How To Use A Vibrator: From Tips For Beginners, To Types & More

Become an expert on everything you need to know about using a vibrator from getting started and choosing the right one, to solo masturbation or partnered play.
Photograph Of Studious Woman Leaning On Glass Table Lined With Vibrators And A Presentation Sign "How To Use A Vibrator"

If you’ve ever looked at a vibrator shaped like a flower bud and thought to yourself, “How in the hell do I use this crazy-looking thing?” — you’re far from alone.

Like most things in life, however, the more you know about something, the easier it is.

So get ready to become an expert on everything you need to know about using a vibrator for solo masturbation, partnered play, or group sex — we’re not judging.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Complete Guide To Vibrators and Everything Vibrators hub, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of vibrators from the different types and how to use them, to materials and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

How To Use A Vibrator By Type

Aerial Photograph Of Woman Laying On Floor With Vibrators Laid Around Her Head

Sex toys today are more varied and plentiful than at any other time in history.

But they can be categorized based on their design, intended use, and functionality.

To have a positive experience — especially if you’re a novice vibrator user — it greatly helps to know what’s out there.

In this section, we’ll explore:

There’s so much you can learn about yourself and your body by using a vibrator, but with so many types available, finding the one that will fit your needs can feel overwhelming.

Let’s take a closer look at each vibrator type — and how to use it.


Photograph Of Basic Anal Vibrator With Flanged EndAnal Vibrators

  • These vibrating toys feature a flared base specifically designed for safe use in the anus, butt cheeks, and for prostate stimulation during pegging.
  • The wide base of an anal vibrator prevents it from being sucked inside the anus during use, which is especially important because anal lube (which should always be used!) leaves things extra slippery.
  • Anal vibes are inserted into the anus, although this should be done with care — and with an appropriately-sized vibrator to ensure comfort and safety.

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Closeup Photograph Of Hot Pink We-Vibe Tango Lipstick Vibrator Against White BackgroundBullet Vibrators

  • These small, powerful vibes are extremely versatile and can be used for clitoral play and, if they are long enough, vaginal insertion.
  • When used externally, a bullet vibrator can be pressed anywhere against the clitoris or vulva, and other erogenous zones.
  • Some anal toys are designed to be used in conjunction with a bullet vibrator as an attachment — and this is the only instance that makes bullets safe for anal use.

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Diagonal View Of Butterfly Effect G-Spot MassagerButterfly Vibrators

  • These are a specific type of wearable vibrator that often looks like — you guessed it — a butterfly.
  • Butterfly vibrators tend to be less powerful and quieter compared to other vibrators but with designs that focus on clitoral stimulation or dual stimulation of the clit and G-spot, they offer more variety than ever.
  • Some butterfly vibrators are worn with harnesses that keep the butterfly pressed against the vulva for hands-free use, while others stay “attached” through an insertable shaft that stimulates the G-spot.

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Closeup Image Of The Dame Products Eva II Against White BackgroundClit Vibrators

  • Clitoral vibes come in a wide variety of shapes, strengths, and sizes from the very petite bullet vibrator to the strong and substantial wand.
  • Regardless of their design, they are generally meant to be used against the clitoris and vulva for external stimulation, although most can tickle erogenous zones elsewhere around the body.

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Closeup Image Of A Purple LELO SONA 2 Against White BackgroundClit Sucking Vibrators

  • Cunnilingus fans could be heard rejoicing around the world the moment these little suckers were invented.
  • As their name suggests, they provide vibrating suction directly around the clitoris — in many cases, providing sensations like you’d get from a real mouth.
  • Clit sucking vibrators tend to have a slight learning curve that’s well worth the reward — just ask your favorite nerve endings.
  • Generally, applying a touch of water-based lube to your clitoris (or the opening of the vibrator) will help it to “latch” on when it is placed over the clit.

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Closeup Image Of A Cosmic Purple We-Vibe Sync Against White BackgroundCouples’ Vibrators

  • Whether for long-distance play or for use during intercourse or public vibrator play, vibrators for couples are all the rage.
  • How to use a couples’ vibrator depends on your needs as a couple — and the design of the toy.
  • I personally recommend one that provides clitoral stimulation in an unobtrusive, hands-free way during sex — like the We-Vibe Sync or Chorus — which are worn during penetrative sex.
  • Other couples’ vibrators are designed to be worn by one partner as it is controlled remotely by another, at a distance that varies depending on the manner of connection between the toy and its controller.

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Closeup Image Of An Aqua LELO SORAYA 2 Against White BackgroundDual Stimulation Vibrators

  • These are designed to provide internal stimulation of the vagina and G-spot while maintaining constant clitoral contact to elicit blended orgasms.
  • Haven’t had a blended orgasm yet? They’re pretty great and rabbit vibrators are especially adept at delivering them, although they’re not the only dual stimulation vibes out there.
  • Depending on its design, the clit-tickling part of a dual stimulation vibrator is placed against the clitoris while the shaft penetrates the vagina to reach the G-spot at the same time — it’s generally easiest to insert the shaft first before getting the clit stimulator in place.
  • Some dual stimulation vibes, like Lora DiCarlo’s Osé 2, which we personally reviewed, combine clit suction with G-spot stimulation.

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Close Up Of Bright Red SVAKOM Ella Egg VibratorEgg Vibrators

  • These small, discreet egg-shaped vibrators are perfect for those who prefer a light touch.
  • These are primarily designed for external use — being pressed directly against the clitoris or vulva — but some can also be used as a vaginal or anal vibrator, inserted with lube, if they have a cord attached for retrieval.
  • They’re great for long edging sessions and, if they’re controlled by a remote, they can be used as a wearable panty vibrator if your plans for the day include a little fun on the run.

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Close Up Photo Of Light Pink Adam & Eve Rechargeable Finger VibratorFinger Vibrators

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Close-Up View Of Aqua-Colored Mystery Vibe CrescendoG-Spot Vibrators

  • Unless you’re a contortionist, it’s nearly impossible to reach your own G-spot when you’re lying down.
  • Insertable G-spot vibrators have a curved design that effectively reaches the G-spot, located along the upper vaginal wall.
  • To use one, you’ll likely want to employ a bit of personal lubricant before inserting the vibrator in your vagina.
  • From there, it’s a matter of finding the spot you find the most pleasurable.
  • G-spot vibes can also stimulate the prostate if used anally.

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Photograph Of Single Palm VibratorPalm (Pom) Vibrators

  • Another light touch sex toy designed for external use, these vibrators fit in the palm of your hand.
  • Ranging in shape from rounded to almost flat, they’re pressed against the clitoris or vulva during use.
  • Pom vibes are another good starting point for anyone wondering about how to use a vibrator on a woman.

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Photograph Of Club Vibe 3.Oh Black Panties And Panty Vibrator With RemotePanty Vibrators

  • As a type of wearable vibrator, panty vibrators are designed to be worn inside your underwear and typically focus on clitoral stimulation — the panties themselves do not vibrate.
  • Although some include underwear that has a special pocket sewn into the crotch to accommodate a bullet or egg vibrator, others feature a small, flat pad that presses against the clitoris and vulva — which can be held in place by any pair of comfortable undies you own.
  • Vibrating panties are a popular choice for discreet vibrator play in public.

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Photograph Of Basic Prostate VibratorProstate Vibrators

  • A specific type of anal vibrator for men, these sex toys are designed to provide stimulation directly to the prostate, a walnut-sized gland located inside the groin, between a man’s penis and bladder.
  • Sensation to this area is most easily accessed anally.
  • Prostate vibrators are inserted into the anus and they should always be used with quality anal lube.

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Photograph Of Jessica Rabbit 10-Function VibratorRabbit Vibrators

  • Designed to provide G-spot and clitoral stimulation for blended orgasms, rabbit vibrators feature an external massager that often resembles bunny ears nestled on either side of the clitoris.
  • Rabbit vibes can look intimidating, but they’re fairly simple to use — insert the shaft into the vagina and press the “ears” (or external massaging nub) against the clitoris.
  • Depending on the size of the toy and your own anatomy, however, it can be a challenge to get both parts in the right place.
  • In some cases, rabbit vibrators are a lot like Cinderella’s slipper — you might have to try a few to find the perfect fit.

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Close Up Photograph Of CalExotics Waterproof Double Vibrating Silver BulletsRemote-Controlled Vibrators

  • Although these come in a variety of styles that can include anything from bullets, panty vibrators, butterfly vibes, and many more, these toys are operated remotely — either through a wired remote, a wireless controller, or even a smartphone.
  • Use them according to their base type, and control them via the remote provided or an app, if they’re designed to be paired with one.

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Photograph Of Basic Vibrating Cock Ring In BlackVibrating Cock Rings

  • These are exactly what they sound like. Wrap one around your favorite penis, turn the vibration on and let the fun begin.
  • Cock rings may have their own attached motor, although some can be attached to the small bullet vibe of your choice.
  • A vibrating cock ring is an excellent way to introduce vibes into couples’ play and is also perfect when learning how to use a vibrator on a man.

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Closeup Image Of A Vertical Hitachi Magic Wand Against White BackgroundWand Vibrators

  • One of the earliest types of vibrators originally designed for body or back massage, these straightforward vibrating wands range from simple plug-in models to adjustable rechargeable dynamos.
  • Wands can be used for internal stimulation of the vagina or anus if they include attachments, although they are most often used externally — pressed against the clitoris for direct stimulation or elsewhere along the vulva for diffused sensations.

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Close-Up View Of Venus Butterfly Remote Venus G Against White BackgroundWearable Vibrators

  • Typically controlled via a remote or app, wearable vibes are designed to be worn by one partner — staying in place via a harness, your underwear, or in some cases, an insertable G-spot stimulating shaft.
  • They’re often used for public play, but if you don’t want strangers to hear your underwear buzzing or have a spontaneous clitoral orgasm prevent you from placing your coffee order, you don’t have to use them in this manner.
  • Wearable vibrators can be enjoyed in the privacy of home — with or without a partner, depending on who’s got their hands on the controller.

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Where Can You Use A Vibrator Other Than Your Genitals?

When the Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator first came on the scene, it was advertised for sore leg, neck, and back muscles.

I was never sure if that was because no one was ready to see advertisements about female sexual pleasure — or if people were really using the most popular vibrator ever for their sciatica.

It turns out that Hitachi wands are as effective for back pain as they are at bringing about orgasms.

In fact, vibrators feel awesome on just about any erogenous zone you can imagine!

So many vibrator types — especially finger and pom styles — can be used in unexpected places.

If you’re not confident about using a vibrator, it may make sense to start somewhere other than your genitals, especially during your first time out. We highly suggest you try using it:

  • On your nipples
  • Between your breasts
  • Along your inner thigh
  • Along your neck and back
  • On your buttocks (external only, please)
  • Along the shaft of the penis
  • Against the “taint” or perineum, located between the genitals and anus
  • On your feet (especially if you’re into that sort of thing or enjoy toe sucking) and between toes
  • Along any erogenous zones where you’d like to feel a little buzz

Because vibrators can be employed in so many ways, using a vibrator on anyone (regardless of gender) is simply a matter of experimentation.

See what you (or your partner) like — and keep doing what feels good.

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Will I Get Desensitized From Using Vibrators?

This is a common question, and there are plenty of unseemly rumors out there about it, but no — a vibrator will not cause desensitization in most cases.

That said, there is a very small possibility of nerve damage if you spend many hours per day with a very strong toy that never runs out of batteries.

But you’d really have to apply yourself for that to happen, probably to the detriment of everything and everyone else in your life.

So unless you’re planning to become an angry loner surrounded by high-powered vibes — you’re probably not going to do any lasting damage.

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How To Use A Vibrator The First Time, Solo And With A Partner

Photograph Of Man And Woman Smiling At One Another While Opening A Vibrator Box

Now that you know how each vibrator can be used in the most basic ways, we’ll explore how to use them in a variety of situations.

In this section, we’ll cover how to use a vibrator:

How To Use A Vibrator For The First Time

Whether you’re completely uninitiated or just taking a new silicone toy on a test run, there are some steps that will help you to have a pleasurable experience the first time you use a vibrator.

Perhaps the most vital part of the experience is to not pressure yourself to reach orgasm with your vibrator.

It may take multiple tries before you get there, particularly when you’re learning the ins and outs of a new toy — and that’s totally okay. In fact, it’s completely normal.

Additionally, you might even find that your body shakes after using your vibrator — which is directly related to the stimulation and orgasm, rather than the vibrator itself.

That’s normal, too.

Get yourself into the right mood, use a compatible lube, start on the lowest settings and experiment with your vibrator’s features to get a feel for them, and don’t focus on reaching orgasm the first time you use it.

Same thing goes for squirting. If you’re trying to use a vibrator to make yourself squirt, be patient with the process — it may not happen the first time out.

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How To Use A Vibrator On A Woman

Using a vibrator on a woman isn’t rocket science — but it definitely helps to talk with your partner as you go so you can see what she likes (and doesn’t like).

The exact type of vibrator you’re using will dictate how to use it to some degree.

If it’s a clit vibe, you’ll focus on her clit and vulva — pressing the vibrator against it as you adjust the speed and intensity of the vibrations.

G-spot vibes, on the other hand, will be inserted vaginally, with thrusting optional depending on the toy’s design, although they can be used externally against her clitoris, too.

Most vibrators can be used to tease her other erogenous zones, as well — including her nipples, inner thighs, and anywhere else that drives her wild.

Additionally, in most cases, it’s perfectly safe to use a vibrator during pregnancy.

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How To Use A Vibrator On A Man

Although vibrators are so often thought of as sex toys for women, the truth is that you can use most vibrator types on men, too — although that can mean getting a little creative.

Anal vibrators can be used to massage the prostate, however, any toy used anally should have a flared base to prevent it being “sucked” inside the anus.

Vibrating dildos used during pegging can provide incredible stimulation to the prostate, as well.

Vibrating cock rings slide over the shaft of the penis and can be used during penetrative sex, or while giving oral sex.

Additionally, most vibrators (including those “designed for women”) can be used to stimulate the shaft of the penis along with other erogenous zones across his body.

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How To Use A Vibrator During Sex

A vibrator can be used to enhance your sex life — and you’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to exploring one with a partner.

To use them during sex, most vibrators only need to be placed against one or both partners’ bodies in the areas that feel best. It’s just that simple!

Partners can use vibrators during sex to:

  • Stimulate the clitoris during penetrative sex or oral sex
  • Stimulate the shaft of the penis during oral sex
  • Stimulate both partners if placed between their bodies
  • Stimulate other erogenous zones like nipples, breasts, testicles, inner thighs, or any areas that drive either partner wild

Vibrators can provide extra or more intense stimulation, alleviate or compensate for sexual dysfunction, and offer a helping hand to those who may struggle with mobility.

For the best possible experience using vibrators during partnered sex, however, everyone involved has to be on board with the idea.

My own partner, who is absolutely not a jealous type, was very unsure about introducing sex toys into our routine. I felt that the mere fact that we had a “routine” meant that it needed changing up.

Open, honest talk can help couples sort that out. I also suggest:

  • Having this discussion in an innocuous location — and NOT in the bedroom
  • Avoiding toys that can cause penis envy in a male partner — including some of the humongous veiny monstrosities out there
  • Starting with smaller, less powerful toys that can put a reticent partner at ease
  • Combining vibrator use with something your partner already enjoys, like oral sex
  • Choosing toys that are good for beginners — like a snap-off cock ring or discreet clitoral vibes like bullets. Move up to more advanced vibrators when your sex life is ready for it

Finally, if you’re trying something that’s altogether new, see if you can find some porn of it to watch together. We’re pretty sure it’s out there — Rule 34 and all.

For instance, Adam & Eve Plus is a trusted service that provides high-quality adult videos (and a discreet ordering process) so if there’s something you’re curious to try, watch the action before diving in head-first!

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Looking For Creative Ideas For Using Vibrators During Sex?

Good for you! There are a variety of creative ways to take advantage of vibrating toys during sex.

  • Explore clit vibrators: If you don’t already know how to use clitoral vibrators during penetrative sex, it’s high time you learn! There are so many unique models made for that exact purpose, and we can’t recommend them enough. A clit vibrator can be pressed against the clitoris in any position that allows for it, or it can be held in place between partners in the missionary position. Additionally, they can tease any erogenous zone on either partner throughout the entire experience.
  • Consider double-enders: Simultaneous penetration into the vagina or anus of either partner is an experience you won’t soon forget. There’s a vibrating penetrative sex toy for every taste, and many allow both partners to experience penetration together. A double-ended vibrator can be used during pegging for instance — with the woman being penetrated vaginally as she penetrates her partner anally.
  • Experiment with voyeuristic masturbation: Some couples are all about mutual performative masturbation, while others would rather die than wank while anyone is watching. We don’t want to pressure anyone — but a mutual masturbation session using a vibrator can be a fun precursor to any activity you already enjoy together.
  • Go the long-distance: Many sex toys are equipped with wireless tech and app-driven internet connectivity, allowing for one partner to control it from anywhere in the world. Simulated sex with a partner on the other side of the country can keep things steamy until you can be together again, plus it allows you to connect with one another intimately — even if you can’t be together physically.

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Vibrator Tips

Photograph Of Woman Reading On Laptop With LELO SILA Vibrator Next To It, Research Concept

We’ve talked about how to use vibrators in just about every situation, but there are a few additional things to know about them.

In this section, we’ll talk about:

Choosing A Vibrator

The best way to start is by considering your past sexual experiences, either alone or with a partner.

Seek out toys that provide the sensations you’ve enjoyed in the past, or that will help you avoid sensations you didn’t like.

Still not sure how to begin? We suggest taking our Vibrator Quiz to point yourself in the right direction.

Additionally, sex forums can be a great place to ask others for their recommendations! In fact, we’ve got a forum for discussing sex toys available right here!

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Preparing A New Vibrator Before Use

Proper care and cleaning of your sex toy are important for your own health and safety (not to mention the longevity of your toy) but what many people don’t realize is that a brand new vibrator — fresh out of the package — needs to be cleaned before use.

Yes, it looks clean and pristine. But there could be residue left behind from the manufacturing process or the packaging material itself.

Before using a new vibrator, make sure to clean it — and charge it.

You can use a specialized sex toy cleaner — one of our favorites is Adam & Eve Pure And Clean, which we personally reviewed — but mild soap and water works well, too.

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How To Enjoy Your First Vibrator

There are a few things you should do to ensure the best possible experience when using a vibrator for the first time.

Always read the directions included with your new vibrator and use a compatible lubricant. If in doubt, go with water-based lube.

Understand how to adjust intensity and vibration patterns before you begin using it and locate the rapid off-switch if your new toy has one so you can turn it off in a hurry if needed.

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Vibrator Troubleshooting Tips

  • If the vibrations are too strong: Adjust the intensity or use it over clothing or underwear.
  • If the vibrations are too weak: Change the batteries or recharge; upgrade to a more powerful toy if the highest settings on a full charge are still not enough.
  • If there is too much slippage: Change your lube type (if safe for the vibrator’s material, use less lubricant, or wipe away excess bodily fluids during use.
  • If the insertable portion of the vibrator is too big: Use it externally instead — on your clit, vulva, or other erogenous zones.
  • If the insertable portion of the vibrator is too small: Use it on your clit or as a G-spot vibrator, or invest in something bigger.
  • If the surface is too smooth or there’s not enough friction: Try a ribbed condom over the toy. If your vibrator accommodates attachments, experiment with those.
  • If you can’t reach your favorite spot: Adjust the vibrator’s settings or angle, or invest in something more adjustable if it still can’t hit your sweet spot.
  • If you’re not able to orgasm: That’s okay. Don’t pressure yourself — Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can keep trying to use it in different ways each time you play with it. If you find it’s just not tripping your trigger no matter what you do, there are a lot of other vibrators to choose from!
→ For help in finding the best vibrator for your needs, take our quiz!

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How To Clean And Store Your Vibrator

The instructions provided with your new vibrator will have tips not just on how to use the vibrator correctly, but how to best clean and store it for maximum longevity.

Vibrators should be cleaned before and after each use, and when switching between partners or orifices to avoid contamination or the spread of STIs.

Storage is as vital a part of vibrator care and maintenance. Luckily, most sex toys come with their own drawstring bag that’s perfect for lint-free storage.

If your new toy didn’t come with a bag, any suitably-sized bag made of lint-free, breathable material should work.

You’ll want to store your vibrator where prying eyes or nosy hands can’t get to it — especially if you’ve got kids at home.

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In Conclusion

Vibrators aren’t an essential part of anyone’s sex life, much like chocolate doesn’t have to be an essential part of Halloween.

For many of us though, they provide an utterly crave-worthy enhancement. Still not sure how to find the right vibrator? Take our quiz!

Understanding how to use sex toys for greater sexual satisfaction doesn’t just lead to more orgasms and better sex. Sexual pleasure, whether from intercourse or masturbation, offers myriad health and mental benefits.

Best of all, knowing how to use vibrators can help us learn our bodies better, enhancing future sexual experiences with ourselves and others, and allowing us to feel more comfortable in our own skin.