The motor is the actual mechanism that makes the vibrator vibrate! Things to keep in mind when browsing over the different vibrations are:
1) Strength and power of the vibration (intensity). Some vibrators have only one or two intensity levels. These levels may be too week, too strong, or just right. Basically, you won't know what's right for you until you take it home to try it. One safe approach for a first time vibrator user is to get a vibrator that has many intensity levels from low to powerful.
2) Frequency level, resonance, or "feel" of the vibrations. Different things factor into the "feel" of the vibrations. Vibrators are simply quickly rotating weights. A heavier weight will create a thuddier or rumblier vibration that can sink through our flesh more to stimulate us a little more deeply. Other vibrators have a higher frequency feel. These vibrations are buzzier and can create more stimulation to the surface levels of our erogenous zones.
3) Pulsations. Many vibrators have programmed pulsing modes into the repertoire of sensations. They range from simple on/off pulsing of various speeds to a more choreographed build-up of different speeds of pulsations at different intensities to create a changing pallet of sensations.
4) Quantity and placement of motors. If your desire is exclusively clitoral stimulation, a vibrator with one motor at the tip of the toy will work just fine. If you'd like to use a vibrator for penetration, depending on the strength of motor, one motor at the tip of the toy may or may not stimulate your clitoris the way you would like. Many toys will place the motor toward the base so that it can be used for penetration while still delivering vibrations along the clitoris. Many vibrators have two or more motors so that you can get the vibrations everywhere you want all at once! These are especially pleasant when combined with pulsing patterns that alternate between the motors in different rhythms. This can simulate motion in very pleasurable ways!
Quality versus Economy (Not always mutually exclusive)
Just like shoes, vibrators have a very wide range when it comes to cost. Vibrators can range from $5 to $500 or more. On average, a lower cost vibe runs $10-$45, a medium cost vibrator is about $50- $75 and a high-end vibrator is around $80-$200. What determines the cost of the vibrators are the quality of the motors and casing, and the beauty and function of the design. Basically, higher cost vibrators cost more to make. There is usually a good vibrator for every budget. A lower-quality motor can still bring you great orgasms, it may simply just not last as long, have as many intensities and pulsing modes, or feel as luxurious in your hand. Also, some people would prefer to budget for a wider variety of toys rather than one nice high-end toy.
When budgeting for a toy, the shoe metaphor really does come in handy. Sometimes we're happy with a $20 pair of cool-looking zebra striped canvas shoes even though they won't last for too many cycles of use because we're not going to be wearing them all the time or anything. These shoes would be terrible for jogging, though. They would be uncomfortable and even dangerous for your feet, knees, and back.
Are you looking for an industrial strength vibrator to help you achieve an illusive orgasm? Or are you okay with a weaker one-speed vibe to get you there? Do you want it to be reliable in the bathtub? Or are you okay with a non-waterproof toy? Are you looking for a comfortable way of effectively stimulating your g-spot? Or are you just as happy with a classic straight hard plastic shaft?
Something very important to consider, however, is toy safety. There is more diligence required when purchasing a lower cost toy to make sure that it is made of safe materials and is safe for use in the way that it is intended. There are many safe low-cost toys, but then again, there are also some sketchy ones too! Higher-cost toys are not exempt. However, manufacturers may have more to lose if they make unsafe or unreliable higher cost toys.
Ally Booker is a pleasure activist. She is passionate about educating herself and others on cool sexuality related things like communication skills, creating and respecting boundaries, sexual self-determination, destigmatization, gender and sexual expressions, sex toy use and safety, and all the other mechanics of pleasure. You can often find her milling around her Tucson shop, Jellywink Boutique, 418 E. 7th St., (888) 874-6588.