Without a doubt the most popular sex toy in the world, whether we're talking male sex toys, female sex toys or both, the electric vibrator is one of the greatest technological advances in the history of sexual stimulation.
The majority of vibrators are designed, first and foremost, for vaginal stimulation, and are shaped accordingly, reflecting the origins of the electric vibrator as a form of mechanised dildo. So most of them look not unlike an erect penis, at least in general outline. Realistically duplicating the appearance of a penis isn't always a great concern for the manufacturers of electric vibrators – electric vibrators have another selling point.
As the name suggests, vibrators vibrate – it's the questions of what they vibrate and how that make them so popular. Along with vibrators designed for vaginal use, there are also vibrators designed for clitoral stimulation or anal stimulation. Some electric vibrators are even intended to vibrate more than one part of the body at once, with a few top of the line models even incorporating a separate vibrating motor for part of to be stimulated.
Unsurprisingly, all electric vibrators ultimately derive their power from electricity, and almost always in one of three ways. They are either battery powered, powered by a recharging unit (like an iPod or a mobile phone is), or they plug directly into mains power. (In addition, some rechargeable electric vibrators blur these categories, as they are also usable when plugged in directly.) Before use, it is always a good idea to make sure that your electric vibrator is fully charged up, or, if it is battery powered, that you have a set of replacement batteries handy in the event that the ones in the vibrator go flat.
Most electric vibrators are made with hard materials, such as rigid plastics, glass or metal. This is as much to safeguard the inner mechanical workings of the vibrator from damage as it is to provide stimulation to the user. After all, an electric vibrator that doesn't vibrate is little more than an expensive and eccentric paperweight (or at best, a dildo).
Electric vibrators are often smooth surfaced, although some include ridges or knobs designed to provide greater stimulation when used. Electric vibrating beads are almost always smooth, but are linked to each other by either a cord or a chain, to allow simpler and easier removal after use.
Like all sex toys, electric vibrators should be cleaned as soon it is practical to do so after use in sex play. Particular care should be taken around any fittings, such as sockets for recharger plugs, to make sure that they are not damaged in any way. In addition, an electric vibrator's batteries (if any should be removed to prevent them from corroding in place, or, if the vibrator is a rechargeable one, it should be put on to recharge, so that it will be ready for its next use.