My Top 5 Favorite Vibrators of All Time

The title of this post is pretty self-explanatory, so let’s hop right to it, shall we?

1. The Eroscillator (review) is my favorite sex toy in the universe. End of story. I’ve easily used it hundreds of times since I got it 3-ish years ago, and it’s still going strong. The oscillations feel noticeably different from regular vibrations; they seem to go deeper into my internal clitoris and don’t cause me numbness like vibrations can. The Eroscillator is also long and thin so it fits nicely between two bodies for use during PIV sex; the Eroscillator + penis combo is one of my favorite ways to get off ever ever ever. I particularly recommend picking up the fingertip attachment because I find the harder attachments too intense sometimes.

2. The We-Vibe Tango (review) is my favorite rechargeable vibe, bar none. It’s soooo strong and rumbly, and the focused shape is perfect for my clit. I don’t love that you have to cycle through the modes one-by-one, but I’ve gotten used to it now so it doesn’t feel like a big deal to me anymore. It’s also waterproof and water doesn’t really dampen its magnificent rumbling. The only thing I don’t love about my Tango is the way it charges, but that’s been updated since I got mine, and I hear the newer ones are a lot better in that regard.

3. The Hitachi Magic Wand gives me very mixed feelings, but now that I know how to use it in a way that works for me, I at least don’t hate it anymore. It can get me off on those days when my bits seem irreparably numb or finicky, and it also works through multiple layers, so if I’m too lazy to take off my pants, that’s not a problem for the Hitachi. It’s a classic for a reason, and that reason is that it’s strong as fuck.

4. The Lelo Mona 2 is just exactly what a penetrative vibe should be. The handle is long enough to provide adequate leverage. The controls are easy to use, even in the heat of the moment. The vibrations are strong and rumbly enough to stimulate my vaginal walls without numbing them. The curve accesses my G-spot with minimal effort and feels good whether I thrust the toy or keep it still. It’s waterproof for bathtime shenanigans. And the toy can be repurposed for clitoral use, no problem. Lelo recently tried to update the Mona but you can’t improve upon perfection, man.

5. I only just received the Lelo Siri 2 and my review is forthcoming, but suffice it to say: this new offering from Lelo is simple and effective. Or perhaps effective because it’s simple. (Seriously, Lelo, stop trying to make everything so fancy all the time. Just keep making easy-to-use sex toys with excellent motors like this one and you’ll stay on top.)

What are your favorite vibrators of all time?

Vibrators For People Who Hate Vibrators

This post was inspired by a beautiful, sex-positive friend of mine, who… hates vibrators. She attended one of Betty Dodson’s Bodysex workshops, and of course, since I’m a huge sex toy geek, I asked her what she thought of the vibe Betty provides for workshop attendees (it’s the Mystic Wand, if you were wondering). My friend just shrugged and said, “I don’t like using a vibrator. It feels like having sex with a robot.”

I was slightly flabbergasted, but I shouldn’t have been. There are plenty of people who don’t like vibrators.

However, I think that at least some of those people’s aversion to vibes might be due to a fixable factor. So, with help from some folks on Twitter, I came up with this list of common reasons why someone might not enjoy using a vibrator, and I’ve provided possible solutions for each issue.

Important note: There are people for whom vibrators just don’t work, period. I’m not claiming that everyone can or should love vibrators. If other methods work for you, keep at ‘em and don’t let me rain on your parade! This post is for people who have been dissatisfied with vibrators in the past but are interested in giving them another shot.

Problem #1: Vibrators feel too weak, cause numbness, or make you itchy.

Solution: If you’ve felt this way about a vibrator, it was probably too buzzy, or didn’t have enough power, or both. I can see how this could be a huge deterrent, because it even deterred me! My first few vibrators were cheap and/or battery-powered, which are the types of vibes that tend to be buzziest and weakest, so I just thought vibrations felt only okay and caused fast numbness. Well, they don’t have to!

The opposite of buzzy is rumbly (at least, in vibrator-speak). Rumbly vibrations don’t typically cause the numbness that buzzy vibes can, nor will they make you itch. They also feel stronger because they penetrate deeper into the skin. If you have a clitoris, rumbly vibrations will stimulate the internal portion as well as the part on the surface, and many people find that sensation more pleasurable, myself included.

My all-time favorite rumbly vibrator is the We-Vibe Tango (here’s my review). It’s small, because it’s meant for clitoral stimulation, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in ridiculously thuddy and yummy vibrations. If you want something you can use for penetration or clit stimulation, try the Lelo Mona 2; it’s not quite as rumbly as the Tango but it’s pretty close, plus it has a gorgeous and effective G-spot curve. If you want to try rumbly (and SUPER STRONG) vibrations on the cheap, seek out a Wahl 2-Speed at your local pharmacy – but keep in mind that it’s the jackhammer of vibrators, so you should probably use some kind of fabric barrier between your body and the toy, at least at first!

Problem #2: Vibrators feel too intense/strong/overwhelming.

Solution: I think the Hitachi Magic Wand is largely to blame for the commonness of this problem. So many people think it’s “the ultimate vibrator” because plenty of experienced vibrator users say that it is – but I am going to take a bold stance and declare that the Hitachi is not a good vibrator for beginners. Husbands, stop buying Hitachis for your vibrator-virgin wives! Please, for the love of all things holy and sexy!!

If you already have a vibrator that feels too strong for you and you don’t want to buy a different one, here are some suggestions. Try putting a fabric barrier between the vibrator and your body, like a folded washcloth or your underwear; this will dampen the sensations. Try starting off with the vibrator on your inner thighs or labia instead of putting it directly on your clit. If it’s a Hitachi, outfit it with an attachment like the G-Spotter, which will muffle and focus the sensations all at once.

If you think your current vibrator is hopelessly over-intense and you want to get another one, here are some you could try. Anything by Lelo will have multiple speeds (usually 10), starting very low and ending reasonably high, so you can control the power of the vibrations with much more precision; I recommend the Mona 2, Mia 2, or Siri. Lelo’s not in everyone’s price range, I know, so if you’re shopping for something cheaper, just make sure that it’s body-safe (probably made of silicone or hard plastic) and has multiple speeds. Something like the Bswish Bcute Classic or Turbo Glider would be great.

Problem #3: Vibrators are too loud, and it distracts you and/or arouses suspicion among your housemates/family.

Solution: You need a quieter vibrator, bro.

The aforementioned We-Vibe Tango and Lelo toys are very quiet. In general, you’re going to want to avoid anything battery-powered or electric; rechargeables are where it’s at.

Alternatively, you could muffle your loud vibrator with a blanket, or put some music on. But you’ve probably already thought of that.

Problem #4: Vibrators are awkward to use or hard to control.

Solution: Okay, first of all, let’s get this out of the way: sex toys are inherently foreign objects, so they will never feel quite as natural and intuitive as your own hands. You can get smoother at using them with practice, but they’re not really an extension of your body so they’re always going to feel more like tools than appendages. If you’re not cool with that, no worries; you don’t have to use sex toys. No one will force you.

But if you want to use a vibrator that’s as uncumbersome and unobtrusive as possible, you’re going to need something that is both ergonomic and super easy to control. I recommend one with easy up-and-down buttons, like the Lelo Siri, or a simple twist dial, like the Shane’s World Sparkle Vibe.

If your issue is that vibrators are hard to hold onto or slip out of your hand at crucial moments, try something with a looped handle, like the Lelo Alia, or a grippy plastic handle, like the Bodywand.

Problem #5: Your partner is threatened by sex toys, or you think they would be.

Solution: My first instinct in this situation is to tell you to “dump the motherfucker already,” but I realize that your partner’s insecurities may not bother you as much as they would bother me, and also that your partner’s insecurities may well be changeable and fixable. You deserve better than someone who wants to limit your pleasure, but I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life.

Insecure partners, especially those who are men, may have issues with realistic (i.e. penis-esque) toys that they would not have with less representational toys. If that’s the case, then of course I suggest getting a toy that looks nothing like a penis. Most Lelo toys look like tech implements from Planet Sophistication. Jimmyjane toys are also very design-y and often look more like coffee table decorations than sex toys, so maybe they’ll be less distressing to your partner than a 9-inch rubber dick.

That said, size can also be an issue for some partners, especially if they have concerns about their own penis size. In that case, I’d recommend something small and unintimidating, like the We-Vibe Tango or a hella basic Pocket Rocket.

If your partner worries that a sex toy will “replace” him or her, you may be able to quell that fear by using the sex toy with them, having them use it on you, or getting a toy like the We-Vibe that is specifically made to be used by couples.

Problem #6: Vibrators feel too impersonal/inhuman, or don’t feel like “the real thing.”

Solution: The obvious solution is to incorporate vibrators as part of “the real thing.” Trust me when I say that the combination of a vibrator and a human partner can be explosively terrific. I hate the narrative of vibrators being some sort of replacement for a partner, because I think they work best when paired together!

If you don’t have a partner at the moment, but still want a “real”-feeling experience, you could try a realistic dildo like the VixSkin Mustang. (I know, it’s not a vibrator, and this is an article about vibrators. But people don’t vibrate, so the most “realistic” toys will be ones that don’t vibrate either!) I am also a fan of the Stronic Eins, which thrusts back and forth – like a real penis, only faster and more consistent.

There are a few cunnilingus simulators on the market. I haven’t found one that I’m really happy with yet, but you might like them. The main ones are the Sqweel 2, Sqweel Go, Je Joue SaSi, and Lelo Ora. Some people (myself included) also say that the back-and-forth oscillation mode on the Jimmyjane Form 2 feels like a flicking tongue. If you choose to buy a toy that’s meant to mimic oral sex, definitely pick up some lube, too – oral lovin’ is nothing without lubrication!

Do you know anyone who hates vibrators? Why do they feel that way? Have you ever overcome your vibrator hatred? How did you do it?

Review: We-Vibe Salsa

I feel pretty “meh” about the We-Vibe proper, but their clitoral vibes are the bomb-diggity. (Is that phrase still a thing?) Previously I swooned over the flat-tipped Tango, so I knew I’d like the pointy-tipped We-Vibe Salsa. And dayum, gurl, it delivers.

The Salsa’s been discontinued (boo!) because it wasn’t selling as well as the Tango. This is sad because a) it’s awesome and b) it had color options that went beyond the typical gendered colors that the sex toy industry tends to offer. My Salsa is a sexy, deep black, but it also came in red and white.

The main thing I love about the We-Vibe clit toys, the thing that makes them indispensable and irreplaceable, is their deep, rumbly, wonderfully strong motor. I don’t think there is another clit vibe on the market that feels like this. It always feels weird and exaggerated when I say that a sex toy company is doing something that literally no one else is doing, but that’s true for these toys. They have no rivals. If you like rumbly power and don’t want to mess with something heavy like the Wahl or big like the Patchy Paul, these tiny vibes are absolutely the way to go.

I also recommend the Tango and Salsa to people all the damn time for these reasons: they’re fully waterproof, they’re quieter than the majority of vibes on the market, they’re rechargeable, and they’re small enough to carry around in your handbag or pocket.

…Not that you would necessarily want to carry them around, though – because, as I observed in my Tango review, they don’t have a locking option for travel. There is a distinct chance that your Salsa will start vibrating in your purse if you put it in there. If that’s okay with you, fine, but I know it would be an issue for me if my vibrator turned on while I was in a sociology lecture or at the movies, so my “on-the-go” vibe will continue to be my Lelo Mia 2 for the time being.

My other major quibble with the Salsa and Tango is that they only have one button, which you have to use to cycle through the 4 speeds and 4 patterns (which, by the way, are pretty good as far as patterns go, if you’re into that sort of thing). Sometimes I want to be able to move back and forth quickly between two or three particular settings, without having to cycle my way back to the beginning again.

The Salsa/Tango uses a very fickle magnetic charging system. The charger attaches to the bottom of the toy magnetically and it has to be just right or it won’t charge. (Hint: you should see a steady light on the bottom of the charger if you’ve done it properly.) This issue, combined with the fact that these vibes have a noticeably short battery life (60-90 minutes of use, depending on which settings you favor), made me mistakenly believe that my Tango’s battery had permanently died from misuse recently. Turns out I just wasn’t charging it right. So watch out for that.

The Salsa and Tango are each about 3 inches long, so there’s not a lot of space between the tip and where you’ll be holding the vibe. That means that your fingers might start to go numb if you use the toy for a while. It’s a worthwhile tradeoff, though, since the vibes’ small stature makes them ideal for using during PIV sex. You can never have too many intercourse-friendly vibrators, if you ask me.

Although the Salsa has a few annoying issues, they are worth overlooking for the totally astonishing quality of its vibrations. My whole clitoral network gets rocked by this toy, resulting in orgasms that feel deeper and happen quicker. Few toys can actually have a noticeable effect on orgasm quality, but this is one that does, so it’s worth picking up.

Review: Lelo Bridal Pleasure Set

I am certainly not the prime candidate for owning a Lelo Bridal Pleasure Set, being unmarried and having no plans whatsoever on changing that in the foreseeable future. But some part of me still wanted one, because let’s face it – Lelo is one of the titans of the sex toy industry, and this set is gorgeous as hell.

Heads up: this won’t be a standard sex toy review. Normally I wouldn’t put too much stock into how a product looks and how the company has presented and packaged it, but seeing as the Bridal Pleasure Set is intended to be a wedding gift, that stuff matters. You’ve been warned!

This set contains three items for newlyweds to use together: a blindfold, a “teaser ring,” and the Noa couples’ vibrator. I’ll talk about each item one by one.

First, the blindfold. When I first unpacked my Bridal Pleasure Set, this was the product that impressed me most, because it’s beautiful: it boasts pure silk ties, a softly cushioned eye area, and suede with pearl detailing.

Unfortunately, when I actually tried it, I was not nearly as impressed. This is one of those products that makes me wonder if the company actually tested it on real live humans before releasing it. The silk ties are so slippery that they are almost impossible to tie in an appropriately tight bow – I had to enlist my boyfriend to help me, and even then, it was difficult. Once the blindfold is on, it’s apt to slip off during your sex session, again because of those damn silky ties.

It also doesn’t do a great job of blocking out light in the nose area (though I have a large-ish schnoz, so your mileage may vary). I will say, however, that it is a hell of a lot more comfortable than the Intima blindfold that came with my Adore Me set.

Next up: the teaser ring. I didn’t know what to make of this thing when I saw pictures of it online. “Is it supposed to go on the penis?” I wondered. I still wasn’t sure when I received the set, but then I consulted Lelo’s illustrated “lovers’ guide” (included in the box) and saw that it is meant to be worn on the finger.

The “ring” part of the teaser ring has wire inside it, so it can be bent to fit practically any finger, regardless of size. Once it’s on, the “teaser” part (a group of long suede strings, sort of like what you’d see on a flogger) can be used to stroke and tickle your partner’s body.

Combined with the blindfold, this is actually mildly pleasant. And to the teaser ring’s credit, it can double as a small flogger if your partner has enough wrist strength to use it that way (a friend of mine did just that, when we made the drunken decision to test out my various spanking implements on one another one night). However, I feel it might’ve been a better use of space to include a more conventional sensory-play toy – like maybe a feather tickler, or even something more extreme like a pair of handcuffs. I know they were hoping to evoke matrimonial imagery with this “ring,” but it’s just not that exciting.

The main event of the set is Noa, a couples’ vibe. The Noa is a slightly reimagined and updated version of the Tiani, which I previously tried and wasn’t that thrilled with. Here’s a rundown of the key differences: Noa’s vaginal arm is wider and flatter, making it more comfortable and less pokey for both partners; Noa is stronger and rumblier than the original Tiani (though apparently still a hair weaker than the Tiani 2); Noa comes with a USB charging cable instead of a standard plug-into-the-wall charger; and Noa doesn’t come with a SenseMotion remote (which also means that it’s cheaper).

If you happen to have a SenseMotion remote from another Lelo toy, you can connect it to the Noa wirelessly and it will work. If you don’t, though, you can still control the toy’s functions by just pressing the button on the toy itself.

I really, really like the Noa’s vibrations. As I mentioned, they feel stronger and deeper than those of my Tiani, and I also think they’re stronger (or at least less numbing) than those of the other couples’ vibes I’ve tried, the FixSation and We-Vibe 3. The Noa is the only vibe of its kind that has actually been able to get me off, as I gleefully tweeted right after it first happened. I didn’t have to use my hands at all; I just slipped the vaginal arm inside me and my boyfriend started fucking me in missionary position with his pelvis putting some rhythmic pressure on mine to help the clitoral arm do its job. I haven’t made use of any of Noa’s various pulsating and rollercoaster-ing patterns during sex, but it does have some good ones.

My boyfriend reports that he, too, prefers the Noa to the We-Vibe; Noa’s vibrations actually felt good for him, rather than distracting or annoying. He also likes that the bottom of Noa’s vaginal arm is slightly indented to make room for his penis; this vibe is definitely the most comfortable couples’ vibe we’ve tried, for both of us.

As you might expect, the presentation of the Bridal Pleasure Set is impeccable. It comes in a lovely ivory box with a magnetic closure. When you first open it up, all the “ugly” items (e.g. the charging wire and warranty card) are tucked away, so all you see is the beautiful white pleasure objects. Included is a soft silky storage bag which fits the Noa; you could probably stuff the other two items in there if you didn’t mind crumpling them a bit.

One thing that worries me a little about this set is that it doesn’t come with an instruction booklet. The “lovers’ guide” just consists of a few images of a couple using the toys in various ways, accompanied by poetic text about love and marriage. Maybe I’m not giving beginners enough credit, but I feel that if someone was receiving their first vibrator ever as a wedding present, they’d probably want some information on how it works. But if you’re gifting this set to a couple with some vibrator experience, it may not be an issue.

The main problem with this set is that it costs $200. That’s pretty standard fare for a wedding gift, but I don’t know if the included items are worth that much. The Noa is great, but the other two pieces are mostly ineffectual and not that interesting. Silk and suede aren’t cheap, I know, but if you’re going to pay this much for a set, I still feel it should function fantastically instead of just looking beautiful.

So here’s my verdict: if you’ve got 200 clams to burn on a wedding present for a couple who’s open-minded and appreciates fine sexual and sensual pleasures, a couple advanced enough that they can use a vibrator without an instruction booklet but not so advanced that they’re going to be frustrated by an only semi-functional blindfold and a fairly goofy “teasing ring,” then sure, the Bridal Pleasure Set could be an impressive choice. For couples who are new to sex toys, or couples who would be annoyed by the kink-curious items in this set, maybe just get them the Noa on its own.

Many thanks to Lelo for supplying me with this set and for always being so good to me!

Sharing the Sexy #23

• A quadriplegic man learned to have orgasms with his thumb instead of his penis. Amazing!

Lelo and We-Vibe are having a legal battle. So sad, ‘cause I love ’em both.

Queer sex advice for straight ladies! This article is all about breaking down sexual scripts and having sex the way you want to, not the way society dictates. Yes!

• SPIT, a feminist porn collective, is raising money. Go donate and you can get a membership!

Happy endings for women, hooray!