Sex toys. With so many types out there, it’s enough to make your head spin. Dual action. Clitoral. Bullet. Sleeve. Panty. Dildo. Anal. Couples. Wands. Wearable. These are all toy types and still the list goes on! To start, you should know, no one type is necessarily better than another. It all depends on what you like and what works for your body. And that’s what we’re getting into today!
So we’re not here all day, I’ll move through the six major sex toy categories on our website: Dual-Action Vibrators, Clitoral Vibrators, Vaginal & G-spot Vibrators, Couples Toys, Masturbators, and Anal Toys & Play.
What to look For
We’ll note tips on what to look for when shopping each category, but a couple tips apply to all toy categories, so I’ll mention them now vs. repeating the same information for every section.
- 100% silicone. Quality silicone is always a good call for sex toys. Some are made with more than one material but use silicone for areas designed to come into contact with your body’s sensitive spots (e.g. wands with silicone tops, plastic handles, etc.) Want to know more about our silicone? Check out the blog.
- Battery operated vs. rechargeable. In general, battery-powered toys tend to be on the lowest end of power spectrum, rechargeable toys are somewhere in the middle, and corded plug-in (i.e., connected to a wall outlet) toys are on the highest end. Toys with batteries also tend be less expensive compared to ones that are rechargeable. Shop smart and stick with your budget even if that means starting with a battery-powered toy, especially if you’re new to toys and building a collection. You can always go rechargeable to elevate your sex experience as you learn what you like over time. There can be some variation in power depending on material thickness and toy design. Some things are designed with smaller or larger motors. For example, Illusion surprised us with high vibration strength, despite being a battery-powered bullet.
Vibrators that fall under this category offer double the stimulation and often feature clitoral massagers with novelty shapes. (Those infamous rabbits? Yes!) Typically, these toys feature dual motors with one in the insertable part and one in the massager. With these toys you can get simultaneous vibrations or independently controlled vibrations. What’s the difference?
Simultaneous Vibrations: The shaft and massager vibrate at the same time and with the same speed and/or pattern. One button turns vibration on/off for both.
Independently Controlled Vibrations: The shaft and massager can vibrate at the same time and with the same speed and/or pattern, be set to different functions, or one part can be turned off while the other stays on, etc. Each part (insertable and massager) have their own buttons.
Both options are great!
Dual-action toys with simultaneous vibration are a good option if you like to keep things more consistent pleasure-wise and need both internal and external stimulation for maximum fun.
On the flip side, dual-action toys with independently controlled vibrations give you options. If you’re the type that likes clitoral stimulation paired with a feeling of fullness (but not vibration), this type is what you want. Similarly, if you like to switch off vibration between spots to steadily build pleasure, go for it!
Who Should Shop Dual-Action Toys?
This type might work for those who need full, multi-point clitoral complex action. As it turns out, the clitoris isn’t as simple as we all used to think but rather a larger network of nerve endings and pleasure potential. In fact, it has more than 10,000 nerve fibers, which means it’s a hot spot for pleasure!
What Should I Look For?
- Flexibility! Clitoral massaging elements are almost always flexible in some way but it varies. Some are more firm, while some can be super Some flex might be best if you’re prone to adventurous positions and/or need something to move with your body. If not, some firmness may work!
- Shaft length & shape. It’s the difference between some G-spot stimulation or none! Shafts with less curve and more length will likely extend past your G-spot and can offer pressure and deeper vaginal stimulation. Conversely, shorter, more curved shafts may better target your G-spot.
Varying in shape (just like you!) these small but powerful vibrators tantalize the sensitive nerve endings in the clitoris (specifically the glans clitoris). Not sure about the hype? As we mentioned earlier, this area is home to over 10,000 nerve fibers so it’s highly sensitive and perfect for pleasure.
This category is home to, arguably, our most versatile vibes. We call this our “clitoral” category, but they can be used just about anywhere you like. Think nipples, perinium, and other spots that make you go, “Oh!”
Who should shop clitoral toys?
Anyone looking to target specific external hotspots should consider getting one. Whether you like focused clitoral stimulation to get there or prefer to really get yourself hot and bothered by bouncing between different hotspots, wands, bullets, and the like in this category will do the trick!
What should I look for?
- Shape/Style. Our clitoral vibes category is home to many shapes and sizes. Think about what you and/or a partner like as you browse. If you want the option to tease just about any hotspot and want a little extra reach, a wand or longer toy might be best. Want to tease but don’t need the reach? A bullet or other smaller toy works.
- Air pressure tech. It took over the clitoral toy world for a reason. With these, you might see terms like “air pulsation,” “air sensation,” “suction,” and “pressure wave.” They all do similar things, with the exception of “suction” toys. Some are what could be called “true” suction toys that move air through the body of the toy while the rest suction onto your body by moving air around in a cavity on the toy. These are what you want if you need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, like most. Never tried one? The Adventurer will change your life, we promise.
Vaginal & G-spot Vibrators
Simple in purpose, vaginal and G-spot toys are tailored for penetrative and internal sensations. They’re easy to use alone but can also be used in partnered play depending on what the two of you get up to!
Can toys category in this category also be used for anal play? We don’t recommend it, as the safest items for that type of play generally have flared bases to help prevent loss inside of the body. Dr. D may fit the bill, just play smart!
Who should shop vaginal & G-spot toys?
These are great for newcomers and long-time lovers of G-spot, A-spot, or other vaginal stimulation.
If you didn’t know, the G-spot is about two to three inches deep while the A-spot is about two inches higher/deeper (four to six inches) back. Please note that only cis and AFAB women potentially have G- and A- spots and not everybody feels pleasure when these spots are stimulated.
What should I look for?
- Shape & insertable length. What spots you want to reach determines what length to look for. So use the info above, look for what’s called the “insertable length” measurement, and go from there. As we mentioned before, curved toys with a good amount of firmness can make teasing the G-spot a bit easier. Curved designs may not be necessary for A-spot stimulation.
- Look for toys with ridges, bumps, and other textural elements for a little extra stimulation with every motion. For example, Just The Way I Lilac It has dual ridges that are perfect for the G-spot.
- Anatomical Details. Some vaginal toys have them, some don’t. Remember, your likes might not be the same as a partner’s, so make sure to communicate beforehand. The last thing you want to do is kill the mood by whipping out something shaped and veiny when your partner is not a fan.
These are self-explanatory! Toys that fall in this category mean play with at least two people is involved. You can build the excitement by shopping together or surprise your partner with a toy that lets you share pleasure that much more.
This category is home to sub-categories, which we’ll note now.
Strap-on toys & attachments: These divide into two spots, what’s known as “strapless” strap-ons and strap-on attachments. The former is generally insertable for both partners and don’t require a harness for use. The latter requires a harness and is not insertable for both partners but may or may not feature a teaser/vibrating element for the partner wearing the harness.
Wearable toys/C-rings: The “c” actually stands for “constriction.” Before you freak out, know that this doesn’t mean pain. C-rings work by slightly constricting blood flow generally at the base of the penis. Why? This not only creates a bit of pleasurable pressure for the wearer but can also help erections feel harder and last longer. Some rings are just that, rings, but most have a vibrating element that can help add clitoral stimulation to penetrative sex.
Note: Vibrating C-rings can work for singles and partners without penises! The trick? Slip fingers through the ring (or rings) to help secure your hold and lay it against your partner’s vulva or clitoris. Another option is moving fingers out of the way and sharing vibrations between vulvas. Just you? Add a c-ring to your favorite dildo for DIY dual-action!
Wearable toys/vaginal: These are so much fun, let me tell you. In this branch, you’ll find toys made for internal stimulation, external stimulation, or both at the same time. Bullets with retrieval cords (like the one in Our Little Secret) and dual-action toys (think Butterfly Effect) fall under wearables since they can be inserted and left for fun activities indoors or outdoors! Some toys like Twilight Mood can be worn in a more special way: insert one end for internal vibration, while the other curves against the vulva and/or clitoris for external vibration. Even better? You can add penetration to the mix while you use the vibrator.
Who should shop couples toys?
Those who should shop include those in sexual relationships with others, whether you’ve got one partner or one hundred, we are not here to judge. If you do have more than one partner and toys are in the mix, it’s even more important to keep any and all sex toys in your collection clean. It could be that you’ve got a couple long-term partners or that you’re living your best life with a new partner whenever you please. Either way!
What should I look for?
The answer for this is most dependent on your sex life out of all six categories. The more partners you have, the more you may find yourself reaching for different toys. It’s best to communicate about likes and dislikes if you can’t shop together (or want to surprise someone) and go from there. Beyond that, your only limits are what works with your bodies and/or desires.
Since this varies widely, we’ll note some things to look for in subcategories.
Strap-on toys & attachments
- Anatomical details. Same as we noted for vaginal toys, if your partner doesn’t care for “realistic” details (veins, penis-like shapes, etc.), find something less anatomic.
- Wearer perks. Particularly for strap-on attachments, consider a vaginal vibe or teaser for those wearing harnesses to enjoy while pleasing their partner.
- Check toy dimensions and make sure it’s not too small or too big for the partner on the receiving end.
- Ring count. Single ring toys are generally placed at the base of the penis vs. multi-ring toys that may go around the base, behind the testicles, and even higher along the penis.
- Vibration: If clitoral stimulation is desired, a ring toy with a vibrating element can’t be beat! If it’s not needed, going non-electronic is usually more cost-effective.
- Most rings have diameters geared towards average penis sizes. If the equipment in question is a bit girthier than average, try a set of rings and see what feels best first.
- Sometimes quantified with “dB” or “decibel” level, toy volume is important when you want to wear a toy out on a date. Butterfly Effect and Box Office vibrate with decibel levels between 35–45 dB. That’s right around the level of a whisper, a light rain, or your refrigerator humming. Your body will dampen some vibration noise (depending on the toy and how much of it is in contact with your body), so they will often seem much quieter. Volume also depends on other factors, like location and outfits. Our suggestions for a hot date night out: pick a place that’s already a bit noisy (like a bar, concert, club, etc.) and wear fitted pants or shorts under your dress/skirt.
- Like we said above, different wearable vaginal toys stimulate different areas. Pick one or more that stimulate your favorite hotspots!
These have a few names besides masturbators. They’re also called masturbation sleeves, pleasure sleeves, strokers, etc. Material-wise, there sadly isn’t much by way of silicone out there for these but PVC, TPR, and TPE can be a good alternatives.
Other factors also pop up when talking about masturbation sleeves: number of uses and end design. There are two of each.
Disposable sleeves: Often pre-lubricated or sold with a lubricant included, these toys are designed for one-use, then discarded. They may or may not feature textures and various end types.
Reusable Sleeves: Always textured inside, these toys can be used over and over and feature various end types, as well as anatomical or fun designs.
Close-ended Design: These are sleeves that are fully closed on the end. They take a bit more time to clean but do create a more pleasurable suction and/or pressure during use vs. open-ended sleeves.
Open-ended Design: Sleeves that are open-ended are easier to clean compared to closed-ended designs but do not offer the same kind of suction/pressure sensation (unless your partner is helping out.)
Who should shop masturbators?
Same as vaginal toys, if there’s a penis in the equation (yours or a partner’s) our masturbators are a fun option. They can be used for masturbation but can also easily be incorporated into partnered play! But it doesn’t stop there. If you or a partner are looking to practice extending playtime, edging with a sleeve is exactly what you want.
What should I look for?
- Replay value. Single use sleeves are a much quicker clean up but it’s pay-to-play each time. Reusable toys are the opposite. Clean up takes more time but you get to use them as much or as little as you want.
- End type. Closed-ended vs open-ended sleeves is the question. As mentioned above, both create different sensations. Closed-ended arguably feels better but it depends on preference. Additionally, open-ended sleeves have distinct advantages. They double as a way to shorten length for experimenting with different penetration depths. Also, a partner can get into the fun by teasing exposed areas.
- Electric or not. Some sleeves and sleeve-like teasers vibrate. It’s one of those things that you have to try however to see if you like it. If you’re not sure but do have a bullet or other small vibe, try teasing along the shaft or testicles before going all in.
- Anatomical details. Just about every sleeve is textured inside but the the entrance and/or ends of the toy may also be specially designed. It runs the gamut from abstract to vaguely vulva-shaped to cast from actual porn stars – talk with a partner about what they want first if you’re not sure.
Anal Toys & Play
We’ve got great options when it comes to anal play. If you’ve only ever heard of anal and don’t really “get” it, we’ll say this: the anus is home to highly sensitive nerve endings at the opening, perinium (near the opening), and inside (the prostate).
There’s plenty of space to play and different ways to do it:
Plugs: Commonly known as “butt plugs,” these are made to be inserted and left for a feeling of fullness. They are sometimes worn for extended periods of time for stimulation before sex. They can also be left inserted to add a little “oomph” elsewhere during vaginal penetrative play.
Beads: Oh-so popular! Usually, the beads are graduated so each is a bit bigger than the last to create a crescendo or cascade of sensations on insertion or removal.
Vibes: It’s 50/50. Some anal toys vibrate and some don’t. Most that vibrate include a remote for easy use.
Who should shop anal toys?
You! Everyone has the potential to get into anal play. We recommend giving it a try especially if you or a partner have tried just about everything else and want something new, are curious about intimate experiences with very sensitive spots, want to give pegging a try, and/or don’t derive enough pleasure from other erogenous zones. It might be a little more work as far as prep, but anal has the potential to be your new favorite way to play.
What should I look for?
- All about that base. Anal differs from vaginal in that toys can’t be lost inside the latter. That’s why most anal toys are designed with bases wider than the toy itself or it has other features like retrieval rings.
- Size matters. If you’re a beginner, you have to start small. Try a training kit to work your way up size-wise before moving on to toys with more adventurous shapes and sizes. Same thing with length. Generally, dildos or strap-ons made for anal can be wider or longer than those designed for vaginal insertion. Work your way up!
- Curved designs can better reach the prostate if that’s your angle. If not, know that toys that have beads feel completely different than toys that are wider and more bulb-like.
- Electric or not. Since this area of the body is so sensitive already, vibration might not be needed. If it is, you’re in for a treat.
- Bling-bling. Anal toys can be gorgeous. I’m talking fun colors and a pretty sparkle! Get a little glam in the bedroom by picking out something that catches your eye and maybe leave the lights on to show off for a partner too.
So, what do you think? With the rundown on Pure Romance toy categories, we hope your love for your faves has been rekindled and curiosity’s sparked on some new things to try! Sex toys are an incredible way to learn more about your own body and dislikes, or even a partner’s.
Want a personalized recommendation from a category you read about today? Reach out to a Pure Romance Consultant you’ve partied with or get connected via the “Find a Consultant” link at the top of our site. Want to browse full categories yourself? Shop it all right now!
Note: For the purpose of this article, I’m sticking with mainly sex toys i.e., items typically used to stimulate erogenous zones so sex-related peripherals may not be mentioned.