How to Choose a Dildo

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How to Choose a Dildo

Choosing the right dildo comes down to three key elements:

  1. Picking a dildo material that works for you
  2. Deciding what you want to do with your dildo
  3. Choosing a shape, size, and color of your dildo

As you click through the pages below you’ll see lots of examples of dildos, and get tips on some of the things to consider when choosing a dildo.

Choosing a dildo material: Silicone dildos

Silicone dildos that are made of 100% silicone are the best quality dildos available and are highly recommended if they are in your budget.

Silicone is recommended as a dildo material because:

  • silicone is clean, strong, and durable
  • silicone is non-porous and can be boiled in water
  • silicone retains temperature and transmits vibrations very well
  • silicone is available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes

Silicone is an ideal choice if you are concerned about allergies or reacting to toys in any way. You can now get silicone that feels hyper realistic (like cyberskin dildos, but safer, cleaner, and more durable).

The only drawback to silicone dildos is that they are more expensive (generally between $40-$100), and out of reach for many of us.

Also you shouldn’t use silicone based lubricants on silicone dildos, as it may permanently damage your dildo. Water based lubricants are fine to use with silicone dildos.

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Dildo Material: Jelly Rubber Dildos

Jelly rubber dildos.

Jelly rubber dildos are very inexpensive and available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. They have a resilient bouncy feel to them.

The only benefit of jelly rubber dildos is that they are inexpensive. If you aren't sure what size and shape you want buying an eighty dollar silicone dildo can be risky.

But jelly rubber dildos are currently made of inferior quality material, and many of them contain phthalates a chemical that has been linked to health problems in other products and situations. For this reason if you use jelly rubber dildos it is recommended that you always use latex condoms.

You can use water based lubricants and silicone based lubricant with jelly rubber dildos, but you should never use oil based lubricants as they will damage the dildo.

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Dildo Materials: Cyberskin Dildos

Dildos made of "cyberskin" and "UR3".

Cyberskin is actually a brand name from one company, Topco. But it has become to be used as a general term for dildos that are made of a very soft, lifelike material intended to mimic real skin and the density of a real penis.

The only reason to choose a cyberskin dildo is for the feel of it. Most cyberskin dildos have a soft outside but firm core, which really can feel like a penis. Of course not everyone wants a dildo that feels like a penis, but if you’re going for realism, cyberskin does fit the bill.

The main drawback of cyberskin is that it is not durable, and is very difficult to keep clean. Cyberskin tears easily (so it’s not recommended for harness use) and because it is very porous, it can be hard to get it clean.

Even though the Topco manufactured cyberskin does not contain phthalates it is still recommended that you use condoms on cyberskin to keep them clean.

Water based lubricant is recommended for use with cyberskin dildos.

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Dildo Materials - Metal, Glass, Acrylic

Dildos made of glass, metal, and acrylic.

Dildos are also available in a variety of hard materials, including metal dildos, glass dildos and acrylic/plastic dildos. These dildos tend to be beautiful looking, and are often handmade by artisans rather than mass manufactured in a rubber factory.

Whether the dildo is metal, glass, or acrylic, the benefits of hard dildos include durability (as long as you don’t drop them), safety (because they are not porous they are easy to keep clean), and look. They also provide a different kind of intense stimulation, because they don’t bend when inserted in the body, and as such they are good for g-spot stimulation or pressure stimulation at any internal point.

The drawback to dildos made of hard materials is that they don’t have any give, and some people find them too intense. Also, glass and acrylic toys may break when dropped on hard surfaces.

In general hard dildos like these are not recommended for use in a harness.

You can use water based lubricant or silicone based lubricant on glass, metal, and plastic dildos, although you may find that silicone based lubricant doesn't adhere to the toy and water based is easier to use.

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Dildo Function: Harness Compatible Dildos

Dildos with a flared base designed for harness use.

Choosing the best dildo depends on what you want to use it for. If you want to use your dildo in a dildo harness, there are three things to make sure you look for in a dildo:

  • make sure your dildo has a wide flared base
  • make sure your dildo is firm and flexible enough for use in a harness
  • it is recommended to get a dildo that is at least five inches long

If you are using your dildo in a harness you don’t need to use the whole length, but a dildo that’s too short can be annoying in a harness. It is also better to get a firmer dildo for harness use, although metal, glass, and acrylic dildos are not recommended for harnesses. Silicone dildos are ideal for harness use, if they are in your price range.

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Dildo Function: Vaginal or Anal Penetration

Dildos safe for anal use.

For your dildo to be safe for anal use it must have:

  • no seams
  • no sharp edges or corners
  • a wide flared base to prevent it from slipping into the rectum

Dildos tend to be made with vaginal penetration in mind, but providing your dildo has the above design features, it is likely also safe for anal penetration.

If you are buying a dildo that you want to use for both anal and vaginal penetration, you’ll need to use condoms on your dildo, or buy a silicone dildo and be sure to boil it in water between the time that it is used vaginally and anally.

Anal dildos tend to be smaller, and start small at the tip getting gradually larger. But as long as your toy has a flared base and is smooth, you should be able to use it anally, even if it isn’t packaged as an anal dildo. Read more about anal sex toy safety.

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Dildo Function – Double Dildos

Different styles of double ended dildos.

Double ended dildos are designed for simultaneous double penetration. They can be used for vaginal or anal penetration, and they can be used by men or women. Better quality double ended dildos are made of silicone and have a curve to them that facilitates greater movement and physical closeness. You can also find inexpensive double ended dildos made of jelly rubber.

Double ended dildos are never the perfect toy you want them to be, and the best way to describe them is that they require some sense of humor. They can be fun, but there are usually some awkward rhythms that need to be addressed. Double ended dildos can also be used for solo play where the other end is just a convenient handle rather than being used for penetration.

Some of the curved double ended dildos are designed for use in a harness, where they will provide penetration for the person wearing the harness and for the person on the “receiving” end.

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Dildo Shape and Design

Different shaped dildos.

The shape of dildo that you choose depends mostly on personal preference and function.

Some dildos look like realistic penises, some look like animals or goddesses, or ice cream cones. Dildos can be shaped for g-spot stimulation, for prostate stimulation or completely straight.

If this is your first dildo you may want to start with something generic, or if you know you like a certain kind of stimulation, look for something that is recommended for that use.

If you are going to be using your dildo on someone else, remember to think about what they like, and you may want to avoid the more unusual shapes, as it might hinder the amount of movement you can have when using the dildo on a partner.

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Dildo Size

Dildos come in an almost infinite variety of sizes.

Obviously dildo size is a matter of personal preference above all else. If you have no idea what size you want, start small, but not too small.

Don’t worry about getting a toy that is too long, you don’t need to use the entire length of the dildo. But if you get a dildo that’s too wide, it’s game over, possibly.

The size of dildo someone wants can change, not just over time, but even during sex play. As you become more aroused, and more relaxed, you may want something larger for penetration. For this reason a lot of people have more than one dildo, in different sizes. There are some inflatable dildos available, although most of them are of suspect quality.

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Choosing a Dildo Color

Silicone dildos come in many colors.

Some people wonder why anyone would care about the color of a dildo, and others buy their dildos to match the paint color in their bedroom.

Color may not matter to you, but if it does, the good news is that most dildos come in a range of colors. Silicone dildos will give you the biggest choice. Sometimes, for people who feel strange about using dildos as if they are a substitution, it makes it easier to get a dildo color that is completely unlike any human skin tone (think hot pink, or deep blue). Either way, this consideration is purely aesthetic as the color of the dildo has no impact on its function.