The first time I used a vibrator I came in about 34 seconds. That might sound amazing and it kind of was, but it was also sort of awful — or underwhelming, at least. I had never finished so quickly, but also couldn’t really understand what had just happened. But, sure enough, I soldiered on, masturbated a lot, and after my nearly daily trysts with the old rabbit, my tolerance for it increased so that I could have some truly satisfying sessions. And then my tolerance kept increasing and I started to wonder, like a lot of women do, can you get too used to your vibrator?

 

It’s hard to believe that something so pleasurable and amazing could do you any harm — and I certainly wouldn’t put the old buzzer back in the drawer just yet. But if you’ve ever noticed that you seem to become so used to your vibrator that anything less than a pair of double AA batteries just can’t trip your trigger anymore, here’s what you need to know.

You can get too used to *anything* 

Have you ever had sex with a guy who needs something very particular in order to finish — a lot of sensation around the tip, specific ball play, or a certain kind of dirty talk? That’s because, in a way, you can get too used to anything. If you masturbate a lot and use the same technique over and over, you can start to feel like you need it to finish — the same is true of a certain kind of porn, a type of sex, a type of anything. 

Vibrators are no different. “A woman can get used to giving herself an orgasm that way, but the same thing happens from sexual positions, oral sex, and manual stimulation,” New York City sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D. and author of She Comes First told Glamour. “You get used to something and create a neural pathway which helps to make the process easier.” So when it comes to your vibrator, it is good to be aware if you’re doing too much of a good thing. You’ll start to know if it’s becoming a problem when you find that you can’t orgasm any other way. A quick test without your vibrator (or as I like to call it, going acoustic) should be an indicator, as can sexual stimulation with someone else that would normally make you orgasm.

But you’re not going to become addicted to it

A lot of people wonder if you can get addicted to your vibrator — but you really don’t need to stress about that. Although you can really love a vibrator (I personally will attest to that), make it a regular part of your routine — and you can even feel antsy if you’re not orgasming as much as you’re used to — you’re not addicted to it. Addiction speaks to very specific to brain patterns, behavior abuse, and dependency. It is maaaybe possible to have a sex addiction (although even that is an area of debate) but being addicted specifically to a vibrator just isn’t really a thing.


When in doubt, mix it up 

Even though you’re not going to become addicted to your favorite bullet or rabbit, if you’re not sure whether or not you’re getting too used to it, then it never hurts to mix it up. This doesn’t necessarily mean ditching the vibrator, but just using it in a different way. Dependency often develops when we use a certain vibrator in a certain position at a certain speed, so there are a lot of different variables to play with. Try laying on your back instead of your side, playing with the settings, teasing yourself more, or trying a different toy. Or, just ditch the vibrator for a session or two to test yourself.

Some of us just need them — and that's okay

None of this is meant to imply that having a non-vibrator orgasm is somehow superior to having a vibrator orgasm. The truth is, some women and people with clitorises just need a damn vibrator — period, the end. They're not ever going to finish without something a little more than manpower and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you can orgasm without one and you feel like you’re losing your touch, then mix it up a little. But if vibrators are a vital part of your orgasm routine, then there’s no point in torturing yourself or trying to make your body work in a way that it just doesn't. You don't need to feel ashamed of your vibrator use — instead, embrace it. You’re having a great time and that should be all that really matters.

If you go from a hands-only masturbator to having a daily appointment with your vibe, it’s easy to worry that you're getting too used to it. And you can have too much of a good thing if it’s stopping you from orgasming in other ways that you’d like to orgasm. So if it feels right, mix up your routine — or at least certain aspects of your routine — to keep from getting into a rut. But if vibrators are the only things that work for you, then keep getting those O's. You deserve them, so get ‘em, girl.