Can Vibrators Stretch Your Vagina? 5 Sex Toy Myths To Stop Believing

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There's a lot of misinformation out there about sex, and sex toys are no exception. Since any sexual act that exists outside of reproduction or gives women pleasure tends to be demonized in our culture, female masturbation is doubly threatening. That's where many common myths about sex toys come from.

"There are lots of myths when it comes to using vibrators and dildos," Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified sex therapist, and Adam and Eve sex/relationship expert, tells Bustle. "Sometimes there can be shades of truth, but often the reality is quite different from what you and your partner might think."

"Vibrators can actually teach you what kinds of stimulation you enjoy and [help you] learn about your body," she says. "Once you start experimenting with your sexuality, it follows that you will be happier, healthier, and less stressed in other areas of your life. An orgasm is a great stress reliever, and you can gain power and confidence from knowing exactly what you need to do to have one."

So, despite what you've heard, sex toys are for the most part great. To that point, here are some myths about sex toys you should not believe.

1Vibrators Stretch Your Vagina

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Nothing you put in your vagina will permanently stretch it. "The vagina is like a flexible envelope," says Van Kirk. "It stays closed, with the sides touching, until you insert something inside (some of these are more appropriate than others). When you remove the 'something,' whether a penis, dildo, baby, or goodness forbid, something like a champagne or shampoo bottle, the walls naturally relax back into place." So, rest assured that masturbation (and sex, for that matter) will not leave you "loose."

2Vibrators Will Desensitize you

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You can also rest assured that vibrators will not damage your nerves. The only way they might affect your sexual response is if you're only using a vibrator to orgasm. Then, you may need some practice to orgasm in other ways. But that can happen with any masturbation habit. "The general rule is that the more variety of stimulation you learn to respond to, the more orgasmic you’ll be," says Van Kirk. "Varying sensation will help that."

3Sex Toys Will Hurt Your Sex Life

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Sex toys don't take away your desire to have sex with a partner. In fact, you might get extra turned on for your partner after bringing toys into the bedroom. One Indiana University survey found that 70 percent of men have no problem with a partner using sex toys. If someone feels threatened by your vibrator, you may not want to be with them anyway. "Generally, partners find it a turn on or at the very least, if they are paying attention, get some relief in regards to what works for you," says Van Kirk.

We-Vibe Brand Manager Stephanie Keating agrees. "Far from ruining sex that does not include them, vibrators actually help women respond to other types of stimulation, because they help them explore how they like to be turned on," she tells Bustle.

4You Must Be Super Freaky If You Like Sex Toys

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If you've used a sex toy, you're in good company. One Adam and Eve survey found that 63 percent of people have. "There’s been a long history of vibrator use — even medically when first developed," says Van Kirk. "They are now so mainstream that they appear on day time talk shows and all over the media. Research has indicated that more people own one than not."

5Sex Toys Are Just For Women

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Sex toys can enhance anyone's solo and partnered sex life, with plenty of male toys and unisex toys on the market, says Keating. In fact, one We-Vibe survey found that 73 percent of men believe sex toys are for everyone, but 50 percent think there aren't enough out there for men. Get on it, sex toy companies! (And in the meantime, refer to this list of male sex toys.)

So, in short, don't be afraid of sex toys! Most of the warnings you've heard about them are way off base. Just make a point to clean them and use body-safe materials, and you'll be fine.