[Content warning: Discussion of sex toys, as well as photos of related items.]
This page contains a general description of what a vibrator is and how it is used. The post contains images of vibrators, but not in a sexual setting. One of the toys is somewhat phallic shaped, but abstract and not entirely “anatomically accurate”.
As the name implies, vibrators vibrate. Vibrations are frequently found to be significantly more stimulating than hands alone. Some people who are unable to reach an orgasm through manual stimulation find that they can reach orgasm through the use of a vibrator. Some people find direct contact with a vibrator to be too strong and uncomfortable. Using a vibrator through clothes or through layers of towels can tone down the strength and make the sensation more bearable.
Vibrators are frequently battery powered, but some models plug into the wall. They come in a variety of shapes and strengths, from tiny watch battery powered buzzers, to eggs that require a pair of AA batteries, past tennis balls on a stick that plug into the wall, all the way up to industrial strength saddles that need their own power transformer. Some are waterproof. Most have adjustable speeds or strengths.
Vibrators are often used on the clitoris, but can also be used in the vagina, on the penis, or in the anus. Different shapes are better suited for different parts of the anatomy. Wand vibes or bullet vibes tend to be used on the clitoris, cylindrical or phallic vibrators tend to be used vaginally or anally (but make sure that something has a flared base before using it anally, unless you want to explain to the ER staff what you were doing and why backside is buzzing), and cock rings with vibrators attached are designed for use on the penis. Some vibrators can also be used for (and are marketed for) neck or back massages.
Here are a few images of just a sample of the wide variety of vibrators that are out there:
This image is of a wand-style vibrator. The toy does not have an anatomical design and no nudity is shown.
This is the Hitachi Magic Wand. It is quite powerful (and noisy). It’s mainly used on the clitoris or vulva, but it can also be used on the penis. A number of attachments are sold to adapt the wand for use as an insertable toy for vaginal or anal use or as a penetrable toy for use with a penis. This toy plugs into the wall.
This image is of a rabbit vibrator. The toy has a slightly abstract design that resembled a penis, including the glans. No actual nudity is shown.
This is a rabbit. The phallic portion is meant to be inserted into the vagina, while the “rabbit” bit is meant to be pressed against the clitoris. This type of toy often has two vibrator motors: One in the shaft and one in the body of the rabbit. Some battery operated toys like this one are waterproof and can be used in the bath or shower.
This image is of a bullet vibrator. The toy does not have an anatomical design and no nudity is shown.
This is a basic bullet vibrator. These tend to be extremely flexible in their use. They can be held directly against the clitoris or the penis (or the scrotum or the nipples, etc.). Some toys have a place to insert these types of vibes. In some cases (although not necessarily with the one pictured here), they can be inserted into the vagina or the anus. (When used anally, be sure that the device has a strong cord attached, it might not be coming back out.) Many of these toys have adjustable intensity.
This image is of a basic plastic vibrator. The toy does not have an anatomical design and no nudity is shown.
This is a basic vibrator. This kind is meant for vaginal or clitoral use, but it can also be used on a penis. This one should not be used anally, because it does not have a wider base, so there is nothing to stop it from being pulled all the way in, where it might get stuck.
On a more technical note, since this toy is semi-transparent, you can see how most vibrators work. There is a small electric motor with a small offset weight. When the motor is turned on, the weight causes the entire device to wobble back and forth. When the motor spins fast enough, this wobble turns into a buzzing vibration.