Vibrators might seem like a strange topic for a therapist to write about, but the truth is, they can be enormously helpful—so much so that I often recommend vibrator use to my clients. But people are often wary of vibrators. What if they start using a vibrator, and they end up not being able to reach orgasm any other way? What if they get “addicted” to a vibrator? What if the vibrator replaces the partner? These misconceptions are very common, likely because they all have a grain of truth.
Every time you reach orgasm by any particular method, your brain builds a connection between that method and orgasm. The more often you use that method, the stronger that connection becomes. So if you only reach orgasm one way, it will become harder to reach orgasm in other ways, because your brain and your body are so accustomed to your usual habit. That’s not the same as addiction.
This holds true with ANY way of reaching orgasm, not just with a vibrator, and not just for female‐bodied people. Vibrators can be effective and enjoyable for male bodies too. No matter what, it’s important to switch up how you reach orgasm. Ideally, you should cultivate at least several ways, and use them all regularly.
Another grain of truth: vibrators generally decrease the time it takes to reach orgasm by half. Hmm. This makes using a vibrator tempting. Tempting is not the same as addictive. Keep in mind: the real challenge here is NOT giving up your vibrator, it is letting go of your worries about how long it is taking to reach orgasm. This may also be a challenge for your partner.
Here is the takeaway: don’t let the fear of forming a habit keep you from trying a vibrator, but also, make sure you don’t reach for the vibrator automatically. Even if you don’t reach orgasm easily, try other kinds of stimulation for a substantial amount of time and THEN use the vibrator briefly right at the end if necessary. Work towards going over the edge with non-vibratory stimulation. Then begin experimenting with any activity that sounds enjoyable, and with practice, you may discover lots of ways to reach orgasm.