A dildo is a sex toy that provides sexual stimulation by being inserted into the vagina or anus.

The most common sex toys are dildos which, if they vibrate, are usually called vibrators. Traditionally they are toys mainly used by women as a substitute for a penis. Nowadays dildos are widely used by women on their own, with their male or female partners and by homosexual men. If the toy is intended to be used anally it is called a 'butt plug'. We will discuss sex toys specifically for anal play and vibrating dildos on other pages. Many dildos are 'harness compatible'. These are usually worn by women to allow hands free penetration of a female or male partner. There are also double ended dildos designed to be used by two people together or sometimes by a woman in both her vagina and anus at the same time.

Why Use Dildos?

Because they are fun and can provide great satisfaction!

That is the simple answer, but this simple answer as usual hides many facets of why people use and enjoy dildos.

Here is a list of reasons - I am sure you can add to it!

  • For a woman (or man) who particularly enjoys penetration, dildos provide a physical and psychological support for sexual activity if they don't have a partner, they have lost their partner or their partner is away. In this case the dildo is very definitely a penis substitute

  • If a woman has a partner with an average or small penis (or actually, come to think of it, any size of penis) and they enjoy the feel of their vagina 'being filled up' more than their partner can, they can use a large dildo to satisfy that need. In fact some women like truly enormous dildos - larger than any real life male would have.

  • Similar to the above, despite the talk of 'size doesn't matter' and 'its how you use it rather than how big it is', many women have strong fantasies about being 'taken' by a being (human or otherwise) with a very large penis. Dildos can be used to help satisfy/play out that sort of fantasy. This may also apply to gay or bisexual men or to men in a heterosexual encounter where they have the fantasy of their partner being taken. One hopes in the situation where one person uses a dildo on the other that they take into account the size preferences of their partner.
  • A dildo is often modelled like a penis. Leaving aside any vibrations, in that case its effects can vary physically and psychologically due to its length, girth, shape and colour (penises are quite variable in these things).

  • Dildos not strictly penis-like often have varying shapes and surface textures that provide sensations not available from a real penis (though there are penis sleeves that do adapt a real penis).
  • A dildo, as with any sex toy, can add interest and fun into a sexual relationship even if 'unaided' sex is preferred. In this way a flagging sexual relationship can often be revitalised.
  • Lastly, and quite important for some, a dildo doesn't get tired! Admittedly a vibrating dildo's batteries might run out or the dildo might break in some way, but generally a dildo can be used 'erect' for much longer than a real penis.

Type Of Dildos

Being (together with vibrators) the most popular type of sex toy, dildos come in a great variety of forms, colours, shapes and materials.

These factors all have a bearing on whether a person likes a particular dildo or not and sometimes whether it is suitable for the intended use.


Dildos are made out of a wide variety of materials including wood, metal, glass and various rubbers and hard plastics.
  • Wood - this material is unusual these days. It probably has some 'followers' but it is not easy to clean and is rarely offered for sale. If you would be interested in wooden dildos please let us know!

  • Metal - this is also an unusual material but is occasionally available, particularly from BDSM biased sites.

  • Unbreakable Glass - fairly recently this material has come into vogue. It has properties that make it an interesting choice. The glass used is like that used for Pyrex dishes so it is difficult to break and resistant to heat. Although they may have ripples and nobbles as with dildos made out of other materials, dildos made out of glass are very smooth. They also hold heat or cold well so can provide other sensations. Because of the type of glass used they can be easily cleaned and sterilised by boiling in water if required. Lastly glass lends itself to the some very artistic effects and many glass dildos are hand made art creations that can be enjoyed for their looks as well as their feel!

  • Acrylic Plastic - Perspex is a form of this. It is usually clear and is used to make hard dildos that look like glass ones but are quite a bit cheaper. They are actually very good. However they cannot be heated in boiling water as the plastic softens and they do not have as great a capacity for heat and cold as glass.
  • Latex Rubber - dildos made out of normal latex rubber have a firm but bendy feel to them. They also come with the rubber smell so beloved of rubber lovers. Latex rubber does need quite a lot of care for a long life. Although latex rubber can be moulded in life like penis shapes generally the colouration is not very natural.

  • Jelly Rubber - this we believe is a form of plastic rubber but is much softer and clearer. It is usually coloured with a transparent colour that makes the dildo look like a large sweet! A wide variety of such colours is available. The feel of jelly rubber is good and quite life like. Unfortunately jelly rubber is not very robust and is quite easily damaged but on the other hand it is cheaper than other materials.

  • Silicone Rubber - this is the top rubber for sex toys generally. It is tough, has a very good feel (both the surface texture and the body give). It can be moulded accurately and coloured well. For life like penis shaped dildos it is excellent. It also is easy to clean and can be sterilised in boiling water. Being tough it has a very long life so long as a silicone based lubricant is not used with it.

  • Specialist Rubbers - special rubbers such as CyberSkin are even more life like but are very expensive and often need special care.

  • Hard Plastic - with all this talk of life like textures and feel you might think there is no role for hard plastics. In fact a lot of dildos are made from such materials. They are low cost, can provide a good range of colours and shapes. They usually have a smooth surface and so can glide over the erogenous zones well. Interestingly dildos made out of hard plastic are more usually the vibrating variety.


The most common dildos are penis shaped. Sometimes this is just a passing resemblance; sometimes the dildo is made very life like.

Many other shapes based on an elongated cylinder are found. Many of these have bumps and ridges designed to provide extra stimulation.

Some dildos have a bend specifically to aid 'g spot' stimulation.


Most dildos are probably used by women on their own or with a male partner. In that situation a hand held dildo is often used. For a woman (or man) on their own (or to provide a 'show' for their partners) some dildos come with a suction cup. This allows the dildo to be attached to a smooth surface and then the penetration can be hands free.

For penetration of a woman by another woman or a man by a woman strap on harnesses are available. The dildos for these are often dual purpose: they can be hand held or put in the harness.

For woman on woman sex another option is the double ended dildo each end of which can be inserted at the same time (these could also be used by a woman and man or two men).

Choosing A Dildo

First consider what you would find attractive; whether a penis look alike is what you want etc. then consider the size and how you will use it. Lastly browes the SexTingles site and see what there is. In the end you will probably have to try a variety to see what suits you best.
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