Dear Sex Counselor
I’ve read your Q&A about orgasms without vibrators and I’m wondering if you could suggest some other options. I have spent a number of hours today reading about female ejaculation and orgasms, both manually and electronically achieved. I found out that I "wet" during orgasm the first time I used a vibrator at 17. I had only one orgasm before that, and it was a surprise to me. A family friend, to whom I can remember not being very attractive, so I don’t believe that I was attracted to him, was massaging my legs. I don’t remember why, I think they were aching. He would come very close to my vagina, but never touch it. It was something I could never admit, but eventually, I wished he would touch me, even though part of me didn’t want him to. I guess you could say he was arousing me. Finally, he barely drifted over my vagina, and I had a warm, sensual climax. It shocked me because I didn’t think I was able.
Then, because of the desire to have another one, I began using a vibrator (the kind you use to massage your neck and back). The intense stimulation caused me to squirt all over myself and I became almost addicted to these orgasms, having close to 100 in one evening alone. Now I cannot have one without my vibrator.
I read your advice to one girl about trying to manually stimulate herself and I’ve tried that. I also know that I’m capable because of the experience when I was 17. Additionally, I have woke up from a dream, having a physical orgasm which resulted from no stimulation at all. Should I lay off the vibrator for a while, or not? I enjoy sex with my husband, and he usually encourages the use of the vibrator, because he loves the way I orgasm. But I wish I could have one of those warm sensual ones I remember having a long time ago. The intense ones are great, but I know my husband would be happy to give me one without it too. What do you think, and what do you suggest?
I want to start by pointing out that you have had two orgasms from little or no direct stimulation that were accompanied by intense activity on the part of your mind. What that tells me is that, like all of us, your brain plays a role in your orgasms, and in this case, you have been able to think yourself to an orgasm twice in your life. Once with this very arousing, teasing contact from your friend, and once as the result of a dream. I also want to point out that you were 17 at the time of that experience you relate in your question, so your youth, hormones, and a variety of other psychological factors were at work here. For you to achieve different kinds of orgasms you’ll have to figure out how to play with your mind and body and experiment with what works and how this changes.
Your vibrator allows your mind to play less of a part, and provides the direct, intense stimulation your body needs to have orgasms. This is common for many women, and is not likely to change. Vibrators are not addictive, but they do shorten the amount of time it takes for some women to achieve orgasm.
You can become accustomed to this shortened arousal time. Then when you attempt to have an orgasm from manual or oral stimulation you find it takes a long time (for some women it takes 20-30 minutes of consistent manual stimulation) and you give up before you are able to have an orgasm. You have also said that, other than those two times without your vibrator, you were just not orgasmic without the intensity of vibrator stimulation. There is nothing wrong with using a vibrator when you need to, and since it works well for you, I am not willing to advocate that you put it away, at least not permanently.
All that aside, what you do seem to be telling me is that your mind can be a powerful tool in your arousal pattern. So you could learn to use your mind more. Look at the Tantric and Taoist traditions, or work with your partner to utilize fantasy, erotic talk, teasing and anticipation, a bit of exhibitionism or other play with "taboo" behaviors, and extended arousal in your sexual repertoire. You may find ways to have these different orgasms by incorporating mind "games" into your sex life.
Don’t worry so much about whether or not you’re "addicted" to your vibrator. Instead, consider ways to expand your sexual repertoire, and invite your partner on a journey to explore a wider variety of arousal techniques for the both of you.
The Sex Counselor