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Choosing a vibrator

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

Different strokes for different folks

With so many sex toys out there, choosing what's right for you can be difficult. Here's our guide to picking the best sex toys for your needs.

Top vibrators

Improving sex for women

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, clinical director at the Medical Center for Female Sexuality in New York, is an avid proponent of sex toys. The female sexuality expert, who received a Ph.D. at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, wrote her doctoral thesis on vibrator use in women.

Marcus says:

"The advent of inexpensive and easily available electrical vibrator assistance for women is perhaps the most significant, unheralded, but dramatic development in female sexuality in the last 50 years. A vibrator, whether used alone or with a partner, allows for most women an easy, intense orgasm without any of the stress or anxiety they may feel otherwise. As women age and as more and more women want sex to continue to play an important role in their lives, the vibrator becomes an ever-more-important tool. It seems to me that it is time to take the vibrator out of the closet (or out of the bedroom drawer) and give it the public legitimacy it deserves. This goes for personal lubricants and other products that enhance a woman's sexual experience."

Choosing the best sex toys

Judy L. Hudgins, owner of Slumber Parties by Judy LH, suggests avoiding choosing just one. She recommends getting six: He, She, We, Land, Sea and G.

1"He" toys

These are things like the love glove or super stretch, also known as masturbation sleeves. The idea behind these toys is not to toss it to your partner and go back to sleep, but for you to use the sleeve on your man to change up a regular hand favor. The love glove has a hole for you to slip a bullet into and give your man a buzz -- and they love being buzzed!

2"She" toys

These are typically small and discreet, like a bullet, which is designed for clitoral stimulation only. Look for something that is going to give you the most bang for your buck. Bullets are great, but you must take into consideration a couple things. First, you get what you pay for. That $10 silver bullet sounds great and all your friends love it, but they've also probably had to replace it several times. Second, avoid bullets that have a seam in the middle of them or only have one speed. Seams collect "stuff" and can come apart -- not good! And one speed will get boring very quickly!

3"We" toys

Vibrating C-rings are great We toys. There's a ring for him to wear and a bullet for her clitoral stimulation. The idea is that the vibration desensitizes him (not so that he doesn't feel, but so that he can last longer) and the vibration on her clitoris helps her achieve orgasm faster.

4Land toys

Land toys are your "typical" vibrators, so there is shaft for internal stimulation. Sometimes it rotates, sometimes there are rotating beads or balls in the shaft, and sometimes it just vibrates, with a "branch" to stimulate the clitoris (usually a cute-looking animal).

When choosing this toy, start with the material. Is is soft or hard? Does it stretch or conform to your body? Next, if it applies, look at the internal materials, what are they made of? Pearls typical provide a softer internal stimulation over beads or metal balls. Next, how long is it? Shorter shafts are meant to stimulate the g-spot, while longer shafts are bests for ladies who like deeper penetration.

Then look at the clitoral stimulator. How many "points" is it hitting? Even if the bunny has two ears, they are hitting the same "point" on your clitoris. A hummingbird typically has the beak and wings, so there are three "points" (top and each side). But an elephant can hit five spots (trunk, paws, belly, large ears on each side). More is not necessarily better, but if you are the kind of woman who likes clitoral stimulation or you tend to need more powerful items to get the job done, then you definitely want to get more "points" hit.

Then, count the variations of the toy. Three rotation speeds and three vibration speeds means nine variations. Ten rotation speeds and 10 vibration speeds mean 100 variations. The more variations, the longer you can enjoy the toy because you can have more "new" experiences with it.

And lastly, check the power source. Obviously, three C batteries are more powerful than two AAA batteries.

5Sea toys

Choose sea toys similarly to your land toys (materials, internal, external, etc.) with the exception that you want to look at the waterproof-ness of the toy. Make sure the power compartment has a sealing ring and that it is secure when closed. If the base doubles as a suction cup, be very careful to ensure it doesn't open during use. This is a quick way to waste money.

6The cream of the crop: The "g" toy

And lastly, your g-spot toy. G-spot toys have short shafts, typically three to four inches, and have a "hook" toward the front of your body. These toys are great at helping a woman find the elusive g-spot. It's the longest and strongest orgasm a woman can have, so it's definitely worth the research. If you think you've had a g-spot orgasm, you haven't. If you've had one, you know you've had one.

More on sex toys

10 cute, cuddly vibrators you'll fall in lust with
Report card: Discreet vibrators
Choosing your first sex toy

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