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Learning how to use a dildo or other sex toys is as personal and individual as learning what turns you on and gets you off. You might find in your exploration that your favorite toy vibrates or provides suction. You might find that you prefer to use toys with a partner but like your own five fingers when you're alone.

Whatever you find, as long as you're getting what you want out of it and everyone is having fun, you're doing it right. Let's dive into the types of dildos you might be interested in trying, some examples of fun you can have flying solo or with a partner, as well as best practices for safety and hygiene.

Types of dildos

Dildos are for penetration. They’re a type of sex toy designed to go inside, whether it's going inside a vagina or anus. It's phallic, but doesn't have to look like an anatomical penis to get the job done (although it can if that's what you're into). In fact, there are a lot of non-penis-shaped designs that can hit the g-spot or a-spot (a lesser-known pleasure zone close to the cervix) more easily than a typical "realistic dildo."

Dildos can range in length and girth to accommodate different types of pleasure, and they also come in various styles. There's the aforementioned penis style, but there are also swirly styles, a slightly curved style (to hit those special spots), bumpy or higher vaginal stimulation styles, and really too many others to mention.

A standard dildo doesn’t move or vibrate, but you can also find vibrator/dildo combos, which can simply be vibrating dildos or tickler-dildos like the rabbit or other similar styles. You might plan to use a dildo in partner play, in which case you may want one that fits into a strap-on or a double dildo for double penetration (usually of two vulvas).

How you plan to use your toy will help you determine the right dildo for you, so read on for all the fun ways to use one.

How to use a dildo for solo play

In solo play, it might take a little bit more effort to get your juices flowing. That's what good lube and sexy stories are for. Make this first experience an immersive solo sex experience: seduce yourself by creating a mood, dimming the lights, and lighting a scented candle to get yourself into the mindset.

Beginners will want to start slow with a dildo on the smaller side. Believe us, it's easy to get carried away when you see the array of options at the sex shop, but remember, it's all about how you work it, so don't buy a double extra-large dildo on your first visit.

If you plan on masturbating in bed, then you'll likely just hold your dildo in your hand. Use lube either on yourself, on the dildo, or both to make insertion easier, and slowly explore the terrain. You might find that you like to pull the toy in and out, twist and swirl it while inside, or something else.

You might find that you want both hands so that you can achieve penetration and clitoral stimulation at the same time. If this is the case, you might consider a tickler/dildo combo, something like the rabbit that has a dildo component and the "ears" for the external clitoris.

For a-spot or g-spot stimulation, you'll want deep thrusting and might consider a suction cup dildo. A suction cup dildo is exactly what it sounds like: a dildo with a suction cup on the other end. These work best on tile in the shower or a mirror because those surfaces hold suction the best. Using a suction cup dildo can be a fun experience, so even if sticking it to a mirror isn't your primary masturbation mode, it might be fun to have the option. You can stand against a mirrored or tiled wall or try to back in, doggy-style. The fun thing about using a suction cup dildo is being able to position it wherever you want and at whichever angle you want for maximum enjoyment.

You might also consider buying a sex pillow designed to be a toy mount for a hands-free penetrative experience that doesn't require a surface that can be suctioned.

How to use a dildo with others

Whether you're with a partner or in a group sex sesh, adding toys into the mix is almost certainly a good idea. This is true, even when there are penis owners in the mix. Dildos aren't just for vulva owners. In fact, tons of penis owners enjoy a good pegging or butt plug. In fact there are toys made for prostate pleasure (aka, the male g-spot), and we're here for it.

Dildos designed for use in a strap-on typically have a flared base so that it stays in the harness securely. Again, they can be any shape, and as you and your partner explore the possibilities, you might find that the best dildo for anal play is different than the best dildo for vaginal sex. Some strap-ons have a little pocket in the front to place a bullet vibrator so that the wearer can get clitoral stimulation while using the dildo on their partner.

But even if a penis-having partner isn't into receiving anal sex, they can certainly use dildos or other sex toys on their partners as part of foreplay, to assist in reaching orgasm, or even to double penetrate a consenting partner (that means front and back)!

Many, many vulva owners enjoy external stimulation while being penetrated, or even require it to reach orgasm, so don't be shy about bringing a vibrating toy into the mix. It's also perfectly normal to introduce mutual masturbation into the mix using a dildo or other toy.

Temperature play

Temperature play is a fun way to explore new sensations, stimulating all the nerve endings inside a vagina or anus in a different way than a human or silicone penis can. You can warm up or cool off your toy and see which one you like more. Temperature play is best tried with a dildo made of tempered glass or stainless steel, although it's really important not to go too hot with the steel dildo so you don't accidentally burn yourself.

Glass or steel toys can be put in the fridge or freezer for a cold experience or placed in warm water for a warmer experience. Always test on your warm toy on the inside of your bent knee, elbow, neck, or lower belly before inserting to make sure it's not too hot. Your hands are far less sensitive than other body parts, so they're not a good gauge of temperature for this kind of sexual experience.

Safety and hygiene for body-safe play

Improperly sanitized dildos (and other sex toys) can transmit STIs, especially if they're made from porous materials. Always buy sex toys made from non-porous materials, and stay away from cheap plastics or PVC that could leach chemicals into your bloodstream like phthalates. Prices for dildos and other sex toys range quite a bit, but we wholeheartedly recommend springing for top-quality sex toys. Don't skimp on safety.

The best high-end material that feels closest to skin is silicone. Silicone toys are non-porous, easy to clean, and flexible. If you're looking for something that doesn't resemble skin, your best options are lucite dildos, glass dildos, or stainless steel dildos. All of these materials are non-porous and easy to clean. Non-porous materials don't absorb anything they come into contact with, so once they've been cleaned, they should be good as new.

It's especially important if you're using the same toy for vaginal and anal penetration to clean your toy thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water. You want to make sure that you're not transmitting anything from the latter to the former by accident, as it could cause a UTI or other infection.

If you're in the market for a strap-on, choose one made of cloth that can be machine washed. Leather can be sexy, but it's only a good idea to use it with a fluid-bonded partner (a partner who you’ve explicitly agreed to exchange fluids with without protection, usually a primary partner) who’s been tested for STIs. Leather is both porous and not machine-washable, so it's not good for a threesome or group sex scenario, and it's not ideal for use from relationship to relationship.

Get lube

Lubrication is just as much about safety as it is pleasure. This is especially true for anal play. Anal penetration can result in tiny micro-tears that could make transmitting STIs easier. You always want your insertion to go as smoothly and safely as possible, and a good lube really helps.

If you're at a sex party where there are multiple people using your toy in one session, you'll want to put a condom on your dildo. And if you're using a condom, use a water-based lube. Other lubes are OK with fluid-bonded partners who don't use protection, but oil-based lubes can degrade a condom and allow an STI through. You might not be worried about getting pregnant from a dildo, but you definitely want to avoid STIs from group playtime.

Lubes range a lot in quality, so when you're heading over to the sex shop to buy your dildo, ask if they have lube samples. Tell them it's your first time, and ask for recommendations from the folks behind the counter. Lubes can get pricy, so try a few out before committing to a whole bottle. The best lubes don't get sticky or pill up with a lot of friction. They stay nice and slippery throughout your sex sesh to maximize pleasure.

Let's get into it

Now that you're a dildo expert, it's time to put your expertise into practice. You know how to be body-safe and you know your options for solo and partnered play. Start exploring with a little help from Dipsea. Try starting with one of the stories below. You can thank us later.