The first vibrator looked nothing like what lines the shelves of adult toy shops today. It wasn’t even meant to be sex toy, but a medical instrument, according to Psychology Today. Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville created the electromechanical vibrator in 1880 for use on female-bodied patients diagnosed with “hysteria” — a syndrome characterized by anxiety, irritability, nervousness, erotic fantasies, heaviness in the lower abdomen, sleeplessness, and wetness between the legs. Today we call this being horny!

Unsurprisingly, the doctors who used vibrators on their female patients were met with wild orgasmic success (which the doctors called “paroxysms”). Usage of vibrators in doctors’ officers declined during the early 20th century as women began purchasing them.

Today people of all genders use all sorts of vibrators and other sex toys. But if you’re hankering for a little more buzz, which one should you get? Can you hide it from your roommate(s)? I am happy to present a little crash course for how to go about getting your very own vibrator with the 5 W’s (and H) of vibrators.

Who uses vibrators, and what kinds are available?

Vibrators are best known for their use among women for sexy solo time, but 20 percent of people with penises have also used a vibrator, according to Statistic Brain. And you don’t have to vibe alone — in fact, many sex toy companies provide options meant for couples. Globally, 23 percent of adults have used sex toys during sex. There is certainly a sex toy for everyone.

Clitoral vibrators are intended for use on the clitoris and can be shaped like anything from a bullet to a human tongue. Often they offer adjustments for speed and intensity. Dildo-shaped vibrators come in phallic shapes. Not all dildos vibrate, but many dildos do come with vibrating features and might be designed for individual, partner, vaginal, anal or oral usage. Many vibrators are waterproof for use in the shower or pool.

A very popular vibrator design is the Rabbit vibrator, which stimulates both the vagina and the clitoris. Vibrators intended for G-spot stimulation tend to be coated in a jelly-like material and curved; these can also be used to stimulate the prostate for males. Many vibrators are designed to stimulate several zones at once; some even include an alarm clock that can wake the user with vibrations. People with penises may use a vibrator that attaches to a cock ring for extra clitoral stimulation. Companies such as Adam and Eve also make discreet vibrators.

What should I say to my partner if I/they want to use a vibrator?

As always with introducing a new tool or activity into your sexual lives, it is best to broach the subject with excitement. If you welcome sex toys into the bedroom with a good attitude, everyone will be more excited about it. After all, sex toys are an adventure. And while they may not always be necessary, vibrators can add a little extra oomph to your run-of-the-mill sex stuff. You, your partners or both can control vibrators, and in February of 2015 there will be a hands-free vibrator available.

When bringing up using vibrators with a partner, it is important to clarify that vibrators in no way indicate dissatisfaction with sex. But if your sex lives aren’t quite up to snuff, a sex toy can make all the difference. In fact, if you’re having trouble reaching orgasm and it makes your partners upset, turning to technology might be the solution!

When should I clean a vibrator?

Vibrators should be washed regularly with a little warm water and soap, but not with anything containing harsher chemicals such as Purell. Make sure to check sex toys every once in a while for damage, since cracks in plastic can damage the delicate skin of the genitals. Remember not to use silicone-based lube with sex toys that can degrade them; use water-based lube instead. Sex toys should be stored in a dry, safe place, away from dust.

Where can I buy vibrators?

All sorts of vibrators are available today, online and in stores. Amazon currently has 60,000 sex toys in stock, and the web offers countless places to buy adult gadgets—such as Fun Factory, which makes high quality vibrators using German engineering. Adam and Eve offers extensive options for everything from wand massagers to dual stimulators to luxury vibrators. If you prefer to go check out vibrators in person, A Woman’s Touch is located on Livingston Street, in Madison.

Are you nervous to walk in among all those dildos? Bring a partner or a friend and do some investigating. Usually the people who work in adult toy stores (especially the good ones, like A Woman’s Touch or the Tool Shed in Milwaukee) are very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions. Many companies also offer discreet packaging and shipping. Vibrators vary in price. The really nice ones can actually cost a pretty penny, but with vibrators one usually pays for quality. It never hurts to read reviews about sex toys, either.

Why do people use vibrators?

According to Statistic Brain, 44 percent of women report using sex toys. Sex therapists often recommend sex toys to people who report trouble orgasming. People who wish to stimulate several areas at once often use vibrators. After all, you only have so many tongues/fingers/toes. Sex-sensitive zones such as the clitoris, perineum (the spot between the balls and buttonhole) and G-spot can be continually stimulated with vibrators. Plus, the fact is that sometimes you just want something that will move faster than you can.

Vibrators may also be incorporated into kinky activities or power play. Out of all the different sex toys purchased online, vibrators make up 19.2 percent of sales — pulling just ahead of rubber dildos, according to Statistic Brain.

How can I hide it from my roommate(s)?

Many of us Badgers live in dorms, apartments or houses with other people. For those of you who live alone — congratulations, you can vibe to your heart’s content. But if you worry about a roommate finding your sex toy collection, you can keep all of them in a box somewhere in your private belongings. Many vibrators are made very small for discreet storage. Vibrators can also be made to resemble household items such as rubber ducks, lifesavers, lipstick and cell phones. But what about that buzzing sound? If you’re worried, try locking the door and turning on music or waiting until no one will be home.

Vibrators can be a great way to discover more about the way your bodies experience pleasure.