No More Vanilla: What Are the Best Sex Toys for Beginners?

Over 50% of Americans use vibrators, which means that number may be higher when it comes to sex toys in general. If you don’t own one, then don’t feel left out.

It’s never too late to explore your sexuality, especially since it can not only help you to learn more about you and your partner’s bodies, but it can also improve the quality of your sex life.

In this article, we’ll discuss the types of sex toys available and the best sex toys for beginners so you’ll have some guidance on making your first purchase.

Types of Sex Toys

If you’ve ever taken a look at any sex shop (in person or online), it may seem to have an overwhelmingly large inventory of fake penises, buzzing contraptions, and more.

But at its core, there are two types of sex toys: penetrative and non-penetrative. We’ll go into more detail below.


As the name suggests, penetrative sex toys can go into the vagina or anus. The types available range from realistic to futuristic.

The realistic ones are called dildos and are often modeled from a real person’s penis, such as a porn star’s. The most basic dildos are made of rubber and can be so realistic that they include not only the shaft of the penis, but also the testicles. Some have a suction cup base for easier play.

For the more futuristic ones, they come with a number of bells and whistles. Some don’t even look like penises but are still phallic so you can still have penetrative play. Some have motors in them to not only vibrate, but also rotate additional features like pleasurable beads.

There are also masturbatory sex toys for men that have sleeves made to look and feel like either a vagina, anus, or mouth. Other penetrative sex toys include anal beads and Ben Wa balls.


Non-penetrative toys are meant to only stimulate your genitals on the outside. The majority of them are vibrator toys, and most are meant to stimulate a woman’s clitoris.

However, there are also vibrating penis rings that can be worn for either masturbation or sex. When you wear them during sex, it can stimulate both partners for a session that’s more intense.

Good Sex Toys for Beginners: Solo

When you first start out with sex toys, it’s best to begin with ones that don’t have a bunch of features on them. By choosing some basic sex toys first, you can learn the ropes, figure out what you like, and then advance to something more complicated.

When you’ve never used a sex toy before, you also don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something just to find out you don’t like it at all. Once you get a feel for things, you’ll feel more comfortable spending money on bigger ticket items.

For Women

If you don’t want a penetrative toy, then a bullet or egg vibrator is a good place to start. These are small vibrating sex toys that are very affordable and discreet if you live with other people. Some even have a few different settings so you can figure out what type of external stimulation you like.

If you want a penetrative toy, then you can choose either a basic dildo or a regular vibrator. A dildo can give you the space to explore penetrative pleasure on its own, without the distraction of a vibrating feature. If you’ve never had sex before, this can help you prepare for and be comfortable with sex.

With a regular vibrator, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Not only will you get pleasure from the vibrations inside your vagina, but you’ll also get pleasure from the penetration.

If you want to try anal stimulation, you can try using a butt plug first, as it’s very basic. Another toy you can try is anal beads. Should you like this type of sexual play, you can graduate to larger plugs, some of which also vibrate.

For Men

For something basic and cheap, you might want to get a stroker toy. This is a sleeve that goes around your penis and you can use it during masturbation.

If you want something that simulates sexual intercourse, a sex sleeve is a good choice. However, these can be pricier and can require more work to keep clean and maintained.

For added pleasure, consider anal stimulation. Butt plugs and anals beads are great places to start.

Good Sex Toys for Beginners: Couples

Whether you’ve been together for 30 days or 30 years, sex toys can always be an exciting addition to your relationship. Even if you feel like your sex life is satisfactory, throwing a sex toy or two into the mix can only make it better.

For heterosexual couples, some good toys to start out with include a number of things: vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, and cock rings. Many of these toys are good for not only solo play, but also for foreplay. Since women can take longer to warm up for sex, and some men may struggle with premature ejaculation, you can use the majority of these sex toys to prolong your session before the grand finale.

For Lesbian Couples

Lesbian couples can use all of the toys above, with the exception of cock rings. Instead, you can use a double-ended dildo. This sex toy lets both of you enjoy penetration without having to either take turns or use your fingers.

Another excellent sex toy for lesbian couples is the strap-on. Some of these also come with a double-ended feature so nobody gets left out in the fun.

For Gay Couples

Gay couples can also use all of the toys for heterosexual couples, except for maybe vibrators. However, you can still purchase anal vibrators to use in your sessions.

If you want to get really intimate, there’s the double-headed stroker to try. This is similar to the masturbatory stroker, but can accommodate both of you. This sex toy can definitely get things sizzling in the bedroom.


If you’re into the BDSM scene, you can DIY some sex toys at home by using ropes, blindfolds, neckties, etc. But you can also step up your BDSM game by utilizing some other toys, like whips, bondage bars, and ball gags.

All of the above are very easy for anyone to use, so long as you have good safety practices and safe words.

Don’t Forget About Lube

Both men and women alike need lubrication to make sex feel good, and it’s the same thing when it comes to masturbation. Without adequate lubrication, any sexual activity can feel uncomfortable and even painful.

If you’re buying a sex toy soon, you might want to consider throwing in a bottle of lube. Lube comes in two forms: water-based or oil-based.

You should choose a water-based lube since oil-based lubes won’t have potential interactions with toy materials and condoms. Plus, if you spill it on your sheets, it won’t stain them.

Some lubes come in flavors, so if you need for oral sex, you can make it more pleasant by adding a nice flavor like strawberry.

Take Care of Your Sex Toys

Whether you’re using your sex toys by yourself or bringing them for a swinger’s session, you need to make sure you’re cleaning them properly. If you don’t sanitize them correctly, not only do you risk getting an infection, but you may transmit STIs between partners more easily as well.

There will be slight differences to cleaning methods depending on what kind of toy you have and what material it’s made of. But generally, cleaning it with a mild soap and warm water is enough. The best method is to boil them for a few minutes if possible.

When you’re not using your sex toys and they’ve been washed, make sure you have a safe and clean place to store them. Many sex toy shops sell cloth or satin bags that you can store your sex toys safely in.

Find out What You Like

With the right sex toys for beginners, exploring them won’t be a scary thing. If you’re purchasing them on your own, just remember to take it slow and if anything hurts or feels uncomfortable, stop and reassess.

Do you need more lube? Are you allergic to the material? Then try another sex toy on our list.

If you’re buying sex toys for the first time with your partner, then remember that communication is key. If either of you don’t feel like the toy you’ve purchased is a good fit, then try something else. It can take time to find the right sex toys for you!

So be safe, and explore all the options out there for you. There’s bound to be the ideal sex toy that’ll make your toes curl!

Want some more information about adult entertainment? Then check out our guide!

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