The sheer variety you have to choose from when it comes to vibrators is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there’s undoubtedly a vibrator that’s precisely what’s missing from your personal routine. On the other, making sense of all your options can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time vibrator buyer.

Doing your homework on what’s out there is a great way to get started, but it’s not the whole picture. You need to know what not to do, as well. The following are some of the most common mistakes people make when shopping for and buying their first vibrator. How many seem familiar?

1.      Not Understanding Their Bodies

There are two types of vibrator shoppers out there. The first has enjoyed her fair share of old-fashioned solo sex. She knows how her body likes to be touched, and she understands what approaches are the most effective when she’s after an orgasm. The second hasn’t masturbated much (or at all). She’s likely looking to use the vibrator as a tool to get started.

While there’s nothing wrong with starting your personal self-love journey with the help of a great vibrator, you’ll get a lot more out of your purchase if you already know what your body likes. If you’re not sure, spend some time with yourself before shopping. Learn whether you like external stimulation, internal stimulation, or a mix of the two. Think about what types of stimulation you like best when with a partner, as well (oral, penetrative, manual, etc.)

2.      Going Too Big Too Soon

If you’re in the market for a penetrative vibrator, don’t assume that bigger is always better. Many women think something massive is automatically the best choice only to realize they’ve bitten off a lot more than they can chew. Society may glorify size, but — in practice — being over-stuffed by something massive and a full foot long is an experience only a few people genuinely enjoy.

If you’re new to vibrators and unsure of what you like, start smaller instead of larger. A vibe doesn’t have to be super-sized to reach all your favorite sweet spots and get you off. There’s plenty of time to try out the bigger options later on once you’re positive they’re right for you.

3.      Automatically Going for the Crowd Favorite

A vibrator is an important purchase, so there’s nothing wrong with asking your friends what they like or reading lots of product reviews before finalizing your decision. Just keep in mind that it’s a very personal purchase, as well. The fact that a particular rabbit vibrator from a specific manufacturer worked like gangbusters for your friend is no guarantee that it will meet your needs.

Popular toys are usually as sought-after as they are for a good reason, so it’s worth considering the vibes everyone’s raving about. You’ll have better luck if you’re specific about the types of stimulation you like, though. Are you especially into powerful clitoral stimulation? How about firm, targeted G-spot action or amazing action you can share with a partner? Research which toys are most popular among people who also like what you like.

4.      Shopping at the Wrong Places

The days where shopping for a vibrator meant sneaking into some seedy place across town are long behind us. Thanks to the wonders of online shopping, even the most remotely located pleasure seeker has access to lots of different choices regarding where they can buy what they’re looking for. Some of those choices are better than others.

Shop at well-respected stores and websites with high standards and a good reputation for offering stellar service. Buy from brands and manufacturers that put quality, safety, and functionality first. (FemmeFunn is a terrific example.) Not only will you be happier with your purchase, but your new vibrator will perform better and last longer.

5.      Stressing Too Much Over Their Choice

A new vibrator represents an investment, to be sure, especially if you’re going for a luxury item with lots of bells and whistles. You’re not buying a house or a car, though. This is unlikely to be the sole vibrator you use for the rest of your natural life, so don’t over-agonize over the selection process. Choose something that appeals to you and seems like a good fit for that aspect of your life, but know that you can always choose a different one.

Many women who fall in love with what a vibrator brings to their sex life eventually start an entire collection as they expand their horizons and become curious about new products. You may be a first-time buyer now, but the chances are pretty good that you’ll eventually want to do the same. That said, focus on making a wise first choice. It by no means needs to be your last.