Sex Ed | Dildos vs. Vibrators

Today we’re going to talk about Dildos! Yay!

Ever since I wrote my review of the Lelo Ella Dildo, I’ve had readers email me with questions like,

“What do you mean it doesn’t vibrate?”

“How does it work?!

With so many adult toys on the market, trying to figure out what will work best for you and how to use it can be slightly overwhelming. Seeing as a reader emailed me the other day with the exact questions above, I thought this might be a good opportunity to explain the difference between Dildos and Vibrators. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, knowing the difference between the two can make the shopping process a lot less confusing.

 A Dildo is phallic shaped sex toy designed to be used for masturbation or other sexual activity. Although many Dildos are made to accurately resemble an erect penis, this is not always the case. Many dildos have a suggestive phallic shape like the Lelo Ella. Although some people like to use “Dildos” as an umbrella term to describe other sex toys like vibrators, they are not exactly the same thing. The main difference being, that in it’s truest form, a Dildo does not vibrate.

When people ask me how a Dildo works, I usually tell them: “Like a penis!”

Whereas a vibrator relies on vibrations to get you off, most Dildos are designed for repeated penetration or thrusting – either vaginally or anally.  By moving the Dildo inside you (like a penis during partner sex), the toy uses friction to get you off by hitting pleasurable nerve endings. Some Dildos are designed specifically to stimulate and/or discover a woman’s G-spot.  This is where I feel like the classic Dildo really excels. Without the buzz of vibrations, you can use the toy to really explore and find those awesome pleasure points – at least this has been my experience. If you’re looking to explore your G-spot – either solo or with a partner -I would recommend checking out a G-spot dildos like the Lelo EllaThe Comet by TantusThe Flowered friend by Don Wands or the ultra curved Key Comet G by Jopen.

You can also use Dildos for anal penetration. However, if you’re going to be using a Dildo for anal play, make sure you use a toy with a flared base like the The Comet. The flared base prevents the toy from getting lost inside you (something that can actually happen if you’re not careful. Yikes!)

There are also dildos designed to be worn in a harness, sometimes called a strap-on harness or strap-on dildo. Some Dildos also include a removable bullet vibrator for extra stimulation. Examples of these kinds of toys would be the Vibrating Champlette or the (kind of totally hilarious) Oh Oui Pink Banana. The Vibrating Champlette can easily be strapped on, while with the Oh Oui Pink Banana…well, if you  can actually manage to use it without laughing hysterically, good for you.

There are also double-ended dildos, with different-sized shafts pointing in the same direction, used by women to accomplish both anal and vaginal penetration at once, or for two partners to share a single dildo. In this case, the dildo acts as a sort of “see-saw”; each partner takes an end and receives stimulation.

As you may remember, I really love my Lelo Ella Dildo. When it comes to playing with it, I personally prefer to use it with a partner. Ladies, if you’re looking for some fun inspiration, I would suggest having your partner use a G-spot stimulating Dildo on you (while going down on you, or on it’s own) during foreplay. Stimulating the G-Spot during foreplay will make the main event that much more explosive. Trust.

I should also mention that different materials provide different sensations. Dildos made of silicone have a similar silky, soft feel of real skin, whereas Dildos made of glass or metal, have a harder texture that can either be heated or cooled for added sensation. There are also wooden Dildos which are great for people who like to keep things as natural and environmentally friendly as possible. FYI. Toys made of Silicone, Glass, Stainless Steel and Wood like The Tsunami by TantusThe Amazing Swirls Dildo,  Fling Ergonomic Two Finger Dildo and the The Pure Wand by NJoy  are all 100% body safe.

Although there are an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to the products available, Dildos themselves are nothing new. Evidence suggests that people have been making and using sex toys since the beginning of time. The world’s oldest known dildo is a siltstone 20-centimeter phallus from the Upper Palaeolithic period that was found in Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm, Germany, and dates back 30,000 years. The first dildos were made of stone, tar, wood and other materials that were firm enough to be used as penetrative sex toys. Dildos were were known in Ancient Greece prior to the 5th century BC and Chinese women in the 15th century used dildos made of lacquered wood with textured surfaces. There have also been many references to dildos in literature – from Shakespeare to William Burroughs!

In comparison, the vibrator is relatively new. They didn’t arrive on the scene until the 1880’s when Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville patented the first electromechanical vibrator. If you’re looking for a feel good movie (literally), the film Hysteria  offers a fun glimpse into the story behind the invention of the first vibrator.

If it’s actually a vibrator that you’re looking for, check out the Lelo Mona (love this toy!), the Picobong Moka or the Lelo Liv which all have the shape of a Dildo with the added benefit of killer vibrations to rock your world.

So, here is what you should take away from this:

Dildos don’t vibrate (unless there’s a vibrating bullet inserted inside)

Vibrators do vibrate (and often look like Dildos)

Some people consider Dildos and vibrators the same thing, however I prefer to think of them as separate but closely related – sort of like cousins. Similar but different and both a lot of fun.

And lastly, when people (ie. Perez Hilton – who really should know better) use the terms interchangeably it can get both confusing and annoying for this sex blogger.

Because I promised he’d be able to give his 2 cents, I’ll let Joe the Intern sum things up:


Um, thanks Joe – that’s actually a very succinct analogy!

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

This post was brought to you by EdenFantasys. I received a gift card in exchange for this post. For better or for worse, all opinions are my own because that’s how I roll.

Got any sex toy questions? Ask me here!

  • I knew these things already, but I love this post because it is so informative and funny– true Simone style!

    • skinny_dip

      Thanks TG! I figured a lot of people probably know some of this stuff but I still had fun writing the post 🙂

  • Great post! I think it’s confusing, especially when the terms are used interchangeably. I liked that you focused on what products are body safe, especially since so many companies, sex bloggers and Slumber Party reps don’t. xoxo PS Joe the intern makes me lol!

    • skinny_dip

      Ha, I’m glad Joe makes you LOL! I keep him sitting on my desk to cheer me up whenever I’m in a bad mood.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I tried to go into as much detail as possible without being overwhelming and feature only body safe toys. xoxo

  • abidjerichomn

    Strap on dildos ! Its really a new type of dildos. I like it very much and really want to use it with my partner next time.

  • Best Vibrators

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You have a wonderful blog! Keep it up!

    • skinny_dip

      Thank you!

  • Isobel Holman

    I believe dildos are better than vibrators, because a dildo can actually imitate a real-life feeling.

    Check out something on Edenfantasys.

    • skinny_dip

      Thanks for the comment Isobel! This is true, however I think it all comes down to personal preference. There are vibrators I love and dildos I hate (and vice versa!) 🙂