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Dildos: A Beginner's Guide To The Original Sex Toy

Learn all about the basics of dildos, including five key traits associated with maximum pleasure.

Portrait of Mia from Blissful Cherry

Mia Hart

Updated August 28, 2023

Portrait of Mia from Blissful Cherry

By Mia Hart    Updated August 28, 2023

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Multiple colored dildos arranged alongside one another

Dildos are a huge component of sexual self-discovery.

They are typically one of the first sex toys that people get their hands on.

And due to their simplicity are fairly cheap and easy to obtain.

In fact, there are literally thousands of dildos that you can find around the world.

However, with so many options for what we deem "the original sex toy", it can be hard to find the best dildo.

Or at least one that comes close to it.

Want to purchase the best dildo for yourself right now? Click here.

Luckily we are here to save the day.

We've surveyed nearly 500 women to come up with the 5 key traits that make a great dildo.

Keep reading to find out just what characteristics set a great dildo apart from the rest of the pack.

But first! It is important to clearly define what a dildo is moving forward.

So let's (briefly) do just that!

(If you really want to skip ahead to the list, you click here.)

What is a dildo?

To put it simply, dildos are phallic objects that provide sexual pleasure via penetration.

In other words, by inserting the dildo into your vagina (or your anus).

Very much in the same way that you would be stimulated by a real penis!

generic purple dildo over white background
This is the most basic of dildos - a phallic object that derives sexual pleasure via penetration.

That's more or less what you need to know about dildos.

Which brings us back to the question at hand: What are the characteristics that define a great dildo?

Personal preference is always different!

As confident we are in this list, the fact will always remain that people will have varying opinions.

Meaning no matter what we describe down below, there is always the chance that you personally would prefer something otherwise.

dildos of various shapes and colors on a table
Ultimately there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dildos. Different dildos will appeal to people differently.

What we can say is that these 5 key traits are most agreed upon by most women, based on the findings of our surveys.

So if you are new to dildos, or are just keeping an open mind for improving your dildo collection, this list will be of great value.

Now let's get right into the list


#1 - A (Perfect) Size That Satisfies

A big reason people (women in particular) love the dildo is because can be used as a substitute to a real man's penis.

Whether they don't have a significant other at the moment, or just want to have easy access to it, a dildo is a great way to stay sexually satisfied at all times.

It's definitely much better than using only your fingers, which are both short and thin, neither of which are ideal for achieving great vaginal stimulation in particular.

But determining exactly what size dildo to use is the first thing to consider.

big black realistic dildo over white background
Although we all want a dildo that's bigger and better than the real thing, dildos such as this 12 inch black dildo are probably overkill.

Obviously if the dildo is too small, it wouldn't even make sense to use it over something like your fingers.

But on the other hand, as much as you may be inclined to try a giant dildo, there is such a thing as being too big.

So where's the sweet spot?

In other words, the ideal length that is most satisfying for a majority of women?

7" to 8" dildos are key

Our research showed that a huge majority of women (86%) preferred dildos between 7" and 8".

The fact that those results were so consistent were fairly surprising, but perhaps can be explained to a certain extent.

end of purple dildo lying next to measuring tape showing between 7 to 8 inches
The ideal dildo size for women is between 7" and 8".

While women see dildos as substitites for real men's genitalia, most also want to experience "more" than what a real man has to offer.

And with the average erect penis length in America being a mere 5.1", it makes sense that women wanted something bigger than that.

(In fact, not a single one of the women we surveyed wanted a dildo smaller than 5.5")

As far as going higher than 8", there were definitely some women who preferred that sort of dildo size.

But as mentioned, at some point a dildo can only be so big before it stops becoming enjoyable.

For a dildo that is most likely to satisfy you, select one that is between 7" to 8" in length.

#2 - A Soft Exterior

Despite any perception about them, our vaginal walls are very delicate overall.

And despite the term "erect penis", any woman who has touched one before knows that it is actually fairly soft overall.

Particularly the head and the upper portions of the penis shaft.

In other words, the parts of the penis that penetrate the furthest.

That allows for even the most rough sex to not be too harsh on the vagina.

Which is precisely what we need from a dildo as well.

Hard exteriors feel unnatural

This is a known fact for just about anyone who has tried using homemade dildos to get themselves off.

The most common example is a cucumber - and despite the sexual pleasure it can provide, it never feels perfectly natural while your doing it.

fresh cucumbers over white background
Cucumbers are popular for homemade dildos, but their hard exterior make them less than ideal.

And it has nothing to do with the size, or the shape, but rather the hard exterior.

In fact, the only time hard exteriors are sometimes useful is when it comes to vibrators, since the vibrations are transferred more efficiently to the woman through hard surfaces rather than softer ones.

six plastic vibrators of various colors over white background
Hard exterior materials such as plastic are only useful for vibrators.

Squishy dildo to mimic the real thing.

Taking it one step further, not only should the dildo be soft on the outside, but essentially it should be soft throughout the entirety of the dildo

(At least most of the dildo - see #3 below)

In other words, the ideal dildo should be squishy to the point of being able to squeeze the dildo and see it compress.

There are two main reasons women described this characteristic as being ideal.

For one, the softness of the dildo creates realism in the phallic object, which is a turn-on for women in general.

close-up of squishy realistic dildo being squeezed at the shaft by a hand
A dildo should always feel soft to the touch, to help women fantasize about the real thing!

(Especially as they have the dildo inside of them - when it feels softer, it feels more like the real thing!)

And secondly, by having a soft dildo that can compress under pressure, it ensures that inserting the dildo creates a nice, tight fit into the vagina.

Which maximizes pleasure even further!

#3 - A Rigid Shaft

Although seemingly contradictory to our last point, it really is not.

In fact, both elements go hand in hand when it comes to creating a dildo that most closely resembles the real thing.

The last thing you want is for a dildo to go in halfway, and then to have trouble pushing it in further due to the flimsy nature of the dildo itself.

This is particularly relevant when it comes to jelly dildos that have very little to no infrastructure.

(Not to mention that jelly material is not a safe sex toy material to begin with).

purple jelly dildo over white background
Dildos made out of jelly are not only unsafe, but often have problems maintaining smooth penetration due to their flexible nature.

While admittedly some guys do have problems staying fully erect (a problem many women know all too well), at least they are there to keep the fun going when their penis inadvertently goes astray.

But when you are controlling the action all by yourself manually, when your dildo doesn't cooperate you, it absolutely kills the mood.

Most dildos do have a certain level of rigidity incorporated into its design.

But that typically conflicts with having a nice soft

So how do the best dildos work around this?

An hard core to stabilize the shaft!

This is an important feature that really makes the dildo a cut above the rest.

By using some hard core in the middle, the bulk of the dildo remains soft and squishy, while still having superb support.

This allows for easy insertion of the dildo, while still giving you all the benefits of a soft dildo.

This one is really a game-changer.

If your dildo does not have this sort of mechanism (or at least something like it), we can guarantee that you are not getting the full pleasure out of your dildo.

As important as it is to have a soft (squishy) dildo, it is just as important to have a strong, rigid shaft inside to support it.

#4 - Realistic (Penis-Like) Features

As we've mentioned a few times already, there is a certain turn-on for women when it comes to their dildo alluding to the real thing.

But it doesn't just come down to the physical properties of the dildo.

79% of surveyed women agreed that a dildo that visually looked like the real thing turned them on more than a more generic or vibrant colored dildo.

While a generic colored dildo felt more like a novelty than anything, a realistic looking dildo was more likely to keep women in the mood for sexual pleasure.

So how does a dildo implement realistic features?

Realistic colors

This one is relatively simple to implement.

Rather than a bright pink or blue dildo, the dildo simply needs to be some sort of flesh-colored.

six colorful dildos over white background
Colorful dildos may seem fun, but the novelty wears off fairly quickly.

As there are many different preferences to men, the "flesh-color" itself can vary widely, from light-skinned flesh to darker shades of brown.

Sex toy manufacturers can even take it a step further by using more intricate color schemes that more accurately represent the look of a real penis.

A distinct penis head

So many generic dildos simply round off the end of the dildo and call it a day.

However, the real thing has a distinct penis head that sits atop the main shaft.

Many women find the penis head the most attractive and intriguing part of the penis, so recreating that distinct element makes a lot of sense in that regard.

close-up of realistic dildo penis head
The penis head is a very attractive part of the male figure that should always be recreated on a dildo!

Balls at the base of the shaft

What women doesn't love balls?

(Ok, not every woman admittedly, although I surely do).

But even if you don't love balls, they are clearly a prominent part of the male body, and one that naturally should be included in a realistic dildo.

The faux balls on a dildo also serve a more practical purpose.

Because of their prominent size and location, the balls prevent the dildo from ever being fully inserted into the vagina.

Veins on the shaft

This one on the other hand is purely cosmetic.

But again, a lot of women love the look of a vein-covered shaft.

So that attention to detail certainly plays a role for those women as well.

realistic dildo that looks just like a real penis
When a dildo looks as realistic as this one, it is practically begging you to come and use it!

If all of these realistic features are incorporated into your dildo, it will be hard not to be turned on every time you see it.

Not to mention how much more turned on you'll be while you are actually using it.

Because in essence, you will be imagining a real man's penis rather than just a generic dildo.

This psychological effect cannot be overstated!

Especially for women who absolutely love the real thing and may currently be in a dry spell, so to speak!

When you don't have a real man available to make love to you, a highly realistic dildo is just about the next best thing!

Buy dildos from Blissful Cherry

#5 - Suction Cup Base For Versatility

You may be thinking why this sort of thing would be important?

Well, as much as you may love using dildos in general, it can definitely get boring when you only use your dildo by laying down on your back and inserting the dildo manually.

The suction cup is a simple feature that adds a lot of versatility to your overall masturbation routine.

By having multiple ways to use the dildo, you end up getting more out of it.

Essentially, more bang for your buck!

But just how can you use a dildo's suction cup to enhance how you masturbate?

Prop the dildo up for cowgirl fun

By sticking your dildo onto a flat chair or other hard surface, it is in perfect position for you to jump on top and ride to your heart's content.

Just like the cowgirl position!

diagram showing woman sitting on a chair using suction cup dildo in cowgirl position
A suction cup dildo used in the cowgirl position is the simplest way for hands-free penetrative masturbation!

This allows for a hands free way to get yoruself off, simply by lifting your hips to move yourself on and off the dildo.

And with the suction cup, you don't have to worry at all about having to keep the dildo in place manually.

Just ride and enjoy!

If you get into a full squatting motion, with the knees all the way up to your chest, you can really get deep amazing penetrations.

Something not quite as easy if you were to try pulling your knees back while lying down.

Stick the dildo to a wall for doggy-style fun

Although not as easy as the first method, sticking a dildo to a wall to keep it horizontal provides a totally different sensation.

diagram showing woman on all fours using suction cup dildo in doggy-style position
The horizontal nature of doggy-style makes the suction cup of a dildo absolutely necessary for this fun masturbation technique.

Once the dildo is securely stuck to the wall and you are in place, leaning back and forth is all you need to simulate getting penetrated from behind.

The favorite sex position of many women is in fact doggy-style, so being able to simulate it on your own is quite valuable.

Bonus: mimic oral sex

beautiful woman licking a suction cup dildo that is attached to the wall
Dildos with a suction cup are perfect for practicing oral sex.

This is not quite as often but we did have women mentioning this as a potential application for dildos with suction cups.

When the dildo is stuck to the wall, it is in the perfect position to go to town on it orally.

This can be to practice giving oral sex yourself.

Or simply a way to turn on your partner, during foreplay for example.

Need more practice giving head? Read our comprehensive guide to giving the ultimate blowjob.

Because the dildo is totally realistic right down to the balls, you can accurately simulate giving oral sex in all aspects.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, 5 key traits that comprise the best dildos out there.

Based through our own research with women who value their sexual satisfaction just like you do!

And again, these are not the be-all end-all traits for every person out there.

If you have different personal preferences, one or more of our key traits may not be right for you personally.

And that is perfectly alright.

realistic black dildo over white background
Keeping these 5 key traits in mind, you can find easily find the perfect dildo for you!

At the very least, this list should give you a good idea of what makes a great dildo.

Leaving it up to you to figure out what satisfies you the best.

If you want a great start to your search for the perfect dildo, we offer multiple dildos that fit these key traits.

Including our best-selling fully-realistic 7" and 8" dildos.

Definitely a worth checking out!

And if you are already in possession of a dildo, here are a few last minute tips to send you well on your way:

  • Lubricate well before using your dildo.

  • Wash your dildo before or after each use.

  • Put a condom over your dildo for added protection (optional).

For more detailed safety tips, we highly recommend checking out our general guide to sex toy safety.

close-up of pile of condoms in various colors
Putting a condom over your dildo is one of the many precautions you can take for safe dildo usage.

And with that, we wish you all the best in your dildo adventures.

Once you take the plunge and see how amazing dildos are for enhancing your sex life, you will never go back!

They will most definitely open you up to an exciting world of sex toys that give your sex life more pleasure!

And with this guide, you have the tools to get not just the best dildo, but the best dildo for you!