We all get a buzz from our turn-ons, but do we all get turned on from a buzz? Vibrators along with dildos are the most common sex toys available today. While you might snigger at them often being coyly packaged as ‘personal massagers’, that’s exactly what they were invented for. The first vibrator was created in the 19th century to help aid with muscle and joint pain – unless you buy in to the apocryphal tale of Cleopatra inventing the first by filling a hollow gourd with angry bees. These Victorian vibrators were soon repurposed by enterprising physicians to help induce ‘paroxysmal convulsions’ in women diagnosed with hysteria – it was only later that they realised that these convulsions were in fact the long medically- disregarded female orgasm.

Thankfully, technology has moved on considerably from these early electrical devices (and bees inside hollow gourds!) and you can now find vibrators in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, to fit a wide variety of purposes. We’ve put together this list of different types to give you a better idea of what’s out there for you to try, on your own, or as a couple.


‘Wand’ is a term for external use vibrators that feature a large vibrating surface (usually a sphere) attached to a large handle. They have a lot in common with the very first vibrators in design and purpose. These are usually mains powered so can be extremely strong.


Butterfly vibrators are clitoral stimulators that are strapped on for prolonged contact. They are so called because the wings either side of the vibrator – that are used to attach the straps – are reminiscent of those of a butterfly. These can be worn during masturbation for clitoral pleasure alone and also for penetrative sex. Because of their intended prolonged use, they often have adjustable powers and speeds, which can be controlled either by the user or by a partner with remote control.


Bullet vibrators are very small, but can pack a real punch. Their size makes them very versatile and they can be used externally for clitoral or penile stimulation, or if they’re designed for it, they can be inserted ahead of penetration. They can also be used to add extra sensations to masturbation. 


The dildo is the most common and classic sex toy. A penetrative dildo shaped like a penis, it can be smooth or textured, and can come in a range of materials. These vibrate to pleasure the muscles around the opening of the vagina, but can also be used to apply the vibrations to the sensitive areas inside. Some are specifically shaped to reach the G-Spot, and some are designed for anal play.


Vibrating rings are worn by the man around the base of the penis, and serve a number of purposes. First, the tightness of the ring helps keep blood where it needs to be so erections can be maintained for longer. The vibrations also stimulate him, and add a little excitement for her. Where it sits above the base of the penis also positions it perfectly to make contact with the clitoris during deep penetration, helping you both reach a juddering climax. There are many varieties you can experiment with, such as Durex’s Vibrations, Little Devil and Ultra Pleasure Ring.


The rabbit is dildo-shaped but the key difference is that it has an additional arm that applies pressure and vibration to the clitoris during penetration. The rabbit name comes from the fact that the clitoral stimulator has two nodes that look similar to the ears of a rabbit.