How To Use A Vibrator For The First Time

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We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Please send your sex and relationship inquiries to tips@bustle.com. Now, onto today’s topic: learning how to use a vibrator.

Q: “My partner recently bought me a really nice vibrator as a birthday gift. It’s my first vibrator ever. I know that using a vibrator should be the easiest thing ever, but I’m actually having a hard time figuring out how the to use the damn thing. I’ve tried putting it inside me, but I don’t feel much. It even hurt a little bit. I’ve tried touching my clit with it, but that feels way too intense. That actually hurt me a bit too! I feel so embarrassed because it seems like it shouldn’t be this difficult. What’s wrong with me? My partner keeps asking me how I like it, and if we can use it together, so I’m starting to get desperate. How do I learn how to use my vibrator?”

A: Thanks for the question! First of all, I want to reassure you that there’s nothing wrong with you for not knowing how to use your vibrator. Just like so many women judge themselves for not knowing how to masturbate with their hands, a lot of women judge themselves for not knowing how to use a vibrator. But the reality is that masturbating isn’t always instinctual; you have to learn what you like. That’s why I have an entire online course dedicated to teaching women how to masturbate! Here are seven steps for learning how to use your vibrator for the first time.

Get To Know Your Vibrator

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The first thing you have to figure out is what your vibrator is designed to do. There are lots of different types of vibrators. Most vibrators are made for clitoral stimulation. Some are made for internal stimulation, typically aimed at the G-spot. From there, you need to familiarize yourself with the settings on your vibrator. Almost all vibrators these days have power settings that determine how intense the vibrations are and pattern settings that determine how the vibrators pulsate. Check out the user manual that came with your toy, or look it up online. For even more tips on your specific toy, you can see if there are online reviews (I really like the websites Oh Joy Sex Toy and A Roll In The Hay). Try out the different options on your hand or forearm, until you start to feel more comfortable with operating the toy.

Get Turned On First

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When it comes to actually using the toy in the moment, it’s important to make sure you’re in the mood. Vibrators can produce some serious intensity; it can actually be uncomfortable if you try to use one before being turned on. Do whatever you like to do to get yourself in the mood — watch porn, read erotica, fantasize, touch your body. Once you’re feeling excited for the next step, turn the vibrator on. But don’t go between your legs just yet! Continue teasing yourself by using the vibrator on your stomach, breasts, and thighs.

Use Lube

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I always recommend lube, and using a vibrator is no exception. Lube can make the vibrator experience much more pleasant; it can help the toy glide against your skin instead of catching or tugging. If you’re penetrating yourself with the toy, you’ll definitely want to use lube. You mentioned that penetrating yourself with your vibrator cause you some pain, so I think this could be a great tip for you. I really like the lube Toy Love, made by the brand Wicked. It’s a water-based lube specifically designed to be used with toys. On that note, make sure to read up on what lubes are compatible with your toy. In general, silicone-based lubes shouldn’t be used with silicone-based toys.

Toy Love Lube, $9, Amazon

Start Slow

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When you’re ready to use the vibrator on your genitals, turn it down to the lower possible power setting. Put it on a basic pattern setting, like a constant vibration. I always recommend starting slowly because vibrators can be so intense. If your last experience was too much for you, it sounds like you could definitely benefit from taking it a bit easier this time. You can always turn the intensity up as you go, but it’s best to ease your way into it.

Figure Out What Level Of Contact You Like

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Another important variable to play with is the level of contact that you want between the vibrator and your skin. Some women like holding the vibrator directly against their clitoris. Other women don’t like that much sensation. It sounds like you’re in the latter group. You can hold the vibrator against your labia, so it indirectly stimulates your clitoris. Or you can try keeping your underwear on, and using the vibrator over that. You can even drape a sheet or towel over the vibrator for less intensity.  

Find Your Hot Spots

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Like I said earlier, most vibrators are designed to be used externally, on your clitoris. That’s because most women need direct clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. You’ll probably want to focus most of your attention on using your vibrator externally, but you can also experiment with using it internally (if your toy is designed for penetration). Some women like the in and out motion of penetration. If your toy is designed for G-spot stimulation, you can try using the head of the toy to rub against the wall of your vagina. Your G-spot is located on the side of your vagina that’s underneath your abdomen. Pressure there can feel really good because you indirectly stimulate the internal fibers of the clitoris (yes, there’s more to the clitoris than meets the eye!). Since you mentioned you didn’t feel much during your first attempt, I’d try finding your G-spot and applying some pressure. If it still doesn’t feel great for you, stick to your clit.

Experiment With The Settings

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Once you’ve gotten a handle on the basics, feel free to start experimenting with different settings. Crank up the intensity level, and see what setting you respond best to. Play around with the different patterns and see if you have a favorite. Have fun!