Opinion: “What makes a toy a good beginner’s toy anyway?”
“I bought my first vibrator in college. It was one of those cheap, weak bullet vibes. I tried to use it a couple times and promptly threw it out, finding that it didn’t do much for me. I actually preferred my hand or a hand-held shower head and dismissed vibrators for years and years after that one experience.
Fast forward a decade plus. I got curious again and felt ready to buy my second and third sex toys (which, I think still made me new to sex toys?). I had more experience, both with myself and other people by this time, and had a better idea of what I liked. I had never thought that sex toys could provide other sensations to explore.
After much research, I decided on Lelo’s Sona and Njoy’s Pure Wand as my second and third toys ever. I’ve never seen the Sona and Pure Wand recommended as “beginner” toys—I guess due to Sona’s strength and Pure Wand’s “intimidating” heavy stainless steel material and both of their high prices. However, I think that for me they were the perfect new beginner sex toys.
I really do understand the advice to start gentle and work your way up, and how that would make sense to plenty of folks. But I do think that there is opportunity to learn about yourself—what kinds of sensations and responses your body can have—with a toy that is considered to be advanced. The Sona gave me orgasms I had never had before—extremely fast, messy, intense orgasms. Shocking and delightful for someone my age to have a different kind of orgasm. I feel that it almost took a learning curve to be able to have any control over it—but that learning curve was FUN and taught me about what my body had the capacity for. I consider it to be too powerful for me on days when I would simply like to have a great orgasm efficiently and reliably. For that I now have We-Vibe’s Touch X (and Womanizer Premium before that was released). But I don’t think it was a waste to get Sona even though I use it less than my other vibes, I just use Sona when I want a different, more intense experience.
I think it also makes sense that if you’re new to penetrative sex you may want to start with smaller, more gentle or malleable silicone insertable toys (dildos). However! Njoy’s Pure Wand was the third sex toy I had ever purchased after doing a ton of research and feeling that it met a lot of my personal criteria (and I had never owned a dildo before)—it’s beautifully designed and timeless, and I knew that I was really intrigued by the prospect of the weight and pressure that a stainless steel dildo could give me, as well as the versatility of having 2 ends to use (one larger, one smaller). I can see someone who is new to insertable sex toys but curious about their g-region finding plenty of non-scary pleasure with the small end of the Pure Wand, and working their way up to the larger end if they choose.
Price-wise, I already have a mind-set that I prefer to spend on things that are high-quality and long-lasting—I feel that way when I shop for clothing, footwear and bags as well. I think that the Pure Wand, Touch X, Premium and Sona all meet that criteria.
I wouldn’t dismiss toys that are considered to be “advanced” if you’re new to sex toys (that seems to make a lot of assumptions about new users, how individual sexual response can be, and personal capacity or desire for pleasure and exploration). I’d just have a personal checklist in mind and remember that everyone is different, and everyone is looking for different things and that “beginner” and “advanced” will mean different things to different people.”
Some things to think about and how to get an idea for what you might be looking for from a vibrator or sex toy:
- When you masturbate, do you find simply using your hand/ finger/ fingers pleasurable? If you’ve had the opportunity to masturbate with a shower head, do you find more pressure pleasurable or too intense?
- What are your expectations from a vibrator or insertable? Some folks are looking for very specific experiences from their sex toys, and most brands and retailers provide lots of details. We even do demo videos!
- Keep in mind: most vibes have a range of settings from low to high intensity to suit different people’s needs.
As told to The Feltt by Anonymous, who identifies as a cis woman. Products referred to are used as vulva toys. If you have questions about any of our products feel free to email us at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org.