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The Facts: Do Vibrators Desensitize You?

The Facts: Do Vibrators Desensitize You?

As we lean further and further into a sex positive space (yay!), there may be something that is preventing people from experiencing true pleasure. That is the question: can a vibrator desensitize you? Truth be told, this is a very valid question and concern for those who don’t know the facts. And that’s why we’re going to address the topic using reliable sources and information so that you can enjoy and embrace your sexuality with a vibrator.

Do Vibrators Desensitize You?

To answer this question, let’s divide it into two categories: short-term and long-term…

When it comes to short-term: yes, your vibrator can desensitize you, but only for a brief moment—it is absolutely nothing to be worried about. It could come about because perhaps you’ve used your vibrator a little more than what your body is used to/a longer period of time, which can cause your genitals to become desensitized for a brief period (from a few mere minutes to an hour or so). In this case, all that is needed is a little break from using your vibrator and you’ll be good to go!

When it comes to long-term: no, your vibrator cannot desensitize you. What a relief! What this means is that you can go ahead and enjoy self-care or partnered play without fear that you may lose the feeling of pleasure over time. Ultimately, you can experience the same kind of sexual satisfaction, whether you’re using your vibrator every day or every month. There is no such thing as a vibrator desensitizing you in the long-term.

To sum up, if you’re playing and you feel desensitized, give yourself some time before engaging in your lustful desires once again. That feeling of sheer ecstasy will come back shortly.

Debunking the Myth of Dead Vagina Syndrome

Have you ever heard of the term “dead vagina syndrome”? It’s something that has been thrown around online of late, creating fear and panic among vibrator users. This is a sad state of affairs because dead vagina syndrome is 100 percent a myth. What is dead vagina syndrome? It’s a made up concept that says that using a vibrator will desensitize your genitals. It is not real, and it has never been proved. As sex expert Jill McDevitt, PhD says: “dead vagina syndrome” is a nonmedical, fear-mongering term invented by people who don’t really understand masturbation, orgasms, pleasure, or vaginal and vulvar anatomy.” McDevitt goes on to say: “Society feels and teaches vulva owners to feel uncomfortable with the idea of experiencing pleasure for the sake of pleasure and getting themselves off. As a result, folks with vulvas are told that a vibrator will ‘ruin’ them for partnered sex and that they’ll be unable to orgasm in any other way. But this is a stigma, not science, speaking.” Do we need any more proof that a vibrator will not desensitize you? Well, for good measure, there is a small study that’s been published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine that debunks the myth of becoming desensitized by a vibrator. The results showed that the majority of vibrator users experienced zero negative side effects when using their favorite toy. Adversely, many of the test subjects found that using their vibrator aided in many positive things such as the quality of their orgasms, increased lubrication, and decreased pain. That makes sense, as there are so many mental, physical, and sexual benefits attached to achieving orgasm!

Worrying About Desensitivity… A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

We want to make sure that you leave this article knowing that it’s impossible to become desensitized by your vibrator, but also: how easy it can be to believe that you are! In other words, if you worry about desensitivity, you may make yourself believe that you’re experiencing it.

“For folks with vulvas, so much of the orgasm comes from the brain, and stress about orgasming is a major roadblock,” McDevitt says. What does this mean? Our brains literally have the power to interfere with our orgasms and pleasure. It can, for sure, be a self-fulling prophecy. One way to try to overcome some of this anxiety would be to acknowledge that dead vagina syndrome is a myth, and that vibrators don’t cause desensitivity. Another way would be to do some research of your own, and surrounding yourself with sex positivity and uplifting media that supports and encourages pleasure. And while you’re doing this, remember to always be kind to yourself. You are a magical being who deserves amazing sexual experiences with or without sex toys.

About the writer

Helena Lorimer

Helena (she/her) is a South African sex-positive writer who loves swimming in the ocean under the full moon, and cheesy 90's pop. She's currently living her best life in Porto, Portugal after scouring different continents to find her happy place. Today, she's dreaming with her eyes open, happily spreading her sexual wellness knowledge far and wide.

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