If sex toys were skincare products, a wand massager would be your holy grail moisturizer. A good one — whether you opt for a cordless, battery-powered, or the OG plug-in — may cost you a little extra, but it will likely become part of your nightly routine.
According to Shay Martin, the owner, and CMO of Vibratex, the only North American importer of the famed Magic Wand, wands are a common first toy. Rather than an internal sex toy like a rabbit or G-spot vibrator, massage wands are for external use only.
“Some buy it because they find insertable vibes intimidating,” Martin tells Bustle. “Some because they know they need clitoral stimulation.”
Wands release deep, rumbly vibrations that stimulate the internal structure of the clitoris, Martin says. As the motor is kept in the “head” of the wand, the part that touches your body, it gives your body a two-for-one special: intense external and internal vibration. While the blue and white Magic Wand, (formerly known as Hitachi) is an iconic massager, many brands have their own takes. Here’s how to pick the best wand for you, how to use it right, and how to store it when you’re forced to get out of bed and go to work.
Is A Wand Massager Right For Me?
If you’re curious about wands, the first step is to find out if they’re the right toy for you. Sex educator Cassandra Corrado tells Bustle that wands are loved for their versatility, power, and longevity. “People will often opt for wand-style vibrators because they're known for being powerful and reliable,” Corrado says. “Wand vibrators help may folks access orgasm for the first time.”
Additionally, they can bring sexual pleasure to people with all body parts, not just clits. Though the OG Magic Wand is a plug-in, Corrado notes there are all sorts of wands in varying sizes.
Because they can be heavier than smaller vibrators, Corrado says they may not be the toy for everyone. If you have limited strength or dexterity, getting a wand to your sexy areas may be challenging. There are, however, a ton of adaptive products that can be added to wands, (like the Le Wand curve attachment) that can help with accessibility and pleasure.
But Corrado says that most people don’t inherently know what types of sexual stimulation they like. “You have to try out new things to see how you feel about them,” Corrado says. “Your best friend or partner may absolutely love something that you find pretty meh or downright annoying.”
If you think you’re into the feeling of internal fullness, and are less about external clit stimulation, wands might not be it. And if you typically enjoy high-pressure stimulation, like from your shower head, a wand could do you really right. “Some people find the vibration strength of wand vibrators to just be too much,” Corrado says. “If you know that you tend to get overstimulated easily, they might not be the best option for you.”
What To Look For When Buying A Wand
What’s that scene in Harry Potter where the wand chooses the wizard? Massager wands demand similar subjectivity. “Choosing a wand is really about your personal needs and preference,” Alicia Sinclair, CEO, and founder of Le Wand Massager, tells Bustle. “Put some thought into what will benefit you most in a wand if you want to really love it for years ahead.”
If you feel comfortable going in-person to a sex shop, Polly Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of Unbound, suggests chatting with the staff about what you’re looking for. If you prefer to keep things private, Rodriguez says many sex toy websites have live chat options where you can confidentially ask the staff questions.
Here’s what to consider when buying a wand, according to Sinclair, Corrado, and Rodriguez:
Intensity: How powerful do you want it? Do you like a lot of stimulation or a little? Do you want versatility?
Power Source: Are you trying to have a vintage moment with a plug-in? Do you want something with batteries? Re-chargeable? Note: Plug-ins are often cheaper.
Noise: Do you need something super quiet? Can it be loud? Note: Quiet wants may be less powerful.
Water Resistance: Do you like getting it on in the shower or bath or are you more of a land creature?
Size: Are you looking for something big and heavy-duty or a lighter toy? Where are you going to store it?
Usability: How many settings does it have? How do you switch between settings? Can you comfortably reach it and change the settings while getting it on?
Material: Vibrators are not regulated by the FDA, meaning manufacturers are not mandated to use body-safe materials, Rodriguez says. Especially if you’re balling on a budget, make sure your wand is higher quality, body-safe silicone (either medical or food grade.) Rodriguez suggests skipping toys that don’t list their product materials.
Additionally, if want to use lube with it, check to make sure your lube works with the material. Silicone-based lube can react negatively with the silicone on your wand, which can potentially hurt your body.
Price: In the “Save” and “Spurge” of toys, wand massagers tend to fall on the pricer side. A Magic Wand Original runs around $65-$70 and Rechargeable Magic Wands range from $130-$140. Unbound’s “Ollie” wand runs at $74 and Le Wand vibrating wands range from $115 to $170.
While you don’t have to shell out for a top-shelf wand, Martin notes it may be worth saving up for a mid-range toy, around $50-$75.
“The wand category is full of counterfeits that don’t offer the same power, quality, and safety that authentic products do,” Martin says. “Make sure you’re buying from a reputable source and recognize that if a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
If you’re looking for a reputable source, sex toy shops Good Vibrations and Spectrum Boutique have sex educators on staff that can help you find the right wand. Additionally, smaller, BIPOC and QTPOC owned shops like enby., Naughty Sinsations, and Seduction By Lace focus on equity in sex tech.
How To Use A Wand Massager For The First Time
Like anything related to sex, the most important thing is your comfort and enthusiastic consent. If you’re not super excited to play with a massager wand, it’s fine to pass. Additionally, it’s totally fine to take things super slow and call it quits at any point. To get your wand ready for use, Rodriguez suggests securing the power source (either charging it, putting in batteries, or finding a comfortable place to plug it in) and then cycling through all the settings to get a sense of how it feels.
Before using it on your body, Rodriguez recommends washing the head with antibacterial soap and warm water. Corrado suggests playing the sensations on other parts of your body before jumping to your clit. “Try using it on other parts of your body, like your arms, nipples, and legs,” Corrado says. “That can help get you used to the level of sensation and can start teasing your mind and body.”
When you’re ready to stimulate your genitals, add some water-based lubricant to the wand, to keep everything gliding smoothly. A thick, water-based lubricant creates a cushion between you and the wands, Corrado says, which can make the experience feel even better — especially for new wand owners.
Because wand massagers use powerful vibrations, Corrado says the sensation can be felt deep in your muscles and nerves. Smaller vibrators, like bullets, tend to be more “buzzy” which is generally a skin-deep sensation.
“Start on the lowest power, and explore what types of genital stimulation feel good,” Corrado says. “If the first setting feels too powerful, try using your wand over your underwear or even some soft clothing.”
Once you’ve got a setting that feels pleasurable, find a comfortable way to sit or lie, as you breathe, relax, and continue to explore the stimulation.
How Do I Clean My Massage Wand?
To keep your wand up and running you want to clean and store it correctly. “Always make sure to clean your vibrator with warm water and soap before and after use,” Rodriguez says. Even if your toy is completely waterproof, Rodriguez says not to put it in the dishwasher. Give your toy a rinse in the sink, or take it in the shower with you.
If your toy isn’t water-resistant at all, like the Magic Wand, Martin suggests skipping direct contact with water and wiping your wand head with a damp cloth and mild soap.
Experts urge you to make sure your wand is completely dry before putting it away. Though you may want it out for the world to see, Sinclair notes not to put it in direct sunlight or intense heat. Make sure you’re storing it in a clean and dry place, protected from dirt or dust. Most higher-end wands will come with a storage bag, otherwise, you can put it in a larger makeup bag or clean drawer.
Finding the right toy is all about what feels good for you. If you know you like it intense, picking up a wand may make you believe in magic.
Cassandra Corrado, Sex educator