Many people use the term dildos when referring to sex toys, and apply it to many different types of toys. Let’s take a moment to consider exactly what these masturbation toys are.

Dildos and Their Origins

Many people who enjoy sex include adult sex toys in their sex-life. A dildo is kind of a non-specific term that no one really knows where it comes from. Some people consider any phallic shaped object used for sex to be a dildo, even a banana or cucumber, if those are employed as sex toys. By that definition, it would include most vibrators as well.

Others consider any penetration toys to be part of the definition and there would include butt plugs too. However, some toys that are suitable for penetration lack the realistic penis shape that most people associate with the term. One example that comes readily to mind are egg shaped vibrators, which are great for insertion, but look nothing like a realistic penis and therefore do not fit the definition. Another great example of a toy fully intended to be inserted is the We-Vibe II vibrator. That little gem of a toy is designed to go inside the vagina to put rip roaring good stimulation on a lady’s G Spot while simultaneously cupping outside to cradle her clit in more vibrations, all while allowing her to enjoy intercourse.

Since it is kind of hard (pun not intended, but enjoyable anyway) to say definitively if you can classify a masturbation toy as a dildo, since opinions vary, we could try to track down the origin or the term. Unfortunately, the expert sources don’t know, either. I looked at two expert sources. First, the Oxford English Dictionary declares these penetration toys or at least their nomenclature, to be of unknown origin. So, no help there in defining what are or are not dildos. However, in looking into that source did reveal that the term appeared in literature as early as the late 16th century, long before vibrating motors or conic shaped rectum stretchers were around, but fingers were around back then; therefore, it implies that a dildo is a penis replica used in sex play. After all, fingers could be inserted in places, but were not referred to as adult sex toys, so not everything used for penetration fell under the definition.

The second source of expert knowledge I looked into was Expert knowledge? you exclaim. Well, yeah. The Urban Dictionary is a collection of terms in common usage, with explanations of their meanings. Since common usage is what we are looking at, collective wisdom is important.

Anyway, Urban Dictionary has two definitions which are pretty relevant. First one is, City in Newfoundland, Canada. Try referring to the inhabitants as vibrators or butt plugs, and you might get a rude response. The other definition I want to include for these masturbation toys is, Same as soybeans, both are used as a MEAT substitute. Ok, a MEAT substitute. Meaning they are meant to take the place of a penis. Vibrators and butt plugs are more specialized cavity fillers, and do not meet the definition of a meat substitute.

So, I propose that if it vibrates, it is a vibrator, if it is intended for assholes, it is a butt plug, but all those penis shaped hole plungers that are not animated, regardless of which hole you put them in, those are dildos.