Wellness

The Best Vibrators for Solo Pleasure and Partner Play
Photo courtesy of @natureyoni

The Best Vibrators for Solo Pleasure and Partner Play

The Best Vibrators for
Solo Pleasure and Partner Play

You might have heard on Netflix: It’s called the vulva, not the vagina. And we think the vulva deserves more attention and exploration, maybe with the help of a good vibrator—or two, or three. Whether it’s from solo play or with a partner, sexual pleasure has benefits for mental clarity, concentration, stress relief, and so much more. Unfortunately, there are still barriers to sexual pleasure, particularly for women: shame, cultural conditioning, lack of good sex ed, and a pronounced orgasm gap among heterosexual couples. What can change this? Talking about it, better communication between partners, getting comfortable with asking questions, learning to ask for what we want—and sometimes taking things into your own hands. On that last note, we’ve rounded up the best sex toys for internal and external stimulation, and everything in between.

clitoris clitoris

Illustrations by Emma Berliner

EXTERNAL
STIMULATION

What and where

The clitoris is a sensitive, pea-shaped area of tissue located at the top of the vulva. It can sometimes be hidden behind thin skin called the clitoral hood, which can be pulled back to reveal the clitoris. The clitoris is packed with thousands of nerves, making it a highly sensitive and pleasurable area. Most women achieve orgasm by clitoral stimulation. However, the clitoris isn’t just this small external area; it also extends inside the body, shaped sort of like a wishbone, framing the inside of the vagina. Labia are the thin inner folds of the vulva, and they are often sensitive and pleasurable, too.

How-to

Some women like direct stimulation of their clitoris, while for others, the clitoris can be more sensitive or uncomfortable to touch. If you’re new to clitoral stimulation, you may want to start by first touching the clitoris gently through the clitoral hood using up and down or circular motions. Then you may begin to work your way up to stronger pressure and quicker movements or touch the clitoris directly. Applying a lubricant can also help reduce friction and sensitivity.

Which lube can I use with my vibrator?

Water-based lube can be safely used with sex toys and condoms. Oil-based lubes, however, can cause condoms and sex toys to degrade. Look for a clean, paraben-free lubricant that’s gentle and nonirritating, like this Sliquid organics gel.

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    Sliquid ORGANICS NATURAL goop, $15
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The best vibrators for clitoral stimulation

Palm of your hand

Pom’s soft, flexible body sits comfortably in the palm of your hand, providing targeted clitoral stimulation while hitting the surrounding areas, too, thanks to its long profile and lightweight design. The best feature is that it easily moves with you—just apply pressure with your fingers and it’ll bend, hugging close. Press the top button to cycle through the five patterns and the button underneath to change intensities. Take Pom into a steamy shower to switch things up—every vibrator made by Dame is waterproof. Dame’s products are also all made with smooth, medical-grade silicone and come with USB chargers and pouches, so you can store them discreetly in your nightstand if you’d like.

  1. Dame Products POM VIBRATOR Dame Products POM VIBRATOR
    Dame Products POM VIBRATOR goop, $95
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Blown away

Using “pleasure air” technology, the Womanizer provides air pressure and light vibrations to the clitoris, which feels a lot like oral sex. The toy may be silent, but you may not be—we’ve found it’s a consistent path to an intensely satisfying orgasm.

  1. The Womanizer The Womanizer
    Womanizer The Womanizer goop, $199
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Magic wand

Wands provide a more rumbly, powerful external vibration, which is good for those who need more stimulation to get off. But the issue with most traditional wands is that they need to be plugged into a wall (which limits your range of motion), plus they’re usually heavy and huge. Enter Le Wand Petite: It has all the same power in a smaller size that’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, and it has a flexible neck that bends along with your movements.

  1. Le Wand Le Wand Petite Le Wand Le Wand Petite
    Le Wand Le Wand Petite goop, $135
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Oral care

For those who can’t get enough tongue action, meet The Frenchman by Smile Makers. The flexible tip lightly vibrates and can be flicked around to simulate a delicate licking sensation. It’s great for a teasing buildup, for beginners, or for those who are more sensitive to strong pressure.

  1. Smile Makers THE FRENCHMAN VIBRATOR Smile Makers THE FRENCHMAN VIBRATOR
    Smile Makers THE FRENCHMAN VIBRATOR goop, $55
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vagina vagina

INTERNAL
STIMULATION

What and where

The vagina is the canal that connects the exterior of the vulva to the interior cervix and reproductive organs, aka the birth canal or where penetrative vaginal sex occurs. Some people get the vagina confused as the whole package, but it’s just one part of the vulva.

How-to

The vagina can be stimulated with fingers, penetrative sex, or sex toys. You might try playing with the speed of motion in and out or changing up the angle. Combining internal vaginal stimulation with exterior stimulation can heighten your senses and increase pleasure by stimulating the clitoris internally. (Again, many women do not orgasm from vaginal stimulation alone.)

What is the G-spot?

The G-spot is said to be a bundle of nerve fibers located inside your vagina, toward your belly, about a knuckle deep. But as psychologist Nicole Praise, PhD, told us in The Sex Issue, “There is no spot on the anterior vaginal wall that has a unique anatomy or is consistently placed across women, so there isn’t a standard for finding areas of sensitivity.” In short: We’re all different, and there’s no need to stress about zeroing in on a single spot or conforming to a cultural myth. If you find a particular area that is sensitive or feels good to stimulate, carry on!

The best vibrators for vaginal stimulation

First-timer

If you’re new to internal vibrators, The Tennis Coach provides a gentle introduction. Its rounded head can be inserted and moved on an angle to provide targeted pressure to the vagina as you switch through the four different speeds and two pulsation modes.

  1. Smile Makers THE TENNIS COACH VIBRATOR Smile Makers THE TENNIS COACH VIBRATOR
    Smile Makers THE TENNIS COACH VIBRATOR goop, $55
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Powerful vibrations

The Romantic’s motor provides powerful vibrations deep inside (it’s over seven inches long), while the curved head can be adjusted to hit your most sensitive spots. It’s also lined with ridges, providing unique internal sensations when moved in and out.

  1. Smile Makers THE ROMANTIC VIBRATOR Smile Makers THE ROMANTIC VIBRATOR
    Smile Makers THE ROMANTIC VIBRATOR goop, $89
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Double the pleasure

For those who can’t choose, the Nova by We-Vibe combines both internal and external stimulation and vibrations in a rabbit-shaped vibrator with longer “ears” that are designed to provide constant contact with your body as you move. You can turn the flexible clitoral stimulator’s vibrations on or off. And you can customize your own vibrations and intensity by downloading the We-Connect app. (This one is also bath-friendly.)

  1. We-Vibe Nova We-Vibe Nova
    We-Vibe Nova Vibrator goop, $149
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Does it all

Dame’s newest vibrator, Arc, is a powerhouse. Made with Dame’s strongest motor yet, Arc sends out vibrations that can be enjoyed internally (by inserting the curved length into your vagina) or externally (the bulb-shaped head has five different patterns and speeds).

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    Dame Products Dame Arc goop, $115
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naked couple naked couple

PARTNER PLAY

How-to

Using a vibrator during foreplay or intercourse can help you reach a new level of pleasure. Or for some side-by-side play, you can use a toy on yourself while your partner watches. The motorcycle position strengthens intimacy and can be quite erotic: Have your partner sit behind you, straddling with their legs wide, using a toy on you or kissing your neck while you take things into your own hands. Another tip: You can also use toys on other areas (the nipples, labia, balls…).

The best vibrators for couples

Hands-free

Holding a toy in place while hooking up with a partner can be cumbersome. The flexible “wings” here are meant to be tucked under the labia to help hold the vibrator in place so that all hands are free to support body weight or do whatever else you’d like them to do. It might take some practice and adjusting to find the right position—pull each labium (lip) over one wing at a time. (This is also a good solo option if you don’t like the feeling of vibrations on your hand.)

  1. Dame Products EVA II VIBRATOR Dame Products EVA II VIBRATOR
    Dame Products EVA II VIBRATOR goop, $135
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Friend of foreplay

Finger vibrators, like the Fin, are designed to be effortless, feel natural to wear, and not distract from the moment. Just slide your pointer and middle fingers along the grooves and change the intensity with the power button on top.

  1. Dame Products FIN VIBRATOR Dame Products FIN VIBRATOR
    Dame Products FIN VIBRATOR goop, $85
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EXTRA CREDIT

Some sex toys and accessories deserve a special mention.

handcuffs

Travel companion

This lightweight bullet-shaped vibrator can be worn as a necklace (no one needs to know, but feel free to share the good word). It’s also the perfect travel-size vibrator.

  1. Crave VESPER VIBRATOR NECKLACE Crave VESPER VIBRATOR NECKLACE
    Crave VESPER VIBRATOR NECKLACE goop, $149
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Right angle

Slide the wedge-shaped Pillo Sex pillow under your hips and butt to create new angles during sex. It’s firm yet soft on the surface, and great for discovering new sweet spots.

  1. Dame Products PILLO SEX PILLOW Dame Products PILLO SEX PILLOW
    Dame Products PILLO SEX PILLOW goop, $95
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOUR PLEASURE

  1. OMGYES is a sexual education website that provides videos of women masturbating and information on technique and erogenous zones.
  2. To dive deeper into the benefits of masturbation and vibrators, see our Q&A with sex therapist Stephen Snyder, MD.
  3. Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz, PhD, explores cultural myths holding women back from achieving orgasm and poses practical techniques for pleasure. In our Q&A with Mintz, she addresses the number-one lie about getting laid.
  4. The Sex Issue by goop Press features interviews with experts, personal anecdotes, and more to explore.
  5. Understanding Sex and Female Pleasure is our hub for the deeply curious, with field notes from our Netflix show, The goop Lab.
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