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The Sex Toy Institute

There are so many different types of dildos on the market today, as a beginner, where do you start? There is an overwhelming selection to choose from which can become very confusing.

Well, I’m here to help you make the right choice with my carefully researched complete beginner’s guide to dildos. Ok, I admit, my time in the adult entertainment industry has probably given me a bit more experience with dildos than most beginners.

So in this article, I’m going to give you everything you need to know about choosing a dildo that will be perfect for you.

I’ll be talking about size, shape, texture, and even the materials to avoid for health reasons.

If you have a bit of experience with dildos and only want to know something specific, use the Table of Contents to go straight to the relevant section.

If you are new to the whole dildo scene, then you are going to enjoy reading this very complete beginner’s guide to dildos.

Beginner's Guide to Dildos

What Is a Dildo?

A dildo is usually a penis-shaped object that you insert into your body. Dildos can be used in your vagina or anus and no…. one size does not usually fit both!

Dildos are one of the most common sex toys purchased by women but a lot of men use them as well. If you are planning to start a ‘toy box’ dildos are an excellent introduction to what will surely become an addiction – trust me!

Dildos come in a large range of lengths, widths, textures, shapes, and materials and are used by both men and women to simulate sex or sexual foreplay.

The major advantage of a dildo is you can stimulate yourself without the need for a partner. But I have always found my partners love to join in and even take over!

Strap-on dildos are great for pegging and many of my lesbian friends use them regularly on each other. More about this later.

Difference Between Dildos and Vibrators

Dildos and vibrators are not the same, although many people confuse the two.

Vibrators: – not surprisingly, vibrate. They are mostly smooth and have an electric motor in them. They are usually powered by batteries, although some are mainly powered. Vibrators can be very noisy which can be a bit embarrassing if you are in a shared house. The main advantage of vibrators is that they can be used outside the body to stimulate erogenous zones like nipples, clitoris, and anus. My boyfriend likes me to use my vibrator on his perineum (skin between his balls and anus).

Dildos – on the other hand, are made from solid material. Essentially they are similar to a penis and are used in the same manner. They are mostly used for penetration and many have realistic veins, some even have balls on them.

Dildos are cheaper to make than vibrators and besides, with dildos, you have such a spectacular range of choices, you’re bound to find one that will work for you and your body.

With no batteries to go flat, once you start using a dildo, you know you are going to be able to finish the job you started!

Ideal Materials for Dildos

One of the most important aspects of choosing a dildo is to know what it is made from. This would hardly be the ultimate beginner’s guide to dildos if I didn’t point out the different types of materials dildos are manufactured from.

Metal Dildos

Metal dildos are one of my favorite types. They are heavier than a lot of other dildos (gees I love that full feeling!) and can be heated or cooled for extra enjoyment. The ones that we recommend here at the Sex Toy Institutes are made from hospital-grade, polished stainless steel. Often referred to as the ”Rolls Royce” or ”Cadillac” of dildos metal dildos are not cheap but are so worth the extra dollars you might spend!

They are nonporous, ridiculously easy to clean, and completely safe to use inside your body.

Metal dildos do not stain or rust and can last a lifetime.

Later in this article, I will give you two examples of metal dildos that are specifically designed to stimulate the ”G” spot in a woman and the ”P” spot in men.

Left lying around, they could almost be seen as works of art!

Silicone Dildos

Silicone is the most popular dildo material because it is cheap to manufacture and is safe to insert into your body.

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Dildos made from silicone are soft and feel sensual against your body. One word of warning though, use only water-based lubricants with a silicone sex toy. Ironically silicone-based lubes will damage a silicone dildo.

Because it is such a versatile manufacturing material, there is an almost endless range of silicone dildos to choose from.

If you purchase your silicone dildo from a reputable manufacturer and keep it clean, it will last for a very long time.

Perfect if you are a beginner just starting out, but I can assure you, there are silicone dildos to suit (and challenge!) even the most experienced users.

Glass Dildos

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Lovehoney Tentacle Textured Sensual Glass Dildo
GLAS 510 62114.1642871424

If you are fond of a rock-hard cock, glass dildos are the perfect choice for you. There is something strangely erotic about their unbending nature.

As you can see, some glass dildos are an absolute work of art.

Are they dangerous? no, they are not. If you buy from the reputable retailers the Sex Toy Institute recommends, you will be more than satisfied.

Glass dildos come in an amazing array of designs, textures, and shapes

Like Metal dildos, Glass dildos can also be used for ”temperature play” meaning they can be heated or cooled to provide that extra bit of stimulation.

Glass dildos do not shatter or chip because our retailers use only 100 percent borosilicate glass.

Because glass is not porous, glass dildos are super easy to clean and will last you forever!

Ceramic and Wooden Dildos

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If you have traveled anywhere from say South America to Bali and many places in between, you have probably seen a wooden dildo in a market somewhere. Sold perhaps as a paperweight but we all know what they can be used for.

Similarly, phallic-shaped ceramic ‘pieces of art” can be found in many boutique online stores.

These are not what I would call normal dildos and apart from the novelty value, I would not recommend using them daily.

Dildo Materials to Avoid

Yep! there are some materials out there that are used to make dildos that are not good for your body. These are usually the cheaper versions found on eBay, Esty, and Amazon, all of which are not dedicated sex toy suppliers. Often you’ll see two dildos that look the same yet one is more expensive than the other. If you check the fine print as to what each is made from, almost always the expensive dildo will be the one made from safer materials. The Sex Toy Institute does not recommend and dildos that are unsafe.

Rubber, Jelly & PVC Dildos

When you see a dildo that looks too cheap to be true, there is a very good chance it is made from one of the above.

The jury is still out on the effect of phthalates on the human body but rubber and jelly products are porous and can retain bacteria, no matter how much you clean them.

Plastic and rubber dildos often have a strong smell about them which can tend to ruin the mood a bit. If you are using your dildo to improve your deepthroating skills the taste can make a challenging task, even harder.

TPE & TPR Dildos

The plus for these types of dildos is that they usually don’t contain latex or phthalates. Most manufacturers will use this as a selling point and that does make them slightly better than the rubber, jelly, and PVC dildos options.

But they are still porous and over time will absorb bacteria which in turn could present a serious health hazard, This is especially likely if you keep these dildos say for more than six months.

Materials You Don’t Recognize

My golden rule is that if I don’t recognize the material the dildo is made from, I don’t insert it into my body.

As I have said many times, the sex toy institute only recommends the safest and best products, based on our personal experiences. As a rule, we don’t recommend purchasing any sex toy on eBay, or Amazon because there is a very good chance the product will be a cheap import and potentially dangerous to your health.

Types of Dildos

If you’re looking to buy a dildo, no doubt you have been overwhelmed by the sheer variety of styles, sizes, shapes, and textures available. That’s why this complete beginner’s guide to dildos is going to help you sort out what you need.

Realistic Dildos

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Johnny Vixskin Realistic Silicone Dildo by Vixen

Sex Toy Institute Rating

As the name suggests, realistic dildos are modeled on a real penis. The degree of reality is usually dependent upon the price. The more real, the more expensive. Some even have large veins and testicles on the end. Realistic dildos come in all shapes and sizes so you can have whatever gets you aroused.

If you are a beginner at using dildos I recommend you start with a moderate size. Not too big and not too small. Go for a realistic dildo made from silicone as this will also make it easy to clean.

The Johnny Vixskin (pictured) is about as real as it gets. It is possibly one to work up to as it has 7″ of insertable length and is 1.9″ wide. It is 100% safe for human bodies, easily cleaned with soap and water between uses, or can be boiled to fully sterilize in a couple of minutes. Made by Vixen creations and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Anal Dildos

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Lovehoney Slimline Silicone Suction Cup Dildo 5 Inch

Sex Toy Institute Rating

Anal dildos are typically smaller in size than vaginal dildos. You must have a flared base on any dildo that is going to be used anally as they can easily ”disappear”. That can result in a trip to your local hospital ED so don’t take the risk!

Given the bacteria in the anal region, always pick a quality anal dildo made from a nonporous material.

For beginners to anal play, a dildo that gets progressively thicker will provide the ultimate satisfaction.

The Lovehoney Slimline Silicone Dildo (pictured) is the perfect dildo for beginners wanting to try anal play. It has an insertable length of only 5″ and it’s so slender, I guarantee it won’t hurt a bit especially if used with a water based lube.

In fact this anal dildo is so small I think you’ll be looking for something slightly larger in no time! You might want to have a look at what else is available.

Suction Cup Dildos

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Lifelike Lover Classic Realistic Dildo 8 Inch

Sex Toy Institute Rating

Suction cup dildos allow you to use your ”dildo hands-free’. You can attach a suction cup dildo to any hard surface vertically or horizontally and the results can be very satisfying.

Like other dildos, suction cup dildos come in all sizes and textures limited only by your imagination and budget.

There are so many ways to ride a Suction Cup dildo you’ll be squirting all over the place!

The Lifelike Lover Classic Realistic Dildo 8 Inch (pictured) is a serious suction cup dildo. Made from PVC it is at the cheaper end of the dildo range so if you don’t want to spend too much, this is a lot of dildo for the money.

It is slightly on the larger size with an insertable length of 6.5 inches and a width of 1.6 inches, you will need a bit of lube to get the most out of this dildo.

If you are still a dildo beginner and a bit worried about size, have look at these alternatives

Double Ended Dildos

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Doc Johnson Crystal Jellies Realistic Double-Ended Dildo 18 Inch

Sex Toy Institute Rating

Double-ended dildos typically have one end with a larger head than the other. They can be very long (up to 24 inches). Most are flexible enough to go into your vagina and anus at the same time.

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be double penetrated (DP’d) ie fucked in the vagina and anus at the same time – this is the dildo for you. It’s like having a threesome but without needing to find a third person.

Perfect for two women (or men) who want to ”butt cheeks” with each other.

The Doc Johnson Crystal Jellies Realistic Double-Ended Dildo 18 Inch (pictured) is so flexible, it can be bent in half. (I found it perfect for double penetration!) With slightly raised veins and a width of 1.75 inches you will have ours of fun with this dildo – guaranteed!

Again, if you are concerned at the size of this particular double ended dildo, have a look at these alternatives.

Vibrating Dildos

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Lifelike Lover Classic Realistic Dildo Vibrator 6 Inch

Sex Toy Institute Rating

I know I have already said a vibrator is not a dildo but some dildos have a motor and do vibrate – sort of!

You might think you are getting the best of both worlds but to be honest, you are better off choosing between one or the other. For the extra cost, in my opinion, they are not worth the money.

That said, if you want a dildo you can insert that also vibrates, there are several options available to you.

The Lifelike Lover Classic (pictured) has an insertable length of 6.5 inches and with a width of 1.6 inches, I found it even filled me!

As I always say, you get what you pay for and being made from PVC, it is at the cheaper end of the dildo market but still value for money. It comes in three different colors

If you are looking for something smaller and made from different materials, here are some more examples

Strap on Dildo Kits

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Lovehoney Advanced Unisex Strap-On Harness Kit with 7 Inch G-Spot Dildo

Sex Toy Institute Rating

If you buy a strap-on harness you can put your dildo of choice into the harness and have a completely different sexual experience. A strap-on dildo is often used with a harness to engage in the act of ”pegging”.

Pegging is when a woman, wearing a strap-on, penetrates the anus of her male partner. A strap-on dildo can also be used by a lesbian when she fucks her female partner, wearing the strap-on dildo.

Strap-ons provide an interesting role reversal scenario. Don’t knock t until you have tried it!!

One of the most popular strap on kits is the Lovehoney Advanced Unisex Strap-On Harness Kit. It comes with a 7 inch dildo that is specially designed to hit the G spot. At 6 inches of insertable length and only 1.5 inches wide it is the perfect beginners size dildo.

I find the best thing about this particular harness is it comes with 3 interchangeable size O rings. This means you can use different sized and shaped dildos with the same harness.

G & P – Spot Dildos

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njoy Pure Wand Stainless Steel Dildo

Sex Toy Institute Rating

Ladies, if you want to orgasm with a dildo specifically designed to hit your G spot, I have the perfect dildo for you.

Guys, this is also the ultimate P spot stimulator. Yes, it might be a bit expensive but l have to tell you, this will do it for you every time!

To achieve the ultimate orgasm I am talking about, you need a dildo with a curve and a bulb on the end. Yes, there are cheaper silicon versions available but if you want the orgasm to end all orgasms, you will need to splash out a bit of extra cash.

Made of solid (not hollow) medical quality stainless steel, with two different sized ends, the njoy Pure Wand Steel Dildo is the bee’s knees of metal dildos.

You can heat it, cool it and it just wipes clean. With the smaller end being just under 1 inch wide and the large end at 1.6 inches wide it is perfect for both beginners and experienced users. Effectively 2 dildos for the price of one!

Inflatable Dildos

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Cock Locker Extra Large Inflatable Dildo 8 Inch

Sex Toy Institute Rating

At some point, you are going to want a dildo that fills you. Whether that is your vagina or butt, an inflatable dildo is the answer. It will grow with your ability to accommodate a larger size dildo.

You get to pump the inflatable dildo to the size you want. With practice, you will be amazed at just how big a dildo you can accommodate.

For some men and women, it is like a badge of honor to see how big a dildo they can fit in themselves.

The Cock Locker Extra Large Inflatable Dildo 8 Inch (pictured) is the perfect example of an inflatable dildo. Starting at 1.8 inches wide, it grows to an eye-watering width of 2.3 inches when inflated.

I find the best thing about inflatable dildos is that you control the size. Too big and you can quickly twist the valve to release the air to bring it back to something more manageable.

If you are super adventurous, there is a larger version but I cannot recommend that size for beginners.

Dildo Size IS Important

No beginner’s guide to dildos would be complete with addressing what size dildo is best for you and how to figure that out.

So, firstly, are you going to be using your dildo in your vagina or your ass? Vaginas can accommodate a larger dildo than most asses. (That said though, I have seen clenched fists inserted into asses but to be fair they were especially trained asses). As this is a beginner’s guide to dildos I would suggest you don’t try that until you are a lot more experienced.

Whilst you don’t want a dildo that is like a pencil in a toilet roll, you also don’t want something that is going to make your eyes water!

You know what your body can accommodate so go for something about the same size or a fraction bigger. Better to start smaller and work up as you collection grows.

If you like the feeling of being ‘full’ then go for a dildo that is 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide or less. If you want to be able to move your dildo to hit your G spot, go for a slightly thinner dildo, say no bigger than 1 inch (2.5cm) to 1.25 inches (3.2cm).

If all this sounds too confusing, just head over to my article on buying the right size dildo. There you will find everything you need to know about measuring yourself to figure out the best size dildo for your body.

Choose a softer silicone style dildo if you’re looking to have a penis like experience. However if you are intending ot target your Gspot then nothing beats a curved stainless steel or glass dildo.

The Perfect Dildo – What to Look for

The perfect dildo for you will depend on the type of dildo experience you are looking for. As this is beginner’s guide to dildos, I have shown you many different options. Have a think about what turns you on the most and go with your instinct.

Here’s a couple of things you might want to consider.


The most basic version of dildos are merely a smooth penis shape. Some are straight, some have a slight curve but these are what I would call an ‘entry level’ dildo (no pun intended!) They are cheap and there are heaps of different sizes. T

If you’re looking for the full penile penetration experience then you will be considering a soft, realistic type of dildo. These are most commonly made from silicone so they are very safe. Many have large veins and even balls on the end. (great for hanging on to!)


Unless your choosing a double ended dildo chances are whatever dildo you do choose is going to have some sort of base.

The most common base is a small flange which gives you something to hang onto. Suction cup dildos, as the name implies , have a large suction cup on the base and some even have balls.

Tip: Do not buy a dido for anal use if it doesn’t have a base you can hold on to! – (don’t say I didn’t warn you!)


The shape of the dildo you choose will be decided by what sort of pleasure you intend to get from it.


If you are looking for a penis-like penetration, then it is a no-brainer to go with a straight, larger, realistic type of dildo. Choose the size that fits best and you are well on your way to happy, wet, orgasms.

Once you find your pace, this type of dildo will satisfy you over and over again – trust me – I’m a professional!


Some women and men prefer a more targeted approach to orgasms and go for direct stimulation of the ‘G’ spot in women or ‘P’ spot in men.

To achieve this, a curved dildo is a much better bet. Have a look at stainless steel or glass curved dildos for the best results. You can also try a slightly curved silicone penis style but I don’t think you will be totally satisfied.


Whilst I don’t believe you can put a price on sexual satisfaction, at the end of the day, we are all limited to what we can afford.

As a general rule, the more you pay for your dildo, the better it will be. Yes, you might find what seems to be an identical product at a cheaper price on Amazon or eBay, but are you going to get a money-back guarantee? How long will it take to be delivered? Will it be identical to the online picture? Is it going to arrive on your front doorstep with sex toy written all over the packaging (it happens!)

If your buying a dildo for a partner, don’t be seen as a cheap skate. So many of my friends have had to ask their partners, “is that all I’m worth” when presented with some cheap and nasty dildo gift.

Buy the best quality dildo you can afford and you won’t be disappointed. My advice is to only buy from reputable retailers like the ones The Sex toy Institute recommends.

How to Use a Dildo – Quick Tips!

I know this is a beginner’s guide to dildos but there are only a few basic things you need to know on how to use a dildo. After that it up to you to try anything and everything to achieve the best orgasms you have ever had. What works for me may not work for you and visa versa.

  • Set the mood. Be somewhere comfortable and arrange the space to be as relaxing as possible. Candles, music, a few drinks even, whatever it takes to make you as sexually responsive as possible.
  • Use lube. Not every beginner’s guide to dildos will suggest this but using a good quality lube takes your dildo experience to far greater heights when everything just glides smoothly in and out. If you’re using a silicone dildo, use only water-based lube. If you are going anal, lube is essential for a sensual pain-free experience. (You can thank me later!)
  • Tease yourself (or have a partner do it for you). Go slowly and take time to enjoy every sensory feeling you are experiencing.
  • Finally, don’t try to insert the whole dildo immediately. If you have followed my advice and gone with a size just slightly larger than what you are used to (vaginal or anal) start by inserting just the tip. Make each thrust just that little bit deeper, giving your body time to adjust to the size of your new dildo.
  • If you want my detailed step by step guide on how to use a dildo, click here

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Dildo

Good quality silicone dildos will last a long time, and metal and glass dildos will last for ever. Just like owing a car though, dildos need to be regularly maintained to keep them at their safest and best.

Realistic silicone and any slightly porous dildos, need the most attention. The surface of these dildos will attract bacteria and needs to be washed with warm soapy water preferably before and after use. If you intend to use the same dildo vaginally and anally, I strongly suggest you use antiseptic wipes or better still, a specific antibacterial cleaner. The same applies if you are using your dildo with multiple partners.

If necessary, you can use a tooth brush to give your dildo a good scrub from time to time. (Just make sure it isn’t the same brush you clean your teeth with!)

Stainless steel and glass dildos are the easiest to keep clean as they do not have a porous surface. A through wash in warm soapy water is all they need. If you want to be extra cautious, give an antiseptic wash every now and then, especially if you are using the same dildo anally and vaginally or with multiple partners.

Leave your cleaned dildo to dry, preferably on a lint free towel.

Many dildos come with their own storage bag and I recommend you keep them in their original bag. Try to keep your all your sex toys in individual pockets or bags, it keeps them germ free.

Dildos are a wonderful addition to your sex toy box. They make a great companion when you need one so treat them as you would your best friend.


I would like to think this is truly a complete beginner’s guide to dildos and I feel I have covered everything you need to know.

  • Decide whether your dildo is for vaginal or anal use
  • Chose a shape that will give you the orgasms so richly deserve to have
  • Ensure the dildo you have chosen is made from safe material.
  • Chose a size that you know you can accommodate.
  • Finally, experiment and reward your body with what it craves.


Kandi Anderson

With over 10 years experience in all aspects of the adult entertainment industry, I know an awful lot about sex toys and how to use them!

Everything from toys for personal pleasure to toys for BDSM, I’ve been there and done that!

As a director, producer and sometimes performer, you can be sure the advice I give is factual and honest.

I share with you the industry’s professional tips and secrets so you can have the most erotic experience possible!