Ways to expand beyond vibrations

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Dear Sex Counselor,

I have multiple orgasms with my vibrator - as many as ten in 15 minutes - but have never had an orgasm with a man. I have tried different things to have an orgasm without my vibrator, but it seems that nothing works. My orgasms are incredibly intense, but still I wish to have one without plugging something in first. I started using a vibrator at about age 14, and I am 34 now. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.


You ask a tough question. I’m wondering - did you have orgasms with manual or oral stimulation before you started using a vibrator? If you didn’t try that at all before using a vibrator, it will be hard to know if you have the capacity for orgasms without that intense and consistent stimulation. Many women are not able to have orgasms, whether from manual or oral stimulation, until they use a vibrator. So it would be important to know whether or not you did have orgasms before your vibrator usage.

If you have previously been orgasmic without your vibrator, it may be that your body has become accustomed to the intensity of stimulation the vibrator provides. In other words, you may be able to orgasm with milder forms of stimulation (oral or manual), but it will take longer for you to have an orgasm this way than it does for you to have an orgasm with your vibrator.

Using a vibrator shortens your arousal time significantly, so you become used to having an orgasm very quickly. For example, I usually need up to 20 minutes of direct clitoral stimulation (once I am already aroused) to have an orgasm with oral or manual stimulation. With my vibrator it takes one or two minutes. It’s easy to get used to this shortened period of time and give up before getting close to orgasm when you are receiving oral or manual stimulation.

I also want you to know that for most women, sexual intercourse doesn’t lead to orgasm. Eighty to 90 percent of women do not experience orgasms during sexual intercourse at all, and require additional, direct clitoral stimulation with fingers or a vibrator to have orgasms during intercourse.

My recommendation is first to set up some self-pleasuring sessions where you have a lot of time to get yourself aroused with your hands. See if you can have an orgasm from your own stimulation. Get yourself nice and aroused first, with fantasies, erotic stories or pictures, or an erotic movie. Add lots of different sensations - nipple play, vaginal penetration, anal penetration (if you like it). If you don’t have an orgasm after an hour-long self-pleasuring session with your hands, then it is likely that you are not orgasmic from manual stimulation. There’s nothing at all wrong with that, and many other women are the same way. If you find this is true for you, I recommend finding a small-but-powerful battery-operated vibrator that you can incorporate into your sexual encounters with your partner(s).

If you find you are able to bring yourself to an orgasm manually, you can teach your partner how to do so, again giving yourselves a lot of time to get you aroused.

Remember that you may be one of those women who is not orgasmic through manual or oral stimulation, and you were fortunate to have discovered vibrators and be able to experience the intense orgasms that you do have. A vibrator is not a bad thing to use, and can be thought of as a useful tool that leads to pleasure.

The Sex Counselor