Lez Talk About Sex: A Step-By-Step Guide to Buying Your First Dildo

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know (but been too afraid to ask) about dildo’s.

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You’ve finally built up the courage to walk into your local sex toy shop. As you casually and confidently meander down the aisles dreaming of strap-on sex, you’re greeted by a gorgeous queer woman with blue hair. She asks you, “What can I help you with today?” And you brazenly say, “One dildo, please,” thinking that you’ll be ready to cash out in no time.

But you’re suddenly stopped short of your queer sexy dreams when she asks, “What kind would you like? We have metal, glass, silicone, purple, skin tone, vibrating, pulsating…” Her voice trails off as you spiral into a panic. You quickly realize you came to the sex toy shop unprepared for what kind of dildo you want! And the surmounting options are too overwhelming to even focus on.

That’s why I’m here, babe. To help you navigate this wonderful and pleasurable world of dildos. This step-by-step guide will give you all the answers you need with a breakdown of exactly what you’ll get out of every pleasurable option at your fingertips.

Strap-Happy vs. No Strap

The first decision you have to make about your dildo purchase is whether or not you want this for strap-on purposes or not. If you do, then the dildo will need a flanged base so that it’s able to be held in the harness. If you are looking for a strap-on situation and it’s your first purchase then it might be a good idea to find a package deal — which not only includes a dildo and harness, but also a vibrator for the wearer to also feel pleasure while f*cking. Later on, if you want to get fancy with a leather harness or something of the sort, you can invest in one that is adaptable to many different dildos (this is one of my favorites).

If you prefer a dildo for non-strap purposes, then your options open to to an array of textures, materials, shapes, and more!

Jelly, Elastomer, or Softskin

These materials make very flexible dildos and they are inexpensive options. Jelly and Elastomer are going to feel sticky to the touch and may smell like plastic when you first purchase them. Softskin is made to mimic the feeling of skin and will feel very life-like but is also porous and can have toxic materials, like phthalates, chemicals that can be bad for your body. If you aren’t sure if you’re going to even like sex play with dildos, I would say you can go inexpensive for one of these as they won’t last long but will give you a feel for if you like these sensations. However, these materials are very porous — making them difficult to clean, so you definitely want to wrap all of these options in a condom, babes. Especially because the sex toy industry is not regulated and many of the cheaper toys made out of these materials are not actually body-safe. Which sounds crazy — that retailers can sell us products that may cause serious illnesses in the future — but it’s true. The only way you can ensure your toys don’t have toxic materials is to do the research and find toys or companies that say “body-safe” and “non-toxic.” Which is why we need a more sex-positive and consent focused society, but that’s a whole other conversation for another day. 

Silicone Dildo

This is by far the most popular option when it comes to materials dildos are made out of. Silicone is non-porous and hypoallergenic, easy to clean, and pretty durable. Most silicone toys will last you a long time, unless you rip or tear them! Be careful with silicone-blend dildos as they aren’t the same quality, and it’s likely a blend to decrease pricing and includes materials not body-safe.

Silicone dildos come in all sizes, shapes, and colors — which is covered more below. The most important thing to know about silicone dildos is that you want to wash after every use, either with soap and water or by boiling for 3-5 minutes. If you’re using with multiple partners, put a condom on your toy as sharing toys can also share STIs.

Glass Dildo

I discovered glass dildos late in my sex toy exploration. And I’m sad it took me so long because dildos made out of glass are not only aesthetically pleasing but also give incredible pleasure. For starters, they can be tucked in the freezer to give an amazing sensation as your pussy slowly warms it up throughout play. Or you can heat it up in a bowl of hot water — NEVER microwave your glass dildo as it can hold hot pockets in certain areas and burn your sensitive skin even after you think it’s cooled down. A heated glass dildo can be great to use for massaging all over the body and will feel extra soothing anywhere you put it. It’s important to note that you should always test the temperature on your wrist before playing with a glass toy that you’ve heated or cooled down — if it’s too frozen, it may stick to wet spots on your body. Also, glass toys can shatter when brought to extreme temperatures, so do be careful to not drop it and place it under lukewarm water if you need to neutralize the temperature.

Glass dildos usually aren’t flanged, and so can only be used with manual play. They can come in many different shapes (I have one that looks like an octopus tentacle) which provide incredible stimulation for the user. I’d recommend them for both solo and partner play. To clean these toys, simply wash with soap and water.

Metal Dildo

Last summer when I was attending the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit, I bought my first ever metal dildo. And while these babies are not easy to travel with (they’re incredibly heavy) they are at the top of my list when it comes to favorite toys in my bedside table. The main aspect of metal dildos that sets them apart from the rest is their weight and rigidness. They’re ideal for users who prefer firm (rather than flexible) sensations. You’ll be able to feel the weight in your vagina or anus while using these toys which can make them very intense. I’d recommend starting off slow with your favorite lube — these may not be the best for beginners, but don’t let that stop you from embracing pleasure; just go slow. Great for solo or partner play.

*The same temperature play instructions apply for metal toys. 

Textures, Colors, Shapes Galore! 

You can get something that resembles a penis with color, shape, and texture — which may be an option for trans men or non-binary folks who may feel bodily affirmed by wearing that option. There are also smooth options that come in purple or sparkles — smoother dildos are perfect for anal play as the anus tends to be more sensitive than the vagina when it comes to texture play. If you’re a size queen, you can opt for an large 8-inch dildo. Some people with vaginas really love g-spot stimulation — in which case, you should get a curved dildo. If you’re searching for primarily masturbatory use, I’d recommend getting a rabbit-type dildo that also provides clitoral vibration.

Vibration Play

There are lots of different silicone dildos that will have this added feature of vibration! To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of this as the penetration in-and-out can be enough for me. However, a lot of dildo users love this aspect of play. Dildos can pulsate or twirl around or vibrate — it’s all up to you! And if it gets to be too much stimulation, you can turn the vibration off and use it purely as a dildo.

New Inventions

Sex toy companies are always trying to come up with some new way for our bodies to feel sexual pleasure — which is f*cking awesome. Toys can add such variety into our sex lives, and they also can add a layer of accessibility (if made right) for different bodies. Some of my favorite recent inventions have been the self-erecting Bionic dildo and the harness-free strap-on

The options for your very first dildo are endless — I hope you now feel inspired and empowered to know exactly what you’re looking for the next time you enter a sex toy shop. Never be afraid to embrace your pleasure, babe.