Can You Become Addicted To Your Vibrator?

Woman's hand reaching for dildo in bed

As vibrators have become more popular and a part of regular everyday society, people have started wondering about potential negative side effects of relying on them. Some have voiced concerns about vibrators desensitizing the clitoris, getting in the way of human intimacy, or creating unrealistic sexual expectations. Some even wonder will these Bob’s (Battery Operated Boyfriends) replace real men. And of course, many women ask the question, “are they addictive?”

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Well, you may not like the answer: Yes AND no. Here’s why:

First, there’s nothing wrong with vibrators as a whole. Some women just need more intense stimulation than fingers and/or a tongue can provide. In the Indiana study, compared with women who never used vibrators, those who did reported greater likelihood of orgasm, greater sexual desire, easier arousal, more self-lubrication (meaning less discomfort during intercourse), and equal or better sexual satisfaction.

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According to a 1999 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 25 percent of women have difficulty having orgasms, or can’t have them. And even more women, nearly 60 percent, could not orgasm during vaginal intercourse. So there is a need.

But, one of the problems with vibrators is that they can make orgasm too easy. Remember, vibrators were initially created to ease the aching hands of all those 19th century doctors masturbating their female clients’ “hysteria” away. A vibrator can deliver an orgasm much quicker than manual stimulation, and often times, the orgasm from a vibrator is way more powerful. There’s a huge payoff for very minimal effort. That imbalance can support lazy masturbation habits. Some women ask why bother exploring and experimenting when you know you can reach orgasm in just a few seconds?

If you use your vibrator to reach orgasm the vast majority of the time, your clitoris can start to become acclimated to that one particular type and intensity of stimulation. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any conclusive studies that have shown whether or not an actual physiological dependence can develop (le sigh), but many women report that frequent vibrator usage makes it harder to reach orgasm in other ways (like through manual masturbation or oral sex).

Additionally, if all you’ve ever known is vibrational stimulation, you’re going to have a tough time teaching a partner how to get you off with his or her fingers, because you won’t know how to do it yourself.

For best results with your B-o-B (battery-operated-boyfriend), here’s 3 Tips you should follow:

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Don’t Make It Your “Go-To” Orgasm Tool – If you use a vibrator every single time you masturbate, you’re probably going to start to rely on it to reach orgasm. Are you comfortable incorporating your vibrator into partnered sex? Shift to other forms of masturbation as well. Make sure you learn your body enough that you can reach orgasm in a number of ways, not just with a vibrator.

Slow Down – This is probably something you’ve told and old lover or ex (or at least thought about it). Try taking your time instead of just going for a quick orgasm. Use your vibrator differently: Hold it lightly against your clitoris. Move it around to…