Introduction to Dildos

Posted by Anna Bergeron on

Sometimes, you just want to get yourself off, but nothing quite feels like enough. Your fingers, usually so reliable, just leave you twitching and unsatisfied.

Even intense thoughts of your greatest fantasies or happy memories of your last rendezvous with an attractive partner can't quite send you over the edge today. Luckily for you, there is one thing that you can always count on to help you out.

And just what is this bedroom hero, this humble little sex toy which holds a surprising amount of power?

What simple item holds the ability to consistently bring sex fiends around the world to orgasm after toe-curling, body-shaking, mind-melting orgasm?

Why, nothing other than the dildo, of course!

If you've never heard of a dildo, and don't own at least one of your own, well - you are missing out! A dildo is easy to use, simple to store and transport, but pretty much always guaranteed to be effective when you need it the most.

Despite its simple design, it can be used for a number of sexy purposes, from vaginal and anal penetration to stimulating your clitoris / the head of your penis with its tip, to even practicing or simulating oral sex by taking it into your mouth! There's practically nothing that a dildo CANNOT do.

This article is designed to introduce newbies to the basics of dildos - what they are, what they're made from, what they look and feel like, and, of course, how they can be used.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the basics of dildos, feel free to explore any of our other articles which provide a closer, more in-depth look at the various aspects of the dildo.

Learn about unique design models such as the squirting dildo or the double-headed dildo, find out which household objects can double as a dildo in a pinch, and even read our suggestions for hilarious names to give your personal dildo!

The world of dildos is a wide and exciting one - and we couldn't be more thrilled to be your guide through its many wonders.

What Is A Dildo?

A dildo is generally defined as a sex toy which is meant to mimic the shape of the male penis and is primarily designed to be used via penetration (either vaginal or anal).

Recently, the definition of dildo has expanded to include the caveats "does not vibrate, buzz, or rotate" and "does not run on electricity or require batteries".

The reason for these additions is to establish a more clear distinction between "dildos" and "vibrators" (see the similarly named section of our site to learn more about vibrators) which are often penis-shaped, much like dildos, but differentiate themselves in their use of electrical or battery power to provide the user with pleasant buzzing, vibrating sensations.

Because the definition of dildo is not particularly narrow or restricting, it has come to encompass a truly staggering variety of sex toys and bedroom aids.

Dildos can be found in every color of the rainbow, in sizes from miniscule to enormous, in a number of different materials, each with a unique sensuous feel, and in shapes ranging from "as realistic as possible" to "utter fantasy"

There are dildos inspired by real-life people - primarily porn stars - as well as fictional characters and even animals or mythological beasts such as dragons or unicorns.

There are dildos with multiple heads, hollow dildos inside which a flesh and blood penis can be inserted, and even dildos which can be strapped onto harnesses in order to be worn during penetration. (Head over here to learn more!)

Where Did Dildos Come From?

Many of you would be surprised to learn that the dildo, in fact, has quite a long history. Archaeologists have discovered phallic objects believed to be prehistoric dildos in Europe, China, North America, and even the Arctic regions.

These ancient dildos were made from everything from stone to bronze to the antlers or bones or large animals such as elk. One common myth - neither proven nor disproven, but certainly fascinating if it does happen to be true - claims that the Egyptian queen Cleopatra kept a vibrating dildo made from a clay jar filled with live bees!

Dildo quality has experienced a dramatic increase over the past century. Previously, dildos were primarily made from lower-quality materials such as rubber, wood, or plastic, which were easy to break, degraded quickly and did not have a particularly long lifespan.

However, the development of sturdier, more damage resistant materials (see the next section for a more in-depth explanation) brought with it a marked increase in the lifespan of the average dildo, as well as a major decrease in any associated health and safety risks.

As you might expect, these improvements brought with them a drastic increase in the popularity of the dildo.

Today, dildos are considered to be one of the most popular sex toys in the world and are considered a standard inclusion in the average sex toy fan's personal collection.

Some people even enjoy purchasing multiple dildos in order to experience the truly staggering range of shapes and sizes currently available. Dildos are also easier than ever to purchase, as they are a common inclusion in the inventories of most adult retailers.

You can even purchase a dildo - or several! - online from our catalog and have it shipped to your door in discreet packaging which will fool even the nosiest of neighbors.

What Are Dildos Made From?

Today, the most popular material used for manufacturing dildos is silicone. It is soft and sensuous to the touch - many dildo fans have even described it as one of the closest synthetic alternatives to real human skin.

If you have never purchased a dildo before, we highly recommend starting out with one made from silicone. As an added bonus, they are extremely easy to clean and store, and are highly resistant to all forms of mold, mildew and bacteria!

One example of this is "CyberSkin," a soft, porous, but rather expensive material which has begun to gain popularity in dildo enthusiast circles.

Unfortunately, the current makeup of CyberSkin means that it is more susceptible to bacteria and mold due to its porous nature, and should not currently be used without wrapping it in a condom or other protective covering.

Of course, humans both love variety are naturally driven by a desire to improve, meaning that scientists and sex researchers have begun attempting to create materials which will resemble human flesh even more so than silicone does.

Although it may seem on the surface that silicone has achieved complete domination within the dildo market, a myriad of other dildo materials also retain significant popularity.

Wood, stainless steel, and sturdy, break-proof glass variants such as Pyrex (borosilicate) are popular among those who are looking for something a little more unique and adventurous. (Metal and glass are also great for temperature play!)

Those looking for something a little on the cheaper side may want to try out "jelly" dildos (actually made from a synthetic material called "elastomer") which are beloved by many for their soft, squishy texture.

And, of course, in some areas, classic materials such as rubber and hard plastic have not yet gone completely out of style.

What Do Dildos Look Like?

As we explained earlier, most dildos look, well…like a penis. They consist of a head, a shaft, and a base which can either be narrow and tapered or flat and flared depending on the style.

However, sex toy fans are a creative bunch, and, especially in recent years, the definition of "what a dildo looks like" has gradually expanded to encompass a much larger range of items which bear increasingly little resemblance to a "standard" human penis.

On the one hand, "realistic" dildos - those which stick as close to the penis as possible - are still quite popular.

These tend to range from around 5-8 inches in length, come in mostly flesh tones, and feature add-ons designed to enhance realism such as simulated veins, heads, foreskins, testicles, and possibly even pubic hair.

Some realistic dildos are based on models made from the cocks of real-life porn stars.

You can even purchase a kit which allows you to create a dildo modeled after your partner's penis, so that he can please you intimately in bed even during those times when the two of you are apart!

On the other hand, "fantasy" dildos are designed to provide a unique penetration experience completely distinct from what a "flesh" penis will be able to offer.

They come in sizes ranging from average to huge - a fantasy dildo boosting a length of a foot or longer is far from an uncommon sight.

(For those who like something a little wider, don't worry - dildos with an "unrealistic" diameter of two inches or more can also be purchased!)

You can purchase a fantasy dildo in any color you could possibly imagine, including rainbow, tie-dye or other mixes and patterns. Want something metallic or glittery? Yes, you can have that too! The only limit is your own imagination!

Another area in which dildos have become more varied and creative is shape. Rather than dildos modeled after real-life porn stars, fans of fiction can choose designs inspired by their favorite characters or creatures - from aliens to actors, and from Batman to an actual bat.

You can find curved or twisted dildos designed specifically to stimulate the male prostate or female G-spot with greater ease than ever before.

There are cone-shaped dildos, dildos with thick "knots" near the base, dildos with add-ons designed to tease the clitoris or the head of the penis, and even dildos which are meant to resemble the human fist or hand rather than the penis.

Want to share an extra spicy simultaneous penetration experience with your partner? You can even do that - with the help of the ever handy and fascinatingly unique double-headed dildo!

If this seems overwhelming, there's no need to fear - we've written an article specifically designed to help newbies purchase their very first dildo based around their own personal needs and desires.

It also helps to remember that there's no "wrong" answer - if a dildo ends up not working out for you, you can always try out a different one instead.

One of our personal mottos here at Lovegasm is - there's no such thing as too many dildos in your collection!

What Can Dildos Do For You?

I think a better question to ask here would be - what can't they do, am I right?

Of course, dildos are primarily designed for penetration. That's what they've got that distinctive shape for, after all! You can penetrate yourself with a dildo either vaginally or anally - meaning, of course, that they can be safely and pleasurably used by individuals of all sexes, sexualities and gender expressions.

Some dildos will feature design choices specifically intended to favor the vagina or the anus - for example, vaginal dildos will typically be shorter and thicker, and include add-ons to target the clitoris, while anal dildos will boast a longer, thinner design with a flared base and a curved shape perfect for rubbing up against the prostate.

Dildos can also be combined with other toys or your partner's own equipment to create unique double or simultaneous penetration experiences.

For example, a woman can insert a dildo into either her vagina or her anus while her partner pleasures the other hole. (Alternately, for some solo fun, try using two dildos at once - one in each hole!

For this, you might want to take a look at dildos which feature a suction cup on their base, as they can be attached to objects , floors or walls to provide greater stability )

A man can penetrate himself anally with a dildo while using his penis to thrust into his partner.

A vaginal dildo can be paired with a butt plug or a set of anal beads - or a vibrator buzzing on your clitoris at the exact same time.

A double-headed dildo can be used to penetrate both holes of one person or the holes of two partners at once, depending on its shape and design.

But can a dildo be used for nonpenetrative sexual activities? Why, of course it can!

The tip of a dildo can provide excellent friction when rubbed against the clitoris or the sensitive head of the penis. You can tease your partner by rubbing a dildo all over the most ticklish areas of their body before finally thrusting it deep within them.

You can use a dildo to practice your oral skills and get even better at deep-throating your partner and bringing him to the heights of pleasure.

Licking your dildo or thrusting it down your throat in a simulation of oral sex can also be a great way to tease your partner or get them turned on - thus making it the perfect form of foreplay!

Lastly, dildos are a quick and easy way to add a little bit of spice and kink to any sexual scenario. Strap your favorite dildo into a harness to discover a new and exciting - not to mention arousing - way of penetrating your partner.

Alternately, tease them by tying them up with some nice rope or handcuffs and leaving them to stew with a dildo shoved deep into their vagina or asshole.

Attach a suction cup dildo to the wall or side of the bathtub to try out some interesting and athletic new penetration positions.

(You can even combine a dildo with your favorite sex doll or piece of erotic furniture to make the experience even more realistic than before!) Truly, anything you can possibly imagine doing with a dildo, you can in fact do!

How Do I Care For My Dildo?

Another reason why dildos have become one of the world's most popular sex toys is that they are incredibly simple and straightforward to care for.

You will not need to devote large amounts of time to keeping your dildo clean and free from harmful bacteria or nasty mold.

Simply wash your dildo after each use - you can purchase specifically designed sex toy cleaners to make this easier, but, in general, any unscented antibacterial soap or wash will work perfectly fine.

Avoid anything containing toxic ingredients such as phthalates. (Additionally, you should NEVER use any kind of bleach when cleaning your dildo, as it can be extremely toxic and cause irritation and pain when it comes into contact with the sensitive vagina or anus.)

Today, some dildos are in fact dishwasher-safe - meaning that they can simply be placed into the machine and washed at the same time as your silverware and kitchen dishes.

Dishwasher-safe dildos will usually be labeled as such. However, you should not attempt to use any other household cleaning appliances, such as the washing machine or clothes dryer, to clean your dildo.

Store your dildo somewhere clean, dry and room temperature.

If you live in a particularly humid environment, you may wish to keep your dildo in a plastic tub or other moisture-resistant environment. Make sure that your dildo is dry before putting it away.

In certain situations, you may find yourself needing to use lubricant with your dildo. Anal penetration will always require lubrication of some form, as the anus does not naturally lubricate itself.

While the vagina does produce natural lubrication, you may wish to utilize a synthetic alternative when first getting used to a new dildo, in order to make especially sure that you are comfortable and do not experience any pain.

Always use an official, certified sexual lubricant. Do not use "alternative methods" such as spit, oil, lotion or shampoo, as these will not properly protect the sensitive areas of your body from discomfort.

If you are using a silicone dildo, stay away from silicone-based lubricants, as silicone is incompatible with itself and can cause rapid degradation in quality.

To learn more about which type of lube works best with different styles and materials of dildo, head over here.

Although penetrating yourself with a dildo does not come with the risk of sexually transmitted disease that flesh and blood genitalia do, using a condom to cover your dildo is still a great way to prioritize your safety and health, even during solo play.

This will also mean that you have to clean your dildo less frequently, as it will not pick up fluids or bacteria from coming into direct contact with the inside of your vagina or anus.

Using a condom can also eliminate the risks associated with using certain lubes together with certain dildos, as long as you ensure that there are no rips or tears in the condom before using it.

We typically advise against sharing your dildos or using dildos which have been previously used by another person - even if that person is your partner.

Keeping your own separate dildos is the best way to keep both of you safe and healthy at all times.

If you do share dildos, make sure to clean them thoroughly before each switch in users.

Additionally, we recommend that you keep separate dildos for vaginal and anal use, as introducing anal bacteria into the vagina can result in a number of severe infections - including some which will require putting sex on hold for several weeks or even months.

Now that you've learned all about the basics of dildos and their use, it's time to check out some of our other articles to expand your knowledge even further!

We recommend heading over to our guide to buying your first dildo or our chart which explains dildo sizes and measuring for beginners.

Alternately, to expand on some of the topics introduced in this article, why not read more about the history of dildos or how to give your dildo a thorough cleaning?

And, of course, once you're ready to purchase a dildo - or several! - our catalog is right there waiting for you!

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