“I can’t orgasm without a vibrator” So what?

All of my readers know, or should know, that I think vibrators are awesome. Spectacular. A boon to sexual health. Not everybody will agree with me, though. So today when I ran across a post that sounded very anti-vibrator, I’ll admit…my hackles were raised in right quick order.

N of My Dissolute Life allows readers to ask questions for him to advise on. Today’s question was “I can’t orgasm without a vibrator. What should I do?”. My answer is obvious: Embrace it. Bring it in to your partnered sex life. Be happy that you can achieve orgasm whatever way that works for you. As I commented on N’s post, I spent 10 years not having orgasms because I didn’t know any better. It’s not that sex didn’t feel good….no, it felt great. But I couldn’t push over that edge and I was ashamed of it. I didn’t tell my partners. I hid it. That was a disservice to myself AND my partners. But I didn’t really know about sex toys and I had no idea that a vibrator could help me. Today, a vibrator is present in damn near every sexual encounter I have, unless to do so would simply be cumbersome. My husband has no problems with it. He’s very much a part of and responsible for my orgasms during sex. My husband, and any partner I choose to have sex with, is evolved, sensitive, realistic, secure and respectful about my sexuality and my sexual needs.

But N’s “non-kinky” answer was : “The generic one is this: you just need to break your addiction. Plain and simple. STOP masturbating with a vibrator. Sure, you’ll have some period of time when you’re dying to cum, dying to take out your trusty old friend. But you need to use that desperation in service of your elusive manual orgasm. I promise: if you go a month without an orgasm by the vibrator, you’ll be able to have one by hand.” (read his whole post here)

I got so upset at this that I immediately put on my commenting hat and my hands were actually shaking. Yes, I did jump on the “mansplaining” cart perhaps a little too quickly but maybe not. I’m not about to tell any man that the method he uses for orgasm is bad and he should stop it, if he should come to me feeling insecure about it. I will suggest to him ways to incorporate it into partnered sex. But since I lack a penis and prostate, I don’t have any actual experienced knowledge on how the male orgasm works.

I cannot say this enough: Vibrators are not a problem. They are not bad, they are not habit-forming, they are not dangerous, you are not weak and broken if you need one. Personally, I’ve found that my use of vibrators has increased my sensitivity. When I first started,  I needed things that were super strong. As I’ve tried more toys I’ve discovered that it’s about more than just the strength, it’s the depth of the vibrations. I need more than just the external head my clit stimulated. It’s that simple. Since I’ve been using vibrators I have indeed been able to orgasm with just fingers or tongues and yes, I was delighted about this. I’m happy to try again because it leads to a different-feeling orgasms than the vibrators and it’s a novelty to me. It’s the same thing for me as if I tried to bake a loaf of bread and it turned out well. Yay! But I suck at baking so 90% of the time I’m going to purchase pre-made bread and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with having someone or something else make my bread.

This isn’t the first time a man will proclaim vibrators to be bad for us, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last. In fact I’m sure that there are women who are anti-vibrator. (I don’t understand why, though. Why the fuck are so many people so fucking judgmental when it comes to how someone else does something? What do you care if I need a vibrator? It’s not hurting you. Don’t shame me into thinking I’m broken. Live your life and be happy, let me do the same. You don’t personally like or need vibrators? Great! More power (or not) to you! I’m starting to think the hippie compounds of the 1960s had it right. )

Embrace your sexuality. Embrace your kinks, explore whatever avenues you want. But rest assured you are not alone in whatever it is you need and like for your orgasms or arousal.




12 Responses

  1. Kara Sutra says:

    Her mistake isn’t using a vibrator, it’s going to HIM for advice on it. I seriously hope she doesn’t listen to him… actually, I hope she pulls it out and uses it twice as much just out of spite.

    And I’m sorry but calling a persons use of a vibrator an ‘addiction’ is just all kinds of wrong. If that’s the case, I’m a full blown addict with absolutely no hope of recovery!

    The world needs more men that aren’t afraid of battery powered orgasms.

  2. Nadia West says:

    Awesome post, Lilly. I remember a long time ago hearing that using a vibrator desensitizes one and leads to inability to orgasm without it. And I agree with you that it’s utter bullshit.

    Besides, sometimes you need a realy quick orgasm, and nothing like a vibrator to get you off quickly. But when I have a little more time hands and tongues and penises work just fine on their own or WITH a vibrator.

  3. Bzzingbee says:

    A-fucking-men, Lilly! Orgasm with a vibrator is no less wonderful than orgasm without. Enjoy what you get, either way. If vibrators were dangerous the whole lot of us reviewers would all be orgasmless. And if the guy you’re with isn’t okay with a vibrator…educate him on what you need just like you’ve learned what he needs.

  4. Ms. Freak says:

    Thanks so much for this! I don’t understand the concept that you can get “addicted” to a vibrator. Any way you can get orgasms should be celebrated!

  5. N. Likes says:

    Before I say anything, let me refer you (and anyone here) to the comments on my blog. You left a comment to which I replied, variously, “I mostly agree with most of what you write,” and “Vibrator addiction? I’m the first person to lament the misuse of the word ‘addiction,’ and you’re right, I misused it. That said: it’s certainly true that people can become habituated to certain paths to orgasm, and can find others inaccessible as a result. Addiction’s the wrong word, but I think you know what I mean.”

    Addiction is a widely misused word. I misused it. I copped to that. Geez – my blog is FILLED with criticism of the misuse of the word. I feel shitty that I went ahead and did it. Mea culpa.

    On all your other points, I don’t really understand: you think that the person shouldn’t have asked me a question to which she thought I (and my partner in my advice-giving, Liza) might have an interesting (to her) answer? That I should have demurred in providing my answer?

    And all the rest – sorry, but you are making a point of your own at my expense without relationship to anything I said or think.

    To wit:

    1) I fucking LOVE vibrators. I didn’t “proclaim vibrators to be bad” for women, I’m not (Kara Sutra) “afraid of battery-powered orgasms.” For God’s sake: I have bought more women more vibrators than any man ever should. I think they’re the greatest thing going.

    2) I wasn’t the one who problematized her situation. I TOTALLY agree that the ideal solution to her “problem” (such as it is) is to declare it a great situation. As I wrote in my reply to Liza (who did offer a bit of that advice), I sorta regret that I didn’t head down that road more in my “advice.” Sorta. I’ve spent a lot of years trying to jujitsu problems into opportunities, to reorient myself so that I change how I perceive a fact. I know how that works – how effective it is when it works, _and_ how tremendously challenging it can be. This person asked a question – telling her that something she sees as a problem isn’t something I see as a problem doesn’t seem particularly helpful. As I’ve said, and will say again, I think the most problematic situation she faces isn’t between her legs, it’s between her ears. But there it is.

    3) I’m sad about the tone of your (and of Kara Sutra’s) criticism. If it feels fair to you, then so be it. But to me, it feels as if you used my words to make a point mostly unrelated to what actually happened on my blog (and a point with which, by the way, I agree): orgasms are great, and anyone who tells you you should have an orgasm any way other than the way you have it is a fool.

    I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with any way of having an orgasm.

    I have MANY TIMES told people who’ve asked me for advice about “how to come with their partner without a vibrator” that the vibrator is their friend.

    Finally, I do disagree with one premise – of yours and of your commenters. I have learned a LOT about my sexuality – and my orgasms – from women. And I like to imagine that I’ve taught more than one woman a fair amount about how to enjoy herself. That’s not presumptuous misogyny – it’s communicative sexuality.

    If you don’t think that (some) men have a lot to teach (some) women about their orgasms, then I just think you’re wrong.

    I really like your blog, and am sad that it seems I’ve rubbed you the wrong way. I hope you can see past whatever careless phrases I chose to the substance.


  6. It’s like the man equivalent of not being to come without holding his penis in a vice-like grip and working it like a jackhammer while watching porn. Although it’s great to be able to be versatile and have complete control over your orgasming process, if there’s no other way, your partner had better embrace it or you’ll probably get bored and begin looking for new partners..

  7. TBorowicz says:

    This is a good and important discussion. I have to say I think that the spirit of N (and especially Liza’s) answers are in the right place. In fact there were some solid sex positive aspects.

    However, I feel Lilly’s pain. The culture at large is incredibly negative to (or simply ignorant of)real ways for women to have orgasms during partner sex (like touching our own clits or especially using vibrators.) So, when people who are generally knowledgeable and sex positive do not stand up strongly to counteract the overwhelming cultural pressure about what is considered normal in regard to women’s orgasms, it kind of feels like that person is just going along with (and thus contributing to) the problematic cultural wisdom.

    It gets frustrating, because without the few really knowledgeable and sex positive people out there taking stands – every time they can, nothing will change. I hope we all continue to keep conversations like this in the sex positive community.

    ~ I hope change comes about as well.

  8. Dumb Domme says:

    “My answer is obvious: Embrace it. Bring it in to your partnered sex life. Be happy that you can achieve orgasm whatever way that works for you.”

    While I agree with your larger point about embracing vibrators during partnered sex, telling someone to “be happy…” about whatever they are able to achieve isn’t encouraging or helpful.

    I’m not happy that I can’t arrive at orgasm using my partner’s hand, mouth, or cock. My partner isn’t happy about it either. It’s an important issue to both of us, something we’d like to change, and frankly, it doesn’t help when people tell me to be happy about my situation when I’m not happy about it.

    Again, I realize your larger point was about embracing vibrators (and I agree with you). However, I’ve read a lot of advice that include a “be happy” line and it’s really starting to grate on my nerves. I have the right to my own feelings about how I do or don’t achieve orgasm.

    ~ Requiring the use of a vibrator isn’t easy, it doesn’t travel well, it’s like using the Sponge instead of being birth-control-free. Would I prefer, personally, to be able to orgasm easily without one? Sure as fuck would. But my body just doesn’t work that way. And I’m tired of being told by society that I have to stuff my round self into a square box. Perhaps “happy” wasn’t the right word for everyone. Perhaps I should say “be thankful that vibrators exist, are not illegal or impossible to purchase”.

  9. Dumb Domme says:

    @Lilly: I just realized you edit existing comments to include your response. I was scratching my head trying to figure out how that last paragraph got there!

    In response to your thoughts, “And I’m tired of being told by society that I have to stuff my round self into a square box”, I would say this: I get that you’re tired. I’m tired too… tired of people telling me what I should be happy about, tired of telling me what emotions are appropriate for my experience.

    I wouldn’t say that anyone should be round, square or otherwise. In the same regard, I hope that people aren’t so presumptuous as to tell me that I should be happy in regards my own round/square/octagonal/amorphous shape. :)

  10. t1klish says:

    I could rub for an hour with my fingers, and on most occasions it would be a waste of time. Rarely climax that way. And when I do, it’s always a very weak unsatisfying orgasm.

    I’ll keep using my vibrator.

    It always works, it’s quick, and intense, AND I don’t have to use lube or wash my hands afterwards.

    I don’t even take my panties off. Just stick it down there for a minute or two, and tada!

  11. Apple says:

    I always use a vibrator during sex and my hubby is grateful for it. He gets excited when I can actually orgasm (even if it takes a little help from my friend the vibrator)!

  12. Eithrael says:

    I love my vibrators. I have since I tried my first. About 95% of the time, I need a vibrator to orgasm. This isn’t an issue for me, but most of the men I have been with get quite upset about it. They take it personally, as if it diminishes their manhood. Too many times, I have left the vibrator in my drawer and faked my orgasm to make the guy feel ‘more manly’. Sad.

    Great post!