Guest written by Rain Andersen (@wearenotfriends_) a veteran sworker with eight years in adult entertainment and three years working for Lovers.
sex toy (noun):
an object or device used for sexual stimulation or to enhance sexual pleasure
If you've made it this far, you're probably curious about how sex toys can help to take your pleasure to the next level. In this guide, we're breaking down the who, what, and why behind these illusive pleasure objects.
- Strap-On Harnesses
- Cock Rings
- Butt Plugs
- Kegels & Dilators
- Extreme Toys
Also Known As: Sex Toys
- How to Find the G-Spot
- How to Clean Your Sex Toys
- How to Store Your Sex Toys
- How to Choose a Lubricant for Your Sex Toy
A vibrator is a style of sex toy that is equipped with one or more motors. These motors use vibration of varying frequencies, patterns, and intensities to stimulate the genitals. Vibrators come in a variety of shapes and styles, designed to stimulate specific zones of the body. Your goals, interests, and anatomy can help inform you of what style of vibrator will best work for you.
Bullets (Lipstick Vibrator, Mini Vibe, Travel Vibe): A bullet is a petite vibrator with a torpedo shaped silhouette. Bullets are designed to stimulate the body externally, though they can be found in a variety of lengths and widths that are appropriate for internal stimulation. Bullets are a popular beginner sex toy because of their compact size, single button interface, and nondescript design. Sometimes referred to as a mini vibe or a lipstick vibrator, bullets are perfect for holding between bodies and stimulating hard to reach erogenous zones.
Pebble Vibrators (Hand Held Vibe): A pebble vibrator is a sex toy designed to fit snuggly in the palm of your hand. While bullets can provide more targeted stimulation, their size and shape can make it uncomfortable to hold for extended periods of time. A pebble vibrator prevents strain in the fingertips but adopting a shape that compliments that natural contours of your hand. These sex toys act as a natural extension of the finger tips for comfortable and seamless control.
Wands (Massagers): A wand is a style of sex toy designed for external stimulation. These iconic, microphone shaped massagers are known for their powerful and rumbly vibrations, perfect for all over body massage. You can accessorize your wand with a number of textured sleeves that are designed to focus the wands power on other regions of the body. Sleeves with dildos or open-channels can be used for stroking and internal stimulation. Full size wands provide the most exceptional range in power, due to the ability to hold a larger sized motor. For this reason, many people opt to use wands in forced orgasm scenes with the aid of an orgasm belt or bed restraints.
Thrusters (Pulsators, Sex Machines): A thruster is a sex toy design to mimic the strokes of a penis or dildo. Modern thrusters use an accordion or a set of powerful magnets to create momentum. This momentum is released, allowing the thruster to return to its resting state, which helps to create the gentle pulsing effect of a partner moving in and out of the body. Thrusters can be used for vaginal or anal stimulation for life-like, hands free stimulation. These visually compelling sex toys are an excellent option for couples and voyeurs.
Rabbits (Dual-Stimulator, Dual-Action Vibrator, Bunny): A rabbit is a dual-action vibrator designed to stimulate multiple erogenous zones. Rabbits typically feature an internal component, which can be inserted into the vaginal or anal canal, and an external component, which can sit against the clitoris or perineum. These multi-functional sex toys are known for their ability to produce mind blowing blended orgasms by spreading sensation across multiple regions of the body. Rabbit vibrators will often integrate other forms of sex tech, like thrusters or pulsators. If you’re interested in trying out a new type of technology, consider an updated rabbit vibrator, equipped with more than one function.
Pulsators (Suction Toy, Air Tech Toy, Sonic Vibrator): A pulsator uses air pressure to stimulate the erogenous zones. This trendy and innovative technology can provide contact-free stimulation with 360 degrees of coverage for deep and penetrating orgasms. Designed to recreate the same micro contractions that occur during climax, the air pulsator provides gentle and consistent stimulation that allows you to extend and ride out your climax. Air pulsators come in three styles: Pleasure Air Toys, Sen-Sonic Toys, and Suction Toys. Learn more about how these styles of pulsators differ in our blog on sex toy trends.
Finger Vibes: A finger vibrator is a sex toy designed to fit over or between your fingertips. These discreet sex toys add electricity to every touch, perfect for body massage, foreplay, or holding between bodies. Finger vibrators may feature a tether to help secure the toy to your finger. These tethers allow for full mobility and freedom to stimulate.
Hands Free Vibrators (Couples Vibrator, C-Shaped Vibrator, Wearable Vibrator, Panty Vibe, Remote Control Vibrator, App Enabled Vibrator): Hands free vibrators are designed to stay in place during play. They allow the wearer to focus on their partner and the sensations they’re feeling without distraction or disruption. There are several iterations of hands-free sex toys. Hands free dildos are equipped with a suction cup that can be affixed to any flat, smooth surface. The latest innovation in hands free vibrators allow for a more customized fit with shapes designed to flex, bend, and lock into place.
Dildos are a style of sex toy that can be inserted into the vaginal or anal canal to stimulate a rich network of nerve endings. Dongs tend to lean towards a more representational design, with testicles attached to the base. Dildos can be both representational and innocuous in design, but do not feature a set of testicles. Dildos will typically include a suction cup base, which allows these toys to be affixed to any smooth, flat surface for hands-free stimulation. Dildos with a suction cup base are considered to be harness compatible. They can be secured to the body in lieu of a penis.
Static Dildos: Static dildos and dongs are designed purely for insertion. They are sold in a variety of textures, shapes, and densities, which contributes to its feel and fit. Larger sized dildos typically feature a softer density of silicone, to allow the body to accommodate the dildos length and girth. Small to mid-sized dildos can use firmer density silicones, or dual density blends that feature a firm core and a squishy outer shell. Opting for firmer density static dildos can be useful for pegging because it helps the dildo keep its shape and form.
Vibrating Dildos: Vibrating dildos and dongs take the shape and function of a traditional dildo with the mechanics of a vibrator. This style of sex toy elevates the traditional dildo by introducing a second layer of stimulation.
Pose-able Dildos: A pose-able dildo is a style of sex toy with a wire core. The wire in the center of these sex toys allows the user to bend the dildo to accommodate specific angles of penetration. Due to the adjustable nature of this product, we recommend pose-able dildos for prostate and G-spot stimulation. Pose-able dildos are a wonderful option for beginners because the user does not have to commit to a single style or shape of dildo.
Ejaculating Dildos: An ejaculating dildo is a style of sex toy with a hollow core. This hollow core is equipped with plastic tubing that filters fluid through the head of the dildo, inspired by the explosive power of an ejaculating penis. Ejaculating dildos can be filled with a variety of fluids. We recommend a gently warmed water-based or flavored lubricant for faux facials for an100% edible formula. Ejaculating dildos can also be filled with other non-viscous fluids like a fruity beverage or dairy product.
Hollow Dildos & Extenders: Hollow dildos and extenders are a style of sex toy that slides over the penis. Hollow dildos add length, strength, and support to a penis, while extenders provide length and texture. Extenders don’t add as much support as hollow dildos because they are designed to cling to the shaft of the penis. Individuals with erectile dysfunction might consider hollow dildos and extenders to enhance their playtime. Alternatively, you can slide the textured extenders over your favorite insertable sex toys to add temporary texture and length. Individuals with vulvas might consider a hollow dildo for strap-on play. Using a hollow dildo without a biological penis leaves room to pop a bullet into the hollow channel to add a vibrating element!
Strap-On HarnessesAlso Known As: Harness, Strap-On, Pegging Harness
- The Best Harnesses for Strap-On Sex According to a Sex Educator
- Strap-On Guide 101
- Pegging for Beginners
A strap-on harness is a style of sex toy designed to hold and support a penetrative object. Traditional strap-on harnesses are designed to wrap around the legs and waist in order to accommodate the weight of a penetrative sex toy. This style of harness is adjustable to the wearer, and an excellent option for couples that are sharing a strap on set. All strap-on harnesses feature a supportive O-ring, which is often interchangeable. O-Rings can be changed out to accommodate dildos with a wider girth. You can accessorize your strap-on harness with a support ring, which is a flat disc designed to keep dildos from hanging or shifting inside the harness.
Traditional Harness: A traditional strap-on harness is designed with three straps and a front facing panel. The front facing panel is equipped with an O-ring, designed to support the weight of the dildo. These panels can be made from leather, fabric, or PVC materials, designed to wick away or absorb moisture during use. They can also allow the wearer to showcase their personal style through an assortment of available colors, prints, and textures. A traditional style harness is equipped with two leg straps, designed to wrap around the upper inner thigh, and a back strap, design to wrap around the waist line. All of these straps can be adjusted to the individual wearer. Pay careful attention to the material of your straps, which can cause chaffing and discomfort against the skin.
Thong Style Harness: A thong style harness uses the same basic components of a traditional harness, without the support of a front facing panel. With a thong style harness, the wearer only receives the straps and the O-ring. Some individuals prefer a thong style harness because of its minimalistic look and feel. Thong style harnesses expose more of the wearers body, but may diminish the level of support the harness provides. We recommend lighter density silicones or smaller style dildos with these harnesses to help balance the distribution of weight.
Underwear Style Harnesses: Underwear style harnesses are designed to look and feel like a pair of sexy underwear. These comfortable and stylish harnesses feature a built-in O-ring, and easy access panel- just like a traditional set of boxer briefs! Underwear style harnesses come in a variety of cuts and colors, and fit closer to the body for additional control and support. We love the sexy and secure feeling of an underwear style harness, which can be styled alongside with other pieces of lingerie for a seamless look.
Harness Free Strap-Ons: Harness free strap-on’s combine the function of a dildo and a harness. This style of sex toy features two, insertable components designed to stimulate a person and their partner simultaneously. Harness free strap-on’s work under the condition that the sex toy can be supported by the user’s pelvic floor muscles. Harness free strap-on’s with a sharp angle or an adjustable arm are best suited for individuals with a weaker pelvic floor, because they can be hooked into the G-spot to stabilize them. These sex toys are often equipped with vibration, allowing users to spread out stimulation between two bodies.
Cock RingsAlso Known As: Penis Rings, C-Rings
A cock ring is a circular band designed to fit snuggly around the base of the penis. Cock rings serve the primary function of restricting blood flow. Once a person is erect, a cock ring can be used to prevent blood from escaping the penis. Users will notice an increase in size, sensation, and endurance as a result of this. Sensation will temporarily reduce (allowing for longer play) and build as you get closer to climax, with noticeable changes to the penis’ color and texture. We do not recommend using cock rings any longer than 30 minutes. This is the safest recommended time frame when experimenting with products that impact blood circulation. The thicker the band, the firmer the grip will be. Rounded bands can be rolled off the shaft to remove them, while flatter bands can be pulled away from the skin to prevent body hair from snagging.
Stacker Rings: Stacker rings are a style of cock ring without embellishments. These rings do not feature motors or other mechanized elements, but are available in a variety of textures, widths, and colors. The sole purpose of a stacker ring is to restrict blood flow. You can stack these rings to add stability or pressure. You can use stacker rings to control the amount of depth you receive during penetration- simply stack the bands on top of one another until you’ve reached your desired height.
Vibrating Cock Rings: Vibrating cock rings contain a small motor that is designed to add stimulation to the clitoris or perinium. Adding vibration to the perineum can enhance sensation for the wearer during use. Adding vibration to the clitoris can forego the need for hand held vibrators, allowing for a hands-free experience. Using this style of vibrating ring works best in a cowgirl position, which allows vibration to remain in contact as you grind.
Combination Cock Rings: Combination cock rings restrict blood flow to the penis while incorporating other sensory elements and shapes. You can find cock rings that are attached to anal plugs or attached to bullets, crafted for double penetration of the wearer or their partner.
Butt PlugsAlso Known As: Anal Plugs
- 5 Myths About Anal Sex
- How to Have an Anal Orgasm
- How to Have a Prostate Orgasm
- How to Fist: The Joys of Handballing
Butt plugs are a style of sex toy that can be inserted into the anus to stimulate the rectum or prostate. Butt plugs are often used as a precursor to anal play in order to establish comfort or gauge up to a larger sized penetrative object. Butt plugs fill and stretch the anal canal, adding pressure to the prostate and G-spot. Stainless steel and borosilicate glass plugs are non-porous materials that can be used with any style of lubricant without absorbing scent or bacteria. Silicone and jelly plugs are made from a softer material, designed to contour to your body’s unique curves. Look for subtle changes in color, scent, and composition to determine whether your plug should be replaced. Individuals that are interested in pegging can substitute a dildo for a butt plug with a suction cup base. These harness-friendly butt plugs can allow you to experience your pegging fantasies without graduating to a larger penetrative object.
Static Butt Plugs: Static plugs are a style of butt plug without embellishments. These butt plugs do not feature motors or other mechanized elements, but are available in a variety of textures, shapes, and sizes. The sole purpose of a static plug is to fill and stretch. Individuals with vulvas can wear a static plug during penetration to provide double penetrative stimulation, and to temporarily reduce the diameter of the vaginal canal.
Long Wear Butt Plugs: Long wear plugs are a style of butt plug with a wide base, usually curved to fit between the butt cheeks. Long wear butt plugs are intended to be worn for an extended period of time. They are designed to move with your body throughout the day as you sit, walk, or run. These movements add pressure and sensation to the anal canal in subtle, sensual bursts.
Vibrating Butt Plugs: Vibrating butt plugs contain one or more small motors that are designed to add stimulation to the anus, prostate, and/or perineum. Vibrating butt plugs awaken the nerve endings in the rectum, massaging the sphincter and prostate muscles.
Thrusting Butt Plugs: Thrusting butt plugs are a style of sex toy that is designed to mimic the strokes of a penis or dildo during anal sex. Thrusting butt plugs are an excellent option for individuals with a prostate, because this muscle responds to repetitive motion and pressure. Thruster butt plugs provide a Segway to anal sex, allowing users to familiarize with the sensation of motion in the anal canal.
Rotating Butt Plugs: Rotating butt plugs are a style of sex toy that is designed to roll against and massage the tissues in the anus. Rotating butt plugs are an excellent option for individuals with a prostate, because this muscle responds to repetitive motion and pressure.
Inflatable Butt Plugs: Inflatable butt plugs are a style of sex toy that is designed to expand and harden inside the anal canal. You can find mechanized and manual style inflatable plugs which allow the user to comfortably insert the sex toy before filtering in air. Inflatable butt plugs pull air into a central chamber, which allows it to increase in size. All inflatable butt plugs are equipped with a quick release button that allows the butt plug to return to its resting state.
Combination Butt Plugs: Combination butt plugs fill and stretch the anal canal, while incorporating other sensory elements and shapes. You can find butt plugs that are attached to cock rings, crafted for double penetration of the wearer.
Anal Training Kits: Anal training kits are a set of anal plugs that gradually increase in size. These kits can be purchased for individuals who are interested in working their way up to anal sex or to bundle an assortment of plug styles into a single purchase. Anal training kits can be used by individuals with vulvas for vaginal dilation. Vaginal dilation is recommended for individuals that will be giving birth or experience penetrative pain and anxiety.
A pump is a sex toy that is designed to draw blood into a particular region of the body. Pumps help to improve blood circulation, which can make sensations more intense and erections more powerful. The lip of the pump requires 360-degree contact with the skin in order to effectively draw blood to that zone of the body. You can create a cleaner seal by removing body hair from the area that you intend to pump. We recommend using pumps in five-minute intervals. We do not recommend using pumps any longer than 30 minutes. This is the safest recommended time frame when experimenting with products that impact blood circulation.
Penis Pumps: A penis pump is a style of sex toy that is designed to draw blood into the penis. Penis pumps can temporarily increase the size of the penis and enhance sensation. Individuals diagnosed with erectile dysfunction may find a penis pump usefully for activating or maintaining an erection. Size increases can be maintained by wearing a cock ring after pumping. Penis pumps come in a variety of styles, using air or water to create a vacuum inside the pump. For best results, opt for a hydro-pump. The water molecules inside a hydro pump take up more space than an air molecule, which allows for a more noticeable plump.
Vaginal Pumps: Vaginal pumps are specially designed to fit over the mons pubis. These pumps draw blood to three regions of the vulva, making skin sensitive to the touch. The labia majora, labia minora, and clitoris will each increase in size, adopting a pink and puffy appearance.
Breast Pumps & Nipple Suckers: Breast pumps are a style of sex toy that increases sensitivity to the nerve endings in the chest. Breast pumps come in a variety of sizes designed to stimulate the breast tissue, areolas, and nipples. You can use a breast or nipple pump prior to foreplay to enhance sensation, or during sex.
StrokersAlso Known As: Masturbation Sleeve, Pocket Pussy, FleshLight, or Masturbator
- Better Then Your Hand: The Wonderful World of Strokers
- How to Clean Your Stroker
- A Sex Educator Reviews Two Mechanized Strokers
A stroker is a style of sex toy made to stimulate the penis. They are designed to be moved up and down the shaft to activate the nerve endings in the frenulum. There are four styles of strokers, each made to fit over or around the shaft of the penis. Open-ended or open-channel strokers keep a portion of the penis exposed. This style of stroker is an excellent choice for couples looking to enhance oral or hand stimulation. Close-ended and closed-channel strokers offer a more life-like experience, covering the entire head of the penis.
Molded Strokers: Molded strokers are designed to replicate the feeling of a vagina, anus, or mouth. Crafted from the castings of adult film performers, these realistic stokers are made to look and feel like the real thing. Molded strokers are made from a special material called thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). This soft and supple material lends to these strokers realistic textures and hues. Molded strokers are sold in hand-held and full-size models. Full size molded strokers are referred to as a body stroker. Body strokers are made from larger castings, that incorporate specific body parts.
Vibrating Strokers: Vibrating strokers contain one or more small motors that are designed to add stimulation to the penis. This style of sex toy can elevate the stroking experience by layering sensations of texture and vibration. A recent study from the University of Guelph found that more men are using vibrators to enhance sexual pleasure, especially in the company of an enthusiastic partner.
Thrusting Strokers: Thrusting strokers are a theoretically hands-free sex toy, designed to move up and down the shaft of the penis. Thrusting strokers capitalize on the life-like experience of a molded stoker by controlling the movement and speed of your strokes. These cutting-edge sex toys are the latest innovation in stroker technology, sold with higher quality materials and motors.
Pulsating Strokers: The pulsating stroker is a one-of-a-kind masturbation device. Cutting-edge, air pressure technology is designed to stimulate over 4,000 nerve endings in the penis as you stroke and grind. Perfect for edge play, the pulsating stroker is engineered to help your build arousal at a steady pace.
Also Known As: Penis Sleeves, Extenders
A penis extension is a style of sex toy designed to add length and girth to an already erect penis. Penis extensions offer subtle changes in size and texture of the penis that can make sex more fun and less predictable. Penis extensions can be found in a variety of fits, textures, and lengths, and can even be added to a favorite penetrative toy to create variety.
KegelsAlso Known As: Ben Wa Balls, Yoni Eggs, Vaginal Trainers, “Those things from 50 Shades…”
Kegel balls are a style of sex toy that is designed to tone and strengthen the pelvic floor. These weighted sex toys help to activate the PC muscles through targeted massage and conditioning. Strong PC muscles can contribute to stronger orgasms, urinary and fecal continence, and an increase in natural lubrication. Larger sized Kegel balls are typically recommended to beginners, because they are lighter weight and easier for the body to grip on to. Smaller Kegel balls or untethered Kegel weights are more challenging to hold on to, and are great for experienced users. Kegel balls can be used anally by individuals with penises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and add stimulation to play. If you are using Kegel balls anally, ensure that your weights are encased in a body safe material with a retrieval cord or base.
Kegel Massagers: Kegel massagers are an exercise device used for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Kegel massagers feature one to two weighted balls, often encased in a silicone sheath for easy removal. Kegel balls sometimes contain a smaller ball inside the external weight. When the ball makes contact with edges of the weight, it stimulates the vaginal canal causing the PC muscles to retract and tighten.
Vibrating Kegels: Vibrating Kegel massagers are a style of sex toy designed to stimulate and strengthen the pelvic floor. This style of sex toy fuses pleasure and wellness by merging the shape of a Kegel ball with the function of a vibrator. Vibration works to activate the pelvic floor muscles, causing them to retract and tighten.
Dilators: Vaginal dilators are a device that is used to stretch and expand the tissues around the vaginal opening. Vaginal dilators can be used to train and condition the vagina pre and post child birth. They can also be used to overcome vaginal tightness, penetrative pain, and discomfort related to anxiety and other medical conditions. Vaginal dilators have been used with clinical success for over 75 years, and are sold in sets. If you are having trouble locating a set of dilators, look to an anal training kit. Anal training kits can be used vaginally in leu of a dilator.
Extreme ToysAlso Known As: BDSM Sex Toys, Kinky Sex Toys
Extreme toys refer to a lonely category of sex toys that are designed to accommodate specific kinks and fetishes. While they may not be as innovative as some modern-day vibrators, they offer safe and clean solutions to exploring your sexuality in alternative ways.
Cages: Penis cages or chastity cages are a style of sex toy that prevents the penis from fully engorging with blood. Individuals interested in power play or orgasm denial scenes will love the concept of a chastity cage because it prevents an individual from reaching orgasm. Chasity cages are sold in a variety of materials. Soft, stretchy silicone cages are a great option for beginners, while more experienced users may favor locking metal or abs plastic cages.
Clamps: A clamp is a style of sex toy that designed to add pressure and sensation to your erogenous zones. Clamps are primarily sold for the nipples, clitoris, and vulva. You can find various clamp styles ranging from magnetic, to bull nose, to clover style- each offering a different range in intensity. Check out our blog on Nipple Orgasms to get a run down of the various styles of clamps sold at Lovers.
Sounding Rods: A sounding rod is a thin and narrow tube designed to be interested into the urethra. Sounding rods are sold in a variety of materials and sizes so that you can find the fit and texture that most arouses you. Many penis-havers find that urethral play is another way that they can stimulate their prostate muscle. If you have concerns or anxieties about backdoor play, a sounding rod might be a good alternative.
Why These Guys Put Their Dicks in Cages: Vice Magazine
A Guide to Sounding, The Fetish of Urethral Play: Vice Magazine
How Vaginal Dilators Treat Pain During Sex: PopSugar