Updated: Mar 5, 2021
Can my vibrator make me less sensitive?
Regular use of your vibrator will NOT cause nerve damage. Less than 3% of women will experience less sensitivity as result of regular use, but this is TEMPORARY. Probably more like you’ve conditioned your body to respond to a specific type of stimulation, or like what happens when you’ve been engaging in a long session of intercourse–the sensation is not as strong as when you first started, but that does not mean you’ve caused damage and it won’t come back.
I feel my partner is threatened by my vibrator because it gets me off every time and he can’t.
Your partner may be a male or a female and the same can be true for both. Our partners (including men) typically don’t have a problem with their woman using a vibrator (Kinsey Institute reported 70% of men) and understand that it is not a ‘replacement’ to them, but can rather enhance their partner’s pleasurable experience. However if they are concerned about this, then read below for an exercise to help transition + build the ability to orgasm from a hand or partner. Just know, it does take time so be kind and patient with yourself.
Vibrators make me feel weird.
We can have many reasons surrounding the concept of masturbation, pleasure coming from something not a human partner, or ‘pleasure anxiety’ resulting from the letting-go aspect of pleasure that can cause us to feel weird. It’s important to explore and understand these for yourself. What is the actual piece that is making you feel weird? Of if it's the vibration sensation itself, then perhaps checking out toys that create a different sensation or no movement like Onna Lifestyle or Keggal Yoni Eggs, may be a fun place to start. They are simply crystal toys used for developing + playing with more subtle sensation and mindfulness. There are also vibrators that have a spinning sensation like your matcha mixer that isn't a vibration. Or perhaps you want something that blows air instead of vibrating. Ultimately, it's finding what YOU like or desire in pleasure. I love it all!!!
Is there such a thing as becoming ‘addicted’ to my vibrator?
No you are not ‘addicted’ to your vibrator. Having pleasure in your life is not a bad thing, so let’s not place a negative label on your enjoyment.
I hear you. And I’m here to tell you that all you are experiencing in your relationship with your vibe toy are shared experiences by women (and men) from all over. So basically, you are not alone.
There have been so many articles and arguments about whether the vibrator is a healthy component to our sex life, and the results all depend on who you are asking. Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with having a vibrator and for some to many women, this is the only way they are able to achieve orgasm because of a multitude of reasons in their life (talked about below).
Let me give you the skinny on that pleasure toy of yours.
If you find that you can only orgasm from your vibrator. Congrats and don’t worry that you won’t be able to orgasm any other way. It may be that your clitoris has grown accustomed to that particular sensation and way of orgasm. A vibrator provides a very specific type of pressure, rhythm pattern, non-stop sensation that conditions your body and mind to respond pleasurably to. It’s difficult for your partner or your hand to mimic exactly (unless your partner has an ultra-powered motorized tongue or finger). And yet, your hand and your partner’s hand can both create a powerful, pleasurable experience unique to themselves.
To incorporate more human personal touch to your map of arousal or ‘getting off’, the trick is to gradually introduce that type of stimulation into your play. To go cold turkey in breaking up with your vibrator may not lend to great results and leave you feeling frustrated and missing her. Try taking this steps at a time. Use your vibrator to explore your vulva to help get you warmed up until you start feeling that tingling sensation of arousal, engorgement of your genitals, or slight contraction/tension of the muscles (pleasurable contractions, not ones from fear or guilt/shame). When you feel warm, switch over to your hand and continue exploring. See what you discover that you like or don’t like in regards to varying strokes, pressures, areas of touch, with/without lube, deep breathing, change of breathing. It may take a length of time and/or many sessions before you are able to allow yourself to experience pleasure or orgasm here, but then, we’ve got all the time in the world (And don’t ever let anyone, including yourself, put the pressure of time or end goal on your experience. You ARE deserving of your time and attention and love). From this experience, you may also discover new fun touches and techniques to share with your lover, as well! Yay!
What to look for in a toy.
Now I know there are so many vibrators and companies out there. Which one do we pick? While I have my own personal favorites, it’s really important for YOU to pick one that appeals to you because YOU are the one that is going to use it. First, I suggest going to a toy store or sexual health expo to check them out in person, even if you later decide to actually buy it online. Being able to handle the toys and play with the different functions let you know what to expect and decide if you’re ‘vibing’ with it or not. As I said earlier in this article, different toys have different sensations, as well as, some have no movement or motor at all and would benefit more for subtle sensations + training. Second, pick a toy that looks physically appealing to you. My very first vibrator was a rabbit/dildo combo and looked like a purple alien probe with lights on the inside. I swear I used it MAYBE twice and never took it back out again. Too much. Third, ask about the ingredients of that toy. Looks for medical grade silicone and avoid ingredients that either look like an alien language or box states ‘not for internal use’ (as if you’re not going to insert it, but instead going to mount it above your headboard like a trophy, or something). Also, check your toy for tiny crevices that may make it difficult to clean and actually create a space for bacteria to grow in. Finally, get some water-based lube to play with your new toy. Lube provides comfort and easy gliding for a more pleasurable experience. Avoid silicone lube as this will destroy the toy’s material.
Don’t let anyone shame you for your preferred pleasure style.
I once was in a workshop for enlightened sexuality, and the facilitator was giving a great lecture on masturbation and using the hand for stimulation. One participant asked “Is it ok to use my vibrator, because that’s the only way I can come to orgasm.” The facilitator’s response was, “A vibrator is not an organic, natural form of pleasure. Teach yourself to pleasure yourself from your Self so you’re not reliant on a plastic object. Teach yourself that your pleasure can be derived from within and you don’t need anything or anyone external to provide that for you.” It’s empowering to give women permission to create pleasure for and within themselves. It’s not empowering (and may actually create shaming) to voice that it is less evolved or enlightened to use a vibrator or another human being to help you experience pleasure (or orgasm).
Every woman body is different, therefore, different styles of stimulation affect each woman differently. Finding what works for you personally and releasing the shame and guilt of how you do so is the key to your ecstasy. Shame and guilt are strong culprits in the murder of our libido, ability to touch ourselves, ability to allow our partner to touch us, and our ability to orgasm. Every woman has experienced a different life with different events and different meanings placed on those events, all of which contribute to our sexual experience. Trauma, negative messages about sex or masturbation from growing up in our family, cultural expectations, religious beliefs, fear of intimacy, fear of letting go, performance anxiety, pressure to reach the ‘end point’ quickly, work-a-holic syndrome, control issues, lack of experience, are only some of the reasons contributing our extended time or difficulty in reaching orgasm. These reasons can create a disconnect from our vulva and/or cause a contraction in the pelvic floor muscles reducing the sensitivity of our genitals.
Ultimately. SLOW DOWN and give yourself time to be present with yourself. Set aside 30 minutes in your day (yes, you too, Miss I-Got-No-Time). Take a few deep breaths, gently relax or release down the muscles of your pelvic floor, and allow your hand to slide down your abdominal and around your labia. Pick up your water-based lube (please no glycerin ingredient, paraben ingredient, or KY, anymore), wet your fingers or vibrator tip, and be present to exploring and discovering yourself and what turns you on. If you don’t discover an orgasm in those 30 minutes, put the shame in an air tight container and leave it on a shelf. Did you discover a new feeling or mental thought block? Did it feel good? Did you find that you liked/didn’t like something? Do you want to keep going? Or do you find a different position of yourself is more enjoyable?
If you’re able to answer yes to any of thee above, then you succeeded in your play time. While orgasm is enjoyable, if we hard focus on it’s achievement, then we a) are not present to all the juicy sensations that lead up to it and b) we can create frustration and tension contributing to a difficulty or inability to achieve one later.
Now go clean your vibe or fingers and get back to your day. Let the tingliness from the endorphins, dopamine, and hormones in your body (from whether you orgasmed or not) be the fuel to take you into your day. And may others around us benefit from our glow.
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