8 Types of Dildos

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These days, more people than ever are using adult sex toys. Once totally taboo, erotic toys and tools have worked their way into the mainstream. Studies have even recognized the benefits of sex toy use. This explosion of popularity means that now more than ever, sex toys are a booming business. There are toys for every taste and so many options to choose from. This is wonderful but can also get a bit overwhelming for shoppers. Have no fear; I’m here to help! Today we are going to do a deep dive on one type of adult toy-- dildos! We’ll go over everything you need to know:  what they are, why people use them, the different types that exist, how to choose the best one for you, and how to use the one you pick. We’re going to cover it all! Get ready to get the dildo education you never knew you needed! 

What is a Dildo? 

Before we get any further we should probably get on the same page as to what a dildo is exactly. For the uninitiated, a dildo is one of the best sex toys designed to deliver stimulation via anal or vaginal penetration,  or even to massage the body. Dildos tend to have a phallic shape, and while some are designed to resemble penises, a whole lot aren’t. You can find dildos in every shape, from a straightforward, smooth rod to a realistic octopus tentacle and everything in between. Some are textured, some are curved, some feature a bulbous tip for g-spot or prostate internal stimulation, and some have suction-cup bases or are compatible with a strap-on harness. 

Dildos can be made from a whole range of materials, which means they can run the gamut from soft and squishy to legit rock-hard. In addition to different materials and shapes, dildos are also available in tons of different sizes, girths, and lengths.  Don’t get overwhelmed because we’re going to break all of this down in just a minute. Just know that there are a whole lot of different dildos out there! 

Why Would You Use a Dildo?

For as many different dildos as there are available, there are just as many different reasons that people use and enjoy them. Dildos can be used by folks of all genders and sexual orientations. While they are fabulous for vaginal and anal penetration, dildos can also be used for clitoral stimulation, gender affirmation, to extend the size of one’s penis and even as part of therapy for things like vaginismus, pelvic floor muscle spasms, and more. 

What Are Dildos Made Of?

Short answer, a lot of different things. Long answer: A whole array of different materials are employed by the dildo makers of the world. The result is a wide variety of dildos that look and feel completely different. For example, if you are looking for something soft, ranging from firm with a little give to full-on squishy, you would want to look at something made with silicone, TPR, or any type of “real feel” material. Looking for something downright hard? Cool, then you want to look at dildos made with glass, steel, ceramic, and even wood. Now, as for what is “best”, the answer is different for everyone and depends largely on what you enjoy.  To help you get the lay of the land, here is some information about the different materials:

Soft Dildo Materials

  • Silicone
    I’m not even going to try to be impartial here. When it comes to soft dildo materials, silicone is my favorite and top recommendation. It is nonporous (no pores that can trap bacteria), hypoallergenic, phthalate-free, and durable AF. Additionally, silicone toys are flexible and come in a variety of finishes from shiny to smooth and velvety and textures from super firm to soft and supple. Finally, as silicone has grown in popularity, silicone toys have become more affordable and accessible. 
  • TPE
    TPE, like silicone, is hypoallergenic phthalate free. That said, it is a porous material, so it can harbor bacteria. You want to clean TPE toys carefully and put condoms on them if you want to share them with others. TPE toys tend to be affordable and accessible. 
  • “Real Feel” Materials
    These toys go by many different names as each manufacturer tends to have its own proprietary materials. They are soft and flexible and tend to look and feel more lifelike than other materials. They can be made with blends of different materials, including latex, so they may irritate those with latex allergies. These toys are also extremely porous and, frankly, a bit persnickety in terms of maintenance. They often require the use of a toy cleaner as well as something called renewing powder, without which the toys can become sticky. 

Hard Dildo Materials

  • Glass
    The first thing you need to know about glass dildos is that they are typically made out of something called borosilicate, like pyrex dishes! This makes a good glass dildo shatterproof and extra durable. Also, glass dildos tend to be very pretty. 
  • Steel
    Steel dildos are hypoallergenic and great for temperature play. They are also durable long-lasting, and, frankly, they look pretty badass.  
  • Wood
    Wood toys are absolutely beautiful. They are also subject to an extensive sealing process that makes them smooth, safe for use in your body, and splinter-free.
  • Ceramic
    This dildo material is pretty uncommon, and that’s a shame. In addition to being beautiful, ceramic dildos are nonporous and phthalate free. Some even allow you to fill the toy with water to create different weights and sensations. 

Each of these materials requires a different type of care, so make sure to research how to clean your dildo when considering which material to choose, 

How Big Should a Dildo Be?

How big do you want it to be? Seriously, this question is all about personal preference. Folks selecting their very first dildo might want to go with a smaller beginner dildo, while more experienced dildo users who know they like a little extra length or girth might want something bigger. Remember that different dildos do different things. Longer, thinner dildos like the 7-inch Crystal Premium Glass Pleasure Wand can provide cervical or A-spot stimulation, while shorter dildos with a pronounced head like the Acute Dildo can work better for G-spot stimulation. The size you choose will depend on what you need.  

8 Types of Dildos

Okay, so now we know that dildos come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and materials. But that’s not all! When you are dildo shopping, you want to think about what type of dildo you want. Check out this list of the 8 most popular types of dildos.


I’ll cut right to the chase; representational dildos look like human penises. They are often described as “lifelike” or as an “ultra realistic dildo”. Some are incredibly detailed and include things like veining, a pronounced head, and sometimes even testicles. If you are in the market for a realistic dildo, something like the PinkCherry Lucky Dick Realistic 7 Inch Dildo might be up your alley. It features a veined shaft, prominent head, and lifelike balls, making it feel pretty darn close to the real thing.


On the other hand, some folks want dildos that do not look like penises at all, and that’s where non-representational dildos come in. Non-representational dildos basically look like anything other than a penis and include simple, sleek shapes as well as complex, textured designs. Honestly, if you can imagine it, someone has probably made a dildo version of it. This category of dildos also includes many steel and glass dildos. If you’re curious about non-representational dildos check out the Riley Silicone Dildo, which boasts a silky silicone shaft and perfectly contoured head. 

Non-representational dildos are a great choice for staying discreet while traveling. As they don’t look like penises, they have a good chance of flying under the airport security radar, and even if they do get pulled out by airport security, they are not automatically identifiable as sex toy


This is a point of contention for some folks who believe that toys that vibrate are vibrators and dildos are totally separate. I disagree. There are many awesome dildos that feature a cavity in their base to allow for the insertion of a mini vibe or bullet, as well as some that feature an internal motor. A vibrating dildo can be different from a vibrator in that it tends to be less powerful. That said, the addition of vibration is great for taking penetration to the next level. The Hot Pinks Devil Dick Vibe In Hot Pink , with its g-spot targeting tip, satisfying thickness, and multi-speed vibration, is one of our most popular vibrating dildos. 

Suction Cup 

If you want a penetration experience that doesn’t require you to use your hands, or if you want your dildo to stay in place while you get your groove on, a suction cup dildo might be for you.  Suction cup dildos include a suction cup base, which allows them to firmly attach to walls, floors, tables and more. If you are suction cup curious, check out the Colours 7 Inch Firm Silicone Dildo. It features a realistic shape and a strong suction cup base.


Sometimes we say “strap-on” like it’s a completely separate thing from other dildos. The truth is a strap-on dildo is literally any dildo that has a flared base and can be worn in a harness. Seriously, there are tons of options. Additionally, there are what are referred to as “strapless strap ons” (a bit of a misnomer as many find it significantly more comfortable to use them with a harness) and these have a smaller bulb on one end that the wearer inserts into their vagina as well as a longer shaft that is used to penetrate their partner. If you are shopping for a strap on dildo, especially if you are new to strap-on play, it might be wise to consider a set that includes a harness and a harness-compatible dildo like the Strap-On And Silicone Dildo Kit.

Double Ended

A double ended dildo is designed to penetrate two orifices at once, whether those orifices are on the same person or two separate people. They differ from strapless strapons in that they tend to be long, and flexible, and both ends are full size dildos. A great example of this type of dildo is the Silicone AC/DC Double Dildo. It’s sleek, flexible, and suitable for both partnered and solo play. Be sure to learn how to use a double ended dildo if you aren’t too sure how to incorporate it in your play.


Okay, so technically, any dildo with a flared base (safety first!) can be used anally. That said, there are some wonderful anal-specific dildos out there, too! The Boundless 4.75 Inch Smooth Probe is a great place to start exploring anal dildo play. It is sleek, petite, and ideal for beginner butt exploration or to stimulate the prostate. 

Now, for folks who are a bit more experienced, something like the Silicone Anal Stud is a terrific option. It’s got a curved shaft that is ideal for internal stimulation (especially for folks with prostates!), and it’s got a suction cup base for easy hands-free use.  

Just remember, dildos come in a whole variety of shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to try some out to see what’s comfortable. Also, please use a lot of lube. 


Pack-and-play dildos pull double duty as they are designed to create a realistic bulge under clothing when worn with a harness -- that’s what we mean by “pack.” And then to be adjusted into an erect position to penetrate one’s partner-- that’s what we mean by “play.” Choosing a pack-and-play is all about what you feel comfortable both wearing and wielding. It should be a fun, affirming experience!

Whatever you are looking to use a dildo for, there is probably a type of dildo that is right for you. Now that you know what kinds of dildos exist you are better prepared to zero in on the right ones for you! 

How Do You Use a Dildo

You know what a dildo is. You know how many types are available. You are almost ready to embark on your dildo adventure. Before you take off, though, we need to make your final selection and use it in a way that is both pleasurable and safe. 

So let’s take a moment to talk about how to choose a dildo as well as how and how to use a dildo. Dildos can be a lot of fun, especially if you remember these beginner sex tips for creating a comfortable and pleasurable experience:

  • If you are new to dildo play, start small! Remember, you can always work up to a bigger penetrative sex toy later but if you start with something that is too big, odds are your experience will be uncomfortable and that’s not fun. 
  • Keep an eye on materials: Knowing what your dildo is made of is important for more reasons than one. Different materials provide different visuals and sexual pleasure, sure but also, they need to be cleaned in different ways. Choosing a dildo made with non-porous materials such as body-safe silicone, glass, or metal can make for easy cleaning. If choosing a porous material such as TPE, consider using a condom to keep it clean and bacteria free. 
  • Wash it.. Seriously. Before you put a dildo in your body, wash it. 
  • Warm it up. Dildos, especially glass and steel ones, can get cold!  Consider running your dildo under warm water to warm it up. 
  • Warm yourself up too. Sexual activity tends to feel better with a little preparation. Consider using a vibrator or spending some time massaging the vaginal opening, clitoris, or anus before you try to insert a dildo.  
  • Get slippery. Use lubricant to avoid uncomfortable friction and keep things moving smoothly. When it comes to toy/lube compatibility, water-based lube is generally safe for most penetrative sex toys, while silicone lube is safe for hard toys like those made from glass or steel. 
  • Put it in. You’re prepped and ready. It’s penetration time. Move slowly and be liberal with the lube. Using a dildo should be pleasurable, and it should never hurt. Take your time, use your lube, and enjoy!

So there you have it, folks. If you are on the lookout for a great dildo, knowing a bit about what you want can go a long way toward finding the best toy for you! No matter what it is you need, PinkCherry has you covered. Take a look at our huge dildo or luxury dildos selection, you’re bound to find something you love! 



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Written By: JoEllen Notte

JoEllen Notte is a writer, speaker, sex educator, and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead as well as for Glamour, The BBC, Bitch, PsychCentral, and more. JoEllen is the author of The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression, and the Conversations We Aren’t Having.