By Jillian Dara
While they sound like futuristic sex tech, remote control vibrators are no stranger to the sex toy industry. (In fact, they’re part of the top sex toy trends for 2020.)
Originally, they were hailed for their ability to make partner play less awkward and more enjoyable; remote control settings mean the vibrator can remain in place while you adjust the settings, so there’s no gap in pleasure. As they’ve gained popularity, remote control vibrators evolved to include synchronized stimulation for partners and a way to spice up date night, with wearable panties and insertable bullets for the couples who simply can’t keep their hands off each other in public.
“Novelty is the key to desire,” says Holly Richmond, Ph.D., certified sex therapist and sex technology consultant. “When you’re with a long term partner, bringing in this novel technology can be hugely erotic.”
But these offer so much more potential beyond a little extra risqué fun during date night. Thanks to improvements in technology, remote control vibrators evolved to now include Bluetooth- and app-controlled toys (granting them their own name, teledildonics) for the couple who may not just be across the couch from one another, but across the country. And in the current climate of social distancing—where some people are quarantined away from their partners or are trying to start up intimate relationships from afar—the availability of this technology is more valuable than ever.
“Most people have experimented with FaceTime sex and masturbating together but now there’s that added level of connection to participate in each other’s pleasure,” says Richmond, explaining that some devices allow you to sync vibration speeds and patterns according to your partner’s desires.
Vibrating panties, bullets, hidden wands, are all varieties of the remote control vibrators available for people with vulvas, but people with penises can get in on the play, too, with wearable sleeves. Dr. Richmond says this ups the ante for long-distance couples as they can masturbate together, with some form of control over the other’s device through secure phone applications. “You can be miles away and literally come together,” she says.
This may be enough for you to click ‘add to cart’ right now, but in case you’re still on the fence, Patty Brisben, founder of Pure Romance, says that using toys together can also strengthen your relationship beyond the physical realm. “Sex toys allow couples to explore together and spark a great dialogue about wants and desires,” she says. (See: How to Introduce Sex Toys Into Your Relationship)
But (!) “before moving into partner vibrators, you need to know what works for you,” says Richmond. When you know what you like and can communicate it to your partner, “it naturally elicits a deeper conversation about pleasure.”
From vibrating panties to male mastubraters, browse this list of nine remote control vibrators to find the right fit for your situationship or relationship—and regardless of your choice, don’t be afraid to use them outside the bedroom.
KIIROO Onyx Cliona Couples Set
KIIROO poses the question, “Why should you play alone if your partner can play with you?” (To be fair, playing alone is really fun and serves a different purpose—but I digress.) This set combines KIIROO’s Cliona, a waterproof, pocket-sized clit vibrator and Onyx, a male masturbator that can reach up to 140 strokes per minute. Richmond favors this tech-savvy set for couples in a long-distance relationship; the ability for synchronized masturbation offers up a pleasurable virtual sexual experience when you can’t be together IRL. (Psst: Here’s How to Make Mutual Masturbation Insanely Hot)
Lovense Osci 2
The oscillating mechanisms of the Osci 2 are unlike your traditional vibrator; the end makes small circles in addition to vibrating so you can score super intense G-spot stimulation. Osci 2 is fitted with a Bluetooth chip, which lets you control it through the Lovense smartphone app. Whether your partner is across town or across the country, they can log in to the app and design up to three vibration sequences using a variety of intensity levels and patterns, allowing them to control your next solo session or virtual masturbation. You may want to test them out a little before you get hot and heavy so you have a little bit of an idea of what works for you, says Kate Balestrieri, Psy.D., sex therapist and founder of Modern Intimacy, who notes Lovense is one of her go-to teledildonic brands. “Be sure to have plenty of lubrication, and curate a setting that feels sexy and safe for you both.”
Pure Romance Butterfly Effect
Turn any panties into a vibrator with the all-encompassing design of the Butterfly Effect. The butterfly wings target your vulva and clitoris (which, BTW, includes so much more than the part you can see externally) and the insertable shaft provides internal pleasure. For that reason, “I call it a triple threat,” says Brisben. Paired with a wireless remote, this vibrator can be used up to 30-feet away. Brisben suggests leaving the panties to the side and having a spa night with this toy. “Hand your partner the remote and tell your partner they’re in control of your orgasm then go take a long, sensual bubble bath.” This toy, along with the majority of Pure Romance’s toys, are fully submersible to add to the fun.
Mystery Vibe Poco
Completely personalize your orgasm with this bendable bullet vibrator that syncs to Mystery Vibe’s app for wireless control. Its pliability, multiple stimulation points, and customizable vibration patterns (up to five minutes long!) make this vibrator a hands-on masterpiece. Both you and your partner won’t be able to get enough. (P.S. Mystery Vibe also has a vibrating cock ring called Tenuto, $150,—also controlled by their app—that you can save for when you’re in the same place as your partner.)
This Bluetooth rabbit vibrator is somewhat of a trailblazer. As one of the original remote control vibrators, this is the ultimate night-in for when you’re kicking it solo or your partner isn’t nearby. Connect your toy to the app (either on your phone or a partner’s phone), then the rotating head and vibrating shaft simulate the pulses and thrusts of an IRL sexual experience—with your partner or the fantasy partner of your choice. If you want to return the favor, pair Nora with the Max 2, a vibrating sleeve for partners with penises, which you can control and sync up for a sensational experience from miles away.
This bendable, and insertable bullet vibrator can be used with or without a partner. Brisben recommends it for couples looking to introduce vibrators into their sexual routine because of its flexibility (literally), as it can be inserted into the vagina then controlled externally via the wireless wristband, or used to tease during foreplay.
“The wristband remote is discreet, so your partner can wear it out to dinner, and your server would never know! I also love recommending Hidden Agenda for solo play, too. Use the bullet with or without the remote to tease the nipples, clitoris, and perineum.” The bullet offers 12 speeds and pulsing patterns and can be wirelessly controlled within a 32-foot range. (Here are more satisfyingly simple bullet vibes you’ll love, too.)
Created with couples in mind, Lelo’s Tiani 2 is designed to intensify the sexual experience for both parties. Insert one arm of the massager inside you, and enjoy the sensation from the other arm as it stimulates your clitoris. The Tiani is a powerful massager but discreet in size, meaning it won’t get in the way of your favorite sex positions—and the vibrations will elevate your partner’s experience too. (They also have a newer version—the Tiani 3—that’s not currently available, but stay tuned when it’s restocked.)
With more than 10 modes of vibration, this dual stimulating vibrator is ideal for couples looking to add some more sensation to their romps. The remote controls the flexible vibrator, so once it’s in place, you don’t need to worry about interrupting your pleasure to switch up the stimulation. (These other vibrators are also perfect for wearing and using during sex.) Most of We-Vibe’s many sex toys work with their app, so you can turn any into a remote-control vibrator experience alone or with a partner.
The remote control panty vibrator is an obvious go-to for a little fun in public, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to add anytime excitement to an ordinary day. “I suggest putting it on and passing the remote to your partner with a little note that says, ‘Surprise me.’ You won’t know when the good vibes will begin, but when they do, the surprise makes it that much more exciting,” says Brisben.
The vibrator securely locks onto panties with its magnetic tabs (if you can’t picture it, envision how you would position a panty liner) and is completely adjustable, so you can position the contoured toy closer to the clitoris or more central for vaginal stimulation. If you’re looking for a panty vibe that works with an app over larger distances, try the We-Vibe Moxie for a similarly exciting experience. (Or check out these other vibrating panties that you can wear on the DL.)