How to use a bullet vibrator and smaller sex toys for the first time

Experts reveal how to use a bullet vibrator or small sex toy for amazing orgasms every time

An illustration of two vibrators together, representing how to use a bullet vibrator
(Image credit: Future)

Wondering how to use a bullet vibrator? You won't be the only one. While they're some of the smallest vibes around, often just the lenth of an index finger maximum, they can be among the trickest to use. 

To start with though, it’s important to understand the difference between a bullet vibrator and the many other types of vibrators availableBullet vibrators are a perfect invention as they’re compact, discreet, and great for traveling with. Some have a very tapered tip for pinpointed stimulation, whereas others have a soft, wider, and more flexible tip, making it easier to apply pressure on a larger surface area. Some come with a single button and others have a few more functions and features, meaning there are different ways to use them.

Though many deem it the best vibrator on the market and one of the best sex toys for beginners, a bullet is only designed for external use, meaning you aren’t meant to insert it into your vagina or your butt. The sensations a bullet vibrator delivers are designed to target your body’s external nerve endings only, for example around your nipples, perineum, labia, and clitoris. 

Here, we speak to doctors specializing in sexual health and the creators of these vibes to reveal, step-by-step, how to use a bullet vibrator as a beginner. Whether you've just invested in your first toy or are looking to know what to do before you pick up one of the best bullet vibrators out there, we've got you covered.

How to use a bullet vibrator

1. Read the instruction manual

It might sound simple but reading the instruction manual of your new sex toy is the best way to understand how the device works, including how to turn it on and off (which is sometimes harder than you might think), how to charge it, and in the most basic way, how to use it. 

Even if you've owned other bullet vibrators, reading the instruction manual will be the difference between understanding how this toy works and not. 

2. Use lube

Your favourite lube isn’t just for use inside the vagina, it’s also great for maximizing your enjoyment of external stimulation. Make sure you’re using something body-safe that’s also compatible with the toy you’re using though. For example, if you’re using condoms, you might not want to be covering yourself and your toys in oil-based lubricant as this can weaken condoms and cause them to break. Silicone lube is also not compatible with silicone toys but is great for bullet vibrators made from hard plastic or metal. For the most compatible lube, try something gentle and water-based as this can be used with all materials and with condoms. 

Discover more about what lube is, and all the different types, and experiment with the feeling of combining the vibration of the bullet with the slippery glide of lubricant on and around your vulva. Using lube can really alter the sensation that a vibrator delivers and make it feel way more intense and pleasurable. Start with a little bit and then add more as the sensation builds. 

3. Start slowly

The easiest way to learn how to use a bullet vibrator is to apply the lube before you turn the vibrator on and start on the lowest setting. When you're ready, make contact with your skin. 

You don’t need to go straight for an erogenous zone though, just try rolling the bullet along your forearm or thigh. For first-timers, you might want to try using the long flat edge of a bullet, instead of the pointed tip, for a less intense sensation. 

If you don't immediately have an orgasm the first time you use a bullet vibrator, that's totally fine, particularly if you struggle to climax normally. However, plenty of users have had their first-ever orgasm by incorporating vibration into their self-love routine and a simple bullet vibrator remains one of the best entry-level tools for this.  

4. Experiment with pressure

Experiment with pressing more firmly and tracing your skin lightly with the bullet, and try out the different speeds and settings. Tapping and rolling a bullet vibrator across your skin can also feel nice. Once you’re used to the feeling and have tried using the bullet on less sensitive areas, try your labia or perhaps your nipples, before you try different pressures and speeds on your clitoris. 

Some people like to hold a bullet vibrator firmly against their clitoris for a quick route to orgasm when experimenting with how to use a bullet vibrator. Others enjoy the sensation of lightly tapping the tip of a bullet against the clitoris and nipples for a slower, more drawn-out build-up to orgasm. This practice of teasing yourself, or having a partner do so, is called edging and it can be a fun way to practice controlling your pleasure and building up to a much more intense climax. 

“Edging with a bullet vibrator is a great way to train yourself to experience different types and depths of orgasm,” says Kelly Gordon, resident sexpert and creative director of Hot Octopuss. “Using a vibrator can make it easy to orgasm in a matter of minutes, which can be great if that’s what you’re in the mood for. But by experimenting with a slow build-up and then stopping, slowing right down and working on your breath and your pleasure, with the help of a tiny bullet, the human can reach amazing new heights and experience much more intense levels of pleasure.”  

Kelly Gordon
Kelly Gordon

Kelly Gordon is the creative lead at sex tech brand Hot Octopuss and brings her lived experience of disability into her role to focus on inclusivity in the sexual wellness space. 

A selection of bullet vibrators

Bullet vibrators can come in all shapes and sizes. 

(Image credit: Getty Images/Future)

5. Use your bullet with other toys

If you want to keep things simple, there's nothing wrong with sticking to a bullet for all your sex toy-related needs. However, bullets make for exceptional fun when used in tandem with other toys. You might want to reach for yours while using another toy, like a handheld or suction cup dildo during a solo session, or when using one of the best lesbian sex toys with a partner. 

The great thing about a bullet’s petite size is that it is easy to maneuver and hold between your fingers and there are plenty of hands-free options available too. 

If your toys can be modified, try adding your favourite bullet to the base of a dildo or popping it inside a flexible cock ring. A bullet vibrator is also great when used with a thrusting toy for an added level of external stimulation, or you can use yours with toys like butt plugs to boost your enjoyment. 

Just remember to only use your bullet vibrator externally, unless it’s compatible with a toy you’ll be using internally, like a dildo with a dedicated space inside for a bullet.

6. Try different materials

Once you've got to grips with your bullet, you might like to try another one to test out different variations in size, shape, and material. 

For example, a soft silicone bullet will feel different from a hard, plastic one or a metal toy so you may also want to experiment with something different. Some people prefer slower, rumblier vibrations and patterns, whereas others prefer a faster, higher pitch of buzz with fewer breaks in the patterns available. A smooth, soft bullet designed to look like a lipstick will offer different sensations to a little pointed metal bullet. 

Each will feel different as it delivers different speeds and patterns of vibration and will vary in how it interacts with lube and with other toys. 

Bullet vibrators for beginners

Can you insert a bullet vibrator?

No, most bullet vibrators should only be used externally on the clitoris, labia, nipples, and other erogenous zones, says Dr Hana Patel, a general practitioner specializing in sexual health and a mental health coach. "It's not advisable to insert a bullet vibrator or use it in the anal region," she explains. There are some amazing toys that have multiple uses, but in general, a bullet vibrator is meant for external use only. 

If you’re unsure about yours and how to use a bullet vibrator generally, check the packaging for instructions. All the different types of vibrators come with instructions on how to use the product and whether or not it can and should be used internally or externally. 

If you want something you can insert that also provides clitoral stimulation, try a rabbit vibrator. The best rabbit vibrators come in all shapes and sizes so you’ll no doubt be able to find one that suits your specific wants and your body. Whether you favour rabbit vibrators or clitoral stimulators really depends on how you plan to use your toys, so think about how you spend your time alone and with a partner. 

Like all sex toys, it’s advisable to clean your bullet vibrator after every use - but check if it's waterproof before dunking it in the sink. If you’re unsure of how to clean a vibrator, simply use warm water, a soft cloth, and some gentle body-safe soap. There are plenty of dedicated washes, sprays, and wipes available, as well as specialist cleaning units that use ultraviolet light. But for starters, an intimate soap or wash and water will do just fine. 

GP Hana Patel
Dr Hana Patel

Dr Hana Patel is a senior NHS GP and academic lecturer with a special interest in women's health, mental health, and sleep. She is also sought for her expertise and opinion as a GP medicolegal expert, both in the UK and internationally. 

Tips for using a bullet vibrator

  • Experiment with different erogenous zones: "Bullets can also be used on different areas of the skin and erogenous zones, such as the glans or shaft of the penis, around the areolas, and the breasts," says Dr Patel. 
  • Be mindful of sensitive areas: If you're using a vibrator for an extended period of time around the clitoris, it's advisable to bring it away for a moment from time to time, otherwise, you might find the area goes numb. It's totally normal and nothing to worry about, just something to be aware of. 
  • Try different types of bullet vibrators: As well as different materials, once you've got the hang of a bullet vibrator, try similar alternatives - like pebbles, which sit among the best luxury sex toys and remote vibrators.
  • Involve your partner: Using a bullet vibrator doesn't have to be a solo affair. Ask your partner if it's something they'd be into and gauge their reaction. If they're interested in the idea, instruct them how to use the vibrator in a way that you enjoy - or apply light pressure to areas they enjoy.
  • Take it into the shower with you: Provided you have a waterproof vibrator, turning your solo session into shower sex can be a great way to spice things up. Be aware though, you'll still need to use a dash of lube to keep things moving smoothly. 
Grace Walsh
Health Channel Editor

Grace Walsh is woman&home's Health Channel Editor, working across the areas of fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, relationships, and sex. In 2024, she will be taking on her second marathon in Rome, cycling from Manchester to London (350km) for charity, and qualifying as a certified personal trainer.


A digital journalist with over six years experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace has covered (almost) everything in the world of health and wellbeing with bylines in Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more. 

With contributions from