The Beginner's Guide to Sex Toys

The Beginner's Guide to Sex Toys

 By Colleen

With so many options these days, how will you decide which sex toys are right for you? Let #LubeLife guide you through the basics with our list of must-have pleasure toys for all.

You cannot even browse the daily, mainstream news without coming across an article on sex toys, and as purveyors of sensual lubricants here at #LubeLife, we are SO here for it. It was about damn time that the entire world started seeing pleasure products for exactly what they are: essential tools for holistic wellness.

If you're anything but the most seasoned of sex toy lovers, however, the sheer amount of options can be daunting and, frankly, just confusing AF. What do all these weird-looking gadgets even do, and where are you even supposed to stick them?

Look, we totally get it, especially since we've been selling the literal BFF to sex toys (read: what else? Lube.) since before TikTok even existed. When you sell lube for a living, you even get to become actual besties with the people who design, market, and sell sex toys. (And yes, it's exactly as awesome as it sounds.)

We're going to share all that juicy, insider's knowledge and guide you through the basics of sex toys. For brevity's sake, we can't list every single type of toy, but we'll show you around some popular favs and tell you why they've become the go-to sex tools-of-the-trade for many couples and singles.

The Most Important Thing to Know – Probably Ever – When it Comes to Sex Toys

Before we begin to wax hot and heavy over our favorite, battery-powered devices, let's make one thing clear: While it can be fun and even useful to categorize sex toys, there is no such thing as toys that only work for couples, or toys that totally rock for solos only, or – especially this one! – sex toys that should only be used by certain gender identities.

As long as you're using them safely, all sex toys are for everyone, regardless of relationship status, sexual identity, or gender. Get as creative as you like, break all the rules (except for the rules that keep your body safe during play, of course!), and do NOT let depictions of specific genders or relationship styles in advertising or toy packaging keep you from owning the sex toy of your dreams.

Got it? Good! Alright, now that that's out of the way, let's get down to the good the stuff: all the different types of toys you can add to your growing collection! This list is in no way exhaustive, but if you're looking for a simple starting point when it comes to understanding sex toy categories, this is it, bb.

Top-Tier Sex Toys for Solos

While pretty much any sex toy can function beautifully in solo situations, these first four pleasure products are most often cheered by single folks. These particular pleasure toys are best known for simulating certain acts of partnered sex and are well-designed to work best with your own two hands.

Suction and Air Pulse Clitoral Stimulators

If you just generally love touching your clitoris, can't get enough of good oral sex, or would choose clit stimulation over penetration any day, you've got to get your hands on an air pulse, clitoral suction toy.

These toys usually look like a tiny suction cup attached to a small, round, and palm-sized wand. Press the suction cup over a well-lubricated clitoris and pulses of air lift your clit up and down, back and forth, like a partner who knows exactly how to use their mouth.

Clitoral suction toys don't even directly touch the clit to lift and stimulate it, and many of them don't even vibrate! Those little air pulses can be adjusted to suck as gently or as strongly as you like, so they're great no matter how sensitive (or not) your clit may be.

High-Powered Massage Wands

These bad boys of the sex toy world are often called “magic” by devotees. While many of today's massage wand designs come with tons of speed and pattern options, they're most loved by clits that need a LOT of vibration to orgasm.

Massage wands are, basically, made to be super strong, regardless of their size. That's their whole deal. Even the lowest setting isn't really that low when compared to other types of vibrators.

The massaging, vibrating part almost always looks like a big, round head, and the handle is rather long and thick to buffer those vibrations so your hands don't rattle away. On their own, as-is, massage wands are great for massaging the outer sex organs, like the clitoris and vulva, the perineum or “taint,” and the penis.

Many wands can even be adapted for penetrative or penis stroking play by adding a sex toy wand cap that fits securely over the head of the wand.

Dual Stimulation Vibrators

In short, dual stim vibes do exactly as their name describes: provide double stimulation for a single person.

You might know these types of toys as “rabbit vibrators” because the original design featured a tiny, vibrating rabbit that was supposed to help shy folks overcome their fear of buying a sex toy. Modern dual stim toys have (mostly) lost the rabbits, but kept the delicious combo of clitoral and vaginal stimulation that made them famous.

Picture the shaft of any given internal vibrator and add a protruding nub near the base, and you've got your basic dual stim sex toy. Their MO is to blend vaginal penetration with external stimulation of the clitoris, which many vagina owners will attest is essential for a penetrative climax.

There is a dual stim toy combo for literally every imaginable fantasy. Dual stim toys not only vibrate these days, but many even thrust up and down, wiggle back and forth like a skilled finger, or feature beads that massage the G-spot.

These magic-making shafts can be combined with all sorts of different types of clit stim, from vibration to suction to massage.

Vibrating, Sucking, and Warming Penis Strokers

Strokers or masturbators are just as popular as clitoral toys, and if you've got a dick, there are endless options that'll suck it off, vibrate it to climax, and even warm up around it like real skin.

If you're on a budget, there are also myriad versions without battery power that can be squeezed to please with your preferred masturbation hand.

These fancy penis sleeves are made to be penetrated and usually feature soft, interior material that's made to feel like a (silicone or rubber) real vagina, anus, or mouth. Dribble some lube inside, power up the vibrations, suction and/or warming functions, and dive in.

Sex Toys That Couples Crave

Sex toys in the couples category are designed to please two bodies. Whether that means sharing the vibrations, letting your partner take the toy reins, or giving yourself an extra power boost during regular intercourse, these next three toys are praised by pairs seeking something new and exciting.

Remote Control Panty Vibes

Do you get off on giving up control? That's exactly what panty vibes do best.

Designed to fit inside your underwear, and often arriving with a specially-made, perfectly compatible thong or other style of undies, panty vibes are slim and made to lie against the clitoris and vulva. Some styles of panty vibes even feature a curved arm that fits comfortably inside the vagina or anus.

Once on or inside of you, power up the included remote control to explore vibration speeds and patterns, and then hand over the controls to your partner to really take this baby out for a spin.

Panty vibes are great for wearing discreetly out on a date or while doing mundane tasks at home with a sexual twist. Imagine your surprise as your partner, remote secretly in hand, chooses when and how to vibrate your clitoris.

Don't say we didn't warn you if you need to race back to the bedroom before your dinner is made!

Vibrating C-Rings

Cock rings, also known as couples rings or c-rings, are designed to gently squeeze the base of the penis while providing vibrations for both partners.

Gently stretch a cock ring over your partner's hard-on and they'll be able to stay stiffer and last longer in bed, as the gentle pressure of a c-ring helps blood stay inside the penis's erectile tissue.

Most c-rings come with a remote that controls the somewhat odd-looking bulge at the top of the ring. That bulge, however, is the best part: the vibrator! Turn it on and you've just added hands-free clitoral stimulation to PIV sex.

Remember how we mentioned dual stimulation toys earlier? C-rings basically turn your partner's penis (or strap-on dildo) into a living sex toy. If your penetrative sex is lacking climax power, add a couples ring for that oh-so-essential clit stim you need to come.

Wearable, Internal Vibrators

Unless you know what you're looking at, wearable vibrator designs might incite a “what the actual f*ck” at first glance.

Often shaped like a U or curved like a C, this special style of vibrator is crafted for dual stimulation during penetrative sex. One side of the U or C is made to be inserted into the vagina, and once you get that part correct, the other side of the vibe will fall right into place, which is directly over your clitoris.

Once in place, these often slender vibrators can comfortably accommodate a penis or penetrative sex toy. Their purpose is to provide both internal and external vibrations during thrusting. Your partner's penis or the toy should glide by with ease when you add a little lube to the whole mix.

While you enjoy a blend of thrusting and clitoral and G-spot vibrations, your partner is also treated to the added texture, vibration, and tightness that only an internal, wearable vibrator can bring to couples play.

Anal Toys for the Best Booty Play

Everyone's got a butt, so why not play with yours? When practiced with extra care and pleasure in mind, anal stimulation can become the sexual best friend you never knew you needed. These three toys made just for butts can open up a whole new world of solo or partnered intimacy.

Butt Plugs

Butt play doesn't get any more basic than this. A butt plug is simply any anal-centric sex toy that's shaped similar to the letter T and features a wide base to keep the plug safely in place outside your bum.

Butt plugs can be beginner-friendly tiny or advanced-level enormous. Some vibrate, but many don't. Some are long and skinny, and others are short, round, and thick.

Basically, if it looks like a plug and it goes in your butt, guess what? It's a butt plug! And with the ridiculously large amount of butt plug-style anal toys out there, you are guaranteed to find one that fits your anal experience level and stimulation preference.

Always start small when choosing a butt plug and gradually work your way up to the largest size that feels comfortable while still providing pleasure.

The holy grail of anal, by the way, is to NEVER get into ANY kind of anal play without lubrication! The anus doesn't “get wet” like the vagina can, and without properly lubing up your butt toys, you can potentially injure yourself and cause a whole lot of pain in your butt.

Anal Beads

Bead-style anal toys are the second most common type of booty pleasure tools. They usually resemble a short rope that's decked out in varying sizes of rubber or silicone beads. Other anal bead toys feature a straight stack of anal-sized inner tubes that gradually increase in size as you get closer to the toy's base.

Just like butt plugs, anal beads come in every possible iteration. More basic styles are often devoid of battery power and rely on texture and size to provide pleasure. There are just as many similar options that also vibrate or thump.

For some folks, the repeated opening and closing of the anus feels incredibly good, especially during climax. Gently inserting and then slowly removing anal beads, one bead at a time, is a great way to figure out what feels best for your body.

Like choosing a butt plug, start with a smaller, short string of anal beads and work your way up in size and length from there (if you want to, anyway, because staying small is totally fine, too).

Spinning and Rimming Anal Toys

Rimming butt plugs are the new kids on the sex toy block, and they've amassed a huge crowd of fans because of the unique way they stimulate the anus.

“Rimming” a partner means licking their anus, or otherwise using your mouth and tongue to stimulate your partner's b-hole. Rimming anal toys simulate this heavenly feeling with several rows of spinning beads that line the bottom half of the shaft of certain butt plugs.

Just insert the butt plug as you normally would, with the base sticking out of your bum. Keep the lower neck of the toy as close as possible to the opening of your bum hole, as this sensitive area is where the spinning beads aim to please.

Depending on your preferences, you can pick a rimming toy that focuses only on the rimming part, or one that vibrates up the shaft, too. Most rimming toys also feature multiple rimming speeds and functions to really show that butt hole a good time!

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