Do you feel overwhelmed by all the different types of sex toys available? Not quite sure where to start?
It's common for first-time buyers to feel bogged down by choice, but follow our simple tips below to get started on your toy discovery. We're keeping this article quite simple, and we'll be concentrating on the main 'never bought a toy before' questions that that we were constantly asked in our shop and the advice we gave there, but if a style of toy or pleasure centre isn't covered, click here for all our Beginners Sex Toy Guides.
Beginners sex toy: Go with what you know!
If you are totally new to playing with toys, we recommend choosing a toy that suits the kind of pleasure you enjoy best. Or, if you want to discover a new kind of pleasure, choose a toy that is dedicated to that pleasure area.
Ask yourself: What do I enjoy or what am I looking to explore?
Sex Toys for Clitoral Pleasure
If you particularly enjoy clitoral stimulation; if you've never had an orgasm, or if you find orgasms can be frustratingly hit-or-miss, a clitoral vibrator is the best first sex toy for you.
The majority of women buying their first sex toy at Sh! opt for clitoral vibrators.
Each of our vibrator pages has advice articles which will guide you through what to look for when choosing a particular style of vibrator.
The most important thing to remember is that any vibrator, whatever its size or shape can be used for clitoral pleasure, so don't get stuck on size and shape at this stage.
Vibration is a different type of clitoral stimulation and one that so many people love, and it's not uncommon for women to have their first orgasm with the help of a vibrator.
- How to Choose a Clitoral Vibrator
- How to Use a Clitoral Vibrator
- Q&A: Recommend a Beginners Vibrator?
Sex Toys for Penetration and G-spot Pleasure
If you're more into internal stimulation or would like to explore it, your first toy should be a penetrative shape (rather than a smaller vibrator designed for external/clitoral pleasure).
If you are playing solo, we would advise the best first toy for penetrative or G-spot pleasure is also a vibrator (rather than a dildo) as it'll also give you the option of vibration.
Again, these pages give advice on choosing each style of toy, which is useful for newbies and seasoned buyers alike.
Beginner Sex Toys for Anal Pleasure
Exploring backdoor play means buying a dedicated anal toy - ie one that is specially designed for anal pleasure, with a shape that prevents it from disappearing inside and potentially getting lost. Any toy used for anal play must have a wide base, a handle, or a finger-ring so you can keep a firm grip on it.
The old saying 'no pain, no gain' does NOT apply here.
The anus is rich in delicious sensations, but it's important you know the ins & outs before attempting exploration of this area as carelessness could cause pain. We recommending reading through our anal advice to ensure your experience is all pleasure and no pain.
You don't have to spend lots on your first sex toy
Until you've tried a toy, it's impossible to know what will give you a thrill - and because every person is different, there's no magic one-toy-suits-all.
Much like expensive face cream, spending a lot on a first sex toy can give unreasonable expectations of what it will deliver. If you are new to the sensations of vibration, for instance, starting with a simple battery-operated one will give you an introduction to what a vibrator feels like without having to spend lots of money.
There's no point going for the fanciest toy on the block if you are going to back away from it every time it comes out of the box!
Think the 3 S's - Sound, Sensations & Simple
- Vibrator Sound:
As a first-time toy explorer, a vibrator that is too loud may put you off enjoying it fully. As a newbie, enjoying a buzzing bedfellow for the first time can feel embarrassing, especially in a shared house where kids, parents or housemates might hear. No vibrator is completely silent (use the filter on the vibrator pages to filter the more quiet vibrators) then lock the door, put on some music, and enjoy!
- Vibrator Sensations:
Some women need really strong stimulation to get pleasure, whereas others find this kind of touch desensitizing or even sometimes painful. The best way to cover all bases is to choose a toy with several different speed settings so you can explore. On each product page, the Technical Info Tab tells you what your vibrator offers.
- Keep it Simple:
A toy that's complicated to operate or one that requires you to read a 10-page manual before you start may put you off. We recommend beginners to start with a vibe that has a simple, intuitive operation. We've rated each of our toys as Easy, Middling, or Tricky (but worth it!) and we recommend choosing an 'easy' for your first toy.
For First Penetrative Toys: Think SMALL!
Until you know your perfect size, it's better to think small. A toy that is too big will feel more uncomfortable than sexy.
With a penetrative toy, you can always control how deep it goes inside, so one that is too long is not necessarily a problem.
A toy that is too wide for you is likely to feel intimidating, thus unpleasurable and unlikely to get many outings. Certainly, there may be times when you want to upgrade (though in our experience from talking to customers, not half as many as size-jokes and porn films would have us believe) but for a first-toy newbie, starting slim is wise.
Your first sex toy needn't be 'The One & Only'
This is just the beginning of your journey, so don't get too hung up on finding your perfect sex toy.
We know that the biggest obstacle to buying your first sex toy can be because you're overwhelmed by choice but, like any adventure, it's best to just take the plunge and find a starting point.
That's why we recommend starting small, inexpensive and simple. You can then upgrade if you find you want something stronger, gentler, or larger.
Your first choice will point you in the right direction for what you might like to try next.
Tips for Buying a First Sex Toy for a Partner
- If you're buying a toy to use with a partner, especially if they are new to toys, read How to Introduce a Sex Toy which gives advice on how to start the conversation.
- Partners can feel sensitive around sex toys so it's important to ensure that they feel included, and not 'replaced'.
- Browsing the Sh! website is a great way to introduce the idea of sex toys to your relationship, and it allows you to pick something you'd both like to try.
- If you're planning to surprise your partner, go for something playful and approachable.
- If your partner is a penis-owner, we would advise against introducing a first toy that is penetrative in shape as it can feel confusing or as a criticism.
- A small external vibrator or a cock-ring you can enjoy together during sex are both good first toys for playing with penis-owning partners.
Tips for Buying A Vibrator for Friend
- Buying a beginner's vibe as a present can be the best gift for a friend, especially if your friend might be shy about buying one for themself.
- Receiving a first vibe as a present can help a friend discover new pleasures without feeling any embarrassment about having to buy it themselves.
- A first-toy gift should be fun and non-scary.
- We know of lots of women who received their first rabbit vibrator as a gift from a friend - to their eternal gratitude. :)
- If you are giving a first vibrator or sex toy as a gift, only you know how it is best to give it, but we'd never recommend making anyone unwrap it during a family dinner - always give sex toy gifts with the discretion they deserve.
If you have any questions or want advice on buying your first toy, please chat to us on our chatbox (it will pop-up on the Sh! website when you first visit), by phone (03333 444 005) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are real peeps (not bots!) and giving good, honest advise that's tailored to you, is what we do!