Hi Gigi,

I’ve been following you for a while and I think your work is so cool and it’s helped me with so much stuff!!

I’ve been having sex for the past year (I lost virginity to my boyfriend about a year ago and we’re still together) and he was the first person to give me an orgasm by eating me out. It was amazing and life changing and everything.

Since then I’ve explored masturbation and stuff; and got a vibrator which I use quite often but the issue is now I find it quite hard to orgasm when he goes down on me. Do you think that by masturbating I’ve become desensitized or something? I’ve discussed it with him and he’s been great and told me he’ll go however long, but I usually end up feeling guilty when it’s taking so long that sometimes I fake it. Any advice?

-G

Hey sweets,

Thanks for sending over this question. My inbox is positively brimming with women who want to know if they can become addicted to vibration or become desensitized by using sex toys etc. etc.

The short answer is: No. You cannot become addicted to your vibrator. This is a sex-shaming myth designed to make you feel bad about exploring your sexuality and feel like you have to be reliant on a partner to have an orgasm.

Definitely read this article, I think it will help a lot. You can read it before or after you finish this letter. Either way, I think you’ll find the information useful.

Because he’s the first person you’ve experienced oral stimulation with, it’s no wonder it was so intense. Women require external clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, and most of us don’t get that kind of stimulation until we have our first experiences with someone who is good at oral or if we purchase a vibrator.

P in the V sex just doesn’t provide clitoral stimulation without the addition of a hand or a toy. Plain and simple. I’m so happy that your first experiences were so positive and explosive. I remember my first time having an orgasm with a partner. I’d been having sex for YEARS and finally a college boyfriend went down on me. It was life-changing. I didn’t even know I was capable of having orgasms.

Your clitoris is extremely sensitive, but it can build a tolerance to stimulation. So can penises! Here is another column you might find interesting from a man who had become so accustomed to using his hand and porn for masturbation, that a vagina and normal-bodied person weren’t arousing the same sexual feelings. The point being, many people go through this and it’s not just women or people with vaginas.

Your body can get used to stimulation. A tongue is a magical thing, but vibration is often more intense. It’s a stronger sensation. When you use a vibrator on the reg, sometimes a tongue can seem a bit lackluster. So, I know how you’re feeling: guilty.

When you discover a vibrator, it’s kind of this epiphany for many women. You’re like, “HOW DID I GO WITHOUT THIS MY ENTIRE LIFE!?!” Vibrators are designed to give women orgasms. I cannot get enough of my wand vibe, my clit-sucking vibes, and well, you know, the hundreds of others I have in boxes under my bed.

Again, you cannot get addicted to vibration. But, you can become used to it. Meaning, your clitoris and body get very used to how a vibrator makes you feel and what it takes to make you come. Plus, you’re using it on yourself so you are the master of finding the exact hot spots for orgasms on the fly.

Here are a couple of suggestions I have for you. The first: Take a break from the vibrator for a while. Don’t retire it or throw it away, just take a break. Use your fingers for masturbation and focus on oral sex with your partner. You want to realign your clitoris with alternate forms of stimulation. Your clit isn’t broken, it’s just accustomed to one singular form of stimulation to signal orgasm.

Take some time to relearn how your body feels pleasure. You should be on track within a couple of weeks. Don’t worry if it takes a while to get used to coming with oral sex.

It’s wonderful that your partner is so understanding and patient. He sounds fabulous. Lean into that understanding and be willing to explore oral sex. Don’t feel so pressured to come. It’s not his skills and it’s not his body. It’s that your body has undergone some changes sexually and you’re finding your equilibrium. I promise that you haven’t lost your ability to come with a partner. This is just a minor roadblock.

The second: Breathe into your body and concentrate on the sensations you’re feeling. Oral sex is still sublime, it’s just different from vibration. Focusing your breath can help you regain sense of your nerve endings. Read this for more information on breathing for arousal.

The third thing I’d try is using sex toys with your partner. Do everything above first. It could take a few months to get back into your body and ready for additional forms of pleasure. Using vibrators with a partner is super hot. Suddenly, you open the door between two worlds: Masturbation and partner play. He can use the vibrator on you, you can use it on yourself; whatever works. There are even toys you can wear DURING sex. Some stay in place over the clitoris so you can have orgasms during intercourse, others you can hold and use during sex. I’m personally obsessed with the Eva and for a handheld option, the Fin.

As you have more sexual experiences and experiment with other kinds of stimulation, toys, etc., you’ll find your flow. You’ll see that one thing is not better than the other, that you’re just capable of experiencing pleasure in myriad ways. It’s pretty awesome.

Don’t get so down on yourself. We get enough of that from the media and society. Enjoy your sexuality. The whole “I’m broken because I can’t do X” narrative is out of style. You’re a sexually empowered woman and you deserve to have all the pleasure in the world.

I hope this helps and you find so many different kinds of orgasmic avenues that you feel like there is no end in sight.

XOXO

Gigi

Gigi Engle is a feminist writer, sex educator, and speaker. A book with St. Martins Press is forthcoming.

For a chance to be featured on YSPSA’s original sex advice column, email your question to advice@yspsa.org. No topic is off limits.