Sex Toy Types – A Complete Guide To The Most Common Toys

What are the most common sex toys to be aware of?

Entering the world of sex toys can be pretty daunting at first. It’s a massive global market, and the choice available is truly staggering – you could literally go your entire life using a different toy each day and never scratch the surface of what’s available!

If you’re looking for an introduction of what kinds of sex toy are available, or just want to revise a bit of what you already know, read on for a guide to the main types of sex toy.



When most people think of a sex toy, the object that probably first comes to mind is a dildo. It’s an absolute classic, and people have been using them for thousands of years; the oldest example was found in Germany, and is believed to be around 30,000 years old! F

or those thinking that sex toys are a modern invention, think again – people have been having sex and exploring sexual pleasure since the very beginning of our existence.

Dildos are quite simple; they are objects which are designed for penetration, either vaginal or anal. They are sometimes shaped to resemble a real penis, but not always! They are available in an incredibly wide variety of styles, both lifelike and fantasy.

They can be small, at just a few inches in length, to absolutely massive at over a foot. They are often made from silicone, rubber, glass, and even stainless steel! 

A dildo isn’t generally a toy that you’ll just have one of, although of course you have to start somewhere. Part of the beauty of having so much choice is that you can explore, and find out what works perfectly for you!

Dildo’s can vary a lot in terms of price; you can get cheap ones for just a few dollars, but you can also spend hundreds on handmade options. Some can look like works of art, and can make great gifts!

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The vibrator is another extremely versatile type of sex toy, albeit slightly more sophisticated and complex than the dildo.

Generally speaking, a vibrator is any sex toy which – you guessed it – vibrates. That could be a vibrating insertable device, a clitoral vibrator, or a vibrating cock ring, among many others. 

The history of the modern electric vibrator is far more recent than that of the dildo – the first versions were developed by a British doctor in the 1880s as a medical device!

Since then, it has become one of the most popular sex toys in the world, with over 50% of women in the US stating that they have used one at least once, and over 30% of men having tried it out.

Although a lot of vibrators are operated through controls on the device itself, with the rapid advance of technology, more and more options are being released that can be controlled via apps or small controllers.

This means that should you so desire, you can have your partner operate the toys from anywhere in the world, helping you to maintain some sense of romantic proximity! With the advance of AI, interactive sex toys are becoming increasingly complex, and the future is sure to hold a lot of exciting developments.

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Clitoral Vibrators

One of the many variations of the vibrator is the clitoral vibrator. Some people use them as a foreplay device, or for edging – the technique where you are brought close to orgasm multiple times, but back off each time, so that the build-up develops into a truly intense finale.

Some people, especially those who find penetration uncomfortable, use them as a one tool arsenal, and can have incredibly intense sexual experiences! 

They are most often solely designed for external use on the clitoris; one increasingly popular variation is the clit sucking vibrator, a type of vibrator with a cup that gently sucks the clitoris, increasing blood flow and sending gentle pulses, which can be controlled either via a remote or with the toy itself!

Again, these can either be used for edging and foreplay, or for those who are particularly fond of clitoral stimulation, as a very effective total-package sex toy!

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Classic Vibrators

The classic vibrator is designed for penetrative use, although it can be used for external stimulation as well. They can be smooth and wand like in shape, or have more of a ‘natural’ aesthetic.

They come in a wide variety of sizes, with the average being around 6 inches. More powerful options tend to be powered via a cable, although as battery technology progresses, surprisingly powerful cordless options are entering the market! 

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Wand Vibrators

Wand vibrators (also known as magic wands) are another incredibly versatile type of vibrator. Wand vibrators are generally designed for external use, and tend to feature a large handle with a quite rounded tip – some options come with changeable tips, facilitating internal or more area specific use.

Magic wands tend to have larger motors, which operate at a lower frequency, creating a type of vibration that some people may prefer to the higher frequencies of smaller vibrators. 

While wands are designed to be used primarily on the clitoris, they are extremely versatile, and can be used to stimulate any part of the body that you desire.

They can even be used for massages, either as part of foreplay or just to get knots out of your muscles after a long week! They really are a great toy to have as part of your arsenal.

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G-spot Vibrators

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Another very popular type of vibrator is the G-spot vibrator. The G-spot vibrator is designed for insertion, although it can also be used externally should you wish!

They generally have a curved shaft for increased ease of access, and come in many different sizes and shapes. They can be remote operated, and either powered via cable or battery.

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Cock Ring

The cock ring is another sex toy with a long history. They are thought to have been popular in ancient Greece, Rome, and China, and may have been around as long as 3000 years ago! The most basic cock ring is simply a ring that sits around the shaft of the penis, either in front of the balls or behind them.

Some versions have two rings, which can be worn both in front of and behind the testicles at the same time.

The rationale behind cock rings is that through the maintenance of blood flow to the penis, the wearer can experience stronger erections for longer.

It’s important that the ring is the correct size though – too big and it won’t be effective at all, too tight and it will be uncomfortable and counter productive, as it will cut off blood flow.

Nowadays, cock rings frequently combine with a small vibrating part, which stimulates both the penis on which it is worn, and anyone that the penis enters, essentially turning the penis into a vibrator.

Cock rings are often very affordable, although of course more expensive versions with remote controls and more complex functions are also available.

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Masturbation Sleeves & Fleshlights 

Masturbation sleeves (or pocket pussies) are a very popular type of sex toy for those with penises! While many people will know them as fleshlights, Fleshlight is actually a brand of masturbation sleeve, not the name of the device itself.

Masturbation sleeves are fairly self explanatory – they are sleeves into which you place your penis and masturbate with! 

While basic models are quite simple, just comfortable holes to place your member in, as with everything else, advances are making them a lot more complex and pleasurable. You can find models that can link up to VR, with temperature control, remote operated movement, and vibrations.

A lot of people choose to make their own homemade masturbation sleeves – a quick google will provide you with plenty of affordable inspiration!

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Butt Plugs

Butt plugs are a type of sex toy that is specifically designed for the anus. They are often used as a way to introduce people to anal play, and can help teach the body to accept foreign objects, and in time to stretch the anus safely.

In addition to being a training aid, they can be incredibly pleasurable to use! There are heaps of nerves in the anus, and stimulating them in a safe and gradual manner can be truly amazing. 

The main difference between using a dildo in your anus and butt plugs is that butt plugs aren’t meant to be taken in and out constantly.

They are normally meant to go in and then stay there for as long as the wearer feels comfortable, then taken out. They generally have a flared base so that they don’t get lost up there, and will have a small handle in order to safely facilitate their removal.

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Sex Furniture & Cushions

There is an incredibly wide variety of furniture which has been designed to facilitate sex positions, some of which are incredibly inventive! The most common is probably the sex cushion. Sex cushions are generally wedge shapes, which can be lain on or sat on in various ways in order to make new positions more comfortable, or help you relax and achieve deeper, more pleasurable penetration.

Other common examples are sex beds and queening benches. Sex beds tend to have restraint loops at various points, and are popular in the BDSM community. Queening benches are small chairs with an opening in the bottom, which are used to make facesitting and oral sex more comfortable and exciting! 

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BDSM Sex Toys

While this is a very broad genre of sex toys, it isn’t one that should be left out of an introductory guide! From furry handcuffs to gags, there are literally hundreds of BDSM toys that can be incorporated into your sex life.

You don’t have to go full leather clad BDSM warrior straight away – you can just take the aspects you like, whether it’s restraint of types of role play, and take it as far as you like! 

Historically, the BDSM community has been considered a fringe community, but with sexual taboos constantly being broken down, it’s becoming more and more accessible and accepted. Have a look at what’s available, and you’re sure to find something that inspires you!

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Although not a sex toy per se, lubricant (or lube) is one of the most important and useful items to facilitate both sex and the use of sex toys.

Without lube, many toys like dildos and vibrators will be painful rather than pleasurable, and can leave rashes and marks. Although the body produces lube naturally, it is often not enough, especially not for powerful vibrating toys. It really does make a world of difference, and isn’t something to be saved on.

There are three general categories of lube – water based, silicone based, oil based, and hybrids. Water based lubes are generally the most versatile – they can be used with most materials, including silicone and latex. They decrease the risk of condoms splitting, which make sex even safer!

Water-based lubes are however less heavy duty than oil and silicone, and are absorbed by the body, meaning that reapplication is generally necessary for longer sessions.

Silicone based lubes last longer than water based, and can feel incredibly soft. They shouldn’t be used with other silicone toys though, as they can break down the surface, making them harder to clean and less comfortable to use.

Oil based lubes last a long time, and are great if you don’t fancy reapplying during sessions. There are some downsides though; oil lubes can make condoms more prone to tearing, and are also linked to higher chances of infection.

It can also stain clothing and sheets, so if you’re not into clean ups, maybe steer clear!

When using butt plugs, dildos, and vibrators, it’s especially important to use a lot of lubricant. While you can use too little, you can’t really use too much, so don’t be shy, apply lots and enjoy how smooth it feels!

Check with whatever sex toy you’re using that you’re using an appropriate lube, so as to be sure you won’t damage it or yourself.

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