Clitoral and External Toys



These are the most basic kind of vibrator, and are often what is embedded into latex or silicone toys. They’re bullet- or egg-shaped (hence the names!), and usually attached with a wire to a battery control case. Bullets and eggs on their own are meant for external use, mainly clitoral, but you can put them wherever you want, really. If you want to insert one, PUT IT IN A CONDOM. That way you’re protecting the toy from any fluid or lube. You’ll also want to pull on the condom to get the toy out, not on the wire! There’s a chance the wire could come out of the toy, or at least get damaged if pulled on.

A bullet toy is smaller than the egg and because of this, the vibration is different – it’s a little more intense and “pointed”. An egg’s vibration is a bit more “growly”, like a lawn mower. I know these are vague descriptions – the best thing to do is to go into a sex store and give them a feel. You’ll never know which one you like, or if it even matters to you, unless you feel them.

Bullets and eggs that come with a jackable wire (i.e. the wire can be plugged in and out of the battery pack) are of higher quality than those that are hard-wired into it. This is because the jack reinforces the wire at a point where it’s common to get metal fatigue. A good way to combat metal fatigue in the wire is to not wrap it around the battery case when storing it.

If you want to keep your bullet/egg vibe in tip-top shape, you can also put a condom on it whenever you use it, or what I do for my small bullets is cut the fingers off of latex or vinyl gloves. This keeps the toy cleaner, though it still needs to be washed, and will also lengthen its life.

Batteries: usually AA
Good for: external anywhere
Cleaning: see plastic if it doesn’t come with covering and jelly rubber if it does
Some names: Silver Bullet, Mardi Gras, Bullet Blaster, Mini-Pearl – really, there’s a TON of these out there.

Finger Vibes


For people who like discretion when it comes to sex toys, these are the vibes for you. Finger vibes are usually completely self-contained and fit on the end of a finger. They’re quiet, small and easily hide-able. All these points also make them great for travel – just remember to take all batteries out when traveling – the last thing you want to do is shut down an airport with a bomb threat.

Finger vibes often only come with one speed, so if you’re someone who likes to start out light and go really intense, this might not be the toy for you. I always suggest this design for people who are a bit intimidated by toys and/or have thin walls and don’t want to be heard.

Batteries: watch batteries
Good for: external anywhere
Cleaning: see plastic for vibe and jelly rubber for any covers it may come with
Some names: Fukuoku, Aqua Touch Vibe, Finger Fun Vibe, Finger Pets Kit

“Pocket Rocket” Vibes

I don’t think this design has a technical name, so I’ve named this section after its most famous example. These look like mascara tubes, with a vibe on the end. You turn the bottom part of the casing to turn it on/off and to open up the vibrator to get the battery out. They’re made out of hard plastic and have on speed, much like the finger vibes, though these are much more powerful usually. Because of this extra power, they will be louder than the finger vibes, but just as good for traveling or as a vibe on the go.

Batteries: one AA
Good for: external anywhere
Cleaning: see plastic

Some names: Pocket Rocket, Titan, Water Dancer, Natural Contour’s Jolie

“Spaceship” Vibes


I don’t think this design has a specific name either, but these were the most common and available vibrator on the market for a really long time. They’re long, straight, plastic and have a dial on the bottom to turn on and vary the vibe intensity. These look like they’re meant for insertion – but they are not. Let me repeat that – these are not meant for insertion. Vaginal muscles are so strong that they can eventually crack the plastic, besides the fact that something perfectly straight and rigid is not going to be a fun time for your vagina. And don’t get me started on putting this up your ass. This breaks every anal rule out there. These can also get pretty loud, so consider yourself warned.

These are great for those with a minimum vibe budget and/or are looking for an almost “disposable” vibe. These toys don’t last long, so don’t get too attached!

Batteries: either AA or C
Good for: external anywhere
Cleaning: see plastic

Some names: Slimline collection, Lady’s Mood. There’s a lot of these toys under a lot of different names.

Wearable Vibes

Wearable Vibe

Vibes like this strap around your thighs and nestle into your crotch, vibrating away. The vibe can be self-contained, wired to a battery pack, or with a wireless remote. They can be worn under clothing in public or during penetrative sex, depending on the design (some have a small part for penetration).

A lot of people think this toy is a great idea, and if you’re into wearing a vibe while walking the dog, it probably would be. But most women want not only vibration, but to be able to move the vibe back and forth across their clit as well. This vibrator will be pretty stationary and could be arousing, but probably not lead to orgasm.

Check to see if the length of straps is right for you thighs too – some of them come with extremely short, poorly made elastic straps. The wearable vibe design I’m most inclined to suggest is one that comes with a wireless remote, so that you can give the control to someone else who can then “torment” you through a movie or dull dinner party, only to take you home with your head spinning. This design is more of a foreplay toy than something that’s going to take you all the way.

Batteries: watch, AA or bizarre sizes for wireless remote toys
Good for: external only
Cleaning: usually follow jelly rubber
Some names: Venus Butterfly, Butterfly Effect, Remote Butterfly (seeing a trend?)

Wand Vibes

Betty Dodson, bless her masturbating heart, has extolled the virtues of the Hitachi Magic Wand since before I was born, and with good reason. The most famous of the wand vibes, it is POOOOOWERFUL. Betty suggests if you find it too intense for you, to use it with a towel over your crotch to lessen the vibration. As a plug-in, it’s very quiet and will last a long while, as I’m sure the good people at Hitachi make an excellent toy that doesn’t have the pervasive and annoying “for novelty use only” sticker on it like so many other manufacturers have in order to get away with making shoddy merchandise.

But anyway, back to the toy! Many silicone companies make attachments for the wand to allow for penetration. These go over the bulbous head and have a dildo part jutting out. Because of its long handle, wands are great for anyone having issues with reaching because of disabilities.

Most wands are plug-ins, though I have also seen rechargeable ones, which are pretty much as quiet as those you use while plugged in. It’ll most likely have two speeds/intensities and be made out of plastic and/or some kind of rubber or vinyl.

Not a great toy for discretion (the thing is as long as my forearm) or traveling around (you need to be near a plug) this is a great toy for those who like durability, intense vibration, are pre-orgasmic or have ability issues.

Batteries: none, is a plug in or rechargeable
Good for: external, or internal if you buy attachments
Cleaning: see jelly rubber
Some names: Hitachi Magic Wand, Idéal Vibrator, Acuvibe

Coil Vibes


Coil vibes look like wee hair-dryers and come with a whack of attachments. You can often find these in drug stores as “personal massagers” and most of the attachments show that – there’s one for your scalp even. They plug in, are quite quiet and personally, DO NOTHING FOR ME. The vibration, which comes in two speeds is extremely weak compared to other toys.

It doesn’t look like a sex toy at all, so if you’re concerned about nosy room-mates or kids, this may be the kind for you, unless you like a stronger touch, then my recommendation would be ANY OTHER TOY ON THE MARKET.

Batteries: none, it plugs in
Good for: almost nothing, gives a nice head massage
Cleaning: a simple wipe down will do, or see plastic

Some names: Wahl Coil, and that’s about it


Tongue Vibe

Ah, the tongues. Not the most visually appealing of the toys. This one looks like, you guessed it, a tongue. Quite often with taste buds as well. Tongue toys have a vibrator in the base, the vibration will pass up through the tongue and make the tip sort of fling back and forth. A sexy visual, no doubt, but close your eyes and realize this is faster than any human tongue can muster.

Tongue vibes are often made of cyberskin-like material, so please follow washing instructions carefully. I have seen them come with the ability to plug in or take batteries. If you’re a big fan of oral sex, please don’t think of this toy as a robotic form of it – it’s not. But if you’re not too keen on direct vibration on your skin, you might want to check it out.

Batteries: AA
Good for: external
Cleaning: see cyberskin or jelly rubber depending on the type
Some names: Mini Tongue Vibe

Fancy/Pretty/Abstract Vibes

Lots of people are aesthetics-driven. They want their possessions to be pretty – and their sex toys are no exception. So, many external, clitoral vibes have been designed with this in mind – curvy, pretty colours, fancy designs, you name it. I am more interested in what it does rather than how nice it looks in my crotch. But that’s just me. The pro of these designs is that they don’t scream, “LOOK AT ME – I’M A SEX TOY!” and they’re usually hard plastic and therefore phthalate-free. But, because of the hard plastic, they will be louder, and not meant for insertion unless stated that they’re specifically designed to do so (like the Natural Contours Liberté).

They will be more expensive – all that design and pretty packaging costs money, toots – and unless you can’t stand to jerk off with something that isn’t really really pretty, you’re better off finding a toy that feels right for you rather than matches your duvet cover.

Batteries: usually AA
Good for: mostly external
Cleaning: see plastic or elastomer
Some names: Lelo Nea, The Cone, Femblossom, Laya Spot, Liberté


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