep you from wasting money on something that’s far from what you really wanted.

Know Your Body

If you’re new to sexual exploration and/or don’t know your body very well, you might want to take some time to learn about your anatomy, as well as your personal likes and dislikes. Also, keep in mind that over 70% of ‘female’ bodied individuals require clitoral stimulation to achieve an orgasm.  Sure, you could buy that cute little vibrator, but it probably won’t be that great if you don’t know what you like and what parts you’re trying to stimulate.

Know Your Needs

rabbit habitSpeaking of likes and dislikes, its best to not let appearances or things within the media deceive you. Sure the Rabbit Pearl seen on Sex In The City is a fantastic vibe (you can watch the scene here thanks to Dangerous Lilly), but that doesn’t mean that it will work for everyone or that it’s the end all be all when it comes to vibes. Figure out what you’re looking for personally (i.e. your needs) then go for the aesthetics.

How To Choose A Sex Toy: The Basics

Battery vs Rechargeable

no batteriesProducts that require batteries can be a major pain… especially when they die right before you climax. They’re also costly (over time), not that great for the environment, and can kill your product if they corrode inside the battery compartment. Rechargeable eco-friendly toys are often a tad more expensive but worth it in the long run. Do yourself the favor and shell out the extra cash.

hitachi magic wand

The Privacy Factory

Depending on where you live and whom you live with, you may need to choose something that’s discreet.  If that’s the case items like personal massagers would be a good choice since they aren’t phallic and can be left out in the open without fear of being discovered.  Although they are only good for external use, you can buy attachments that fit over the head for internal stimulation.



If it’s a gift for someone keep in mind that sex toys are a very personal thing. Some questions you might want to ask yourself before shopping; are they comfortable with toys, open to experimentation, have used them before and whether or not they have any specific likes in terms of color, shape or design. Any little personal details you can add will more often then not make a world of difference for the receiver.

Quality vs Quantity

cash-in-handFor most people spending over $50 on a toy seems a little unreasonable, but keep in mind that as it is in most industries, many sex toy manufacturers focus on creating high volume, lower priced products which unfortunately leads to poor quality, both in regard to the lifespan of the toy and the havoc it can create for your body. Personally, I believe it’s in your best interest to buy the highest quality sex toys you can afford, however I know that sometimes just isn’t an option. Fortunately there are lots of sex toys for around $20 that are pretty decent (the Pocket Rocket being one of them).

Shop Around & Read Reviews

Once you’ve got an idea of what you want look online for sex toy reviews to see if the product is good… or not. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve saved myself from buying something crappy thanks to an honest review.

All Sex Toys Aren’t Built The Same

Don’t blame all sex toys just because one doesn’t do it for you. If there’s something that I’ve learned through my explorations with over 200 products it’s that some work, some sadly don’t. It’s fair and totally to be expected. Fortunately I’ve been able to learn through my experiences and narrow down the specifics of what I require to get off. Sometimes I’ll go astray and choose something even though my better judgment told me not to, but for the most part the ‘wasting money’ days are over.

Product Sizing

Vaginal_Dilator_Set1When it comes to size, the best suggestion I can give is to be realistic; if having a finger inserted hurts, it’s best to opt for something on the smaller side, then when you’re comfortable and ready to move to something larger, you’ll be able to do so with a minimal amount of discomfort. Choosing a vaginal or anal dilator set is a good way to get more bang for your buck while also getting a variety of sizes to work with.

Good vs Bad Materials

give_thanksFinally, pay attention to the materials. Unfortunately the sex toy industry isn’t regulated, allowing a plethora of crappy (read: potentially dangerous) sex toys to make their way into your bedroom drawers. When choosing a toy make sure to choose something make of 100% medical grade silicone (not a mixture), glass, ceramic, finished wood, metal, ABS plastic, and/or Thermoplastic Rubber (though I’d only opt for it as a last resort). Your best bet for choosing body safe sex toys is to shop with reputable sex toy retailers and manufacturers.

When All Else Fails

At the end of the day I know how hard choosing a sex toy can be, especially when you really don’t know what you want. When it comes to those situation, I’ve got a solution; rather than forking out a bunch of cash for one specific item, opt to buy yourself a few at lower prices so that you can experiment and see what works for you. Then, once you know what you like save up and splurge on a big ticket item that you know you’ll love.

Hopefully by following this list of suggestions you’ll not only be able to find a toy that’s right for you, but one that will last for years and offer many hours of enjoyment!

Looking for more info? Check out part 2 of this series: How To Choose A Sex Toy: The Specifics

If making body safe and eco friendly choices is important to you, this post on Eco Friendly Sex Toys has everything you need to know.

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