Choosing Your First Sex Toy: Top 4 Questions to Ask

Choosing your first sex toy can feel confusing. You open up a website, or walk into the shop… And choices surround you. What in the world should you get, out of hundreds โ€” even thousands โ€” of options?! Is there a best first-time vibrator, or one dildo to rule them all?

The answer is: NO, not everyone will enjoy the same thing. Different humans have different tastes! BUT, hear me out: Knowing the right questions to honestly ask (either yourself, or your partner) about sex toy desires will narrow down the choices, and lead you to one or two toys to start exploring with.

Your pleasure is top priority here, so don’t be shy about thinking about what you want! So you can pick the best first sex toy for *your* body, I’ve put together a collection of these best-first picks here. Keep reading for all the details!

This guide to buying your first vibrator, first dildo, or first butt plug will recommend:

  • Only body-safe sex toys: so you don’t end up with nasty materials (like softened PVC) that will irritate the skin / cause infection.
  • Mainly budget-friendly options (under $50) for most of these answers โ€” though in a few cases (see the Nova vibrator), one specific toy is best for 95% of toy-buyers.

My own journey into buying sex toys was full of “Eh, that didn’t really work” and unsafe choices, as I wandered randomly through tons of vibes and dildos, trying to figure it all out. My goal here is to help you avoid a similar experience โ€” so you won’t waste a few hundred dollars buying one mediocre product after another, but loving none of them. For more in-depth reading, I have a “best toys by category” guide too, if you (amazingly!) already know what category of sex toy you’re drawn to. Sex toys for beginners don’t need to be low quality.

So, let’s dive into questions to ask about the best first sex toy…

How to Choose Your First Vibrator / First Clitoral Sex Toy

First, vibrator or dildo? There are safe vibrating dildos, but here a “vibrator” is any toy with a vibrating motor inside, vs. a dildo being a non-mechanical toy (that you thrust or ride).

If you’re here wondering how to choose your / your partner’s first vibrator (mainly for clits & vaginas), consider the following question to choose the type of vibrator:

  1. For clitoral or vaginal use, or both?
  2. Strong or gentler vibration? (Consider how easily you orgasm now.)
  3. Do you need a very quiet vibrator?
  4. Should it be app-controlled, for long-distance or public play?

Here’s a quick recap of top affordable first-time sex toys, for sale here โ€” keep reading for the why:

Click to enlarge. โฌ†๏ธ

#1. Clitoral Stimulation or Vaginal for your first sex toy?

Find your answer to “Clitoral or Vaginal for your first sex toy?” and progress from there!

If “I prefer clitoral stimulation” or “Inside, please!” is your answer, continue to Questions #2 and #3.

If your answer is: “I’m not sure” or “Sometimes one way, sometimes the other” โ€” then I have a solution for you. The Pillow Talk Sassy by BMS is awesome because (1) the vibration quality is superb: a wide range, deep and penetrating; and (2) G-spot vibrators are easily shaped for clitoral stimulation too. (The longer handle + curve makes them easier to hold.)

Because the Sassy vibe is so versatile, and the power range is incredible โ€” it starts really low and rumbly. For under $60, you won’t find better vibration quality than in the Pillow Talk Sassy.

If you’re not sure if you want a vibrator or a dildo as your best first sex toy, the Pillow Talk Sassy is excellent too because it’s very thrust-friendly. You can move it like a dildo with the vibration off (or on!). I myself always use the Pillow Talk Sassy as a vibrating dildo, gripping the quilted handle and thrusting its shaft into / against my body.

And finally, if your answer to “Clit or vag?” is a very reasonable “Why not both?!”: Then compare these two very flexible options (why that matters, next):

  • The Beso Plus is flexible clit “suction” pulses, plus moderately strong G-spot vibration. The air-pulsing suction doesn’t directly tough your clit, and if you’d like to feel rumbly vibration, then see:
  • The We-Vibe Nova 2 has more vibration intensities, rumblier vibration, and softer silicone (which I enjoy because softer silicone feels more fleshy). Its curling clit stimulator (see flex here) bends naturally if you thrust the shaft: so it feels like you’re getting a clit fingering. With very deep vibration. Fantastic. Nova 2’s vibration starts low enough, then works up to an amazing groove as you increase the intensity level.

The reason you want a dual-stimulating (clit + G-spot vibe) toy to be flexible: These vibrators depend on having vibration situated precisely over both pleasure zones, BUT clitoris-to-vagina distance varies A LOT. It’s different between people, just like height is.

We-Vibe Nova 2 flexible stimulator
We-Vibe Nova works for contact clit contact because its stimulator is so flexible.

#2. Strong or Gentle?

Some folks like more power than others. Strong vibrators (like Magic Wands, or air pulsators a.k.a. “suction” toys, like Satisfyer) tend to have the most devoted fans, because they’re fast-orgasm machines.

BUT, if you don’t know how much vibration power you enjoy, a too-strong vibrator may overwhelm you. For most folks, I’d again recommend a first sex toy with range, so it’s low-powered to start out, but gets strong at the end. That way, you have more chance of finding exactly the amount of power you need โ€” rather than hearing of the Magic Wand (original’s) glowing reputation, only to find it non-orgasmic as your first sex toy because it overpowers you!

But, you may need a strong first vibrator if you find it hard to orgasm / or aren’t sure if you’re ever orgasmed. In those cases, the Satisfyer Pro 2’s and its rocking, pulsing suction is most effective.

Top choices for “good range” (includes gentler vibration speeds) vs. “very powerful” (high-pitched and potent even on low:

And the cheapest??? See the BMS Essential Bullet, a tiny toy that carries a good amount of power. Bullet vibes are compact and easy to carry! Buy it for $18.90 at Peepshow Toys when you type a discount code in at checkout, like FELICITY.

#3. Does It Need to Be Quiet?

Here, I’ll list vibrators here that only get up to about 40 decibels. “Quiet” is a bit of a relative term: different people have different definitions. Like, I’ve seen multiple people write that the Satisfyer Pro 2 is quiet, and that confuses me, honestly. It’s quiet enough on the lower vibration speeds and against the clit, but hovers around 50 dB on high even when surround by flesh (i.e., labia).

You can disguise that sound (tips for discreet vibrator use here), but you’ll need some TV or music playing at a consistent volume.

Instead, for really quiet: Pillow Talk Racy is a stand-out, at 35 decibels on high power when you’re using it externally. This longer bullet is rumbly, silky-smooth, easy to grip, and strong enough (if not super-powerful; maybe half the power of the Pillow Talk Sassy). It’s quieter than the popular Essential Bullet, packing rumblier vibration too!

Best Quiet vibrators for discreet sex toy use
Left to right: Pillow Talk Racy, Pillow Talk Sassy, We-Vibe Nova 2. More discreet vibrator discussion here!

#4. App Controlled / Long-Distance Play Needed?

App-controlled vibrators (full guide here) that connect to your phone via Bluetooth let a partner control your vibrator easily: either (1) out in public; or (2) long-distance, so it doesn’t matter how far apart you are as long as you both have working phones.

Satisfyer’s new Satisfyer Connect lineup is super because it has lots of toy options, for different types of play.

For fooling around at home, the Satisfyer Curvy 3+ is IMO the best of these. The Sexy Secret wearable panty vibrator, though, is the wearable one you’ll want for sexy date night or erotic adventures out and about: clitoral stimulation in public. Bluetooth app-controlled vibrators have traditionally sold for $100 plus, so all these Satisfyers going for $40 is an incredible price. The Satisfyer app is well done, but not as good as the Lovense app for long-distance.

Sexy Secret by Satisfyer. Its vibes are medium-strong, not powerful โ€” a teasing toy. Curves well to fit inside underwear and is flexible.
And Lush???: The Lovense Lush is the most popular app-controlled vibrator, but here’s why I generally do not recommend it as a first vibrator. Yes, the Lush (questions-to-ask here) is very strong for its size, BUT. But. Many people can’t orgasm from G-spot vibration. (Ignore any porn you may have seen with this “pink tail vibrator”?) The most honest porn clip I’ve watched with the Lush showed the woman rubbing herself off clitorally, while Lush was inside adding to the experience: enhancing, but not causing the orgasm by itself. It’s not shaped to apply G-spot pressure or mimic thrusting, so Lush is a teasing toy that may or may not be excellently orgasmic alone.

How to Choose Your First Dildo

If you’re here wondering how to choose your first dildo:

  1. How large do you want it to be?
  2. Do you want it to look & feel realistic, or not?
  3. Do you want intense G-spot (or prostate) stimulation?
  4. Does it need a suction cup / need to be harness compatible?

Summary: I suggest the Neo Elite 7.5″ w/ Balls (5.5″ insertable) dildo first if you’re really not sure what you want. It’s a solid, affordable realistic dildo that’s 100% body-safe. And it’s suction-cupped if you want to try hands-free riding.

From left to right: Avant D15, Luminous dildo, Neo Elite 7.5 Inch Balls, Chrystalino glass, Neo Elite 7.5 Inch.

#1. How Big? (Size Matters)

This is especially important if you’ve (1) ever experienced discomfort from vaginal stretching or (2) are using toys anally (especially first-time anal). If you’re wanting a first anal toy, see the next How To heading below.

Smaller: If you are new to penetration, start with a first dildo under 1.25″ diameter. I suggest the Avant D15, a cute little toy that starts at 1 inch diameter; or the Tantus Acute for medium-small size that’s G-spot/prostate geared. (Be sure to use a good lube too, that helps with comfort! Lube, honestly, may be the very best sex aid you ever buy.)

“Average” dildo size hovers around 1.5 inches diameter and 5.5 to 6 inches insertable length. And remember, you don’t have to take a dildo’s full length: Girth / width is the most important factor when selecting a first dildo for vaginal use.

Larger: Does thinking about a bigger dick turn you on? If so, it’s worth exploring a good stretch… Some folks end up being die-hard fans of a particular size (โ‰ˆ 2 inches wide, for the win!), and others will want to progress upward as they gain more experience. For a starter toy that’s impressively sized (especially its massive, soft coronal ridge ๐Ÿ’ฅ), see the Luminous Stud, a favorite of mine both suction-cupped and for thrusting by hand.

Luminous dildo review dual density silicone by Evolved 3 sizes black
Truly, a size for every taste. See my Luminous review here.

#2. Realistic Feel (and Look Too)?

The above suggestions are realistically shaped dildos, because penis stand-ins appeal to many people โ€” though bright colors can add more fun to a phallic toy.

What if, instead, you want to avoid strong skin and vein detailing; it’s a turn-off to you?

Top non-phallic recommendations are: Temptasia Twist kit (set of 3 spiral toys for working up in size; good for harness play); Avant D16 (pretty soft, flexible silicone) or Avant Ergo Mini (dual-density that’s squishy-sticky-soft outside, with a firm core for support); and all of the firmer G-spot pressure toys listed in the next heading, below!

#3. Do You Want G-Spot / Prostate Focus?

This review blog was founded on the fact that some dildos are soft, and some dildos are hard, and that firmness makes a big damn difference in how a toy feels inside your body.

Typically, a harder toy provides more pressure โ€” which means more intense G-spot or prostate stimulation, if the toy curves forward. (The G-spot and the prostate are both accessed by pushing into the “anterior” [=front] wall of their respective holes.)

If you’re sensitive, you may get great G-spot stimulation from a soft & squishy ridge. But many people will seek out extra hardness to locate that spot and push on it.

Not-soft to firmer first sex toy choices for seeking out the G-spot or prostate:

  • Tantus Acute: Glossy silicone with a spot-friendly curve; semi-firm so it will bend some, for a little give. Amazing as a first pegging dildo (after you get a tapered plug set!).
  • Chrystalino Superior: Perfect for shallow and focused play. Oooh, the glass bulb curves in, strong pressure.
  • Chrystalino Planets: Better for deeper thrusting (more than 3 inches inside your hole), vs. the Superior (above). I love how the beads pop in this one; it’s great as a vaginal or anal toy *IF* you want more bumpity-bump textured pressure.
Chrystalino Superior and its curved bulb, top; Chrystalino Planets and its progressive beads, bottom.

Now, FYI, the most intense G-spot / prostate dildo is the Njoy Pure Wand, a hard ‘n’ firm curve of shiny stainless steel. The Pure Wand is exceptional for really focused stimulation โ€” but, at $120, it is a lot to invest in a first sex toy if you’re not sure you’ll like its รผber-focused pressure.

#4. Need a Suction Cup, or Harness Compatibility?

Most dildos discussed above1 are harness-compatible, meaning that they have a flared base so they can fit inside a strap-on harness, and they’re safe for anal insertion.

Most have a suction cup. See all Neo Elite dildos, Luminous, and Avant dildos for good strong suction cups. Colours Dual Density and ColourSoft silicone by NS Novelties are similarly affordable options with good suction cups, so you too could stick them all around your house.

How to Choose Your First Anal Sex Toy

Anal play is NOT something to move into running at full force. You’ll hurt yourself trying to take too large a toy, too quickly. Some tingling and weirdness is normal when first inserting a butt toy or fingers. But pain shouldn’t be pushed through.

Key tips for first-time anal play:

  • Start small: 1 inch diameter or less is preferred.
  • Use lubricant.
  • Stop if it feels painful or super-awkward. “Odd” or “kinda uncomfortable” are OK; “That hurts” is not.

Questions on what to look for when choosing your first anal sex toy:

  1. Are you an anal “virgin”? (Or have you played with fingers or other objects?)
  2. Do you want to wear the toy around, or thrust it in and out?
  3. Should it stimulate the prostate?

Question #1 Answer: If you’re totally new to anal, get a graduated plug set first! You’ll need to get adjusted to holding something inside your rectum, and a small, tapered plug will accomplish that most comfortably. If you’re not new, what width toy have you used before? (Or, if you’ve used fingers, measure around the fingers in question with a soft tape measure; divide by pi [โ‰ˆ3.14] to get toy diameter.) Especially when you’re new, it’s safest to move up in size no more than 1 inch circumference / 0.33 inches diameter between one anal product (or person?) and the next.

Butt plug size graphic, Mood Naughty, Egg Plug, Oxballs Ergo, Blunt Plug
There’s a whole world of safe anal stretching to explore: Do it slowly, and wisely.

Question #2 Answer: Did you want a plug, vs. a dildo? Thrusting is more stressful on the sphincter muscles leading into the rectum, so beginning with butt-plugging is better. You’re training your ass, like a muscle: Don’t overdo, and take appropriate days off. I suggest wearing the Mood Naughty tapered set around, occasionally, for a month or so, till you’re really comfortable with the largest size.

Most wearable butt plugs ever: The SquarePegToys Egg Plugs in SuperSoft silicone are brilliant anal toys, and let you progress upward through 9 different sizes. The XS size is a little thick, and slightly difficult to insert for a total anal noob: the Firmer Black Egg Plug (size XS) makes sense first there. After you have a little experience, though… Try out wearing a Small Egg Plug, SuperSoft, and up!

Then, for thrusting… You have options as you safely move up in size. The Neo Elite 7.5 Inch is still my favorite anal dildo because it is so tapered. That makes it easy: Simple to get in, and more comfortable. The head is very small at 1.1 to 1.2 inches diameter and short โ€” but then the toy gets up to an average-girth 1.5 inches in the middle, and 1.6 inches thick if you take it all the way down. Plus a strong suction cup.

Another easy anal dildo is the Chrystalino Gallant, since its firm and streamlined head is easy to introduce with good lube (now experimenting with this one on a friend who’s making anal progress, woohoo!). Finally, anal beads offer a lot of interesting *pop*, with the sphincter muscles closing and opening repeatedly โ€” but that’s stressful for anal noobs with the traditional kind of beads where there are big gaps between each bulb. Instead, if you want more feeling in a beginner-friendly toy, see the Chrystalino Planets: the first beads are small, and offer a ton of feeling in shatter-resistant glass.

Question #3 Answer: Prostate play interest you? If you’re not new to anal, just looking for a first anal dildo, then size is less of a limiting factor. See the firm P-spot dildo recs above; or the Neo Elite 7.5 Inch with Balls for a P-spotting realistic.

If you’re newer to anal, don’t expect immediate prostate orgasms; like G-spot orgasms, they can take some effort to achieve, or perhaps you’ll always need penis stimulation to come anally โ€” there’s nothing weird about that! For a first prostate plug, the Mood Naughty line also has a curved shape that will massage lightly (I recommend: size medium). Or, again, the Chrystalino Planets is a smart choice for harder pressure. I haven’t recommended any vibrating butt plug here because the good ones start at around 1.2 inches diameter, which is a tad big for most anal newbies.

First Penis Sex Toys

For an affordable silicone stroker (basically, a “pocket pussy” that you don’t have to work to keep from molding like Fleshlight material can), check out the Yoni soft silicone masturbation sleeve: my boyfriend finds it the most realistic-feeling; note that it’s not for wide penises, though. Or, the Tenga Eggs are good choices for only using a few times, but their TPR/TPE material will harbor bacteria easier and, like Fleshlights, isn’t so easy to clean.

Common Concerns for First-Time Shoppers

Sex toy shame: Buying a first sex toy might feel dirty or slightly scary. Sexual shame is such a common feeling when you first step into the world of toys! Many of us (*raises hand*) have been there, either secretly googling toys or finally working up the nerve to venture into a sex shop… while wondering at the back our minds, “Is this OK?”

But we don’t need to apologize for wanting more pleasure in life, more fun in the bedroom. Sex toys are awesome tools that we can use to feel alive while we are alive, goddammit. Whether you’re playing solo, and/or with a consenting partner!

Discreet Sex Toy Shopping Online

Online sex toy retailers know you probably don’t want your mailperson and/or neighbors to see you’re getting a package marked “BIG DONGS ‘R’ US.” Therefore, toy-related logos and adult brand names are not on the outside of the packaging.

Adult retailers will ship under, and bill you under, a formal name that’s more discreet than their online name. For example, Peepshow Toys ships and bills as “Hamilton Park Electronics,” the company’s legal business name. SheVibe and Lovehoney’s legal names reveal those companies’ initials but not full storefront names: “SV, Inc.” and “LH Trading,” respectively.

Many first-time buyers are so focused on discreet shipping that they overlook a more risky situation: Unsafe sex toy materials. PVC is the worst, to start. A common cheap sex toy material, softened PVC realistics are known to smell like shower curtains, leach chlorine, and cause burning and irritation after repeated use.

I often read about individuals who want to purchase off Amazon because “the packaging is discreet.” Amazon sellers are, honestly, in cut-throat price wars with each other 24/7 due to the “lowest price wins” setup of the Amazon platform, so quality is a secondary consideration. (Shopping for sex toys on Amazon is kind of like going into the Dollar Store and hoping you’ll pick up something excellent.) When you’re talking about intimate items you’re going to put inside your genitals / rub on sensitive mucous membranes, not being able to trust that they’re made of safe and sanitizable silicone, etc., is worrisome.

Visiting an Adult Shop in Person

They sell sex toys to people all day, every day! Don’t be scared, your local shop employee is happy you’re there interested in buying sex toys. No shame.

Browse, take a look around, consider what you want โ€” and then feel free to ask questions, respectfully. If the shop employee isn’t new, they’ve probably heard it all before. They have to be open-minded to be working there, and they’re used to helping choose a first sex toy, or a twentieth sex toy!

However, I would suggest not pressing the salesperson about what they like; not trying to force personal details out of the employee. That makes the exchange more awkward, and their individual preferences may not match your preferences or your partner’s needs, anyway. It’s best to ask general questions like, “Have you gotten any feedback about *product name*?” Or “What would you recommend for someone who wants *kind of sex toy / kind of stimulation*?” Giving general info about what you want is totally appropriate, it’s just polite to not be super-graphic about it.

When going into a shop in-person too, remember to read up on materials beforehand. (TL;DR: Avoid anything made of PVC; “real feel,” a.k.a. TPE or TPR, vibrators and dildos are also problematic long-term. If a toy is soft & squeezable, it must be silicone for safety.) Most shops will be selling a range of products from the worst PVC to some safer silicone options.

Have fun trying your first sex toys โ€” it’s a full world of pleasure to seek through!


  1. All of them besides the Chrystalino glass and the Njoy Pure Wand.

4 thoughts on “Choosing Your First Sex Toy: Top 4 Questions to Ask”

  1. Thanks for this guide, it helped me a lot.
    I am new to dildos (we had pvc vibrators but those were terrible) and I am looking for a smaller one for the first few times (vaginal but I am a little bit tight down there). I am looking for something that feels real, I don’t really like the artficially rigid ones.
    So finally I narrowed my list to 2-3. Which would you prefer in a side-by-side situation? Avant D15, Avant Ergo Mini?
    How do they different? Is that dual density good enough?
    (Maybe Luminous Mini and Neo Elite 6 can be added both have balls which reduce length.)

    Thanks for your help!

    • I like the Neo Elite 6 inch tapered best if you’re OK with a really petite toy! Are you using the toy in a harness, or your partner is thrusting it? Because if you’re moving the dildo, length is less relevant since you can choose to just not insert whatever amount of length. If for partnered play, then the Neo Elite 6 ” w/ balls has a more realistic feel than the Avant Ergo models.

  2. In the picture right above “#1. How Big? (Size Matters),” you describe the hot pink dildo as a Neo Elite 7.5 inch with balls. It’s a 5 Inch Colours model? My Colours Soft is identical, with the veins and the little bell-shaped head. In any case, that picture is helpful re: size and proportions.

    I haven’t commented before, so I want to say I’ve really appreciated all of your guides & how informative and detailed you are, especially about safety information.

    Can I ask about the reason you prefer the 1.25″ diameter D15 Avant over the 1.25″ diameter 5.5 Inch Neo Elite? Is it the color, shape, skin texture, density…?

    • Hi! The Colours Soft 5″ looks identical to the Neo Elite, but the Neo Elite 7.5 with Balls is the tiniest fraction of an inch longer. Or maybe it just seems so because the Neo Elite’s suction cup is a taller, more rounded curve. They’re close.
      The Colours Dual Density 5″, interestingly, is definitely a bit smaller than either of those, like between 0.1 and 0.2″ inches less diameter and about a quarter-inch shorter.

      You mean the Neo Elite “6 Inch” tapered, correct? (There’s technically no 5.5 Inch by name, but that toy is 5.5 inches in actuality.) I believe I just didn’t update this guide to include the “6 Inch Tapered” after it was released, since it came out after the Avants. Same shape, the Avant d15 is a little silkier outside (a soft-touch sort of finish), while the Neo Elite is softer (as in can be squished a bit) outside. Obviously the colors are different. If someone’s going for a more realistic phallic feel, the Neo Elite would be the better choice; while if they don’t care and they like the D15’s color, then it makes sense.

      Thanks for reading!


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