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How To Pick The Right Vibrator If You’ve Never Had One Before, According To A Pro

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By Bustle UK

The month of May marks the start of a few things – the tulips are out, hay fever season kicks off, and it’s Masturbation Month. Yes, a whole month dedicated to self-pleasure. It comes (excuse the pun) with even more meaning this year, as thousands of Brits are isolating at home, unable to date or temporarily separated from their sexual partner.

If you’re feeling frustrated by weeks of solo pleasuring sessions, or are beginning to chafe, maybe it’s time to mix things up. Yes! We’re talking toys. But how do you pick the right vibrator if you’ve never had one before?

We asked Dr. Elesha Vooght, Sexual Wellness Doctor at Kandid, how to go about selecting your first ever sex toy. From vibration settings to hygiene and lube, this guide is your first step to a fabulous month of self-pleasure and fun. As Dr. Vooght reminds us, “Masturbation is a safe and healthy wellness tool for us all during this time of heightened anxiety.”

If you've never shopped for or used a sex toy before, where do you start?

"A good way to figure this out is to start with your hands and explore your body. Get to know what brings you pleasure. Once you have established those points, then the world of sex toys feels much more navigable without feeling overwhelmed.

Whenever someone asks me this question, I think there are three key things to consider.

1) Where are you looking to be stimulated?

Do you prefer internal (vaginal/g-spot) or external (clitoral) stimulation? Is it dual? Is it anal? Pick an area of focus to start.

2) Is it for solo or partnered use?

If it’s solo, it’s purely around your goals and desires. If it’s partnered, think if you want it for foreplay or during penetration. Also think if it’ll still be purely for use on yourself or use on your partner as well.

3) What sensation are you looking for?

Most sex toys are broadly divided into 'vibrating' or 'rumbling.' Vibrating will make you orgasm quicker, rumbling is a deeper longer sensation known for coaxing out orgasms in people who struggle to climax. If you enjoy oral sex, clitoral suction devices are the closest to mimicking this.

I think it’s important to emphasise that you might not fall in love with the first toy you buy. That’s OK! Don’t let it put you off.

I also think it’s important to emphasise that you might not fall in love with the first toy you buy. That’s OK! Don’t let it put you off. Take every opportunity as one to learn your body and pleasure better."

In what ways can a sex toy change up or improve your self-pleasuring?

"Sex toys allow you to feel completely different sensations to what you would experience in any other form of sexual pleasure. By tapping into the different modes and different locations of use, you can open yourself up to a whole new world of excitation. It can also help you to experience orgasms in a different way. For example, if you’ve never been able to have a g-spot orgasm or squirted, certain sex toys a renowned for being help with these."

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We’ve all seen *that* 'Sex & The City' episode with Charlotte and her Rabbit. Is it okay to become reliant on your sex toy?

"I hate the term 'reliance!' If a certain toy is the best or only way for you to orgasm, then of course use it during both solo and partnered sex. Sex should have pleasure (regardless of orgasm) at its epicentre. Sex toys are primarily toys. It’s in the name. They should be fun. They’re also tools for improving our wellness and an additive to any sensual experience. Don’t be afraid of using them in your life, the same way to use your yoga mat to enhance your practice.

Anything that makes you feel good has the capability of being addictive. Exercise, food, alcohol, drugs and sex all release the same biochemical cocktail in your body to make you feels oh-so-good. If the amount you’re using your sex toy is distressing you or it starts to interfere with your day to day life, then it is probably time to seek some professional support."

Sex toys in general can help you explore what you enjoy sexually, whilst increasing your self-esteem, making the “I enjoy this...” conversation a much easier one to have.

Will a sex toy change the way you like to be pleasured or orgasm with a sexual partner?

"Sex toys in general can help you explore what you enjoy sexually, whilst increasing your self-esteem, making the 'I enjoy this...' conversation a much easier one to have.

There are plenty of physical health benefits to regular masturbation. To start, the more you masturbate, the better your body gets at recognising sexual stimuli. This means you’ll get more relaxed and wetter quicker. Certain toys, such as kegal balls, are known to improve pelvic floor strength which can lead to stronger orgasms and multiple orgasms."

Is there any ‘prep’ you should do before using your sex toy?

"It’s really important to clean your toys before and after use. This is because certain infections can live on sex toys, which could lead to reinfection or infecting someone else if you’re using them for partnered sex. Soap and water will work just as well as a specialist toy cleaner, just make sure you do it! It’s also important to wash your hands before and after too.

Toys don’t have the same natural tactility or lubrication when compared to skin, so for both internal and external toys, it’s advised to use lube for an enhanced, more comfortable experience. It is best to use a water-based lubricant, as they’re kindest on skin and don’t damage toys. Never use silicone lube with a silicone toy! Just be aware that not all lubricants are vegan, so check the packaging prior to buying."

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If you had to pick a toy that focuses on clitoral stimulation…

"I’d recommend The Little One for a first time clitoral stimulator. Based on the famous ears of the Rampant Rabbit, they can be used to stimulate directly onto the clitoris or around the clitoris on the hood for those looking for a less intense experience.

It’s small, making it perfectly portable and so cute that no one could be intimidated by it! It’s designed to fit comfortably in one hand with easy to use buttons that can scroll through 12 different settings of speed and intensity."

And what about a toy that’s more about penetration?

"I’m personally a big fan of The Ribbed One. This is a rumbly toy, creating those big deep rumbles into the pelvis for sustained pleasure. It’s the perfect ergonomic design for comfortable insertion and exploration of your g-spot.

As the name suggests, it’s ribbed, which both mimics the vaginal canal and creates further stimulation. I also love the way the unicorn lights up and changes colour as you run through the 9 different settings!"

So there you have it – everything you could ever want to know before you hit ‘add to cart’ on your first sex toy. Happy shopping!

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Dr Elesha Vooght is the in-house sexual wellness doctor at Kandid. By day (or night), Dr Vooght is an NHS junior doctor with her clinical experience spanning from gynaecology and urology, to psychiatry and public health. Pleasure and its role in health is her passion in all areas of her practice.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.