Sexual Health

What does a vibrator actually feel like, and how do orgasms vary between sex toys?

We love a good vibrator, but we also know that if you’ve never used one before it can feel seriously overwhelming to choose the right one for you.

Even trying it for the first time can feel a bit intimidating—you might find yourself wondering, what does a vibrator feel like, anyway? What if the sensations are way too strong, or not strong enough? And how do you actually use a sex toy to get those amazing orgasms everyone’s always talking about?

There’s no secret trick to buying the right kind of device and learning to use it, but there is a bit of knowledge you can arm yourself with pre-purchase to make sure that you’re getting the right sex toy for you.

So here’s our guide to what different vibrators actually feel like when you use them, and what kind of orgasm you can expect to get from each one.

If you’ve never used a vibrator before, or if you’ve been using the same sex toys for years and it’s finally time for a refresh, this is for you.

Understanding the different types of vibrators

 

Clitoral vibrator/sucker

clit sucking vibrator

 
Clitoral suckers are a relatively new style of sex toy. They’ve only been around for a couple of years, but already they’ve become extremely popular.

A clitoral sucker sits over the clitoris and provides waves of air pressure that stimulate those thousands of nerve endings in the clit without actually touching it (as opposed to clitoral vibrators, which just vibrate on the clitoris). Neat, right?

Clitoral suckers can be a great option for anyone who finds direct stimulation a bit too much, because on a low setting it can be extremely gentle—but don’t be fooled, on a higher setting it can absolutely offer amazing pleasure.

If you’ve used other vibrators before and found that they made your clit feel a bit numb or desensitised before you were even able to reach orgasm, a clitoral sucker might be the right choice for you.

Because clitoral suckers rely more on air pressure than vibration, they can also be quieter than other clitoral vibrators—which is always a bonus if you don’t live alone or if your neighbours seem to have ultrasonic hearing when it comes to your sex life.

The sensation: like having a clitoral orgasm while receiving amazing oral sex—imagine gentle pulses and pressure on the clit paired with some smooth vibrations around the vulva.

 

Bullet vibrator

bullet vibrator

 
Bullet vibrators are some seriously versatile toys. Essentially the shape of a bullet or a teardrop, a bullet vibe can be used for external (or non-penetrative) stimulation.

Because bullet vibes tend to have a more narrow shape, they’re perfect for providing direct, targeted stimulation to a specific area—if you like the idea of holding a sex toy against a sensitive spot like your nipples, clitoris, or perineum, a bullet vibe can be a great choice.

A good bullet vibrator will have multiple speeds you can select, so you control how powerful the vibrations are at any given time. Low vibes can be good for warming up and cooling down, and stronger vibes can be great for that moment right before you reach orgasm.

We always recommend finding a bullet vibe that offers rumbling vibes instead of buzzy vibrations—if you're shopping for sex toys in person, this is something to keep an eye out for.

Some bullet toys can also be controlled by remote or app, even over great distances. This can be a great way to spice up your sex life with a long-distance partner if you're looking for something to enjoy together!

The sensation: targeted, powerful vibes on your favourite place to be touched—like using an electric toothbrush, only smoother and more powerful sexual pleasure.

 

G-spot vibrator

g spot vibrator

 
For many people, the first time we stimulate our g-spot or have a g-spot orgasm will be when we masturbate with a sex toy. It makes sense, because although partnered sex can be great, sometimes we just need that time alone to figure out what our body likes and how we prefer being touched.

Enter the g-spot vibrator: a toy with a long, thin body and a bulbous head. This vibe is made to reach deep inside you and stimulate the g-spot zone, which can be tricky to access with fingers or a smaller vibe.

There's a great episode on how to find your g-spot in our Modern Guide to Sex, but our recommendation when using a vibrator is to get nice and relaxed, use plenty of lubricant, insert the toy slowly into the vagina, and press its head upwards in the direction of your belly button.

Move it in a way that feels good to you: some people like to thrust it in and out, mimicking the feeling of sex, while others are happy to leave it still while they stimulate another body part.

We can tell you that when you use a vibe on your g-spot you might feel strong waves of pleasure from deep inside or even a sense of needing to pee (it’s normal, trust us—it may mean you’re about to have a squirting orgasm).

If you're planning on using lube with your vibe, make sure you know what material the sex toy is made from. Water-based lube should be used with silicone toys—silicone lubricant should never be used with a silicone sex toy, as it can degrade the material.

The sensation: a pleasant pressure deep inside you, like tingling warmth spreading throughout your pelvis.

 

Cock ring

cock ring

 
Many vibrators are designed for vulvas, but this one is designed just for penises. Cock rings sit at the base of the penis and offer a stimulating sense of ‘tightness’ that can make the penis feel harder or (anecdotally) bigger and longer.

A vibrating cock ring offers all of that plus vibration, which can be extremely pleasurable for both the wearer and their partner if they’re having penetrative sex.

To use a cock ring, we recommend applying some lubricant to the penis and the inside of the ring, then gently stretching the ring and fitting it around the base of the shaft. The vibrating motor can sit against the balls or the top of the penis—whichever you prefer.

If you’re using a cock ring and you feel any numbness, pain, or unpleasant tingling in the penis (like pins and needles), you should remove the ring immediately because it may be too tight and restricting blood flow.

That said, our Flynn cock ring is pretty stretchy which makes it suitable for almost any penis size. The multiple speeds and vibration patterns of the Flynn make it great for masturbation, edging, and intercourse.

The sensation: like having someone grip the base of your penis during a really amazing handjob, with added deep and stimulating vibration to send you over the edge to orgasm.

 

Rabbit vibrators

rabbit vibrator


Rabbit vibrators
are designed for internal and external stimulation. The long body is inserted into the vaginal canal, while the arm that extends from the vibrator’s body is placed on the clitoris, and both parts of the rabbit vibrate!

If you’re someone who enjoys penetration—or would like to experiment with penetration during masturbation—and you want some clitoral stimulation as well, the rabbit vibrator could be the perfect sex toy for you.

To get started with a rabbit, we recommend waiting for a time when you’re relaxed and turned on, applying some lubricant to the vibrator, and slowly penetrating the vagina with the large, curved end of the vibe.

Start on a lower vibration setting at first, and get used to the feeling of combined clitoral and vaginal stimulation before turning it up.

If you find that the clitoral vibrations are a bit much, our Piper rabbit vibe allows you to bend the clitoral stimulator away from the body for less or more stimulation.

You can also use a rabbit vibe for anal play. When experimenting with anal, always start slowly and use a lot of lubricant on the sex toy and the same amount around the anus.

The smaller arm of the rabbit vibe, usually used for clitoral stimulation, can be a great way to introduce vibration and stimulation into this area because of its compact size.

We always recommend cleaning your sex toys after every use; and if you use a sex toy for anal you should always clean it before using it again on the vulva.

The sensation: it’s like having your clit stimulated during really great sex—a broad wave of orgasm that spreads over your vulva.

 

Wand vibrator

wand vibrator


Decades ago, wand vibrators were sold as massagers for sore muscles—but people worked out pretty quickly that they could also be used as vibrators.

These days, wand vibrators are sleeker and more compact than the massaging devices of old, but they still pack some serious power.

Wand vibrators are designed for external stimulation, and like bullet vibes they can be used by all bodies—if you have an erogenous zone, a wand vibrator can stimulate it.

We recommend using your magic wand on your vulva (its vibes are broad enough to spread well beyond the clit), perineum, nipples, penis; and yes, even a sore muscle or two if you have them.

A good magic wand vibrator, like our Charlie vibe, will have multiple speeds and settings so you can start off soft and slow and build up the vibrations as you want.

If you find that even the lowest settings are a bit too intense at first, we suggest using the vibrator over clothes or underwear—the fabric will decrease sensitivity while still making sure that you get those pleasurable vibes to bring you to orgasm.

The sensation: broad waves of pleasure that spread over any erogenous zone you apply it to, and spread feelings of warmth and stimulation throughout the body.

 

How to experiment with patterns and pressure

 

All good vibrators will have multiple speeds and different vibration patterns.

Although they can all seem pretty confusing at first and you might feel tempted to just switch it on and get going, here are our tips for getting the most out of these extras.

 

Vibration speeds and pressure

When we talk about the ‘speed’ of a vibrator, we’re talking about how fast the vibrating motor inside runs. This speed translates to power and intensity—so if you feel your vibrator is too intense, or not intense enough, you will probably need to adjust the speed.

You can also vary the intensity of vibrations by adjusting the pressure you’re using to hold the vibe against yourself. Holding the vibrator lightly to your body will decrease the pressure, and therefore the intensity; while holding it tighter and closer will increase it.

You can play around with speed and pressure by turning the vibrator’s speed down low and holding it tight against you, or turning the speed up and holding it very lightly against your skin. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy the speed of your vibrator—try a few combinations and figure out what works for you.

 

Vibration patterns

Along with speed, most vibrators will have different vibration patterns. Some examples of this are vibrations that stop and start rapidly, or reduce in intensity and then speed back up.

These different vibrations can be really exciting to use, because they’re designed to mimic different feelings that we might experience during partnered play and intercourse.

Rapid stops-and-starts can mimic the feeling of fast penetration or the ‘licking’ motion of oral sex, for example.

We encourage you to experiment with the sensations on your vibrator and see what you like, and what feels familiar to you.

Sometimes the right pattern can make us feel like we’re really ‘there’ in the fantasy we’re having or the porn or erotica we’re watching.

best positions for using a vibrator

Best positions to use a vibrator solo

 

The position of your body can make a huge difference to how a vibrator feels. Here are some of our favourite positions to use a vibrator in.

Lying down on your back

The classic—you can lie back, feel comfy, and have good access to use the toy between your legs. This position also makes it easy to read erotica or watch porn at the same time.

Lying down on your stomach

A wand or bullet vibe would be ideal for this. Lying on your stomach in bed, place the vibrator between your legs and press downwards with your hips to increase the pressure.

Standing up

Just don’t fall over! Standing with both feet on the ground or one foot lifted and supported on a couch or chair, you can experiment with the angles of a penetrative toy to see what feels good.

Kneeling

If you’re experimenting with anal play, kneeling down or getting on your hands and knees can be the perfect position to use a wand vibe or rabbit vibe in.

Sitting down

Get comfy and relaxed in your favourite chair, and start by tracing the toy around some erogenous zones, like your nipples or inner thighs, before moving down between your legs.

 

Our final tips on using a vibrator for the first time...

 

Keep it clean!

Always clean your vibrator before and after use—even when you take it out of the box for the first time! We made a sex toy cleaner that we swear by, but a mild antibacterial soap and warm water on a cloth will also be fine.

Don’t forget the charger

If you’re keen to use your vibe as soon as you’ve opened and cleaned it, make sure you check to see if it arrived charged, or if it needs AA batteries or some time on the USB first. Many vibrators can last a good few hours once charged, so if your sex toy is fully charged then you should be good to go.

Try some lube

We recommend lube for penetration, but it can be used any time you’re being intimate with yourself or someone else. Lube is soft, silky, and makes everything smooth and supple—and it can also prevent a sex toy from accidentally pulling or tugging on your sensitive skin during use.

It can be a good idea to experiment with using some lube when you try your vibe and see if you enjoy the change in feeling.

Explore yourself

Every body is different, and every body responds differently to a sex toy. What feels great for us might not feel good for you, and what feels good for you might not feel great for us—and that's totally cool! Your sex life is your own.

There’s no one specific way to use a vibrator, so we encourage you to get creative and explore your body with your new toy.

This guide contains a lot of great information, but it’s only suggestions—we encourage you to enjoy your vibe in a way that is fun and feels good to you.

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