Most vibes nowadays run on battery power – they either come with a battery pack or the batteries go directly in the toys. The most basic rule for buying batteries for toys is: stay away from high-powered batteries meant to run digital cameras or other power-draining devices. These kinds of batteries can (but not necessarily) burn the motor out in your toy. For most toys I suggest getting cheapo, no-name kind of batteries. If you have an extremely high-quality toy with lots of bells and whistles (often the branch design) you may actually NEED the more powerful batteries to make it work properly.

For the sake of the toy and your delicate genitals, take the batteries out when the toy is not in use. The batteries will drain if left in (costing you more money and batteries in the end) and there’s always a chance that they’ll corrode and leak if left in. I have heard of batteries leaking and causing injuries – so please, just take the damn things out, especially if the batteries go directly into the toy rather than a battery pack.

One of the reasons you may find your toy being “less effective” or if it takes you longer to orgasm is that the batteries are running low. I don’t know how many times I’ve wondered what was going on when it dawned on me that it was time to change the batteries.

Also know generally that the more batteries a toy takes, the more powerful it will be – though this isn’t an absolute. I’ve seen some toys take only two batteries and knock the socks off of a toy that takes four. And of course, the more the toy does (i.e. if there’s two vibes, or a vibe and something that also rotates) the more batteries it will take to run the thing.



Probably the most common battery used in toys. AA’s are cheaper to replace than other batteries, and your toy can take between one and four of them, depending on the kind of toy you have and how powerful it is.


Not as common as its big sister, a toy that takes AAA will usually be a bit smaller and discreet than ones that take AA. Not as common, and can be more difficult to take in and out, but are comparable to AA.


Man, do I hate these. The tiniest of toys take these kind of batteries – they’re a pain to put in, they drain terribly so always take them out between uses, and seem to have problems with corrosion. NEVER buy replacement watch batteries from a watch store – they can run you as high as ten bucks each there. Sex stores are always the way to go when it comes to these. I find that the toys that take these batteries tend to be more finicky and break quicker. Blech.


I rarely come across toys that take C batteries, and if you do, you can be pretty sure it’s an older design. This were the more common kind of the spaceship vibes originally, and the first branch design toy “The Rabbit” took theses as well in a separate battery pack attached to the toy with a wire. I stepped on my battery pack, destroying my beloved toy. I even fooled myself into thinking I was a savant-electrician and I could fix it without any tools besides my desperate need to use the toy just one more time. Anyway, you won’t see many toys with C batteries anymore because they’re more expensive and bulky than the AAs.

Battery Packs

Some people really hate, hate, hate these. The idea is you have the vibe and a wire leads to a little pack that holds the batteries, and has the on/off switch and intensity controls. For some, the wire gets in the way, and if you’re using it with a partner during penetration and often changing positions, I can see the point. Battery packs do have some pros though – they often have different kinds of vibe (pulsing, cascading, that kind of thing) and you can give it to someone else to control. Some toys are now coming wireless so you still have the battery pack (and of course there will be batteries within the toy itself to make it work) which makes it even easier for someone else to have the controls, especially when out and about around town!

Batteries in the Toy

The definite pros for toys that have batteries and control directly in the toy are compactness and discreetness. If you’re traveling, or like to use toys “on the go” then this design definitely makes sense. I find that it can be difficult to change the intensity of the vibe when the dial is way down there, without stopping whatever it was I was doing that was making me want to up the intensity in the first place. You can also unintentionally turn off the toy by accidentally hitting a button or moving the wrong way. And just when you were enjoying yourself! Some toys without battery packs that are also on the small side will also only come with one speed. And to me, this is a deal-breaker. Often the speed you want to start with, won’t get you to where you want to go, but the intensity you’d orgasm with would be way too strong to start out with.


Designs like the wand and coil vibrators are plug-ins. Not a common design anymore, these toys are (obviously) best for hanging around the house, close to an outlet. The pro? They’re super quiet and The Hitachi Magic Wand is as about as powerful a vibrator as you can get. I find the coil design to be pretty mediocre at best. You’ll save a ton on batteries and they don’t usually scream “LOOK AT ME! I AM A SEX TOY!” which might be the best if you have curious kids or nosy friends. The wand style can be pretty darn expensive though, so if price is important to you, battery operated toys may be the best option.


These kinds of toys come with rechargeable batteries in and a neat-o stand with which to recharge it. They’ll be almost as quiet as plug-in toys, you won’t be going through batteries and are often made of silicone (YAY!), but the price tag will reflect all of these good points. You also need to be comfortable with having your sex toy on display in its stand for it to recharge. At least most of these toys are quite nice-looking!


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