A sex writer shares her favorite sex toys and how to use them.

Gabrielle Kassel
Dec 09, 2020 @ 2:04 pm
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Vibrators do to dildos what This Is Us' Kevin Pearson does to Randall and Kate: Hog the spotlight. And while there’s no doubt that both vibrators and Kevin are responsible for many an orgasm, I think it’s time we gave some love to the often-ignored sex toy sibling: dildos

Dildos are any vaguely phallic-shaped toy that can be inserted into a bodily orifice to bring pleasure to solo, partnered, or multi-partnered play. Most frequently, though, dildos are used in a harness for penetrative play. “As a vagina-owners, receiving a dildo vaginally or anally can stimulate the G-spot and create a pleasurable sensation of fullness,” says Sarah Sloane, a sex educator who’s been coaching sex toy classes at Good Vibrations and Pleasure Chest since 2001. As a penis-owner, receiving a dildo can stimulate the prostate, which “can lead to a really intense orgasm,” she says. 

Beyond strap-on sex and pegging, dildos also allow pleasure-seekers to explore or affirm their gender, simulate jerking off, give a hand job or blow job, explore power play, or experience new or different physical sensations, too. 

Here’s the thing: There are a lot of dildos to buy, which means dildo shopping can be a little (or very) overwhelming. So, to help you out, I decided to go into my personal dildo collection and highlight the five I use most frequently and can personally vouch for. 

1. Tantus Silk Small Dildo

The Tantus Silk Small Dildo is both the first dildo I ever received and the first one I wore. Nearly six years later, it’s still one of my favorite dildos to both wear and recommend to other people (especially to beginners). 

Why? Well, the most common mistake people make when having strap-on or pegging sex is using a dildo that is far too big. At less than an inch in diameter and just 4.25 inches long, “it’s just a step bigger than a finger,” says Sloane. Its novice size combined with its smooth texture makes the Tantus Silk Small Dildo a true beginner dildo. “Dildos with a lot of ridges are harder for first-timers' bodies to accept than a smooth dildo, like this one,” she explains. 

Of course, The Tantus Silk Small can be enjoyed by more experienced dildo-users like me, too. I like to use it to help my partner's body work up to a larger dildo or fist. But it can also be enjoyed on its own on days when the biggest toy in your collection just isn’t happening. As Sloane puts it, “It’s not every day that we crave the biggest toy in our collection.” 

Worth mentioning: While I typically recommend folks buy their harness and dildo separately for the most comfortable strap-on experience for both the wearer and receiver, if you’re on a budget, the Tantus Bend Over Beginner Strap-On Kit is a great option. At $94.00, this package includes the Tantus Silk Small, the slightly larger Tantus Silk Medium, and a harness. 

2. Fun Factory Sharevibe

$139.99
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Babeland

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any Fun Factory purchase—the German company makes the best nonrealistic dildos on the market. But my favorite of all their toys is the Fun Factory Sharevibe, a double-ended dildo. Designed to be used without a harness (!), this dildo allows the giver to experience vaginal fullness while penetrating their partner. 

Sure, strapless strap-on dildos are nothing new—there’s the Calexotics Happy Rabbit Strapless Strap-On, the Tantus Strapless Double Dildo, and the PeaceMaker Double Dildo—but what I think sets the Fun Factory ShareVibe apart is the ergonomic design of the internal arm. “The shape of the internal arm mirrors the shape of the internal canal, which means it actually stays in place in the body,” Sloane says. “There’s also a nice little G-spot stimulation nub that allows the giver to enjoy G-spot pressure with every thrust.”

The Fun Factory Sharevibe is also made out of Fun Factory’s famous high-quality, medical-grade silicone, which is more friction-y than other silicone used in the market. “It doesn’t have the slick silicone finish some dildos have, which also makes it easier for the body to hold onto,” says Sloane. 

While this toy is available in a non-vibrating option (the Fun Factory Share), I prefer the Sharevibe. When my partner and I aren’t in the mood for vibration, we can just keep the vibration off. But when we are in the mood? Ooo, baby, its rumbly vibrations feel good! 

3. The BJ Dildo

$89.99
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Babeland

I’ve never received cunnilingus and enjoyed it. It has nothing to do with who I’ve taken as lovers, I just have a super-duper sensitive clit. So anytime I’ve been licked, I’ve gotten over-stimulated faster than you can say, “I love the way you taste.” Receiving oral sex on The BJ Dildo—which, as its name implies, allows people without biological penises to experience the sensation of a blow job—was the first time I ever enjoyed oral sex. 

Here’s how it works: Designed with a large opening at the base, a hollow core, and slit at the tip, The BJ Dildo is intended to be placed over the vulva. “When the giver sucks the tip, the dildo seals against your body, and the air can be felt on your clit,” explains Sloane. In my opinion, the sensation is similar to a very low-intensity clit suction toy. 

Because the core of the dildo is hollow, “the BJ Dildo is also a good option for people who have been taking testosterone and have experienced some clitoral growth,” says Sloane. 

If you don’t have a partner but you're intrigued, fear not. “You can jerk off with this dildo, too,” according to Sloane. “If you use one hand to cover the hole, you can create a similar seal to the body so that when you stroke the dildo with another, the air stimulates your clit.” 

4. Blush Novelties Avant P1 Pride Freedom Dildo 

$49.99
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Babeland

When I first saw this dildo, I admit I found the coloring a little extra. But one evening I was looking for a perfect intermediate dildo to harness up with, and at 1.5 inches in diameter and 6 inches long, the Blush Novelties Avant P1 Pride Freedom Dildo was a perfect pick. It’s been part of my dildo rotation ever since.

“What’s great about the Blush Novelties Avant Pride P1 Freedom Dildo is that it’s made of a firm silicone and has a suction-cup base,” says Sloane. Both factors make it great for anyone looking for a dildo to ride during solo play. “You can suction it to the side of a tub or chair and lower down onto it for some solo rider-on-top action,” she says. 

If you have a long-distance lover, Sloane says, “attaching the dildo to a wall mirror, backing up onto the dildo, and taking a selfie over your shoulder makes a really great visual gift for your partner.” Hot, right? 

5. New York Sex Toy Collective Shilo

$167.99
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Babeland

“People may want to wear a realistic-looking dildo for all sorts of reasons, including to affirm their gender,” Sloane tells HelloGiggles. “And people may want to receive a realistic dildo because the aesthetic of biological penises turns them on.” 

If that’s you, and you’re looking for a reasonably priced realistic dildo, I recommend anything from New York Sex Toy Collective, which creates high-quality dildos in a wide variety of sizes and skin tones. “The products are made of a dual-density silicone that gives an incredibly lifelike feel,” says Sloane. “And they all feature a posable core, which allows you to bend the dildo into a packer or model it to best hit your partner’s internal hot spots.” 

My personal favorite of all their offerings is the Shilo. At 1.6 inches in diameter and 6.5 inches long, it’s big enough to create big-time pleasure but small enough that I still feel in control of the dildo when I wear it. (When I wear New York Sex Toy Collective's larger options, Leroey and Carter, in any position other than missionary, I often feel the dildo is controlling me and not the other way around).