A Beginner's Guide to Vibrators, Dildos, Cock Rings and Strokers

All around the world in people’s bedside tables, sock drawers, or under bed storage one might find a variety of pleasure products stored away from wandering eyes and safekeeping. The bravest among us may have them displayed for all to see on their nightstand. But what exactly is a vibrator or a cock ring or a dildo - and why might someone want one (or both, or all)? Great question - and one that sex education seems happy to skip over (which is how you might have found yourself here in the first place). A topic that has seemingly appeared to gain widespread attention and conversation overnight - from articles in the New York Times to endorsements by mega superstars like Cara Delevingne. We’re here to fill you in on what each pleasure product is exactly, how they differ from one another, and why you just might consider trying one out. 

Put simply: vibrators, dildos, cock rings and strokers are tools humans use to experience and explore their sexual pleasure. They offer different sensations and/or vibrations that can enhance pleasure and allow people to feel good. Let’s look at the difference between each product and why one may be more useful to you over another. 

 

What is a Vibrator? 

Dictionary.com defines a vibrator as “a device used for massage or sexual stimulation.” Expanding on that definition - vibrators are devices, typically wrapped in silicone, that someone uses to massage their erogenous zones with (i.e. clitoris, vulva, penis, nipples, etc) to experience pleasure. They can be used solo or with a partner, and come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Check out our guide on all of the different shapes here. And how to use them here

 

Why use a vibrator?

Most vulva-owners find vibrators as a good starting place for their first pleasure product - mainly do their approachable shapes, sizes, and price points. You can try the biodegradable Gaia vibrator for as little as $25. Or, if you’re willing to spend a little more, we’d suggest the Yumi for external clitoral stimulation or the Swan squeeze for internal stimulation. These are USB rechargeable and covered in silky smooth silicone which feels nicer to the touch. 


& A Fun Fact - more than 70% of people with vulvas need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, so before you go thinking a toy that allows for penetration is a must, an external vibrator may become your new BFF. 

pebble vibrator


What is a Dildo? 

Dildos differ from vibrators in that they don’t have motors - meaning they offer no vibration speeds or patterns. Plus side - not need to recharge them or purchase batteries for them! It also allows dildos to be made out of different materials, like stainless steel or the Dalia made of premium porcelain.


Why use a dildo?

Dildos offer more versatility if you’re looking for penetrative pleasure. Some dildos offer a suction cup base which can be handy to stick to a shower wall or to a non-porous surface. Some can also be worn in a harness, allowing you to wear it and penetrate someone else. 


& A Fun Fact: Dildo does not equal phallic (penis) shaped. There are plenty of beautifully designed dildos in a variety of colours, some even have sparkles or hand painted flowers. 

Luxury Porcelain Dildo


What is a Cock Ring?

A cock ring is a circular shaped toy that goes around the base of a penis which can lead to increased pleasure and, some studies have suggested, assist with erectile dysfunction. Cock rings can be made of many different materials including silicone, plastic or metal - and can be vibrating or non-vibrating. At swoon we offer two cock-ring style products, but with the added versatility of being able to change the shape to non-ring forms - check out the Satisfyer Partner.


Why use a cock ring?

Cock rings are popular for their use between couples given they can provide pleasure to both parties involved. They also have the added benefit of being able to help some penis-owners maintain their erections longer. 


& A Fun Fact: Cock rings can also be called C rings, penis rings or shaft rings - very cool. 

cock ring

What is a Penis Stroker? 

A penis stroker is a hollow, textured piece of material that can enhance pleasure for people who have penises. People like penis strokers because they offer a different sensation, perfect for changing things up and being curious. We offer the reusable Tenga 3D Spiral in our shop. You can use a stroker by pouring lube into the stroker’s hollowed canal, and then putting your penis inside while stroking the stroker up and down. If you’re a visual learner, we recommend checking out this video

Why use a penis stroker?

Penis strokers also have different variations - some popular ones include the ‘pocket pussy’ or ‘fleshlight’. These offer a similar user experience of putting your penis inside a canal to experience a different sensation, however, the outside appearance is a bit more visual.. We like the Tenga penis strokers as they offer a more discreet appearance while not compromising on the feel. They are also easy to clean and store, and most of them are reusable. 

 & A Fun Fact: Tenga - the Japanese company paving the way in penis strokers - is known for bringing beautiful design to all of their products and has even won a Red Dot industrial design award for their Tenga spinners. 

penis stroker

 

And Beyond

We hope you’re feeling a lot more informed on what pleasure products exist and the differences between each of them. Vibrators, dildos, cock rings and penis strokers are only the beginning of products available for your pleasure. Some newer and exciting innovations to enter the scene as of late are the OhNut - a revolutionary wearable that allows couples to explore penetration with a comfortable buffer. And the Shotpocket - a pleasure stroker made for trans men made of silicone. We can’t wait to see what’s created next to elevate and simplify pleasure for all humans. 

December 14, 2020 — swoon humans