Sep 082016
 

I Gave Up Vibrators for 4 weeks (just to see what would happen)Despite this being 2016; despite the enormity of the sex toy industry; despite the amount of tech, pomp and circumstance that is being shoved into all manner of vibrators… for many people, vibrators are “naughty”. They’re inferior to “natural ways”. They offend teh menz who think that, thanks to porn, people with vaginas can come easily, often, and loudly with just some vigorous thrusting of objects into the vagina. Some people can. I envy them! Many can’t, and for that we have the work of many many scientific things and people and polls to thank: It’s a much-trotted out fact that most people with a vagina actually need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm.

My sexual history pre-vibrators is rocky. I found vibrators in 2005. I probably found my clitoris roundabout oh…..2000? 1 But I didn’t know what to really do with it. I knew that things felt nice, usually, but then it would stop feeling nice and I’d be left hanging….So when I found vibrators, and found one that actually brought me to orgasm – not as efficiently as maybe I would have liked, but finally an orgasm I FELT and KNEW what was happening and could say YES I CAME! – it was a change that marked a turning point for me. I’d not often faked feeling intense pleasure from sex, but I faked the climax for a long time because well, enough is enough at some point. It did take me awhile though to start incorporating a vibrator into my partnered sex life. Flings and one-timers? Nah. They never saw the vibrators. But when I did bring it into my committed partnered sex life, my husband embraced it thoroughly.

We adapted our sex to fit around vibrators, instead of expecting to find a vibrator that seamlessly fit into how we have sex. But that’s a rant/discussion for another post….

So. I’ve known for quite some time now that instead of vibrators “ruining” me for non-vibrator playtime, they actually made manual orgasms easier. Of course, when you’re talking about “easier” being it moves from a 0.5 to a 3 on a scale of 0-10….it’s relative. But still, I learned a lot about my vulva and clitoris thanks to vibrators. I learned about my spot, and that when I can repeatedly ping that spot correctly, over and over, I don’t need extreme power. I learned that I dislike broad vibrators, and buzzy vibrators. I learned that my impossible-to-please clitoris o’steele was maybe just finicky and a bit Goldilocks. But could it be “reformed”?

I Sent My Clitoris to Reform School

I took advantage of my time away at Woodhull and then my weeks-long illness2 to put this to the test. I left everything alone, untouched, for 3 weeks. Then I tried masturbating “manually” over the next week; I even tried three times, thinking there could still be outside factors. It simply felt the same as it’s always felt – decent, but the stars weren’t aligned and my wrist wasn’t up for a 40 minute session so there was no orgasm. There may not have been even with 40 minutes to spare (I gave it 20 – what can I say, my attention span is shit).

When I did use a vibrator again I didn’t even need less – at least not the first time. I didn’t magically become more sensitive. I still needed a higher intensity setting and about 10 minutes. The second time (2 days later) I did need less intensity, but who knows why. Even when I’m using vibrators daily sometimes I can come in minutes, and from a lower intensity setting. Some days I need more time, more intensity. It’s just the way it is, and depriving MY body isn’t going to change this. And I don’t want to.

Might as Well Face it You’re Addicted to…

No. I don’t buy into the “vibrator addiction” rhetoric thrown about by people who feel threatened by vibrators. In talking with other bloggers about this post a number of them have said that before vibrators, they had few problems getting off – and it’s still the same after vibrators. They don’t need to take a break.

Many people are under the incorrect assumption that vibrators will desensitize you, numb you, so that you keep needing more and more and more. SOME vibrators can temporarily numb you – like the Magic Wand Original. It’s super powerful and kinda buzzy. You only need to take a little break (a few hours) and you’re back to normal. But that’s a topic I’ve written about before because I kept getting a lot of hits from the search term “are vibrators dangerous” 3. A number of sex ed professionals have agreed that vibrators are not a bad thing – in fact they’re great because guess who just went from anorgasmic to gleefully enjoying solo and partnered sex? You did, my friend.

And a survey has been done, by Debby Herbenick, who found (among other facts): “Most women (71.5 percent) reported having never experienced any side effects associated with vibrator use. Those side effects that were reported were typically rare and of a short duration.”

Embracing My Vibrators

My experience isn’t your experience. Or maybe it is. Maybe some will hold fast to their “natural ways are better” viewpoint and insist I didn’t abstain from vibrators for long enough. But didn’t I already in my life? Didn’t I already spend years without a vibrator and then years without a decent vibrator to “prove” my need? Why the fuck do I need to prove my need? Why is this a thing? Why is needing vibrators a bad thing? Can’t I just fucking orgasm the way I want to, the way I feel I need to without someone telling me I’m “doing it wrong”?

If you feel “broken” because you need a vibrator to orgasm, I see you. I felt that way for quite some time myself. I see it as kind of equal to refusing to wear glasses because hey, you were born with this bad vision! Embrace it! Rawr! I’m just curious – Do you also wash your clothes on a scrub-board and hang them outside to dry? Do you use the broom and dustpan in place of a vacuum? I get it. Society (porn…doctors?) hasn’t quite embraced it all just yet. Ever is the quest to find a vibrator that can be used during sex that remains invisible, silent and requires no hands because let’s not talk about that, we don’t talk about these things, ignore the pink elephant. Let’s sweep it under the rug. OR! Now here’s a novel idea: We can all accept that every body is different and you know – a little helping hand is great.

But What About ME?

If you’re the partner of a person who needs a vibrator, you’ve probably had a whine-fest at some point about how their need of a vibrator makes you feel less than. Less needed. Like a failure. Because, after all, you’re supposed to be your partner’s everything, amirite? I mean you do provide them with every single possible other thing they need in life, 24/7.

Seriously though, what’s the difference between supplying the pleasure that results in orgasm from your tongue/fingers/penis and a vibrator? No, you can’t vibrate. You’re right. You can’t do that. So. Fucking. What. Would you rather effectively lock up your partner? Or get to watch as they have an intense orgasm? You can participate. There’s plenty you can do that is invaluable. You can be an extra set of hands and spread the pleasure around; nipples, g-spot, neck, lips, etc. You get the idea. You are just as much as active part of the whole thing as you were before but with the added bonus of watching something amazing. An orgasm from a vibrator is a lot better to watch/hear than a faked orgasm.

So jealous cis men, tell me this: would you turn down partnered sex for your own hand or even a sex toy of your own?

Just sayin.

~ ~ ~ ~

If you have personally found that your body prefers not to use vibrators, great. Good for you. You’ve found what works best for you, and hey congratulations on not needing expensive things to orgasm. But if you do need these marvels of technology? Well hallelujah, you’ve got options. You’ve got options coming out your ears. And if my body’s requirements don’t meet yours, I’m sure there’s a blogger out there who is your vulva-twin.

  1. For reference, I’m nearing 40
  2. it’s impossible for me to give a fuck about masturbation when I’m in pain, exhausted, and then sick as hell
  3. This is a rant we’ve all probably had before, but Piph had a great one from a few years ago
 Posted by at 7:50 pm
  • Susi El

    Dear Lilly, I wanted to thank you for that article. I’ve had huge problems having orgasms, mostly because it took me years to allow myself to focus on my feelings and not only on the partner during intercourse. I’m 28 years old now and started to allow that to myself the first time with about 24/25 – back then only with additional fantasies cause the sex was always too boring, to flat…. I’ve just recently started to allow myself being in the moment and to really feel and enjoy MYSELF… cause I’ve finally found a partner who’s able to give me what I need and who takes care of me and my needs and who doesn’t guilt me into taking care of him FIRST. I enjoy sex but most men have no idea how to please a woman and don’t give a damn (even if they claim they do).

    Sex toys have helped me having orgasms at all, cause I don’t have to think about the technique and can focus on the situation/stimulation better. They took away the intense pressure – If I wanna come, I can always rely on the toys and don’t have to “depend” on a partner (who has been hurting me with his own issues).

    My dear female peers: do whatever you need to make yourself happy. We are allowed to focus on our needs and to enjoy ourselves. We have to find out and to communicate what we need cause unfortunately no one ever teaches us that. Learn how to focus on your body, on your breathing and be mindful of yourself. None will/can do that for you. Don’t be lazy and don’t let fear/guilt overwhelm you. Focus is a matter of training. You can all do that.

  • Birdie

    Im reading this going “yep, uh huh, spot on exactly”. Thanks for writing this, I agree and have experienced much of what you’ve said.

  • I’m a sex-enjoying asexual with depression who didn’t have partnered sex until I was 30. Vibrators and other toys are awesome, and everybody should try them. I have issues with partnered sex (with or without toys) because its hard to find somebody who appreciates me as my actual gender (masculine of center androgyne). I can’t get myself off without something, although other people can. (Heck, sometimes I can’t get off at all – see: depression – but it still feels nice)

    My girlfriend has been married twice, never could get off with either of them, and only had a couple crappy toys. I gave her a bunch of nice things and it was like a revolution for her. Suddenly she could be in control. And yes, we have fun with them and without them. She’s in her 40s. It’s very sad to me that someone as wonderful as her has had to rely on other people for pleasure.

    TL:DR version: YES! Exactly as you said. Toys are awesome and shouldn’t be shamed!

  • JosieDizzy

    omg! Just found your blog and I’m totally digging it!! I’m about to bookmark it with my favorites because I’m a bigger chick to have to have clitoral simulation to orgasm, and the toys that I have used that work for me also work for you so I trust your opinion! Keep on doing what your doing chick! And if it works for you and your body and your partner is down with it, screw what everybody else thinks, because you’re so damn right, a real orgasm with a vibrator is way better than one faked!

  • Kalliopeia

    Vibrators brought me from “never had an orgasm” to “can have multiple orgasms pretty much whenever I want” in under a year. The idea that the change has ruined me for sex is baffling and infuriating. Thanks for writing this.

  • AMM

    I’ve never been a manual girl. I gave up vibes for a few months and finally managed a traditional O with fingers, but it felt way less intense and not worth the effort. With a vibe, I can easily get off in 5, maybe 2. I’ve perfected the art of quickies with a vibe, and that is totally fine with me.

  • AceDenise

    I am asexual, so for a very long time I wasn’t even all that interested in masturbation. I’ve certainly never been interested in sex woth a person, except maybe as an intellectual curiosity. I just never felt “horny” at all, and I have never missed it. When I first decided to try a sex toy I was a typical noob, I had a cheap and shitty Fukuoku and it took ages for me to even feel like I might have an orgasm. Now I enjoy my extensive and too-pricey collection of toys pretty regularly, but I still don’t really get “horny”. For me it’s like a fun physical activity that I enjoy doing, like some people like rock climbing or mountain biking. But I don’t need any mental stimulation other that just deciding to do it. I set aside time to do it, or I say “I think I’ll use my (insert toy names here) tonight.” But I can easily go for days or weeks without it. So I get what you’re saying about vibrators not damaging or desensitizing anyone permanently. Not to mention, if I didn’t have sex toys, I would NEVER have experienced an orgasm. And while I could live without it happily, I do enjoy masturbation and why should I have to go without it simply because I don’t have or want a partner? Thank you for posting this Lilly, although I’m pretty sure you’re preaching to the choir here. Hopefully if there are enough voices saying the same thing, for long enough, our sex-shaming society will change. Eventually. Here’s hoping.