sex

"The exact moment I knew I'd overcooked my clit with my vibrator."

Have you ever been afraid that you’ll lose your orgasms? I’m not talking about being on the brink of climax and then getting distracted, I’m talking about never orgasming again. EVER.

I definitely have.

Flashback to about 15 years ago when I’d just discovered masturbation, some of the girls at school told me that we had a finite number of orgasms that we could experience and that one day they would just stop. And I believed them! 

I stopped masturbating immediately, and held onto the notion of pleasure and saving my orgasms for someone special. Little did I know that the great thing about orgasms is that you don’t need another person in the room to bring that joy into your life. Nor are they finite. Lesson learned.

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Anyway, I’m now 32 and luckily for me, I am past the point in my life where I believe random women and their misinformed opinions about my body. However, I do have a new masturbatory-related concern that’s consuming my mind: I think I’ve overcooked my clit. 

Let me explain.

A little about me: I’ve been single for four years. I have a stressful and busy life and I have the added bonus of reviewing sex toys as part of my job. So, my collection is endless. 

I have the Womanizer Pro, the Satisfyer Pro, the Abbie Chatfield x VUSH wand, the Zalo Bess, the Le Wand Feel My Power vibrator and let's not even get into my collection of glass and silicone dildos. Needless to say, I’m very sex-positive and very into masturbation.

So as an avid fan of masturbating and someone who is very in tune with the wants and needs of my body, I am a little concerned that my clit might need to go into rehab.

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How did I come to this conclusion? 

The other night I was having a little fun with my Womanizer Pro and I was SO CLOSE. I was right on the edge of that cliff and then my hand slipped, and when I tell you I almost threw my favourite vibrator at the wall I’m not kidding. 

So I tried again. 

A great idea in theory but after another 15 minutes of laying there, having to crank the Womanizer up to its highest setting and eventually my clit going numb, I gave up. A sad and frustrating turn of events.

Now one failure does not a problem make, but as I laid there trying to shake off the frustration, my hyperactive brain turned my masturbatory woes into a math equation:

time taken to climax + toys and settings required =/=  increased level of satisfaction. 

When I got my first clitoral suction vibrator, it blew my mind. I would have earth-shattering orgasms in less than a minute, on the lowest setting. They were life-changing. 

But now it can take me more than ten minutes on the highest settings. I just don’t have the time for that. So, I spent the next four hours in an anxiety spiral terrified that I may have permanently cooked my clit and that my orgasms were going to be a lot more work from now on.

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Have you heard of ‘Dead Vagina Syndrome’? It’s the idea that the overuse of your vibrator may lead to your vagina and/or clitoris losing sensitivity or even becoming numb. NUMB. 

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I had heard of DVS, and it was a terrifying prospect for mid-spiral 3am Lacey.

When I woke up the next day, did my Googles and consulted with some actual health care professionals, it turns out DVS is not really a thing. There is no evidence to support this notion at all. The overuse of vibrators will not cause permanent damage to the nerve endings in your clitoris.

My research led me to the following conclusions: what I thought was a gradual desensitisation is quite common and is actually my clitoris becoming acclimated to the vibrator that I use. It’s just not a shock anymore. 

Though I would like to note that around 11 per cent of people who use vibrators do occasionally experience general numbness of the clitoris, labia and vulva after use and sensation returns over time. So if this is you, you’re completely normal.

Speaking of 'normal', did you know that there are actually seven different types of orgasms?! In this episode of Sealed Section, Sexologist Chantelle Otten runs through them all. Post continues after podcast.

Satisfied that my clitoris isn’t going to fall off because of my vibrator, I am still faced with the challenge of returning her to her former glory. 

So here's my return to glory clit roadmap of what am I doing now:

  1. Switching things up. Putting the vibrators away for a bit, going analogue and prioritising less buzzy toys.

  2. Diffusing the intensity. Sometimes analogue just isn’t my thing, so I'm going to try changing the angles up a little or diffusing the intensity by using my favourite toy over my underwear.

  3. Starting and ending differently. I'm going to give starting with my toys and ending with my hands a try for a bit.

  4. Experiment! Maybe try some temperature play, treat myself to a toy or sensation I’ve never tried.

  5. Find someone to go down on me (easier said than done, but worth a shot!).

Basically, we are giving ourselves a chance to explore our bodies and get to know them both with and without a vibrator. I need to give my body a chance to experience pleasure outside of my go-to clit-sucker routine.

It’s important to approach your pleasure with an open mind and without judgement. We all have embarrassing stories and we have things to learn. For example, one friend told me she once masturbated for so long that she bruised her clit. It was purple for days. 

So perhaps it's time to be kind to your clitoris - it’s the only one you’ve got.

I’m the kind of person that gets frustrated when it takes me ten minutes to orgasm so I don't need to tell you that analogue isn’t my thing but I’m giving it a go. I’m sure my body will thank me later.

My tip for when you are ready to return to your suction cup vibrators is to add a dash of lube. It’s a game-changer.

If you are experiencing long term numbness, inability to orgasm or pain during masturbation or sex either externally or internally, please remember to book an appointment with your GP or gynaecologist.

Feature Image: Mamamia + @laceyjadechristie