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Bad Vibes: Am I too sensitive for toys?

Dear Yana,

I want a new vibrator. The problem is that my body is SO sensitive that even the first setting on all of them are way too intense for me. I could do it manually, but I’m lazy. Advice?
— Vibrators Can Buzz Off

Dear Buzz Off,
First thing’s first: your body and how it experiences pleasure is never a problem! The various accoutrements available to us via the adult industry are there to enhance our pleasure and amusement, not rate us on a scale of normal-to-freakshow or perfect-to-broken. We all just need to learn how to find the right products for us.

For a long while one of my dirtiest secrets was that though I wrote about and sold vibrators for a living, I actually didn’t much like them myself. For the longest time I thought to myself “I’m just too sensitive,” as my clitoris would recoil from the slightest brush of a cutesy lil’ pink plastic vibe like a dental filling biting down on a ball of tinfoil.

Then I was benevolently gifted the rechargeable, wireless Hitachi Magic Wand. (#blessed.) This sleek beast of a toy is anything, but dainty — if the Hitachi is a grizzly bear, for example, that lil’ pink thing is a beanie baby. The Hitachi is an old-school sex toy made famous by its settings that range from Jackhammer to Jackhammer-Plus. The Magic Wand is not for the faint-of-clit. And yet, my “oh-so-sensitive body” loves it.

Though I generally like to think that I’m special, I’m certainly not in this case. It’s not that my body has changed or that my clitoris has somehow become a tougher bad-ass. It’s more that I finally understand the difference between a “buzzy” vibrator and a “rumbly” vibrator. And twat a difference it is.

This brings us to second things second: Not all vibrators are created equally. And this is especially true in the motor department. A “buzzy” vibrator versus a “rumbly” vibrator isn’t about the strength of the vibration, but the quality of it.

Most vibrators are buzzy. Cheap motors operated by batteries tend to characterize these guys, with a vibration frequency that feels like a fly buzzing in your ear or when you lightly push your lips together and hum. Clitorally, this can translate to numbness, over-intensity, one-note sensation and yes — the feeling that you might just hate vibrators. Put with the perfect bluntness sex toy blogger Hey Epiphora (heyepiphora.com) is known for: “Buzzy vibrators are a menace to society.”…continue reading…

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Staying Sexy in Our 60s

Hi Yana,

I am a 66-year-old man who is in love, and in a new relationship, with a very sexually active 60-year-old woman. I have come to the conclusion that I could use some help in fulfilling her sexual needs. Can you recommend any particular vibrators and/or other toys? Also, where can I purchase them?

— Fell in love after all these years

Hurray for thriving sex drives after 60! Our youth- and sex-obsessed culture does a great job of convincing us that sex ends after 50 — Shoot, maybe even 40.

These stereotypes about who is “allowed” to be sexual and enjoy sexual pleasure are harmful. Sex and sexuality is a part of our entire lives even if it changes shape as we go along, and the more we talk about sex beyond the socially sanctioned bracket of 18-30 years old, the better.

So let’s talk! My very first recommendation is that, if you can, you seek out an in-person, boutique sex toy purchasing experience such as a visit to Oh My Sensuality Shop in Northampton. Their knowledgeable, trained, friendly staff can help you pick out products particularly suited to your needs much better than Amazon.com can, plus you’ll be supporting local business while you do.

Nothing says “This is the dildo for me” like getting to hold the actual floor model in your hands, feel the texture of the material, gauge the size, and see the color in real life. In person you can also test dozens of lubes on your fingertips, put the particular zing of a vibrator to your palm, and feel the unique snap of a slapper.

In my utopia, one of these shops would exist in every town. But they’re simply not accessible to all. When shopping online, stick to boutiques that are part of the Progressive Pleasure Club (progressivepleasureclub.com), a membership-based group of sex toy shops around the country that all prioritize ethical sex toy selling values such as inclusion, consent, and a rigorous sex toy selection process. This is a great first step in weeding out all the crappy materials and poorly made toys a simple Google search of “vibrator for my girlfriend” will provide.

Sex toys have become both higher-end and more beautiful in the last couple of decades as stigma declines and pleasure-positivity skyrockets. Your girlfriend’s body has likely shifted in its 60 years to require a little more patience and gentleness when it comes to penetration and vibration. Check out softer silicone vibrators and dildos such as those made by FunFactory (especially their G5 line), JimmyJane, JeJoue, and Lelo. These companies create toys that are rechargeable, body-safe, and easy to clean. Their models also boast a variety of vibration settings — so she can experiment with what works for her — and are graceful and sophisticated in their design and aesthetic. Many of these toys don’t project vibration into their handles either, which is nice for wrist/hand joints that get sore easily either from arthritis or just livin’…continue reading…

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My 2-Minute Orgasm

So, I was masturbating last night and set a timer. It took me under two minutes to orgasm. However, when someone else in involved, it takes forever or doesn’t happen at all. I can count the times it’s happened on two hands.

Every time I masturbate it’s like clockwork, and I wish I could experience that with a partner! I’ve heard from various ladies and witnessed firsthand that orgasming seems easier for them with partners than it is for me. Is this why some women fake orgasms? Is this something I need to see a psychiatrist about or just live with? Or is it some Kinsey situation where my vaginal measurements aren’t conducive to orgasming? Help!

— Clit Out of Luck

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, probably for the rest of my sex educator career: your vagina is not broken! It’s the metaphorical vaginal “user manual” we’re handed via school sex ed, social stigma, and our peers!

That manual is seriously flawed – it’s stained, ripped, even missing whole chapters. Our current sex education system pretends that our clitoral and/or vaginal orgasm is unimportant or non-existent. Our social system convinces our sexual partners that asking us outright how best to pleasure our clits and vaginas is not the sexy or slick or cool thing to do. Simultaneously, this same system shames us into not speaking up about our own desires or how exactly to do our bodies right.

Yes, these flawed systems are why some women fake orgasms. Yes, these systems have convinced you that you have to see a psychiatrist to “fix” yourself and/or smoosh yourself into an outdated concept of “ideal vaginal measurements,” a la Kinsey.

But you, COOL, are perfect! Your experience of sexual pleasure is perfect. Your two-minute self-curated climax is perfect.

So, if our formal and social sex educational systems are screwing it up so hard, who’s supposed to do the real educating about your orgasms to your partners, COOL?…continue reading…

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Is There Life After the ‘Magic Wand’?

Hi Yana,

My wife loves her [Hitachi] Magic Wand I got her. I’d like something else to use together. I have been looking at the [NJoy] Pure Wand or [a vibrator] by JimmyJane.

From some of the reviews I’ve read about the Pure Wand, it seems like this could possibly be a very wet adventure. Do you find this to be true in most cases? She has vaginally ejaculated on her own a few times with the Magic Wand, but we have yet to replicate this together. Any tips on using the Pure Wand? I’d love to be able to give her the wildest orgasm she’s had!

— Best Husband Ever

Dear BHE,

Lately I’ve been asking myself: Is there life after the rechargeable, wireless (formerly branded as Hitachi) Magic Wand?

I’ve spent my entire sex educator career avoiding absolutes. I’ll never call anything the best or the worst sex toy, sex position, or sex tip. Sex, sexuality, pleasure, and the human sexual experience are all way too fluid, varied, and unique to be setting ourselves up like that. I talk about things in some/many/most frames: some people vaginally ejaculate, many people get yeast infections from using lube with glycerin in it, most clitoral orgasms are achieved via direct, consistent stimulation rather than via vaginally penetrative sex.

For the majority of my sex-having life I’ve been a walking example of this some/many/most rule; I never liked using vibrators on my own clitoris. I write about vibrators constantly, have taken countless for test-drives, but I just never liked using them in my personal sex life.

And then came the rechargeable, wireless Magic Wand. And then came I. A bunch.

For people like myself and your girlfriend it’s hard to diversify when this latest, improved, multi-speed, pulsation-pattern-packed version of the classic Magic Wand (MW) is just sitting at your bedside, blinking its little green charged light like “Use me. Use me. Use me.”…continue reading…

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Fretting Over My First Vibrator

Hey Yana,

I would like to buy either a dildo or vibrator for me but I have no experience on what to buy in terms of brand or what type for my first sex toy. What would you suggest to be the best sex toy to purchase to start with?

— Fretting Over My First Vibrator Dear FOFV,

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You’ll never find a vibrator that everyone loves. Your vagina, your clitoris and your turn-ons are all as unique as tiny little X-rated snowflakes. So, though I wish I could just give you the name of The One, I can’t; you and your dirty bits are the only ones with the power to do that. But I can send you in the right direction.

First, a sex nerd moment: Though these terms are often used interchangeably, a dildo is intended for penetration only and usually resembles a flesh-and-blood penis or a candy-colored version of something like it. A vibrator is intended primarily for external, clitoral stimulation. What makes this confusing is that sometimes dildos come with little bullet vibrators lodged in the base to add a subtle buzz. More confusing-making is that vibrators come in many shapes, from little metallic bullets to slender plastic wands, as well as insertable silicone shapes that look an awful lot like dildos, indeed.

Dildo or vibrator — it’s up to you which one you want. But what I’m assuming you want and recommending you get is a vibrator that gives you the option to penetrate. This brings us to our first rule of first-time-toys: Variety, variety, variety. Get a vibrator with multiple speeds and, if you can swing it, multiple pulsation patterns so you can experiment with what works for you — fast, slow, pulsing, consistent, with penetration, or without. As we’ve established, one size never fits all when it comes to sex so it’s important to get a toy that lets you customize…continue reading…

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A Dildo Built for Two

My fiancée and I just realized that we have sex, sure, but we’ve never talked about what we really wanted in sex. Toys came up and we tried my Mini Rabbit vibrator and we love it. We’ve both tried strap-ons before and neither she nor I really like them, but we do like the thought of penetrating each other. I’ve Googled and Googled dual penetrating vibes, but I’m coming up with vaginal-and-anal instead of vaginal penetration for two ladies. We like the idea of the We-Vibe, but want it to be more — just bigger, maybe? What do you suggest?

It’s definitely a penis-penetrates-vagina world out there when it comes to commercialized concepts of what sex should look like, so I’m not surprised that you and your fiancée are coming up short-and-stumpy when seeking out a doubly-vaginally-penetrating sex toy.

When Googling “couples sex toys,” you’re probably saturated with those geared towards penis-in-vagina such as the We-Vibe. This nifty little C-shaped sucker is specially designed to be “worn” during vaginal penetration; one side is inserted in the vagina, resting against the G-spot, and the other side sits outside the body, vibrating against the clitoris. The idea is that the internal side is so svelte, it can accommodate vaginal penetration by allowing whatever object is doing the penetrating to slip underneath it. It’s a great idea that doesn’t work for everyone’s individual body types, as not all C-shaped vibes fit every person’s C-spots and G-spots.

But you’re looking for a little more bone and a little less buzz. If you want to have two steamy, sleek steel trains pull into your love tunnels at Penetration Station, then what you want is a double-ended dildo.

Double-ended dildos are essentially two dildos fused together to make one dually-penetrating toy and are intended to be used hands-free and without strap-on harnesses. They’re great for your particular vagina set-up and are also perfectly suited for “pegging” (when someone with a vagina penetrates someone anally with a strap-on dildo). But you don’t want just any ol’ double-ender…continue reading…

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Getting Hitched: Wet for Her’s New Double-Ended Dildo

What's that you say, double-ended dildo? You liked our review time together? So did I...

What’s that you say, double-ended dildo? You liked our review time together? So did I…

The first time I tried to use a double-ended dildo was painful – both physically and socially. Seduced by its promises of sweet, sweet hands-free lovin’, my girlfriend and I jumped at the opportunity to ditch the straps and embark on a mutual, simultaneous pleasure endeavor. The dildo’s silicone was stiff and full of friction, the bulbous “wearer’s” end slipped out with every attempted thrust, and the sex toy quickly lost its hands-free appeal as we struggled to hold the thing still for long enough to get a good rhythm going.

Fast-forward five years later to present-day, as I excitedly unwrapped that day’s present – the Union double-ended dildo by sapphic-centric sex toy company Wet for Her. Just looking at the sleek box, I knew that my partner and I were in for an entirely different experience than I had bumbled through with my last dive into double-dipping.

First, the high-end, medical-grade silicone the toy is made of is silky, run-your-cheek-across-it smooth and responds positively to both water-based and silicone lube (that’s right – their grade of silicone is that good – it can be used with silicone lube). Extra perks of buying medical-grade silicone toys are that you can disinfect them easily with soap-and-water or you can even boil them for a few minutes for super-sanitary satisfaction (just take the vibrator out first)...continue reading…

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Can I Ask My GF to Stop Using Her Vibrator?

With previous girlfriends it’s been easier over time to bring them to orgasm as I get to know their preferences and bodies, however my current girlfriend owns a Hitachi Magic Wand that she has been using for nine months.

It’s significantly more difficult now to bring her to orgasm with only fingers compared with a year ago. Has she lost clitoral sensitivity through using it? It’s now even at the point where the Hitachi isn’t enough stimulation and orgasms seem to be harder to reach.

Also, since getting the vibrator her attitude toward sex has been to lie down, use it, and have me do the rest. I’m all for being dominating sometimes, but sometimes you just want mutual participation in sex. Is it okay to ask her not to use it?

Your question rings of many other questions I’ve gotten in my years as The Neighborhood Sexpert: Can I get addicted to my vibrator? Will the ultra powerful vibrations of the Hitachi ruin me for other types of sex? Will my girlfriend’s vibrator replace me?

Usually when a dude scoffs at my suggestion that he get his girlfriend a vibrator (“Pssh! She doesn’t need that — she has me!”) I put on my best mock-surprise face and exclaim, “Wow! Your dick vibrates? That’s awesome!” And often a dude’s aversion to his girlfriend’s sex toy pisses me off. But yours, FSH, doesn’t! Sex toys add a wonderful variety to our sexual stimulation repertoire that might not be available to us given our anatomy: Dildos offer us customizable sizes and shapes, vibrators allow us the concentrated clitoral stimulation necessary to reach orgasm, etc.

When used in a way that suits both partners, sex toys enhance sexual interaction, not detract from it…continue reading…

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Couple Seeking Toyfriend

Straight guy here in a monogamous relationship. We’re looking to add some toys to our routine and would love to hear your opinions and suggestions on items that we could use together. We’ve been eyeballing the Oden 2 from Lelo [a vibrating, rechargeable, remote-controlled cockring priced around $180], but have no idea if it’s worth the investment. Maybe there are simpler, more cost-effective ways to start?

If I had a dime for every question I got about “couples’ toys”, I’d be able to buy you 100 Oden 2s from Lelo. I wouldn’t though, because it would probably be a waste of my money, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I totally get it: Trying to find a sex toy that physically pleases everyone simultaneously is worth searching for. The efficiency! The cost-effectiveness! The false reassurance that everyone’s needs are getting met!

When people say “couples’ toys” what they tend to mean is a toy that is actively stimulating both partners during sex and by “both” partners we tend to mean one woman and one man and by “during sex” we tend to mean penis-in-vagina. Really though, all sex toys have the ability to be “couples’ toys” based on the basic concept that being present while your partner gets his or her rocks off is also sexually pleasing to you.

Looking at it this way, CST, your options are wide open for your new couples’ toy…continue reading…

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The V-Spot: Unplug to Buttplug

Hi Yana!

My partner and I both really like butt plugs. We have the “Little Flirt” [a small, silicone butt plug made by Tantus] that we ordered online to experiment with. A friend of ours suggested the Njoy Pure plugs [made of stainless steel and available in a variety of sizes] and they look great!

We want to get one for each of us, but trying to figure out what 25mm difference in radius would feel like from a website’s picture online is like trying to figure out the real feel of weather in Celsius.

Sometimes the Little Flirt comes out during play and we’re worried that the smallest Njoy Plug doing the same. So, should we buy larger?

When it was a $15 toy it was no big deal to just order it online and find out in the mail, but these toys are expensive! Is there a good way to order toys online or is it really just best to find a good shop that you can go to in person? Thanks!

Hi OSM!

I always recommend shopping for sex toys IRL to get a real sense of sizing, material, and feel of your soon-to-be sex toy. Moreso, female-friendly, brick-and-mortar stores that boast well-trained sex educators are well-worth the extra time and money spent as they can offer customized advice, considerations, and sex toy education unavailable on the Internet.

This can be geographically or financially difficult for many. If you can’t unplug from the Internet to buy your butt plug and you’re (rightfully) skeptical about size, take the website’s measurements of the toy and compare it either to a toy you have at home or 1-3 of your fingers, noting that firmer toy materials (like the stainless steel Njoys) have less give and therefore will feel bigger inside of your body/booty.

Do read reviews about quality but don’t solely depend on reviews about quantity: everyone is different and one person’s mindblowing multiorgasmic experience with a particular sex toy doesn’t mean you’ll be similarly exploding. Instead, buy based on material, shape, vendor and pleasure principles…continue reading…