Will I get addicted to using a vibrator?

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Dear Sex Counselor

Won’t using a vibrator desensitize me to "real" sex? Will I get addicted to using one and not be able to have an orgasm without using a vibrator?

We wonder whether this myth got started at the same time as the one about growing hair on your palms if you masturbated too much. A vibrator may allow you to have an orgasm more quickly than with manual stimulation, but it will not desensitize you to any kind of stimulation which typically leads you to orgasm. While you may become accustomed to the shorter length of time to orgasm with a vibrator, you cannot become "addicted". Here are some great reasons to feel just fine about using vibrators to bring you to orgasm:

  1. Vibrators are great for people who do not have (or who do not want) a partner, or who have a partner who is not available to touch them. A vibrator allows you to experience different sensations than you get with hand or mouth stimulation, so your pleasuring is more varied and interesting.
  2. Vibrators also are helpful when your partner is tired, sick, or finished with sex before you are. Vibrators can keep going as long as you can.
  3. Some women find that using a vibrator allows them to have multiple orgasms for the first time, since the vibrator does not tire out as quickly as your hand can.
  4. Vibrators are helpful for those women who cannot have orgasms from manual stimulation, or who want stimulation in addition to intercourse. It’s unfortunately a little-known fact that most women do not experience enough stimulation during the thrusting that happens with vaginal penetration to be able to climax to orgasm. A little vibration added to the right spots can be just the thing to help them out.
  5. Vibrators are an adjunct to other kinds of sexual contact, and do not need to be thought of as replacements for skin-to-skin contact. A vibrator allows you to be pleasured for as long as you wish, with you in control of how much and how long.
  6. Studies have shown that you actually develop more nerves in the genitals when you provide frequent stimulation. So not only do vibrators not take away your capacity for orgasm through other kinds of stimulation; they can help you grow more nerves so that it is easier for you to have orgasms in general.

We find that women who use vibrators learn how to have many different kinds of orgasms, and that they do not lose their capacity to have orgasms from hand or mouth stimulation. Vibrators just make it easier to have a quickie - alone or with someone else - and they are indispensable for those women who cannot have orgasms without the direct and consistent stimulation they get from a vibrator. So go do some exploring, and may pleasure be with you.

The Sex Counselor