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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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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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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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Sweet (Sex-Positive) Sixteen

My eldest daughter is now 16. I’ve had to cover the sex talk basics as her mother (we’re divorced) is FAR more conservative (and shall we say repressed) than I. How do I, as a father, steer my daughter towards a more sex-positive outlook when it’s clear she isn’t getting the same feedback when she’s with her mother? Is there ever a time/approach where it’s appropriate to get her a vibrator? Do you just enlist a female friend for such duty?

Now wouldn’t it be nice if I could just tell parents that their teenagers will happily sit down for sex talks with them, fully absorb all of the information given, and then apply it rightly to their impending sexual explorations? (Because that’s what we did as teens, right?)

Unfortunately, the second something comes from a parent (even if you’re a cool, sex-positive parent and even if it’s an awesome vibrator) it’s just not that cool anymore. (Do kids even say “cool” anymore?) Continued…

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Seeking Spunky, Not Clunky

I was wondering if you might be able to recommend a good vibrator to use during sex with my boyfriend. Something with power, but not too cumbersome?

I don’t make many assumptions in this job, but I get the vibe (hyuck) that you may be one of many women who discovered the clit-rocking power of the Hitachi Magic Wand “back-massager-turned,” as your predicament is a classic one: You want a vibe that packs a punch like the Hitachi, but unlike the Hitachi, isn’t the size of a prize, country-fair eggplant with a power cord. This way, you can use it with your sweetie without danger of an accidental black-eye or needing to push your bed up against the wall so you can plug that prehistoric sucker’s absurdly short cord into the socket. Continued…