How to find the best beginner sex toy for you


If you’re only starting to dip your toe into the fabulous world of self-pleasure and sexual wellness, get excited. There’s a whole universe of the best sex toys for beginners to discover — from vibrators for women to dildos and clitoral vibrators — that you may not even know where to start.

Sex toys are for everyone, after all. The market is vast and covers kinks from A to Z, making it difficult to know whether things like rabbit vibrators or bullet vibrators are actually as straightforward as their names suggest. But that’s why we’re here! And, thankfully, there are plenty of beginner-friendly options for you to explore. Before we get into the fun, there’s some groundwork to cover:

Why do people use sex toys?

The short answer? For all sorts of reasons. Some use them to reach orgasm during partnered sex and penetrative sex, while others use them to help practice masturbation (yes, practice!) — and maybe come to understand why they haven’t been able to orgasm previously. Others use their first sex toy to elevate oral sex or foreplay.

Apart from certain sex toys offering practical help, the act of using sex toys can also be gender-affirming for queer and trans people. Most often, though, sex toys are primarily viewed as aids in body exploration and for spicing things up in the bedroom.

What are some features to look for in a beginner sex toy?

Before picking out a sex toy, clinical sexologist Sarah Melancon recommends that newbies consider what they enjoy during sex or masturbation without toys: clitoral stimulation? Penetration? “Try to find a toy that aligns with the interests you already have,” she says. “Start smaller and on the more inexpensive end where possible.”

You can also think about how many bells and whistles you’re ready for at this point. Vibrators (whether simple, user-friendly ones or more advanced remote-control options) are popular choices. But in the realm of nonmotorized toys, a dildo or butt plug could be a great beginner option.

If you have a partner, include them in the conversation and consideration of sex toys for couples, since they can be a great addition to your shared sex life. “Using sex toys during partnered sex is a complement to your sexual energy together, not a competing variable,” says licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist Kate Balestrieri.

What are the different types of sex toys?

Once you know what you like and what you’re in the market for, it’s easier to decide exactly what beginner sex toy is right for you. In our guide to the best vibrators for beginners, we break down the different types of vibrators, which is primarily what you’ll see in our list ahead.

As a cheat sheet: There are internal vibrators meant for penetration, like G-spot vibrators and P-spot vibrators (a common sex toy for men). External vibrators focus on the clitoris, vulva and other erogenous zones and include magic wand vibrators, rechargeable bullet vibes, and clit suckers. High-quality rabbit vibrators can stimulate internally and externally. Finally, vibrating cock rings (sometimes called penis vibrators) are also in the mix.

How do you care for sex toys?

Keep in mind that you’ll want a great lube on hand (not just as a beginner but also if you experience vaginal or menopausal dryness). We get into it in our roundup of the best lubricants for women, and cover options from water-based lubes and oil-based lubes to natural lubes. You’ll also want to make sure your toys stay clean. After all, you want the O’s to keep going and going, right?

Our parting word of advice is to keep an open mind. Different people will respond differently to toys, so rather than go in with expectations, be open to seeing how your own body reacts to a new product. “Remember, sex is a form of play, so it’s important to be present for yourself without judgment or shame,” says Balestieri. “Focus on curiosity and exploration.” Now you’re ready—ahead, shop our experts’ picks for the best sex toys for beginners.

In a rush? The best sex toys for beginners at a glance:

Ahead, trending sex toys for beginners to add to your checkout ahead of Valentine’s Day.

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