Posted on March 17, 2010
A dildo is a sex toy, often explicitly phallic in appearance, intended for bodily penetration during masturbation or sex with a partner or partners.
A dildo is a sexual device resembling a penis in shape, size, and overall appearance. Some expand this definition to include vibrators. Others exclude penis prosthetic aids, which are known "extensions". Some include penis-shaped items clearly designed with vaginal penetration in mind even if they are not true approximations of a penis. Some people include devices designed for anal penetration (butt plugs) while others do not. These devices often used by people of all genders and sexual orientations, for masturbation or for other sexual activity.
Vaginal and/or anal penetration are the obvious uses. Dildos have fetishistic value as well, and some users wield them in other ways, running them over the skin during foreplay for example. If of appropriate sizes, they can be used as gags, for oral penetration for a sort of artificial fellatio. Some people also use specially designed dildos to stimulate the G-spot.
A dildo to be inserted in the anus and remain in place for a period of time is called a butt-plug. Dildos used for repeated anal penetration, such as thrusting, are usually referred to as simply "dildos" and must have a flared base to be safe for anal play. There are also double-ended dildos, with different-sized shafts pointing in the same direction, used by women to accomplish both anal and vaginal penetration at once, or for two partners to share a single dildo. In this case, the dildo acts as a sort of "see-saw"; each partner takes an end and receives stimulation.
There are dildos designed to be worn in a harness, sometimes called a strap-on harness or strap-on dildo, or to be worn inside, sometimes with vibrating devices attached externally.
Strap-on dildos may be double-ended, in which case they are meant to be worn by users who want to experience vaginal or anal penetration while also penetrating a partner. They may also be used for anal penetration of men. If the penetration is done by a female partner to a male partner, the act is known as pegging.
Other types of dildos include those designed to be fitted to the face of one party, inflatable dildos, and dildos with suction cups attached to the base (sometimes referred to as a wall mount). Other types of harness mounts for dildos (besides strapping to the groin) include thigh mount, face mount, or furniture mounting straps.
Recent social acceptance and popularity has resulted in the emergence of highly adorned dildos. These are often made of expensive materials and may also be jewelled.
In the 1990s, silicone rubber dildos became more popular, a trend that has continued as the prices have lowered. These are easier to clean and do not have the characteristic plastic aroma of PVC. They were expensive when introduced but are now reasonably priced, making them an excellent choice for the first-time user. Silicone holds body heat well, and is an excellent conductor of vibrations, allowing users to hold a vibrator at one end. Silicone is also a robust material (especially when compared to the cheap, unsafe jelly rubber that many dildos are made of) that can be sterilized by boiling or bleaching (using a bleach solution, diluted: 10% bleach 90% water).