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Pleasure Activist 

Part One: Vibrators

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Overwhelmed By a Wall of Vibrators?

It does not have to be your first time in a sex toy store to be overwhelmed while staring at a wall full of vibrators. Things I often hear include: "I don't know where to begin!" "Boy, things have changed!" or "Which one's the best?"

Let's start with that last question. Think of vibrators like shoes. There isn't any one pair that is best because different kinds of shoes serve different functions (i.e. jogging shoes, sexy stilettos, hiking boots, business loafers, etc.) and different people have differently shaped feet—so that perfect fit for one person may have painful arches for another. While there may be that one pair of shoes we routinely wear, many of us have several different pairs for different occasions and different moods.

A couple questions to ask yourself as you're looking for your first vibrator or upgrading to the next level is:

1) Do I want external or penetrative stimulation? Or both at the same time? This question applies to all genders (clitoral, penile, vaginal, prostate, etc.)

2) What is my budget?

Answering these questions can help narrow your search down, hopefully making things easier for you. It's okay if you don't know, though! Part of the fun is in the exploration and discovering what makes your own motor get going!

Shape and Size

Vibrators designed for penetration are generally larger than ones that are designed exclusively for clitoral stimulation. This is primarily due to the fact that the vibrator is also serving the function of pleasantly filling up our sexual cavities while also having enough length to provide a handle or a base for convenient handling and safe retrieval. The exceptions are the larger plug-in magic wand type massagers. Those are powerful, reliable, and robust, but are not usually designed for internal stimulation (however, there are attachments that can be applied to convert them into internal stimulators).

Additionally, penetrative vibrators shouldn't have any jagged edges or angles. This is not to say that they don't come with various textures or curves. Curved vibrators are often indicated for g-spot or prostate stimulation. It provides the proper leverage so that the user can apply more pressure with more ease of use to those particular erogenous zones that require thrust.

Ridged or bumpy textures can provide extra stimulation to surface erogenous zones, like the anus or vaginal opening. (However, these textures should not be abrasive.)

Certain shapes (usually "rabbit-style" vibes) lend themselves to stimulating one vaginally and clitorally at the same time. Other shapes (deep curves) are effective for simultaneous anal and perineum stimulation.

Other than the large wand type vibrators, exclusively external-use vibrators oftentimes come in small and discreet sizes—more so as technology allows for more powerful vibrators in smaller sizes. While all vibrators can also be applied to penises and testicles, vibrators designed specifically for penises (sometimes called guybrators!), often have a shape or cavity that encircles the penile shaft.

Harder versus Softer Materials

The material of the vibrator also determines the sensations. Harder materials, such as hard plastic or velvety silicone dipped hard plastic, is very firm and rigid and can be ideal for clitoral stimulation because it responds much better when a user is adjusting the pressure and strength of the vibrator along their clitoris and labia.

Softer materials tend to have a little more give and can absorb the pressure you're applying, as well as dampen some of the strength of the vibrations. However, these can feel nicer when used for penetrative stimulation, as there is more give and cushion and allows for more vigorous thrusting with less chance of hurting our soft internal organs! Yet there are firm materials designed for penetrative pleasure so that more pressure can be applied to g-spots and p-spots—just as there are soft and squishy external use vibrators for those that enjoy a soft and squishy feel on their vulva or penis.

Ally Booker is a pleasure activist. She is passionate about educating herself and others on cool sexuality related things like communication skills, creating and respecting boundaries, sexual self-determination, destigmatization, gender and sexual expressions, sex toy use and safety, and all the other mechanics of pleasure. You can often find her milling around her Tucson shop, Jellywink Boutique, 418 E. 7th St. Contact the shop at 777-9434 or AllyBooker@Jellywink.com.

More by Ally Booker

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