Sex

It’s My First Time Using A Dildo. What Do I Do?

The dil-dos and dil-don’ts.

Whether you’re entering the world of sex toys or looking to mix up your bedroom routine, adding a dildo to your toybox can enrich your sex life and bring you the pleasure you’ve been seeking. Dildos, which are penetrative sex toys that can be inserted vaginally, anally, or orally, can be orgasm-inducing solo and partnered sex accessories for folks of all genders. They come in countless lengths, sizes, and girths (including the shape of dragon d*cks and vegetables), and you can use them for masturbation, pegging, double penetration, and more. Penetrative play all comes down to how you and your partner want to play with them. When using a dildo for the first time, it’s important first to explore all the ins and outs, including how to get started, what to look out for when shopping, and how to use dildos to access the most pleasurable experience possible.

Here are the basics to know before you begin – the dil-dos and dil-don’ts, if you will, according to two sex educators.

Getting Started With A Dildo

According to sex educator and owner of feminist sex shop Early to Bed Searah Deysach, your first step is to consider sizing. “Think about what you’re already comfortable with being inside of you, and use that as a guide,” she tells Bustle. Her rule of thumb? If you’re new to penetration, look for smaller toys not much wider than a finger or two.

“A good way to get started is to take a look at what types of dildos are out there and notice what appeals to you,” she says. If accessible, she recommends visiting your local sex shop to interact with different products. “Dildos come in all lengths, shapes, materials, and widths,” sex educator and founder of online intimacy shop Organic Loven Taylor Sparks tells Bustle. Dildos typically lean toward the traditional phallic shape but can be curvy, ridged, double-sided, vibrate, or even have suction cups (which is excellent for shower sex, FYI).

You can play around to see which sensations you like, too. For example, you might prefer long, deep strokes or want them short and slow. “Find a time when you can be uninterrupted [to] focus on yourself and/or your partner to explore the ways that you may enjoy it,” she says.

How To Choose Which Dildo To Buy

When buying your first dildo, some factors to consider include material, usage, retailer reliability, and pricing. First, choose the penetration location and intention. To get a better idea of which type to purchase, Sparks suggests answering the following questions:

  • Will your dildo be used vaginally? Or do you plan to insert your dildo anally?
  • How do you want it to feel inside of you?
  • Will it be used as a strap-on or in your hand?
  • Are you planning to use it alone or with a partner?

“Once you’ve decided on the size, color, shape, and usage, stick to eco-friendly materials such as medical-grade silicone, glass, stainless steel, ceramic, or ABS plastic,” says Sparks. Want something soft or lifelike? Deysach recommends 100% silicone toys. Want something sleek and hard? She suggests stainless steel or glass dildos. Both experts warn that jelly, rubber, and PVC products typically contain harmful, irritating ingredients (like phthalates) and can breed bacteria over time, so you’re better off avoiding purchasing dildos of these materials altogether.

When it comes to pricing, don’t overlook quality. “You never really know if an insertable sex toy is right for you until you try it, so get something on the more affordable end the first time, so you can upgrade or size up if you find that your first toy isn’t quite right,” says Deysach. According to Sparks, quality dildos usually start around $35. (Always do your research, read reviews, and shop from trusty retailers that sell body-safe toys, too.) Consider buying a starter dildo from Lovehoney, Babeland, Organic Loven, and Early to Bed, to name a few.

Safely Using A Dildo

When it comes to penetration, lube is your very best friend. Deysach reminds readers to use toy-compatible, pH-balanced, glycerin-free lube. “When using any insertable toy, you want to make sure you’re using plenty of compatible lube (water-based is usually best),” she says. “Silicone lube is not compatible with silicone toys,” adds Sparks. “Use any other lube [but silicone] with all the other materials.”

“Take your journey slowly at first,” says Deysach. Patience is extra essential when using larger toys. Additionally, do not insert the dildo “too deep or too fast.” Make sure you’re ready (read: wet enough) to insert the toy before penetration.

After each use, Sparks suggests using an eco-friendly toy cleaner to avoid bacteria buildup, especially when sharing toys. She warns that not properly cleaning your dildo could throw off pH balance or lead to a bacterial infection. Intimate Earth, Sensuva, and Toy Life are three dependable brands to choose from with body-safe ingredients.

Oh, and never insert toys anally if they don’t have a flared base. “Only use toys designed for butt play in your butt,” says Deysach. Why? If it lacks a flanged base, it can get lost.

Aftercare Tips For Dildo-Users

Aftercare, or how you take care of yourself and your partner(s) after sex, is a crucial part of any solo or partnered sexual experience, especially when trying something new for the first time. First, Sparks recommends drinking water to rehydrate. “If you’ve played vigorously, you may feel some soreness, so don’t hesitate to apply a little more lube if it feels more comfortable,” says Deysach. Vulva salves can also help to promote further healing.

During and after partnered dildo play, Deysach recommends being gentle and checking in with each other. Sparks suggests cuddling and discussing what was most enjoyable and if it’s something they’d like to try again, too. That post-play recap can help you reflect on the experience and improve future efforts.

Ultimately, when trying a dildo for the first time, experts agree: Take it slow, be kind to yourself, and start small.

Experts:

Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of feminist sex shop Early to Bed

Taylor Sparks, sex educator and founder of online intimacy shop Organic Loven