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How To to Pick Your First Vibrator: A College Student’s Guide

The world of vibrators is colorful, expansive, diverse, and can be overwhelming for first-time buyers! The shops, websites, and different toys can feel endless. This experience can feel even more daunting for college students as you are newly independent, living in shared spaces, and (probably) on a budget. 

The combination of buying your first vibrator and using it while sharing a room can lead to many questions. Luckily, we’re here to answer all those questions!

Picking Your First Vibrator

The best way to figure out what kind of vibrator to buy is to determine what kind of sensations you enjoy. Do you enjoy clit, internal, or dual (both external and internal) stimulation? Do you enjoy a buzzy sensation or rumbly feeling? Not sure how to answer these questions? We’ve got you covered!

To figure out what sensations you enjoy, use your fingers and explore! Try different forms of solo stimulation- such as applying pressure and movement to your clitoris, inserting one to three fingers into your vagina, or stimulating your nipples. Penis owners, these ideas apply to you too! Play around with pressure, types of movement, & stimulating different areas of your body. All of this exploring will lead to your body having different reactions. This then helps you determine what kind of stimulation you enjoy.

If you have had partnered sex in the past, you can also reminiscence what sensations you enjoyed the most during those experiences. 

For penis owners, these same rules apply too! Play around with your body, discover where you like stimulation from solo or partnered play, and go from there. Toys are for anyone, anybody, and there is no shame in using them! 

Once you have a general idea of what stimulation you like, the next puzzle piece is buying a sex toy!

If you enjoy clit stimulation…

first vibrator: Subheading "If you enjoy clit stimulation.." drawn over a gray and yellow
Created by Jennah DuBois

Try starting with a bullet vibrator! Bullet vibrators are smaller, compact vibrators with multiple speeds. The benefits of a bullet vibrator are:

  • Easy to store due to their size
  • Tend to be on the quiet side
  • Very portable due to their size
  • Not overwhelming or too confusing
  • A great introduction to the “vibrating sensation” commonly found in many different sex toys! 
  • Are versatile and can also be used on nipples or penises 

You can find bullet vibrators at any sex toy store ranging from $15 to $150. Most of the bullet vibrators on the lower end of the price spectrum will be battery operated, so consider this when purchasing! 

If you are interested in buying your vibrator online, some of our favorite bullet vibrators for under $50 are Maude’s vibe, SweetVibe’s Pixie, and Unbound Babe’s Zip.  Bonus tip: all these companies send their toys in discreet packaging (as will all the companies we recommend!) If you want to spend a little bit more, one of our absolute favorites is Dame’s Kip. You can watch Rachel’s review of it here.

For a discount, use codes: 

Maude: JENNAH10 (10% off)

Dame: RACHELWRIGHT (30% off)

SweetVibes: RACHELW (10% off)

Unbound Babes: RACHELW

If you enjoy clit suction…

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Created by Jennah DuBois

Try a clit suction toy! Unlike a bullet, a clit suction toy does not vibrate. Instead, these toys use air technology to simulate the suction sensation! Most clit suction toys are larger than bullet vibrators but aren’t too big, so they’re still quiet, portable, and have multiple settings.

Some benefits of a clit suction toy are:

  • usually waterproof
  • easy to hold due to their handle and size
  • portable 
  • easy to store
  • great for those with sensitive clitorises as the sensation is not as intense as vibration
  • the ability to explore the “suction sensation”
  • can be used on nipples or penises as well!

Clit suction toys are more expensive than bullet vibrators and can range between $30 to $300. 

If you are interested in buying your clit suction toy online, some of our favorites for under $50 are the Satisfyer Pro 2 (or number one), SweetVibe’s Kissed, or the Lovehoney x ROMP switch.  And if you want to spend a little bit more—the biird, Dame Aer, We-Vibe Melt, and Womanizer Duo are incredible. All these companies use body-safe materials and send their toys in discreet packaging!

For a discount, use codes: 

The Biird: RACHEL10 (10% off)

Dame Aer: RACHELWRIGHT (30% off)

Lovehoney: LOVERACH

If you enjoy dual stimulation…

Subheading "If you enjoy dual stimulation.." drawn over a gray and yellow
Created by Jennah DuBois

Try a Rabbit, or dual stimulation, vibrator. It was Miranda Hobbes who said it best, “Ladies, I’d like you to meet The Rabbit.” The rabbit vibrator has an insertable component and an external component for both internal and clit stimulation. They are called Rabbits because the external vibrator usually looks like bunny ears! 

Out of the different toys mentioned in this article, Rabbit’s will be the biggest as the dual internal and external components add both length and width. Luckily, rabbit toys are still easy to store and transport! But, unlike the other toys, the rabbit toy’s most considerable benefit is the amount of different stimulation that can be achieved. You can use rabbit toys for vibrating and non-vibrating internal stimulation, external stimulation, or a combination of both. If you end up buying a rabbit and do not enjoy the dual stimulation, using it just for clitoral stimulation is very okay! In fact, you can use any of your toys any way you would like. 

Like most clit suction toys, rabbit toys are more expensive than bullets and will likely be between $30 to $200. Some of our favorite rabbits for under $50 are SweetVibe’s Perfect Match and  Lovehoney’s Red Velvet Rabbit Vibrator. And for a little bit more of an investment, some of our favorites are V for Vibes BIA, We-Vibe Nova, and LoveHoney’s Greedy Girl.

For a discount, use codes: 

Lovehoney: LOVERACH

V for Vibes: RACHVIBES

We-Vibe: WRIGHT5

If you enjoy anal play…

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Created by Jennah DuBois

Try a butt plug or prostate toy! These are both great options for beginners interested in incorporating anal play with solo or partnered. Butt plugs can be made of silicone, metal, or glass, but silicone is recommended for beginners as it is the most flexible and lightweight! Make sure to buy a butt plug that has a flared base or a loop to hold to. The colon is a highway and will suck anything up, including toys! Going with a vibrating anal toy is also a great choice for beginners as the vibration helps relax the anus lessening discomfort and increasing pleasure! 

Some of our favorite anal play toys under $50 check out the Tango beginner butt plug, the B-vibe Snug Plug, and Adam and Eve’s Vibrating Triple Prostate massager. For a little bit more of an investment, some of our favorites are the Lelo Hugo, we-vibe vector, or b-vibes Anal Training Kit & Education Set

For a discount, use codes: 

Tango: RACHEL10

We-Vibe: WRIGHT5

If you enjoy enhanced penis stimulation…

first vibrator: Subheading "If you enjoy enhanced penis stimulation.." drawn over a gray and yellow
Created by Jennah DuBois

If you are a penis owner that wants to explore more with toys, some great introduction toys are male masturbators or penis rings! Penis rings help improve pleasure by applying pressure to the base of the penis. This pressure squeezes the blood, enhancing the strength of the erection. Add this with solo or partnered play can lead to some great orgasms!

A male masturbator sometimes referred to as a pocket pussy or Fleshlight, is a masturbatory aid used by inserting the penis into its opening. Male masturbators help add to masturbation by adding differing sensations. Our favorite, affordable male masturbators are the Tenga Flex Silky White, the BlowYo Extreme Wave Textured Blowjob Stroker, and the Fleshlight Quickshot

For a discount, use codes: 

Fleshlight: FLWRIGHT

Lovehoney: LOVERACH

What are some other things to take into consideration when buying a vibrator?

The largest thing to consider is your safety! Unfortunately, sex toys are not regulated, so they can potentially be made of any materials, including toxic ones. For a vibrator to be body-safe, it should be non-porous, non-toxic, and made of a body-safe material.

Toxic materials are things like jelly, phthalates, PVC, vinyl, or rubber. When buying a sex toy in person, be sure to read over the toy’s materials to check for those toxic ingredients! 

The non-toxic and non-porous materials that your toy should be made out of are medical-grade silicone, metal, glass, or ABS plastic! 

If you are shopping for your vibrator in person, it can be tricky to look at material lists as the packaging does its best to hide it! Packages will say catchy phrases like “100% body-safe” or “phthalate-free” to give the customer a false sense of security. Always look at the back for the material list. It tends to be in tiny writing, and if you have any concerns, ask a store clerk, they will be more than happy to help!

If a toy looks see-through and “jelly-like,” it is more than likely not body-safe. If the packaging has any condensation on the inside and the toy appears wet, it may be made of toxic materials. 

Battery vs. Rechargeable?

Another factor to take into consideration is whether you want a battery-operated or rechargeable toy. Rechargeable toys tend to last longer, but they need to be charged consistently to maintain the battery’s life. A rechargeable toy can not be dead for months on end as this can damage it. Getting a rechargeable toy also means the toy needs to sit near an outlet for some time. Depending on your living situation, this may not feel comfortable to you. 

On the other hand, you can replace batteries privately and quickly. A con of battery-operated toys is the added expense of buying batteries or making sure you have batteries in your dorm in case it dies. I, for one, never had batteries in my dorm room and always had to rummage through drawers or ask my hall-mates when my trusted pink bullet vibrator died.

Going with a battery-operated or rechargeable toy is a personal choice and based on preference on what feels most comfortable to you! 

So you bought a vibrator, where do you store them?

In a cool place, preferably in a bag! A ziplock bag does the trick if you are diligently cleaning and drying your toy before storing it. It is important not to trap any moisture to avoid the growth of bacteria and mold. If you want something a bit less “freezer friendly,” another great option is to wrap them using a smooth, gentle fabric (like a silk headscarf or old t-shirt you don’t wear) or place them inside a cloth bag to avoid getting damp and dusty. 

I love putting my sex toys in those waterproof drawstring bags companies and organizations give out for free. Many of the sex toy companies we recommended above also send the toys in their own dust bags for safe handling, so use them!

Once they are in a bag or wrapped in a scarf, you can place your toys in a box under your bed, a drawer in your closet, or your nightstand. If you are on the top bunk or a lofted bed and want the toy to be more accessible, try using one of those bunk bed storage caddies. We also love Joyboxx!

What about cleaning your toys?

Due to the lack of sinks in a dorm, your best bet is to use a toy cleaner after every use and wash them in a sink every few uses. If you do have access to a private sink, wash them after every use.

To wash them in the sink, use mild soap and water and either lay them out to dry or pat them dry if laying them out is not an option. Make sure also to check whether your toy is “waterproof” or “water-resistant,” as this determines how much water can get on them during cleaning. Lastly, it is crucial to ensure they are completely dry before putting them away not to collect mold or bacteria. 

Some of our favorite toy cleaners are Sliquid Shine, SweetVibes Foami, Cake’s Toy Cleaner, and Dame’s Toy & Hand Sanitizer.

Use Discount Codes:

SweetVibes: RACHELW

Cake: hellocake15

Dame: RACHELWRIGHT

HOW DO YOU MASTURBATE IN A DORM ROOM? AKA How to Ask Your Roommate to “Give You the Room” For A Bit

Navigating solo sex (and partnered sex) with roommates can feel daunting or awkward, but it is an important conversation to have so everyone can feel comfortable in their new space. 

The best way to bring up the conversation is to ask your roommate(s) privately when they have time to sit down and talk about handling “having the room to yourself conversation.” In this conversation, you can be as specific or as general as you like! 

If you do not feel comfortable talking specifically about masturbating, you can always discuss a system on how to request the room for yourself for self-care, to de-stress, or to take a nap. Masturbating is self-care!

In college, I expressed to my roommates that I feel solo time is an important self-care activity during college stresses, and upholding everyone’s boundaries and comfort was of the utmost importance. We came up with a system that if my roommates or I wanted some time to masturbate, we texted each other a simple “me time” when no one else was in the room. The important thing to us was that we were not kicking anyone out or making them feel like they could not come home. 

At the end of the day, it is their space, too, which needs to be respected.

More than likely, there will be times during the day you will have the room for yourself for an hour or so because everyone’s schedule in college is different! 

It is important to remember that if your roommates give you the space and room to yourself, do the same for them when they request it. Sometimes timing does not work out, and that is okay too! Lastly, be sure not to masturbate while your roommate is in the room asleep, as they did not consent to this. I promise they can hear you or the bed moving. Also, be aware that masturbating in “shared spaces” like the bathroom may be uncomfortable for those sharing the space.

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