Guide to Choosing a Toy: The Basics

Whether it’s your first one, replacing an old favorite, or just looking for something new, choosing a new toy is fun. But where to start? With over a hundred unique companies making thousands of different toys out there, it can be overwhelming trying to narrow the field down to the one toy that will keep you reaching for it night after night. We’ve slimmed the pack by stocking our store with only the toys we think are worth carrying, with prices to fit any budget. Let this guide help you narrow it down further to find the perfect toy (or toys) just for you.

General things to consider regarding any style of toy:

  • Wetter is better! Toys create exquisite friction that stimulates the nerves in just the right way, but too much friction can leave you feeling raw and sore. Using lube ensures a state of slippery friction that leaves your nerves singing high praises and not screaming in protest. Read our Frisky Guide to Lubricants for more information.
  • Cleanliness is next to godliness; you don’t want a dirty toy anywhere near you. Whether you wrap it in a condom, use anti-bacterial toy cleaner, or clean it with plain soap and hot water, read our Frisky Guide To Toy Materials to learn how to keep your toys fresh and clean.
  • Hard or soft? Some people like toys that are soft and squishy, while others prefer the firmness of hard plastic, glass, or metal.
  • Manual or automatic? Dildos have no moving parts. This means you don’t have to replace batteries or plug them in, or worry about the motors eventually breaking. They’ll also last longer, cost less, and don’t make a buzzing sound for your neighbors to overhear. But vibrators. . .vibrate! And that’s a good enough reason for most people to buy them despite their potential drawbacks.

Things to consider when choosing a vibrator:

  • Where are you planning on using your toy: in bed, in the shower, or in the bathtub? All toys can handle a little bit of moisture (so don’t be afraid to use extra lubricant), but make sure it’s labeled waterproof before you take a vibrator into the shower with you, and we still recommend testing it first. Put it in a bowl of water and look for air bubbles. If there are bubbles, it isn’t sealed tightly enough to survive the bathtub.
  • On & off, variable speed, or automatic pulsations? The toy’s speeds will affect not only the sensations you get from it, but also affect the life of the batteries and of the toy itself. On/off switches are the simplest & cheapest, give the longest battery life, and are the least likely to break down, but may not be as much fun to use. Variable speed controls are more complex, could accidentally drain the battery when you thought it was off, and has a slight chance of burning out the vibrator’s motor (if you use batteries low on charge), but these toys are fairly inexpensive and add to the fun. Variable pulsation controls are the most complex and thus most prone to breakage if handled roughly, but due to the computer chip shouldn’t burn out the motor when the battery runs down. They might be the most expensive, but they offer the most variety and are also considered the most fun to use.
  • Size matters. . .the battery size, that is. Toys that use more and/or larger batteries will last longer than ones with fewer/smaller batteries. Of course, they might also have more functions drawing on that power. A toy with a vibrating shaft, rotating beads, and a vibrating clitoral tickler will need more power than one that only vibrates, so if they both take the same number and type of battery, you’ll find yourself replacing the first toys batteries more often. But, if that is the toy that tickles your fancy, it might just be worth it!

V is for “Versatile”
The ways that any one toy can be used are limited only by your imagination. However most toys are designed for particular functions and you’ll be happier with your purchase if you first decide what you want to do with your new toy and then make your selection based on that information. The following pages will be like a “pick-a-path” adventure where you’ll follow one link to the next, all the while learning about the types of toys that interest you.

To start narrowing it down, which best describes what you’re looking for?

  • Toys for a Woman: These toys are mostly used by women either alone or with a partner.
  • Toys for Couples: These toys are the best for using with a partner.
  • Toys for a Man: These are toys designed for men. They can be used with a partner or alone.
  • Beginners Toys: The toys in this section are smaller, simpler toys. They’re good for a woman looking for her first vibrator, or for a man exploring anal play.