How to Use a Vibrator

    Whether you plan to use it with your partner or to explore your sexuality by yourself, a vibrator can spice up your sex life and add a new dynamic to your time in the bedroom. 

    With so many different options to choose from, buying and using a vibrator for the first time can feel a little intimidating. 

    Should you go for the classic massage wand, or try something new like a bullet vibrator, rabbit vibrator or a vibrator that’s designed specifically to target your G-spot? Should you use lube or not? Finally, what exactly do all those buttons do?

    Luckily, using a vibrator isn’t as difficult as it seems, and the process of learning how is usually an enjoyable and rewarding one. 

    Below, we’ve explained how you can use a vibrator, from buying the right type of vibrator to the basics of cleaning and caring for it. 

    We’ve also shared a few expert tips to help you make the most of different angles, settings and pressure levels for the best possible experience. 

    Vibrators: The Basics

    • Vibrators come in many shapes, types and sizes. Some are designed to stimulate your vagina internally, while others offer external stimulation. You can also find vibrators that are designed to stimulate you both internally and externally.

    • It’s important to choose a vibrator that’s made from a nonporous material. We’ve talked more about this below and listed several materials that should be avoided when you’re comparing vibrators.

    • Some vibrators offer remote control, often via a mobile app. Others are waterproof and can be used in the shower. It’s important to know what you’re looking for and choose a vibrator that offers the features you want.

    • Using a vibrator is all about experimentation. Try different settings, angles, pressure and masturbation techniques and you’ll eventually discover what you enjoy most.

    • Vibrators aren’t just for solo play. If you’d like to spice up your sex life, you can try using a vibrator with your partner during foreplay or sex. 

    How to Choose a Vibrator

    When it comes to vibrator design and technology, it’s definitely not the old days anymore. While many people associate the word “vibrator” with the classic wand-style device, modern vibrators come in a huge variety of styles, sizes and designs to suit just about anyone’s tastes.

    The first step in using a vibrator is choosing a device that matches your tastes, preferences and needs. We’ve explained how you can do this below.

    Types of Vibrators

    Vibrators can vary in shape, size, design and functionality. While the huge selection of vibrators available today can make choosing a device difficult, most of the vibrators on sale today can be sorted into seven main categories:

    • Massage wands. Often marketed as “back massagers,” the classic microphone-shaped massage wand vibrator has been around for decades, and for good reason -- it’s great at providing stimulation to your clitoris from a variety of different angles.

      Most wand vibrators offer a variety of different vibration settings, making it easy to tailor your use to suit your preferences. Thanks to their long handle, they’re generally easy to use and make for a great first vibrator that you can use by yourself or with a partner.

    • Bullet vibrators. Small, discreet and designed for direct stimulation, bullet vibrators are a good option if you’re looking for something compact and simple that you can take with you on vacations and use anywhere.

      Thanks to their small size, most bullet vibrators have relatively simple controls and often lack the numerous options of larger devices.

    • Clitoral vibrators. Clitoral vibrators are designed to provide external stimulation to your clitoris, usually without any physical penetration. Most offer a variety of vibrating speeds and intensities, giving you full control over your pleasure.

      You may prefer this type of vibrator if you’re one of the more than 30 percent of women who need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm.

    • G-spot vibrators. G-spot vibrators have a curved design that delivers vibration directly to your G-spot -- the highly sensitive erogenous zone located a few inches above your vaginal opening.

      Thanks to their curved shape, many G-spot vibrators can also stimulate your clitoris at the same time.

    • Rabbit vibrators. Rabbit vibrators have two heads -- one for internal stimulation and a smaller one for clitoral stimulation. The name comes from their shape, as many have a small, rabbit-shaped head with ear-like numbs for stimulating your clitoris.

      Thanks to their dual stimulation, rabbit vibrators are great for enjoying blended orgasms -- clitoral and vaginal orgasms that occur at the same time.

    • Wearable vibrators. Wearable vibrators can be worn inside your underwear to provide discreet, hands-free pleasure. Some offer unique features such as warming, a range of different massage modes and more.

    • Remote control vibrators. These vibrators are controlled remotely, either using a small handheld device or via a mobile app. You can control it yourself or give the controls to a partner for extra fun.

      Remote control vibrators come in a range of types and shapes to offer G-spot, clitoral or internal stimulation.

    Since everyone enjoys masturbation and sex a little differently, there’s no single “perfect” type of vibrator for everyone. 

    When you’re looking for a vibrator, choose one that matches and complements the way you like to pleasure yourself, either on your own or with a partner. 

    Which Material Is Best?

    Vibrators are made from a variety of materials, from silicone and hard plastic to porous materials like jelly latex and thermoplastic rubber. Each of these materials offers a slightly different texture and feeling. 

    While there’s no “best” material for a vibrator, it’s generally best to choose a vibrator that’s made from a non-porous material such as silicone, hard plastic or stainless steel.

    These materials are easy to clean and care for. In contrast, porous materials contain small holes in which bacteria can grow. Vibrators and other toys made with these materials are more difficult to clean and may be more likely to harbor bacteria that can affect your vagina. 

    Useful Features to Look For

    Vibrator design and technology has come a long way from the unwieldy devices of decades past that relied on D batteries for power. These days, the following features can make a vibrator that much more convenient to use: 

    • Waterproofing. Many vibrators are waterproof, meaning you can use them in the bath or shower. Just be aware that devices labeled “water-resistant” rather than “waterproof” often aren’t designed for use while submerged in water.

    • App control. A few small buttons only offer a limited degree of control, meaning many vibrators have switched over to mobile apps. These vibrators often offer extra features that can enhance your pleasure and provide a better sensation.

    • Adjustable intensity. If the vibrator you want doesn’t offer app control, check to see if there are multiple intensity settings. This gives you more control over the intensity and speed of the vibration, letting you adjust the sensation to suit what you like.

    • Rechargeable batteries. Most vibrators are rechargeable, meaning you can plug them in to keep them charged up. Be aware that some lower-cost vibrators may use external batteries, which can add an additional cost over the long term.

    How to Use a Vibrator

    Using a vibrator isn’t too complicated. Once you’ve unpackaged your device, you can follow the instructions provided with it to get it set up and ready to use.

    Before you use your vibrator, it’s important to clean it thoroughly. The easiest way to do this is to wipe it down with a warm, soapy washcloth. Use a mild hand or dish soap. Try to avoid scented soaps, as these may contain ingredients that can affect your vagina’s bacterial balance. 

    If your vibrator is waterproof, you can rinse it in the sink using warm water. Make sure to follow the cleaning instructions provided with your vibrator if it’s made from a material other than hard plastic or silicone. 

    Once your vibrator is ready to use, you can get the most from it with these tips:

    • Before you start, set the mood. Although it’s not essential, creating the right mood can make it easier to enjoy yourself and reach orgasm. Even if you’re using your vibrator by yourself, try dimming the lights and putting on some music to set the scene.

    • Make sure to use lubrication. You’ll have the best experience by using lube with your vibrator, especially if you’re using it internally. Make sure to only use water-based lube, as silicone-based lubes may damage the surface of your vibrator over time.

    • Start slow. Most vibrators have multiple intensity settings. Start by using the weakest, slowest setting, then gradually adjust the speed and pattern once you feel comfortable with the sensation.

      If your vibrator feels too intense at the lowest setting, try using it over your underwear while you get used to the feeling. 

    • Experiment with different angles. If your vibrator has a handle, like a massage wand, try holding it at different angles. You can use your vibrator while you’re on your back, or try laying on top of it for a different sensation.

    • Apply different levels of pressure. Try easing off the pressure or making things more intense by holding your vibrator more firmly against your genitals. Move your vibrator in patterns or try holding it against your body, then using a lighter touch.

      The right combination of pressure and angle can have a huge effect on your sensations and pleasure.

    • Give edging a try. Once you feel comfortable with your vibrator, try edging -- getting as close as possible to orgasm, then backing off, then repeating the process. This can give you a more intense sensation and powerful orgasms.

    • Use it with your partner. Vibrators aren’t just for solo play -- in fact, they’re even more fun when used with a partner. Our guide to using a vibrator with your partner discusses how to bring this topic up, as well as how to use your vibrator during sex.

    • Find what you like, then enjoy it. There’s no wrong way to use a vibrator. Once you’ve experimented with different angles, settings and levels of pressure, enjoy your vibrator in any way you like. 

    After you’ve finished using your vibrator, it’s important to clean it up. Follow the same cleaning process listed above, then store it inside a cloth bag. If your vibrator came with a dust bag, you can use this to store it in between uses. 

    In Conclusion

    While using a vibrator probably isn’t something you learned in sex ed, it’s far from difficult once you’re used to the basics.

    From massaging wands to clitoral vibrators, the first step in using a vibrator is picking one that works for you. Then, start slow and experiment until you find the right combination of intensity, angles and pressure that makes you feel good. 

    This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.