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10 Steps to Orgasming Without a Vibrator

Fri, Mar 5, 2010

Advice, Dear Em & Lo, How To

photo via beautifulagony.com

Dear Em & Lo,

I’m a 22-year-old woman who has only become sexually active over the last six months or so. I’m enjoying myself and being safe, but it’s starting to annoy me that I can’t have an orgasm without a vibrator. This really bothered my last boyfriend, which of course made me stressed out, self-conscious, and even LESS likely to get off. I’ve talked to my girlfriends about it, and they keep telling me “practice makes perfect…eventually it’ll just happen…etc.” but I’m impatient! I know it’s not uncommon for women to be unable to orgasm through intercourse alone, but I can’t even get myself off without a (strongly vibrating) toy. Hands? No. Oral? Nope. Penetration? Nada. All of those things are awesome, just…not quite awesome enough. So I guess my question is, is there any way I can “learn” to orgasm without a vibrator?

– Manual Laborer

Dear M.L.,

First of all, congratulations on your incredibly mature approach to sex! We know we are constantly making fun of abstinence-only education, but we do think that there are some serious benefits to postponing sexual activity. At 22 years of age, you are in a much better position to know your own body and you are more likely to demand what you want and need in bed. In our experience, 22 year olds just tend to be a lot more thoughtful about sex than your average high schooler.

Also, congratulations on all those orgasms! Just because they’re battery-powered, doesn’t make them any less awesome — we hear from plenty of women who have trouble orgasming, with or without a toy. They’d be delighted to have your so-called problem.

That said, we don’t want to diminish what you’re feeling, because we do understand the desire to climax unplugged. Especially if the sex toy that does it for you is a really strong vibrator — those vibes aren’t always the most discreet. Sometimes it can seem like you’re sharing a bed with a birthing cow. (However, we think that your last boyfriend sounds like a total douche for selfishly pouting about it. Geez. Everyone knows that the fastest way to make an orgasm run for the hills is to put it under pressure and stress it out.)

Unfortunately, we don’t have as many tips as we do congratulations. Your girlfriends are right — it really is a matter of practice and time. And fortunately you’ve got plenty of that — especially now that the pressure-cooker boyfriend is out of the picture. But here are 10 things that might help improve your self-love sessions:

  1. Create ambiance: Set the scene for yourself as much as you do with a partner — dim the lights, play some sexy tunes, turn off your phone, etc. Check out our post about getting yourself in the mood for more tips.
  2. Try a change of scenery. Don’t always do it in the bedroom — strike while the iron is hot, whether that’s when you’re in front of the TV, working late at the office, or cooking in the kitchen. Or take a long bath or shower and have some silicone-based lube handy (it’s waterproof).
  3. Fantasize: When you’re using a super-strong vibrator, it’s easy to get lazy about stimulating your mind, as the Hitachi Magic Wand (etc) is doing all the heavy lifting. Help things along in your head — try erotic short stories, graphic novels, porn or just plain old fantasies. Check out the advice we gave this reader, who lamented the fact that her vibrator didn’t kiss or cuddle, on how to improve masturbation this way.
  4. Warm up. With a vibrator and then switch to your hands — or vice versa.
  5. Lube up: When you’re using your hands, be sure to use lots of lube, since a well lubed clitoris (and labia) can handle a lot more, and a lot more varied, stimulation.
  6. Wean yourself (but don’t call it that). Give your favorite vibe a little less power by using it over clothes or a blanket, using it on a lower and lower setting, or replacing it occasionally with a totally different kind of stimulation. For example, if your fave is an external stimulator like the Nea then try an internal G-spotter like the Dinky Digger. Or use your thumb or squeeze your legs around your wrist or have your partner do whatever he can to at least try to replicate your vibe’s sensations….in a word: experiment! But don’t think of it as weaning yourself off the vibrator, think of it as teasing yourself, building up sexual tension that will hopefully eventually find it’s way out.
  7. Lower your expectations: Don’t say “Okay, today is going to be the day I do it on my own and I’m not leaving this bedroom until it happens.” It ain’t never going to happen that way. Instead, set aside a certain amount of time just to stimulate yourself, try new things, take notice of your bodily response — and when time’s up, allow yourself to go the ol’ faithful route. Each consecutive session, extend that time little longer. There could be times when you occasionally don’t allow yourself release, just to help with that teasing we mentioned above, but fasting until it happens “naturally” is just cruel and unusual punishment.
  8. Use toys for couples. Experiment with vibrators that can be used harmoniously during other sex acts, e.g. a vibrating love ring (JimmyJane’s Iconic Ring is great) during intercourse or a vibrating finger toy (like the classic Fukuoku 9000) during manual or oral stimulation.
  9. Practice, practice, practice. Hey, it’s not math, it’s masturbation!
  10. Don’t stress about it too much. The odds are good that eventually, if you hang in there, you’ll be able to go it alone. It might be a matter of time, or practice, or the right partner, or the right mind-set, or the right age — you never know. But in the meantime, there’s no point NOT enjoying all those awesome orgasms available to you at the flick of a switch.

Wax on, wax off,

Em & Lo

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29 Responses to “10 Steps to Orgasming Without a Vibrator”

  1. impoddity Says:

    I had this problem about a year ago. What worked for me was going about two weeks without ANY type of sexual stimulation. Yes, it was difficult, but when I finally masturbated (manually only) I had an amazing orgasm!

    It might have had something to do with the whole waiting a fortnight deal, but I was broken of my vibrator-dependency. I now make sure I rotate between different types of stimulation, just to make sure I don’t fall back into my old ways.

    Hope this advice is of some use to you. Good luck!

    imp

  2. Rachel @ TechCoquette Says:

    This is a great post! And love the O face pics!!

  3. Mr L Says:

    I recently worked alongside a friend on a movie set reenacting a parade. His costume was that of an army core engineer, and he had a hard hat on with a sticker on it that said “THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I FUCK!”. Please revisit this phrase about every 10 years.

    One of these days its just going to happen. Your lover is going to find what trips your trigger. You may be doing it up reverse cowgirl style and you lover sticks their thumb in your bum and it just DOES it!

    What’s more important is that you someday understand that your orgasm is not the gift that some body or piece of equipment gives to you, but rather the gift , the very best gift you can give, to THEM. Whats going on with your mind(s) is key. The physical details will work themselves out.

  4. LoveHoney - Carly Says:

    All of this is spot on. We always recommend enjoying the sensations of masturbation and stimulation, rather than ignoring everything else in favour of an orgasm. The build up is pretty nice after all.

  5. Suzanne Says:

    This post reminds me that I ought to give manual stimulation a try. I’ve become so lazy these days with the range of toys available to me.

  6. Snowman Says:

    I’d love to be with a lady who would use a toy while I was with her. I think it’s fun. Your boyfriend missed out.

  7. Helixbill Says:

    Putting pressure on yourself to orgasm is going to guarantee failure.

    Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about what turns you on. He will appreciate the pointers if he is wanting to please you. If he is not willing to be patient and only wants to ‘get his’ dump him and find a better partner.

    Don’t forget that sex is supposed to be enjoyable, not stressful!

  8. Emma Says:

    LMFAO – I love the O face pics too! Top row middle pic and middle row right pic are my FAV’s.

  9. Jamie Says:

    This is the exact reason I’ve never used a vibrator. I’m afraid to get dependent on it. I think I probably started experimenting with manual masturbation around 14, and was an old pro at it by the time I actually got around to being in bed with a guy. I’ve contemplated buying toys….but ultimately decide that I’m doing just fine without it.

  10. jenny Says:

    I learned this from I Heart Female Orgasms:

    Go ahead and masturbate with your vibrator, but right before you climax cut the power and just stop. Repeat this at least 5 more times (or as many as you can stand without coming). It will feel like it’s taking forever but the buildup makes the payoff amazing, and that’s what makes it great practice for partnered sex.

  11. Amanda Says:

    What worked for me was hiding the vibrator… waited a few days, and couldn’t take it anymore. I mentally broke down, got some lube, popped the hood and went to town.

    I’m still working on not being able to get off whenever I have sex with my boyfriend, but being on top, I’ve gotten damn close. ;]

    Wish I would’ve thought of a google search to answer my problem before… Oh well, I hope this helps someone. :]

  12. Michelle Says:

    This is really the ONLY set of practical tips on the web. Everywhere else it’s ONLY a vague “practice”, or worse, “cold turkey” which leaves one with no orgasms at all.

    Actually worked, too. Just a small one at first, but that’s a start! :D

    Pretty soon I’ll be able to sleep with people in good conscience.

  13. Jackie Says:

    I’ve had this problem for years. I always believed that I was in that group of women that just wasn’t stimulated enough during any kind of intercourse that didn’t include a vibrator to achieve an orgasm. I’ve actually withheld from any kind of stimulation for the past month because I thought there was no point to get myself worked up without my vibrator nearby. But, I have to admit that literally right after I read this article I tried these tips and I had my first non-vibrator induced orgasm. It was just as, if not more, intense than any orgasm I’ve ever had with my vibrator. Thank you so much!

  14. Abagail Johnson Says:

    I just wanted to say after much sexual frustration I finally had an orgasm…but only with a vibrator. Which did cause problems in bed with my husband. Not because he didn’t want me to climax but because he felt he was inferior, and trust me he’s not! I tried explaining that it wasn’t his fault but it didn’t soothe his ego any. So finally I started faking when we made love and used the vibrator after he had fallen asleep to climax. I started doing some research on the internet about reaching an orgasm with just your hands and alas I found this! I immediately after reading this grabbed my lube…after twenty minutes I had a successful orgasm with just me, myself, and KY! Thank you so much for this…and if my husband knew he would thank you too :-)

  15. Adriana Says:

    Hii,, i was falling in love very bad but after the first time sex i told my boyfriend that i just come with my toy and he didnt call me the next day so i did call him and he was very honest telling me that he needed a woman that had orgasm without a toy please help!! even though he is gone!!

  16. ellen Says:

    Hi there, sorry I know this thread is quite old, but just wanted to say I have only been able to orgasm with a vibe too, although saying that I’ve never really put the effort in on my own without the vibe cos I know it’s always there. But I’m staying at my sisters place dog sitting for her on my own and I was so horny last night and forgot to bring my vibe, and I was really quite stressed I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. But I played with myself with my fingers and was astonished that I was eventually able to climax. I can’t orgasm from sex, just have never been able to, but I put in some time and was messaging a guy I’m really quite fond of and I got myself there. This is an awesome discovery, it felt so good too and was more satisfactory knowing it was manual :)

  17. Anne Says:

    I have been going electric since I discovered any sort of sex in my teens. You would be surprised how many household items vibrate. My first orgasm was with vibration and I had never had an orgasm without one. But it kept me satisfied to last through high school and most of college waiting for the right guy and I’m proud to say that we are still together and are very much in love. I should probably mention that I am 22. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to orgasm any time we have sex. I completely gave up vibration for about 6 months hoping it would help but nada. Last weekend I got home from seeing him and just gave up and went for the vibe. But tonight I found this post and I thought what the heck, I’m going to put the time in and just relax and see what happens. And after a very very very long time, guess what? It worked! I had my first manual orgasm. And then I had another. It feels like such a relief to know that it’s actually possible and with a lot of patience, my partner might be able to bring me to climax some day. Until now I had put myself into the group of women who just will never be able to have an orgasm with a partner, and without vibration. Don’t give up ladies.

  18. Hannah Says:

    I’ve always had a problem with having a good orgasm even BEFORE I started using a vibrator! The reason I couldn’t orgasm is why I got a vibrator in the first place. My husband (we are now divorced), I’ll just say..had a small dick. He didn’t know how to use it or what to do with it. LoL I tried every position possible but it just didn’t do the job. Therefore, I bought a vibrator. We became not so sexually active. He turned to porn and became an asshole and I turned to a vibrator that got the job done. I’m now engaged though to my new love. I am extremely attracted to him in every way and he does not have anywhere near a small dick! haha! BUT I still find myself having trouble getting off. I get to my climax every time then I just lose it and he gets off at the same time I SHOULD be. He feels it’s his fault but I always assure him that it really is me. I had became so dependent on my vibrator from my sucky marriage that I can no longer get off naturally. I’m pregnant now though and on pelvic rest which means NO SEX or stimulation what so ever for 3 weeks! It is SO hard to resist my man. I’ve been getting turned on just by him taking off his shirt or just looking at me a curtain way. Lmao :) ) Maybe it will help me a little being banned from using my vibrator or having sex for 3 weeks. I think I also get distracted. We live in a house of 8 people and the living room is right NEXT to our room and there’s a crack in the door that someone could see through. It’s nerve racking and hard to stay focused on sex. I’ll follow this advice and I hope it works! If not, my man is willing to try new things and has no issue with me using my vibrator during intercourse. :)

  19. frustrated Says:

    Try having a husband that hasn’t laid a hand on you for 11 yrs. I’m sick of manual stimulation, what i wouldn’t do for a wild romp.

  20. also frustrated Says:

    or try having a wife that punishes you by refusing to have sex with you and using only her vibrator. she says she’s attracted to me, and i believe her when she says we have great sex (which has been once in the last 7 months), but wtf. and no i have never been unfaithful (she has) except for internet porn. i’m sick of manual stimulation too. what i wouldn’t give for a woman who feels as though husband and wife are equals, and should support each other in times of need as well as times of abundance, and who believes that sex and love are bound up together and that sex is a great way to communicate affection and love and to strengthen those bonds of the heart.

  21. CarmelShugga Says:

    Thanks for a great article! One is never too to learn. At 50, I’m finally getting it right without grabbing another person or a sex toy. The self-exploration and self-discovery of my own body (plus lots of lube) leads to explosive results now, pin intended, lol. Rub on good people! Rub on!

  22. Elizabeth Says:

    I am able to climax manually, but only do so in emergencies because the vibrator is just so much easier. The problem is that (even with the vibrator) it can just take such a long time. Of course there are those times where it’s super quick, but other times it seems to take me forever. I think that is the reason why I was never able to get off when actually having sex-even with vib help. I was always so nervous that it would take too long and the other person would get annoyed and impatient. so did like someone else above and just faked it until they other person went to sleep and then took care of myself.

    BUT THEN, one night a few years ago I had taken some muscle relaxer for a herniated disk and was not worried much about anything and my husband and I started messing around. I wasn’t even thinking about things taking too long and was just completely relaxed. And finally, after a decade of sexual partners, I was able to climax with someone else there (but, unfortunately, still only with the help of a vib.) After that, I realized that I just had to quit worrying about how long it would take. I was with someone that loves me and wants to please me. That realization helped tremendously- most of the time. However, I still, at 37, can’t climax while having sex unless the vibrator is involved. And I still will get intimidated and mess things up if it seems to be taking a long time and go back to the “wait till he’s asleep” strategy.

    I had just been going along with the above circumstances for a while, but I lately I have been trying something similar to what Jenny ^ ^ ^ said. In a human sexuality class I took years ago, we discussed fetishes/ fantasies… Something that was mentioned was how one way to help people with serious fetish problems (for ex: not just liking shoes, but not being able to get off at all without shoes…) be able to change their ways was for them to masturbate while thinking about whatever it was, but then right before they climax, think about “normal stuff”. I don’t have a shoe fetish, but do really enjoy fantasizing when I masturbate so I’ve been applying that method and when things start getting close, I switch from whatever I’m thinking about to some things my hubby does that I really enjoy. And even though I haven’t got there yet with just him and no vib, I can DEF tell a difference on how much closer I’m able to get without battery opp. help. Obviously, this is issue is something that takes time and effort, but I know it’s got to be possible. If I can have orgasms in dreams without any physical stimulation at all, my husband should be able to give me one. I think it’s just figuring out how to make yourself relax and teaching your mind/ body to allow you to change your ways- easier said than done and def. time consuming… I was hoping this site would have some magic answer lol!! but glad to see others are dealing with the same issues.

  23. jackie mays Says:

    Your a device changed my life thank you

  24. Michelle Says:

    I can’t orgasm the FIRST TIME without help from my vibrator (a strong one, the LELO magic wand).

    However, after orgasming the first time with my vibrator, it’s a million times easier for my boyfriend (or my own hand) to make me cum.

    Now if only I could find a boyfriend that was okay with me using my vibrator first :-/

  25. Vixxie Says:

    I cant seem to orgasim at all, I am beginning to think I am defective or something. I have 2 kids and a loving husband but everytime I get close I cant relax, I guess I dont know how. I am to the point of sex is only for having kids. I’m only 24, there is one event that I can think of that happend with my husband on why I cant, another sexual thing happend that was a bit embarrasing that I couldnt control he made fun of what my response to it was and always has off and on ever since. I know he feels horrible that I havent orgasimed and we’ve been married 7 years, to prove to him I had even tossed my vib away thinking I need maybe a new one and some alone time. Anyone else ever go through this?

  26. Jay Says:

    My wife had a similar problem when we first got together with the exception that she could reach climax during oral. So what I started to do was making her play with herself while I would give her oral, then when she would get close to climax I would make her stimulate her clit while I played below. At first she would become insanely fustrated but after awhile the build up would be so intense that her organisms became (almost) overwhelming. Hope that helps. : )

  27. Black Says:

    My girlfriend also seems to have some of the same issues. We have a awesome sex life..but she is codependent of “wabbit”.. I can’t help but wonder is it me.

  28. Pink Says:

    I am 36 years old and have been married for 15years. I only had my first orgasm ever 1 year ago. I still cannot orgasm with my husband, only with Vibes. We have tried everything but it just doesn’t happen

  29. Stacy Says:

    Without going into explicit details yes it can happen. I am 29 and was able to do it without toys or the shower head the day after I vowed to not use them again. So have faith and get to know your body, love yourself don’t have any doubt that you can. Don’t give up.


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