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Vibrator Guide: materials, designs and power sources

For stimulation of the vagina, the common vibrator sex toy or vibrating dildo is the most well known, popular and widely available of adult toys. Vibrating stimulators have helped countless women achieve orgasm with a significant degree of reliability.

Vibrators can come in a variety of shapes and forms. Many are based on the simple phallus and consist of a dildo 6-8 inches long, 1-2 inches in diameter and made of plastic or rubber, with a motor inside that you control. Some are made for external stimulation, and their shape and size varies.

Here we take a look at the most widely available designs, and the materials used in their construction. More detailed information and photographs are available by clicking links for each type of vibrator listed here.

Vibrator Designs

Most vibrators have a shape or feature designed to do a certain job, just like specialists.

Below are brief descriptions of each type of specific vibrator - with links to more information.

Standard / Classic / Cheap
This is your straight forward vibrating dildo. This is the basic kind you see with straight shaft, a knob on the bottom, and a rounded tip for penetrating. Some of these are straight and firm, while others are flexible. Simple ripple and bump patterned vibrators could also be considered standard.

Mini / Small
This could be any really small vibrator, whether it's a pocket rocket, or a vibrating bullet with a remote control pack. For minimalists, vibrating bullets are small sextoys that can do big things, because there's no rubber cover to dampen the vibrations. Pocket rockets are self contained small vibrators that you can take anywhere, for powerful stimulation of the clitoris.

Large / Big / Huge / Giant / Monster
Of course there are a few longer or larger girth vibrators out there, some are realistically large, while others are extreme. Be careful not to get a vibrator that's bigger than you can handle, a little large is good, but you don't want to hurt yourself.

Clitoris Pumps and Vibes
These sex toys are quite popular, and no wonder since they focus on the sensitive clitoris zone. Most of these cup over the upper vagina / clitoris with a small rubber piece, and some have a pumping mechanism to create intense sensations.

Rotating Rabbit Vibrators
A multifunction rotating rabbit sex toy can penetrate and vibrate like a normal vibrator, but they also have rotating and / or moving parts. These are versatile, deluxe vibrators that can do several jobs at once, to help women derive maximum pleasure from a device that can be used with one hand.

Anal / Rectal
There are quite a few anal vibes with shapes like butt plugs, anal beads and slim wands all designed for that sensitive area. You should consider using some anal lube with any of these vibrators.

Realistic / Life-like
Any vibrator with balls, a head or veins on the shaft falls under this category. Some life like ones even have pubic hair above the shaft. Some people prefer a realistic looking vibrator to the standard shapes, others would prefer to have a vibrator or dildo that is not representative of an actual penis.

High Tech
These vibrators have more sophisticated circuits, so instead of just fast and slow vibration, you have the option of vibrating patterns. The number of rhythmic patterns varies with the model. Impulse is a common brand name programmed vibrator. It's difficult to explain the different cycles and patterns of vibration, you have to feel them.

Wearable / Vibrating Panties
These vibrators are worn either using a harness with straps that hold the sex toy in place, or in the form of vibrating panties. The wearable harness style vibrators usually place a vibrator unit on the clitoris, but some also have probing / penetrating parts. Some kinds of vibrating panties and harness vibrators come with wireless remote controls.

Bendable / Flexible
This can encompass a wide variety of vibrators, including ones that look and work like tongues, vibrating clitoris pumps, fukoku gloves, or vibrating ben wa balls and a number of other sex toys that vibrate. These types of vibrators defy easy categorization, like the double vibrator for lesbians or a vibrator with a solid base. Some of these are difficult to find or rare, while others, like the clitoral vibe, or nipple vibrator are for a specific body part.

Waterproof
Most types of vibrators listed above are available in a waterproof version that is sealed for use in the tub or shower. The addition of a bit of warm (or hot) water to the vibrating sex toy experience is awesome. Depending on the the design, it's usually just a seal or gasket that keeps water away from the batteries and motor.

G-spot
There's a few sex toys with a gentle curve to access the g-spot area inside the vagina. You can also find flexible wands with the vibrator at the tip, which can be bent to access the grafenberg spot also.

Odd Shaped Stimulators
Some kinds of vibrators are made in a non-traditional shape, like an animal or fantasy creature. Most vibrating sex toys of this sort are made for external stimulation.

Electric Massager
These electrical vibrators are made for using on muscles or external body parts only. You plug them into a wall, and they usually have several features designed for sore backs and shoulders, that can be used on the upper vaginal and clitoral area. Care must be taken to keep them away from water.

Remote Control
There are a number of vibrators you can buy that have a remote control. You can get really creative using the remote in public. There are wireless and wired models, both internal and external.

Novelty Sex Toys
There are two kinds of novelty vibrators. One kind is decent quality with some added gimmick, like flashing lights. The other kind of novelty is basically a cheaper 'gag gift' sex toy, with a funny shape like Santa Claus or George Bush.

Sybian Machine
These large and expensive sex toys are like pieces of gymnastic equipment with a vibrator protruding. Several designs exist, but most employ some combination of vibration and motion, and are known to produce intense, orgasm inducing waves of pleasure.

Here's a page we've added recently featuring vibrators designed by Sue Johanson, well known sex therapist person.

Common Materials

Jelly
Soft and squishy rubber that's commonly found as a coating over hard plastic or other rubbers. The jelly is relatively smooth, but can be textured. This material is somewhat porous, often transparent or semi-transparent and found in any color. Jelly is often scented with sweet, fruity scents to mask it's rubbery smell.

Plastic
This is a common exterior material in many cheaper vibrators, and a few more expensive models. Of course plastic is a part of almost every sex toy, in various components, like the battery compartment and controls.

Metal
There are a few metallic vibrator designs, most simple and straight shafted in polished gold or silver metallic colors. The thin metal shell of these works well to transmit the vibrations inside, much like with a vibrating bullet.

Rubber
Usually semi-firm, smooth and relatively inexpensive. Colors in the realistic skin tone spectrum of black, white and mulatto, as well as the bright colors of the rainbow. Plain rubber can be very smooth or textured in different ways. Rubber vibrators will always be around, but these days they aren't as common as the jelly rubber models.

Life Like
Materials like cyberskin, UR3, and organic (click here for examples) are specially blended synthetic rubbers that feel like human skin. Available in a variety of human flesh tones, but also sometimes in bright colors for sex toys as well.

Silicone
This is usually the best vibrator sex toys material, and the most expensive. It's odorless, hypoallergenic, and easy to clean, because it's non-porous. Also important, it contains no phthalates (chemicals some people are sensitive to). Silicone can have a clear or milky translucent color by itself, or it can be tinted with any color desired. The lack of strong rubbery smell makes silicone a great material for sex toys that will be used in conjunction with oral sex.

Power Sources

Batteries - By far the most common power source, battery powered vibrators usually take 2 'AA' batteries, but a growing number use 4 'AA' cells for power. Some small vibrator models use 'AAA' cells, and some wireless micro bullets use a stack of watch size batteries. There are a couple of large vibrators that have heavy 'C' cell batteries to power larger motors.

NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries are great for delivering lots of power time (mah - milliamp hours) and for holding a charge well over time. These rechargeable batteries are preferable for vibrator use to NiCad, which won't hold a charge as long.

A good 'AA' battery charger is handy for many sex toys, and also for TV remotes, cameras etc.

Rechargeable and AC Electric
These oversized, industrial strength vibrators plug into your home's AC electrical current, most to recharge, but some draw power directly. Never ever use these electrical massager / vibrators near a bathtub or other water source that could cause electrocution and DEATH. Sybian machines that a woman rides on are also powered with AC.

USB
Recently a few models have been adapted to take power from a computer's USB port. Instead of needing batteries, you just tap into the power of the computer you have nearby. If you don't see yourself near a computer with your vibrator, these aren't for you.

Solar Powered
These vibrators use the sun to recharge the battery pack. I can't really think of who exactly these appeal to, but I guess it makes some sense. Solar powered vibrators are not too common (yet), a couple of online stores do have them though.

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