All About Dildos

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Learn all about dildos from their 30,000 years long history to the various types of materials, and various shapes and sizes, and how to use them.

This ain’t your great-great-great-great-great-great-great–great-great-great-great-grandma’s dildo

The history of the dildo is the history of humanity. We’ve been carving things to stick in our hoo-hahs for over 30,000 years1. Yup, what archaeologists once thought were “batons” that Ice Age folks used for pounding on each other turned out to be… well… batons that they used for a different kind of pounding. These days we’ve got more variety than your average Homo Erectus, but the principles remain the same across time, throughout the ages: Put in, pull out, repeat.    

When is a dildo not a dildo?

With all the varieties of sex toys out there, it’s easy to get confused. Generally speaking, though, a dildo is an elongated, for-the-sake-of-simplicity-let’s-just-say-phallic toy that can be used solo or with a partner for penetration. We’ll get into what and when holes can and should be penetrated… but this is the basic idea. Although dildos can vibrate, it is generally a secondary feature, with the main feature being its penetrability. Vibrators, on the other hand, have the main feature of, well, vibrating. They can also sometimes be used in an insertive fashion, depending on their shape. HOWEVER! As we’ll see later, there are specific features of dildos that make them much more suitable for penetrative sex than vibrators.

There are so many! How do I choose the dildo that’s right for me?

First of all… BREATHE. Let’s start with materials. You’ll find dildos made of silicone, cyberskin, rubber, glass, and stainless steel

Silicone is the most common dildo material, so we’ll start there. It’s smooth to the touch, flexible, and non-porous, meaning it’s easy to clean and you won’t get nasty bacterial colonies growing in it. It warms up nicely to body temperature, and comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors! But even among silicone dils, there’s a lot of variation in texture and rigidity, so if you have the opportunity to touch and squeeze them in person, we highly recommend it!

Cyberskin is soft and pliable and feels remarkably like real skin. This is a huge plus for those who are looking for very realistic dildos. A minus, however, is that cyberskin is very fragile and very porous, meaning it can rip if not handled properly, and it easily collects dirt and bacteria. Additionally, while the manufacturer labels this latex and phthalate-free, we don't actually know what it is entirely composed of, so we urge condom use with these toys. The texture is not to be missed, though, so this is a great dildo for solo sex. If you’re sharing with a buddy, be sure to slide a condom over it. Even dildos need to be safe! (That said, the only cyberskin toys we carry at Early to Bed are sleeves, cockrings, and other toys that are not meant for penetrative use.)

Rubber and its many aliases are similar to cyberskin in terms of porosity and cleanliness, but have a more, well, rubbery texture! These are generally inexpensive and some people who aren’t quite sure what they’re looking for in terms of size and shape find these a good place to start. However, because the material that these types of toys are made of can contain non-body-safe ingredients, we normally suggest investing in a safer toy made of silicone

Glass and stainless steel dildos are a unique and wonderful experience. Smooth and frictionless, weighted and elegant, you won’t want to slip these into a harness, but they make a great handheld ride. They are easy to clean and made to last! These materials can be warmed up or cooled down (under warm water or in the fridge/freezer for a short period of time), so they are great for temperature play. We also recommend them for people who may deal with painful penetration because they are so smooth and be be used with super long-lasting silicone lube. 

Once you’ve picked your material of choice, you’ll want to think about whether you want the dildo to look  realistic or non-realistic. If you want a realistic dildo, you’ll want to think about whether or not you want balls, and if you do want balls, you’ll want to make sure you buy a harness that has room for them.  You’ll want to think about color – many people who get realistic dildos want them in flesh tones, but some realistic dils come in other colors too, which is a happy medium for those who might want a realistic shape but a little less realism. Fully non-realistic cocks can be a basic tubular shape, or they might have ridges, bumps, or bulges! Some are even shaped like tentacles or unicorn horns! Some people like the extra stimulation of ridges, or of a pronounced head on their dildo, while others find these sensations just too intense. Your mileage may vary!

Okay! I picked out my dildo! Now what?

Now’s the fun part, obviously.

If you got yourself a dildo with a flared base, you can put it in a harness and put it in whatever hole your honey wants it. Just always remember – if you’re putting a dildo in a butt, don’t put it in any holes afterward. The ass is your final stop on the bangin' train (unless you want to slip a condom over it… that would be the only exception). If you’re using the dildo on another person, pay close attention to their physical and verbal cues, as you don’t actually have any nerve endings in the dildo, much as it may feel like a part of you. Always use lots of lube, and go to town! If you want to use the dildo on yourself, a harness is great for that too – wrap it around a chair seat or pillow and hop on! We even have a thigh harness that would be perfect for that! 

If your dildo doesn’t have a flared base, do not, I repeat! DO NOT put it in anyone’s ass.  It is so easy for toys to get sucked up into the anus, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that your story will end up in some seedy corner of the internet, and surely you don’t want that. But dildos without flared bases are great fun for handheld play in vaginas (actually, so are flared base dildos!)! Do some G-spot exploring, Kegel exercising, or just straight up thrusty fun. You can also pair any dildo with a clit vibrator for your very own DIY dual-action extravaganza.

You can also have some amazing sexy fun with your mouth and a dildo. Yes, it’s true, a dildo BJ doesn’t offer the same physical sensations of skin BJs, but the mind is a wickedly wonderful thing and who doesn’t love a little X-rated game of pretend? Incorporate it into role play, gender play, power play… you can even add a vibrator, some fingers, or a butt plug into the mix if you’re feeling saucy. If you're on the receiving end of that dildo BJ and do want some extra stimulation from the actual sucking, we have a dildo for that!

 Afterglow and Aftercare

One of the reasons we love silicone dildos so much is that they are so hygienic and easy to take care of. With a little TLC, silicone dongs can last you years and years and years.  After each use, scrub it up with warm soapy water, and if you really want to clean it thoroughly, boil it in water for about 5 minutes. You can also put it on the top shelf of your dishwasher, but, you know – not when there are dishes in there. Other non-porous dildos, namely glass and stainless steel, can also be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. These dildos can be used and reused by multiple people, assuming they are adequately cleaned between uses.

Porous dildos – your jellies, your rubbers, your cyberskins – these guys aren’t gonna last as long, but if you’re gentle, you’ll get some decent months and years from them. Warm soapy water is the key, and if you’re sharing with others, definitely use a condom. If you’re using them primarily for anal, you might even consider using a condom every time, even if it’s just on one person. 

Still have questions? You know the drill... contact us so we can help!

1- Read about the discovery of one old-ass dildo here (external link)

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