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April 19, 2020 2 min read

Do Vibrators Desensitize You?

By Elena Ognivtseva

Until the late 1950s and 1960s, sex was an off-limits topic in the United States, and the myths about it abounded. Since no one ever talked about it, no one really knew what was true and what wasn't.

Here is a truth: vibrators do not hurt you. Obviously, you do not want to use any sort of electrical device, whether it's a hair dryer or a vibrator, in the bath tub. That could hurt you. Using a vibrator away from water, though, will not hurt you. It may make you feel a little numb, but so can intercourse or oral sex. The numbing is temporary, and has to do with intensity.

There are more nerve endings in the clitoris than in any other part of the body. Using a vibrator can actually help women (and men) reach orgasm more frequently, because it helps you become more familiar with what feels good. Masturbation, with or without a vibrator, gives you the chance to explore your body and to learn more about all of those nerve endings and how to stimulate them. That knowledge can then be put to use again and again.

All of the myths about desensitization come from people who feel somehow threatened by the idea of using a vibrator. Maybe they are men who are afraid they will no longer be needed for their partners to enjoy sex. Maybe they are women who think if you "need" a vibrator to reach climax there is something wrong with you. Maybe the myths have to do with what some people think normal should be, and have more to do with obtaining and maintaining some kind of power than with any kind of evidence, studies or science.

No study has ever shown that vibrators can cause physical harm.

Having a healthy attitude about yourself and about sex involves knowing your body well. If masturbating alone is intimidating to you, you may want to try it with your partner. If you've never used a vibrator and would like to try it, bring the subject up with your partner. You may find that the addition of something new is exciting for both of you and that rather than leading to a less intense climax, it leads to a fuller, healthier, more fun sex life. Even if you find that you don't enjoy using a vibrator, you do not have to worry about whether or not it will hurt you or cause any sort of permanent damage.

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