10 Steps to Orgasming Without a Vibrator

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 Silky G. 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 cock ring during intercourse or a vibrating finger toy 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

Do you find it hard to have any kind of orgasm in bed?
“10 Steps to Crossing the Finishing Line in Bed Tonight”


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32 Comments on "10 Steps to Orgasming Without a Vibrator"


Old one?
10 months 17 days ago

I’m a 52ish female & have never climaxed with my husband of 35 plus years. I was only able to climax once when he gave me oral sex & I had already climaxed with manual stimulation. Without going into too much detail, I can only have an orgasm with a vibe & tighten my legs together. I’ve been only able to achieve orgasms this way for as long as I remember. With that being said, it now takes me longer to achieve climax. Is it my age? Is it possible to learn something new after years of masterbating one way? Any help would be grateful!!

Celeste
11 months 8 hours ago

I have the same problem… My husband is amazing in bed and we have been married for 13 years. Before I got a vibe 6 years ago I would occasionally orgasm if I was on top. Now I can orgasm everytime with the vibe but u would like to not have to use it. I know my husband would like me not to use it as well and now I can’t cum without it. I have practiced and tried many times to go manually but the only time it ever worked was if I watched porn. I want to be able to just be with my husband and enjoying him and that be it. I don’t want to have to
Play porn in my head either. Is it even possible?

11 months 29 days ago

This might work idk…havent tried yet. But we will see. Orgasm face…^o^

Stacy
1 year 2 months ago

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.

Pink
1 year 4 months ago

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