How To Use A Dildo: A Beginner's Guide

The first step is finding the right kind of dildo for you.

How To Use A Dildo: A Beginner's Guide

How To Use A Dildo: A Beginner's Guide

How To Use A Dildo: A Beginner's Guide

5 minute read

If you’ve recently purchased a dildo, or you’re considering it, you may be curious as to how to actually use a dildo. It’s definitely not something they teach in sex-ed, sadly. This guide will give you everything you need to know about using a dildo safely and pleasurably. We want to make sure you feel supported through this journey of sexual self-exploration. And, even if you’re a seasoned dildo-user, you might just find a new trick you’ve never tried. 

5 steps for using a dildo  

The way you use a dildo may depend on the kind of sex toy you have. That said, there are some general steps you can follow to learn how to choose a dildo, prep it for use, and then finally play with it. Here are five steps to use a dildo. 

1. Choose the right dildo

It feels like there are more types of dildos in this world than there are ice cream flavors, and honestly, we’re not complaining. However, having so many options can make it difficult to choose the right dildo for you.  

When deciding, keep in mind the material of the toy. Non-porous options — such as high-grade body-safe silicone, stainless steel, and glass — are safest. If you do use a porous toy, just be sure to cover it with a condom. 

Dr. Jill McDevitt, resident sexologist for CalExotics, advises that when purchasing a dildo, think about any special features you want. “Do you want it to look like an actual penis (flesh-toned, veins), penis-like (such as neon blue but featuring a penis “head” shape), or just phallic? Do you want it to vibrate? To curve? To have ridges and textures?” Some toys have certain shapes, ridges, or bumps made to stimulate or to better target certain areas or to give you different sensations. Sometimes, figuring out what you like just requires a bit of experimentation and some trial and error. 

2. Clean the toy

It’s important to clean the toy before AND after use as it will accumulate dust over time. If you have silicone toys that are non-motorized, glass, or stainless steel, the best way to clean your toy, is to simply throw it in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or so. Otherwise, you can use warm water and mild unscented soap to wash it down and thoroughly rinse it. If you’re using the toy immediately, there’s no need to let it fully dry, just give it a good shake. If you’re washing after use or just giving it a maintenance clean, allow it to air dry to reduce any lint buildup, and remember to let it dry completely before putting it away to avoid mold. 

3. Secure the lube

There is no such thing as too much lube. Whichever way you choose to use your dildo — anally or vaginally, solo or with a consenting partner or solo — lube is a must! Consider the material of the toy when choosing the right lube. If you’re using a silicone toy, avoid silicone-based lubricant, as it will erode the silicone toy. Water-based and oil-based lubricants are safe to use with silicone toys, as well as glass or stainless steel. Oil-based lube, however, is not compatible with latex condoms, so it cannot be used if you are using a condom over your toy. Malika O’Neill, LPC, founder and CEO of The Pleasure Collective, recommends sticking with a water-based lube, because they are compatible with all toy and condom materials. 

4. Get in the mood

Whether you’re playing solo or partnered, creating an ambiance that makes you feel sensual and erotic can really take your session up a notch, but also because heightened arousal relaxes the muscles, as does orgasm, especially those in and surrounding the anal and vaginal canal. Dim the lights, light some candles, put on a sultry playlist. You might want to set out a sheet so you aren’t distracted, worried about making a mess of your bed, or wherever else you’re getting frisky. Stimuli like visual porn, audio porn, or literotica can also help arouse you and get you in the mood. It’s also suggested to have a penile or clitoral orgasm, or at least pleasure your genitals to arousal prior to engaging in any penetrative dildo play if it is in any way painful or uncomfortable. 

5. Try penetration

Once you’ve lubed up the dildo, and preferably whatever orifice it plans to enter, it’s time for the magic to happen. Holding the toy from the base (in some cases by the handle), and from whatever position you feel most comfortable and relaxed in, you’ll breathe slowly and fully and begin to insert the tip of the dildo, vaginally or anally. Keeping the lube nearby, from here you’ll see what feels best for you. That might be pulling it out and pushing it back in, it might be just leaving it in there for that full feeling, and pleasuring your clitoris or penis while it remains there. If it’s your first time using the toy, go slow. You’ll want to get used to the width, length, and girth to be sure it’s the size you feel comfortable with. 

How to pleasure yourself with a dildo

Now that you know the basic parts of using the dildo, the fun part begins! How you use the toy depends on the size, shape, and type of dildo, but here are a few general ways to pleasure yourself, anally and/or vaginally, with a classic dildo, along with some tips and tricks.

1. Try different positions

Try using the dildo while you’re on your back, doggy-style, standing with one leg raised, bending over your bed, on your side, on your stomach. Some positions may be easier and more enjoyable for you than others. Also, some positions may help you better stimulate areas in the vagina, like the cervix, A-spot, urethral sponge, as well as the anus, like the prostate or the A-spot. These areas bring varying degrees of pleasure for different people. 

O’Neil suggests laying on your back and bringing the knees into the chest for better access to the cervical sponge (G-spot) or the anus and/or prostate. “Consider placing a pillow for support under your hips to raise your butt in the air for better access,” she adds.

She also mentions that laying sideways “with your legs closed and knees bent, and reaching around behind can make the toy feel larger and the sensations fuller.” 

How To Use A Dildo: Try different positions‍

2. Experiment with different techniques

Whether you’re using a dildo vaginally or anally, there are so many different angles, depths, movements, speeds, and pressures to try. You can play around with speed, depending on your comfort, and try targeting different areas internally by testing out different angles and depths. For the vagina, try stimulating the cervix, the urethral sponge, and the A-spot. For the anus, if you have a prostate, target your prostate for tons of pleasure. If you don’t have a prostate, anal penetration can still feel amazing, as the rectum is chock-full of nerve-endings. 

O’Neill suggests a few techniques for vaginal dildo penetration:

  • Deep thrust. This “provides intense stimulation, especially with a dildo that is textured.” 
  • Deep penetration. This is more likely to stimulate the A-spot and the cervix. 
  • Short and sweet thrust. This provides stimulation to the sensitive nerve-endings in the first third of the vagina. 
  • Pressure glide. O’Neill suggests dragging the top part of the dildo across your urethral sponge (G-spot) as you pull the dildo outward. “The more rigid the toy, the more intense stimulation” she adds. 
  • A curve. Many dildos and toys feature a pronounced curve made specifically for stimulation of the urethral sponge (G-spot). 

Remember, every BODY is different and experiences pleasure and arousal differently, so experimentation is key to figuring out exactly what you like, how you like it, and where you like it. 

3. Add in another toy if you want

From here you can try incorporating other toys to stimulate other areas of the genitals or body, like a vibrator, butt plug, or cock ring! Pro-tip: Targeting your urethral sponge while also stimulating the clitoris is often a recommended technique for squirting.

How To Use A Dildo: vibrator, butt plug, cock ring

How to use a glass or stainless steel dildo

Glass and stainless steel dildos are non-porous options that are far weightier than most silicone dildos, which is a selling point for many. They’re also totally solid, unlike a silicone toy, which can more distinctly stimulate the areas you want. 

Your options for using glass or stainless toys are generally the same as a silicone dildo. You’ll hold it by the base (if it has one) and insert the tip vaginally or anally, as deep or shallow, and with as much or as little speed as is comfortable. With these toys, however, you have the added option to experiment with temperature play. Try warming up the toy in a bowl of warm (not hot!) water for a bit to play with heat, or in a bowl of cold water see how cool temps feel. Only soak it in warm or cool water that is safe to the touch.

Glass Dildo

How to use a suction cup dildo

These are dildos that feature a suction cup base, allowing for them to be “stuck” onto various surfaces without moving. Suction cup dildos allow hands-free action which opens up the door to many more play options. You can stick it onto the wall, for some doggy-style action, or the floor to “ride it”. Sex coach and writer for The Big Fling, Carmel Jones, suggests sticking it to a chair. “Once your dildo is in place, sit on your chair backward so that your chest is facing the back of the chair. Then, you can use the back of the chair for support, and bounce yourself on top of your dildo”, she says. “The seat of the chair will also likely force your legs to be in the squatted-wide position, which can also tighten the vaginal walls increasing the pleasure.” 

There are some alternatives to buying a suction cup dildo, the first being a suction cup attachment if it will work with your specific toy. The attachment suctions to the base of your dildo and features another suction cup on the other side, so you can reap the benefits of a suction cup dildo without buying one. The second option is to buy a sex toy mount, like one of the options at Liberator, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

Suction Cup Dildo

How to use a double-ended dildo

Anyone can engage in double-ended dildo play, as they can be used ass-to-ass, ass-to-vagina, or vagina-to-vagina. Double-ended dildos come in a variety of materials, and some are motorized as well. Some positions to experiment with are a scissoring type of position, where you and a partner are facing each other with legs intertwined and one end of the dildo in each partner’s vagina. You can also try a doggy-style position where both partners are on all fours and facing away from each other, with the double-ended dildo inserted in each partner’s ass. Partners would then thrust backward towards one another. 

Another option is to wear it in a strap-on. The strap-on wearer slides the dildo halfway through the hole in the strap-on harness then inserts the side on the inside of the harness anally or vaginally, while penetrating your partner with the other end. There are also double-ended dildos that are shaped more specifically for this kind of sex, like the Fun Factory ShareVibe.

Double-ended Dildo

How to use a strap-on dildo

Strap-ons are composed of two things: a harness and a dildo. For a wearer with a vagina, they would slide the dildo through the harness, usually worn around the pelvic area, allowing them to penetrate a receiving partner either anally or vaginally. Toys with flared or pronounced bases are necessary so it does not slip out. There are also strap-ons that can be worn on other areas of the body, like the thigh, if pelvic harnesses are not accessible to you or you just want to try something else.

They can also be used by anyone of any gender with any genitalia. For someone with a penis, there are strap-on harnesses that have two holes, one for the penis, and one for a dildo, so that you can engage in double penetration anally and vaginally. Mayla Green, sex coach for The Adult Toy Shop tells O.School that there are also strap-ons that can be used by folks with erectile dysfunction, because hollow strap-ons are firm enough for penetration, even with a flaccid penis. The interior is hollowed out, and the wearer places their un-erect penis inside the opening.”

Strap-on Dildo

The bottom line

Ultimately, the types of dildos you use and how you use them depend on you, your body, your comfort, your desires, and your boundaries — and those of any partners involved. Not only can using dildos unlock experiences and types of stimulation you may have experienced with fingers or a penis, but it can also teach you about your body and expand your personal pleasure toolkit.

Jamie LeClaire

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Jamie J. LeClaire (they/them) is a sexuality educator, freelance writer, and consultant. Their work focuses on the intersections of pleasure-positive sexual health, queer & transgender/gender-nonconforming identity, body politics, and social justice. You can find more of their work at their website, and follow them on Instagram & Twitter.

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