Is It True That Vibrators Reduce Sensitivity?


Is It True That Vibrators Reduce Sensitivity?


Sex and the City are responsible for two things: mainstream normalisation and, sadly, the spread of several terrifying-sounding misconceptions. "I fear I broke my vagina...with the rabbit [vibrator]," Charlotte confides to deep-thinking Carrie in a now-famous 1998 episode of the HBO show. I'm afraid that if I continue to use it, I'll never be able to have sex with a man again."

Well, Char, it's myth-busting time, and it bears repeating over 15 years later: You don't have to worry about becoming completely reliant on a sex toy to get you over the finish line, and no amount of toy time or vigorous solo sessions will desensitise your bits—at least not for long.

The masturbation myth

The misconception is terrifying: relying too heavily on vibrators or other devices will cause you to lose sensitivity and develop a tolerance. You'll soon be destroying a series of increasingly powerful vibrators in your frenzied search for the next big O. You can't get anything done on your own, much less with a partner, in this situation. That's frightening even on a purely financial level—vibrators aren't cheap. That's terrifying on a personal and romantic level. It's not a life-threatening issue, thankfully.

According to Matt Lachman, a professional sex therapist and owner of Cleveland Sex Therapy, this is a very typical problem. People with vaginal vibrators worry about losing sensitivity, growing numb, or even becoming "addicted" to their gadgets, he said, but such anxieties have faded in recent years as open sexuality conversation has grown more mainstream.

Jenni Skyler, a PhD and Adam and Eve's resident sex therapist, concurred, telling Lifehacker, "I'm not sure how popular that is now, with the internet exposing that notion." Still, there are plenty of folks searching for a "dead vagina," so let's get started. I'm referring to the debate.

Alexandra Fine, CEO and co-founder of Dame, sympathises with worrywarts and wants to educate them. She says a common question at Dame is, "Am I going to become hooked to my vibrator?" The answer is no from a scientific standpoint because it does not meet the definition of addiction. However, if a large number of individuals ask the same question, it's critical that we respond appropriately.

Can you use a vibrator too much?

The idea that too much vibration or stimulation might numb your privates has a grain of truth to it—but it's only temporary.

Basically, the truth is that, at the time, overstimulation might desensitise your nerve endings, Skyler stated. So, if you use a very powerful stimulation—say, a very powerful vibrator—your nerve endings go into overload mode." That can happen, but they usually reset themselves after a few minutes. It's a misconception that your nerve endings will be ground into nothingness and vanish forever.

Overuse can cause numbness, especially if you use a high setting on your toy or use it frequently, according to Lachman, who compares the numbness to the momentary sensation of a body part falling asleep. He told us, "It'll be back in 10 minutes or something."

"When you have coupled sex or masturbate without a vibrator, it may be slightly challenging to achieve that orgasm," Lachman cautioned.

This brief loss of sensitivity can also impact penises, especially if they're clutching their dicks tightly with their hand for self-pleasing reasons. (Don't forget the lubricant.)

How to recover sensitivity?

Aside from using lubrication to reduce friction, you have a few methods for avoiding or recovering from temporary numbness. For example, "instead of just putting that crap on a 10 and going to town," Lachman suggested using a lesser vibrator setting.

Bullet vibrators, which are smaller and have an only one-speed setting, are recommended by Skyler. She recommends taking breaks as needed if you experience numbness when being intimate with a partner. (We're sure you can come up with other ways to pass the time while you wait for your nerve endings to calm down.)

Also, change things up whenever you can. If we always masturbate in the same way using the same products, we'll begin to create a strong pathway to pleasure that could become restrictive, Fine explained. The concept of fetish is a fantastic example of this because if you absolutely need a feather to have an orgasm, you might not have pleasure without it. It's necessary to have multiple vibrators and interact with our bodies to find pleasure in many ways if we get so specific that we can only experience pleasure in one way.

The easiest approach to avoid the problem, according to Katerina Lin, president of luxury sexual lifestyle brand JimmyJane, is to listen to your body. Begin slowly and with yourself. She said, "Really understand yourself." Experiment with varied pressures and paces to see how you respond. There are plenty of alternatives if you become too accustomed to certain products or models. (JimmyJane, she points out, wants to make toys that are closer to human touch than those made of other materials, so maybe that will shake things up.)

Lachman also emphasised the value of being honest with your relationship. Explain that you use a toy in your own time and that you might not come as readily having sex with them. A candid conversation beforehand can help them avoid feeling horrible in the moment (even though, as we know, sex should be about pleasure, not the pursuit of an orgasm). Maybe they'll even bring the device into bed with you so you can both enjoy it.

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