Dildo shopping can be extremely fun and exciting, but it can also be a bit stressful or intimidating. With all the options and resources out there, it can be hard to decide where to start and what to look for in a dildo. For the purposes of this article, I will be recommending dildo brands and products in addition to overall sex toy shopping tips with vulva-owners in mind who have vaginismus or who experience painful intercourse, but this article can still prove to be informative and enjoyable for other readers who do not identify themselves as vulva-owners and/or readers who do not seek treatment for vaginismus. Without further ado…. Let’s talk dildos! 

Ask yourself “What do I Want?”

There are a ton of sex toys out there, which means there are a variety of dildos waiting to be explored! Before rushing off to purchase a sex toy, I would first recommend dildo window shoppers to examine their sexual preferences and ponder what they might be looking for in a dildo.

Questions to ask yourself might include the following:

  • What texture toy would I enjoy?
  • Are there any textures I am not interested in exploring?
  • How much money would I like to spend on a dildo?
  • How long, short, wide, or thin do I want the toy to be?

These kinds of questions can guide you through the process of selecting a dildo that best suits your needs. No matter what characteristics you are looking for in a sex toy, it is very important that you stay within your comfort zone and avoid toys or situations that may be triggering or emotionally distressing. 

Visit A Sex Shop! 

Sex shops can seem intimidating and a tad awkward, but they can also be loads of fun! If you would like to visit a physical store, but the idea of going into one leaves you with some misgivings, you may want to try reframing the sex shop visit in a more positive manner. Try thinking of it as an exciting new journey and an invitation to get to know who you are, as well as what you want. Visiting sex shops allow you to see your options in person, which may provide you with more information than an internet search. There is also the opportunity to speak with employees who work at the shop.

Sex shop employees are often very friendly and accommodating. Though it can seem embarrassing or uncomfortable, I highly recommend that shoppers approach employees. You can ask questions you might have, learn more about suggested brands, and even find out about bargain deals and upcoming sales. Sex shops will sometimes offer college student and military discounts, so if you have a student or military ID, do not forget to bring it along with you. Some stores also advertise their products and incoming merchandise through social media accounts. Those who feel comfortable following adult stores can use these platforms to view more of what the shop has to offer. 

Inviting a very trusted, close friend to come with you to the store may also help alleviate any stress or nervousness and transform the experience into an inviting adventure. If you are considering inviting a friend, ensure first that this friend is supportive and will not make you feel any more worried about shopping at an adult store than you may already be. 

Supporting Small Businesses 

While it may be tempting to hurriedly buy whatever sex toys are available on Amazon, sex toy shopping is also a fantastic opportunity to invest in small/local businesses. I personally prefer to purchase sex toys in person at adult stores; however, in some cases, it is easier to buy toys online, or it may just be that what you are looking for is only available for online purchase. There is a multitude of sites other than Amazon for sex toy shopping, and these sites often have a wider selection to choose from.

Instagram can also be a great resource because the app has a lot of adult store accounts as well as sex-positive influencers who provide their feedback about brands they trust and products they recommend; however, there has recently been an unfortunate push to censor several of these accounts on Instagram, including adult stores and educators. 

Buying sex toys is not only a lot of fun, but it is also an excellent opportunity to support local or independent businesses, putting money back into the community. If you are worried about cost, speak with an employee about what you are looking for and how much you would like to spend. I will warn shoppers that you do get what you pay for, even in the world of sex toys.

Pricier toys may last longer and be made of higher-quality materials. Lower-cost dildos are often made of allergy-inducing PVC. If you have sensitive skin it may be worth it to invest in a toy that you know is only made of body-safe silicone. This would again be a great opportunity to talk to an employee and ensure you are purchasing the safest product for yourself. Read all labels carefully when considering a purchase. The packaging should indicate what the dildo is made of. 

So Many Dildos, So Little Time 

Earlier in the article, I mentioned the stupendous assortment of dildos that exist. In this section, I will be briefly mentioning some different types to help readers identify what’s out there that they would like to try. The appearance alone can vary greatly. One can opt for a circumcised or uncircumcised dildo and even dildos with or without testicles. Aside from appearances, dildo function varies greatly. There are dildos that double up as vibrators and some that can even provide water-based ejaculations. 

Realistic versus Unrealistic Dildos 

While some prefer dildos that are super realistic, others may prefer dildos that do not resemble a human phallus. Perhaps one of the most realistic dildos on the market is created by a company called Sinthetics, which you can visit online at Sinthetics – Sinthetics – Artfully Hand Crafted Silicone Items!. If you have questions about their products you can email them or reach out to the company on Instagram. They are very friendly and usually respond in a timely manner.

What I really like about purchasing with Sinthetics is the extent to which you can customize your order. On the website, clients can pick the particular length, color, and density of the dildo. You have the option of requesting that your custom dildo be  “ultra-realistic,” meaning the dildo was molded with two layers of silicone, resulting in the core of the toy being thicker than the surface.  If you are unsure what color dildo you would like, you can order a silicone skin color sample through the mail on their website at Sinthetics.biz  

Cyberskin dildos are also realistic and can provide softer, gentler sensations when compared to most other dildos. If you dislike using dildos because they feel chilly and a bit unlike partnered PIV, Cyberskin dildos might be for you. One thing to note about these squishy delights is that they can dry out easily. To prevent this, regularly sprinkle the toy with talcum powder, even if you do not plan on using the toy soon. If the dildo becomes dehydrated, tears may result. Remember to also rinse the dildo before each use. 20 Types of Dildos for your Sexual Bucket List | The Sex Blog (theadulttoyshop.com)

For shoppers who are not looking for a realistic dildo, but something a little bit out of the ordinary, there are shops on Etsy that create handmade premium silicone tentacle dildos. Fantasticocks is a highly rated Etsy shop specializing in fantasy sex toys. Shoppers can customize the color of their tentacle dildo. Many come in a beautiful marbled color. I recommend shoppers interested in Fantasticocks read the reviews and look at the attached pictures customers have included of their purchases before you choose what color(s) you’d like. Fantasticocks | Etsy Tentacle dildos are a lot of fun and the suction cups can provide extra stimulation, but for some individuals with vaginismus, using a dildo with an extremely thin tip may cause discomfort upon insertion or during deeper penetration.

These toys also require a little bit more experimentation. Users may discover that the suction cups add pleasure when they are facing away from the vulva, or the reverse might be true. The important thing is to safely explore using the toy and to refrain from forcing the tissues, as this can cause distress and increased uncomfortableness. 

Bad Dragon is another company specializing in fantasy sex toys. They offer perhaps a wider range of products than most Etsy shops. What I like about their products is that you can easily find a fantasy dildo that has a uniform girth, preventing the potential discomfort I discussed earlier when using slender, thinly tipped tentacle dildos. So if you enjoy the look of a tentacle dildo, but your chief complaint is the excruciating pain from insertion caused by having an extremely thin tip, I highly suggest trying out a Bad Dragon product with a single, uniform girth. The company also has tentacle dildos that are not as thin at the top, which may be easier to insert if you experience discomfort upon insertion. Shop our high-quality custom hand-made fantasy sex toys and dildos | Bad Dragon (bad-dragon.com)

If you are in the market for an unrealistic dildo, but tentacle or dragon-themed fantasy dildos are not your thing; there are plenty of other options out there to explore. Glass wand dildos have gained popularity in recent years and are not too hard to find. Many online based clothing stores, as well as kink stores, sell them. Body-safe glass dildos are completely shatterproof and made of Pyrex-style glass. 20 Types of Dildos for your Sexual Bucket List | The Sex Blog (theadulttoyshop.com)

Glass dildos are often used for temperature play because of their cool surface. Other individuals use warming lubricants while inserting glass dildos to increase sensitivity. Many users also appreciate the curve, gliding action, and weight of glass dildos. Steel dildos are similar to glass toys and can also provide added temperature sensations. Most steel dildos are curved into a C to provide increased sensation once inside and to simultaneously stimulate the clitoris. For increased sensation, there are steel dildos with bead formations. Lovehoney.com and sheboptheshop.com have a selection of steel dildos and it may be a great place to start. 

The Fantasy For Her three-in-one oral sex simulator and a vibrating dildo may be marketed for women, but it is a great product all individuals can enjoy. The top half of the toy features a removable suction cup and a fake tongue, while the bottom half features a smooth, slightly bulbous insertable vibrator. Another cool feature to note is that this toy charges through a fast charging magnetic USB. I recommend this toy for those searching for a dildo that also delivers pleasurable vibrations and for anyone who wants to invest in a toy that does more.

The dildo’s wider tip eventually gives way to a thinner shaft. Some users may find this to be more comfortable than dildos with thinner tips and wider shafts. Everybody is exceedingly different, so it is important to consider what might be more comfortable or pleasurable for you specifically. The tip of the dildo also has a little bit of curve to it, allowing users to decide whether they angle the heavier side towards or away from them. The Fantasy for Her is a great candidate for those who want a versatile vibrating dildo that does not look like a realistic phallus or a fantasy-themed toy. Fantasy For Her Her Ultimate Pleasure | Indigo Honey – It’s All About Her 


Firmness may be another factor to consider when looking for the perfect dildo. Some may be intimidated using jelly, steel, or glass dildos because of their hard texture. If you are worried about dildos being too hard or firm for your tastes, thankfully there are other brands and types of dildos to examine. My top recommendation is the super-soft, flexible  Real Supple Silicone Poseable 6” dildo made by Evolved.

This product is very squishy and supple. You can bend it to the desired curve you’d like, which makes it a great candidate for dilating exercises that require more of a stretch to one side. Six inches is the shortest dildo length I have seen available in this dildo series, but you can also purchase lengths at 7, 8, and 10.5 inches.

Evolved products are usually carried at most adult sex stores, but you can also look at their range of products at evolvednovelties.com. Other soft or “gummy” dildos were created to emulate flaccid penises and others come with vibration attachments. To explore other dildos within this subtype, I suggest visiting https://www.theadulttoyshop.com/dildos-vibrators-soft

The Cyberskin dildos mentioned earlier are also softer than many traditional dildos. It may take a little bit of trial and error to determine your preferred firmness. 

Smaller Dildos 

Size is another important consideration when browsing for sex toys. It is very possible to find 5-inch and 3-inch tall dildos. If shopping at a physical store, simply ask an employee where you might find your desired dildo length. To browse small dildos online, I recommend the following link: Small Dildos | 55 Best Mini & Slim Dildos | TheAdultToyShop.com 

Using smaller dildos may help individuals with vaginismus feel more at ease during penetration. For those who feel intimidated or anxious about using bigger sizes, I suggest starting with smaller-sized dildos before proceeding to other sizes, if that is your desired goal. Keep in mind that everybody is different and that is completely okay. What works for one person may not work for everyone. Similarly, what one person may enjoy, another may not. 

The OhNut company has created what are essentially these wonderful penis buffers that can prevent deeper penetration without negatively affecting the wearer’s sensitivity. So if you have a dildo that is too big, but you don’t want to invest in a new dildo, you can purchase the OhNut online and use it on your toy.

The OhNut is also great for those who are worried about practicing difficult sex positions like being on top. With the help of the OhNut, individuals with pain penetration disorder can comfortably explore different sex positions and insertion depths.

Proper Sex Toy Care 

No matter which sex toy you choose to purchase, it is extremely important to take proper care of your toys. This includes disinfecting toys before and after use and placing them in a safe spot that is not too hot or cold, as extreme temperatures can damage sex toys. For comprehensive, thorough maintenance and care instructions, read the details on the product’s casing and any attached literature such as user manuals.

There are many helpful tips and things to consider when sex toy shopping, and after reading this, you can easily locate a sex toy that will assist you in having enjoyable sex.

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