The electric vibrator has been available in one form or another for well over 100 years. Electric vibrators are usually sold as full body massagers, not sex toys, and are available at many department stores and big box retailers (you can find them in the small appliance section, between the hair dryers and the waffle irons).
Electric vibrators tend to be stronger, made by large reputable manufacturers, and come with good warranties. Most electric vibrators are designed for external stimulation only, but many sex toy companies now make attachments that allow you to use them for vaginal or anal penetration.
The main difference among electric vibrators is the mechanism of vibration. The two main kinds of electric vibrator are the wand and the coil.
Wand-style vibrators are the strongest vibrators currently available. At the end of a wand is usually a strong two-speed motor that whirs and creates intense “thumpy” vibration. The Hitachi Magic Wand (pictured on the left) is probably the best known wand-style vibrator.
A Coil-style vibrators look like a small hair dryer and vibrate using a completely different mechanism. There is no motor that whirs inside a coil vibrator. Instead, there is an electromagnetic coil that the tip of the vibrator vibrates against 60 times per second. The result is a completely silent and more “buzzy” or “pointed” feeling vibration. Their quiet running makes them very popular with parents who don’t want to make a lot of noise or anyone with thin walls and/or nosey neighbors.
Electric Vibrator Pros:
- Stronger than battery vibrators
- Long lifespan
- Manufacturers offer proper warranties (usually at least one year)
- Great for full body massage and sexual use
- Can be a less threatening introduction to vibrators
Electric Vibrator Cons:
- Fewer power settings (usually just two speeds)
- More expensive than battery vibrators
- For some they can be too strong
- Louder than battery vibrators
- Require proximity to a power outlet
When choosing an electric vibrator, consider the warranty and how comfortable it feels in your hand. If you want something you can use with a partner, you may find the wand styles more flexible and comfortable. Finally, if you don’t have a lot of outlets in your house and/or you love sex outdoors, a plug-in electric vibrator may not be the best choice.