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Which Vibrator is Best ?

Vibrators are economical entertainment.

Sex toy marketers offer dozens of vibrators. Which one is best? That depends on you, and maybe your lover, and on the kind(s) of stimulation you enjoy.

All vibrators contain motors that produce pleasurable vibrating sensations in the genitals and around the body. Beyond that, vibrators vary tremendously. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, and have different power sources.

Some vibrators are realistic-looking erect penises. Others are larger-than-life penises or more abstract cylinders that may or may not resemble penises.

G-spot stimulators have curved tips that enable women to reach their G-spots, something difficult to accomplish with one's own fingers. The G-spot is located an inch or two inside the vagina on the front wall--the top if a woman is on her back. About the size of a quarter, the G-spot is an area of erectile tissue similar to the tissue inside the penis. During sexual arousal, G-spot tissue swells and protrudes a bit from the vaginal wall. When rubbed or pressed, many women (but not all) find G-spot stimulation highly erotic.

Ball-top vibrators are wands capped by a vibrating ball, typically the size of a plum. The world's most popular vibrator is a ball-top model, the Hitachi Magic Wand.

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Bullets are mini-vibrators. Bullets are typically too small to house the motor and battery. These elements reside in a separate unit. Small and compact, bullets are a good choice for travel.

Double-shaft vibrators have a small extra protrusion extending from the middle of the shaft for clitoral stimulation while the main shaft is inside the vagina.

Tongues resemble phallic vibrators, but the tip flattens out to a tongue shape. Turn it on, and the tongue wags back and forth for a reasonable approximation of cunnilingus.

Butterflies are pancake-shaped. They are not inserted, but rather pressed into the vulva and clitoris. They often include straps that wrap around the thighs to hold them in place.

Vibrator materials include hard or soft plastic, jelly (like gummy-bear candies), or Cyberskin, a plastic material that feels similar to human skin.

Vibrators use one of three power sources: disposable batteries, rechargeable batteries, or wall current. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Battery-powered vibrators generally weigh less than plug-in vibes. They are also more versatile. They can be used where wall current is unavailable: in cars, boats, movie theaters, ferris wheels--use your imagination. But the batteries must be changed or recharged periodically, and may lose power when you want it most. Wall current vibrators generally have more powerful motors so they deliver more intense sensations. But they weigh more than battery models Models powered by rechargeable batteries are generally more powerful than disposable-battery models, but less powerful than plug-ins.

Some vibrators have only one speed. Others are multi-speed. Smaller more portable vibrators tend to have just one speed.

Most vibrators are not waterproof. Because of the danger of electric shock and short-circuiting, they should not be used around water. However, waterproof vibrators' electrical components are sealed within the housing, and can be great fun in a pool, hot tub, or shower.

Vibrator "kits" include a basic cylindrical vibe and attachments that alter its look and the sensations it provides.

While most vibrators are used by women solo, surveys show that about 10 percent of American couples now use vibrators in partner sex. Lovers can take turns using vibrators on each other for whole-body massage. For genital play, many women insist on handling the vibrator themselves--the clitoris is very sensitive to touch, especially the intense sensations vibrators provide. The same goes for the penis, scrotum, and anus. But while women--or men--press the vibe where it provides intense pleasure, they often enjoy being held and caressed by their lovers.

There is no "best" vibrator for everyone. Personal preferences differ, which is why sex toy marketers offer large selections. But factors to consider include: shape, size, material, insertability, your fantasies, the power supply, and whether or not you want it waterproof. Start with a model you find aesthetically pleasing that meets your needs for size, shape, power supply, etc. From there, consider adding others to your collection. Surveys show that most vibrator users own one or two, but many women/couples own several.

Compared with other forms of entertainment, vibrators are quite economical. For less than the price of a restaurant dinner, a vibrator can provides hours--or weeks, even years--of erotic pleasure.

San Francisco journalist Michael Castleman, M.A., has written about sexuality for 36 years. more...

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