How long do vibrators last?

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Dear Sex Counselor,

How long can I expect my vibrator to last?


Vibrators will last anywhere from several months to several years, depending on how they are made, how much you use yours, how many delicate or complicated parts it has, and how you care for it. We do like to point out that the cost of a vibrator is not much greater than the cost of a good meal out, and that you get many more hours of pleasure from a vibrator than from a moderately priced restaurant meal. So consider that your sexual pleasure is worth as much as any other pleasure in life.

That said, here are our general guidelines:

Vibrators that are $25 or under will fall into the category of lasting months to a year or so. If the vibrator has a separate battery pack, that is a point of fragility. That means that you have to be extra careful when handling these vibrators; don’t pull or hold it by the cord, and recognize that this might limit your toy’s life.

All vibrators have a limited life span, but you will greatly shorten the life of your vibrator if you run it on low speed for long periods of time. Choose one that offers milder vibrations if you like your stimulation on the mild side, rather than running a more intense toy on low all the time. You should also take one battery out between uses so that your vibrator doesn’t accidentally turn on when you are not using it. That will certainly wear the motor out too soon, and is one of the main causes of vibrators running out before their time.

If you have a battery-operated toy, change the batteries often - as soon as you feel your vibrator is getting weaker because the batteries are wearing down, replace the batteries. It is a strain on the motor to run a vibrator on low batteries, so have lots of fresh batteries on hand for replacements.

The more complex, battery-operated vibrators (like the Bunny and other multi-stimulation toys) are wonderful toys, but they do have a lot of moving parts, so there’s more that can go wrong with them. We expect that you’ll get 50-100 hours of pleasure from a toy like this, but that depends on careful handling, fresh batteries, and sometimes a little bit of luck.

Vibrators that plug into the wall and vibrators that are rechargeable will last the longest - years rather than months. There are so many different styles and attachments (for plug-in vibrators) available now, that if longevity is your concern, a plug-in-the-wall or rechargeable vibrator plus attachments will be your best choice.

So keep things in perspective, enjoy your toy while it lives, and when the motor dies, treat yourself to a new one.

The Sex Counselor