How To Use A Dildo: An Inclusive Guide For Solo Or Partner Pleasure

Everything You’ve Been Afraid To Ask About How To Use A Dildo

August 14, 2021 Updated September 13, 2021

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Maybe you had an in-the-know older sibling, cousin, or friend who taught you all about the ins and outs of sex, how to masturbate, using lube, and the rest of the category. You went into the world prepared for anything — including a dildo. But if that wasn’t the case, you may have some questions (even as an adult). Vibrators and other sucking or pulsating sex toys get a lot of attention, with all their bells and whistles designed to get you (and possibly a partner) off ASAP. But dildos? Dildos are a little more mysterious. In fact, you might have caught yourself wondering on more than one occasion how to use a dildo.

On the surface, that doesn’t make sense, given that they are literally stand-in dicks. Their purpose is quite clear. Plus, some of the earliest dildos discovered go back nearly 30,000 years — meaning humans are no strangers to using phallic objects in holes.

That still leaves the question of exactly how to use a dildo, though. It may seem self-explanatory, but it takes a little more prep and know-how than just sticking it in and waiting for an orgasm. Here’s what to know about using a dildo with yourself and/or a partner.

First, a Note on Inclusivity and Safety

Dildos are not designed to be used in one particular body part, or a specific type of body or gender. If you find a way to get physical pleasure out of a tubular object, go for it — everyone has their own preferences when it comes to sex, and dildos are no different. Also, if a dildo does absolutely nothing for you at all, that’s completely fine (and normal) too. You have plenty of other options.

Inclusivity also applies to size. Dildos come in all different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, and they are definitely not one-size-fits-all. Consider how and where you want to use it when making your purchase to ensure that you end up with one that fits your needs.

Now, let’s talk safety. It may seem like any sex act involving a dildo is relatively safe (given that it’s not ejaculating or anything like that), but dildos can, in fact, transmit sexually transmitted infections. For one, you should clean the dildo thoroughly both before and after you use it. You can find the care instructions on the box the dildo came in or by Googling it. Different materials require different types of cleaning and care.

Speaking of materials, you’re going to want to get a dildo made of a non-porous material, like high-grade body-safe silicone, stainless steel, or glass, according to an article in O.School. And if you already have one that’s porous, stick a condom on it. (FYI, foods are porous.) Regardless of the material, if you’re using a dildo — including a strap-on for pegging — with a partner, make sure to use a condom and/or clean it thoroughly before using it on another person. Or, if you’re flying solo, don’t use a dildo in your anus and then vagina (or vice versa) without washing it between holes.

Lastly, don’t forget the lube: the more, the better. Not only will it make the dildo penetration easier and more comfortable, but it’ll also prevent the tearing of delicate skin inside the vagina and anus.

How to Use a Dildo With a Partner

We know we’re repeating ourselves, but you’re going to want to lube up. And, like any other sex act, you’ll need enthusiastic consent from your partner and an ongoing line of communication to make sure that everyone is comfortable (and enjoying themselves) the whole time.

From there, start exploring with different holes and positions (following all the safety and cleanliness guidelines above). Dildos should be used in judgment-free zones: So, if you or your partner enjoys being orally penetrated using it, so be it. Or maybe one of you likes the feeling of a lubed-up dildo sliding between your breasts. Have fun!

Listen to your partner and ask them what they’re enjoying, not enjoying, want you to continue, etc. Basically, follow their lead. And be gentle. Using a strap-on dildo can add an extra layer of intimacy for some couples, given that it leaves your hands free to focus on your or your partner’s clit or other erogenous zones. Play around with the speed, depth, and rhythm.

How to Use a Dildo to Masturbate

A lot of the above applies to solo sex, too — including/especially the need for lube and proper dildo hygiene. Using a dildo on your own is a great way to help figure out what you enjoy and experiment with things you haven’t yet tried with a partner. For example, maybe you like the feel of using your fingers to get off while the dildo is in your mouth as if you were giving oral sex. Or perhaps you like the sensation of fullness from a dildo in your vagina while using a sucking vibrator on your clit.

Another great thing about using a dildo solo is that you completely control everything: the speed, the depth, the force, etc. For logistic purposes, it’s a good idea to hold the dildo from its base, so you can get the best grip possible. Then allow yourself to relax as much as possible, breathe deeply, and insert the dildo in the orifice of your choice, starting with the tip. From there, you can decide if you want to go in deeper, move the dildo in and out (or in a circle), or use it to apply pressure to a particular area.

Next, test out different positions: on your back, on your stomach, doggy style, standing up. Use your imagination. If your dildo comes with a suction cup on the base, you can attach it to the wall or floor of your shower and pretty much just ride it (with lube!) for a hands-free experience.

The bottom line is that whether you’re on your own or with a partner, there are plenty of different ways to use — and enjoy — a dildo. And if you try it and it turns out you’re not a fan, there’s no need to force it.

How to Clean a Dildo

The first step to cleaning your sex toy is to know what it’s made of. If your dildo is made from cyberskin, wash it with mild antibacterial soap and warm water. Clean your rubber and latex dildos the same. However, if your dildo is made of glass, hard plastic, or silicone, wash them in hot water and mild soap. Also, let your toys air dry.