Is it a problem if I can only orgasm with my vibrator?

‘What if I can only orgasm one way?’ is a question I am often asked by women.

Is this a bad thing? Which method is ‘best’? What do I say to my partner who thinks I should orgasm during intercourse? Can I be taught to climax a different way?

All these questions – and more – are answered in this 3-part definitive guide to the three most popular female orgasm methods. Part 1: why can I only orgasm with my vibrator.


“I spent from my late teens to the end of my twenties, trying desperately to orgasm. Then a girlfriend bought me a vibrator as a present. I used it and was like, ‘Oh my God! Why didn’t someone tell me how easy it is with these things!’ I never looked back – until I met my new boyfriend. He has an issue with it – says it’s ‘unnatural’.”

Reason why: ‘Unnatural’ or not (more on that later!), vibration is by far and away the most effective way to stimulate the clitoris. Vibrator induced orgasms almost always feel more intense than others because vibration creates much more stimulation than a tongue, finger or penis can. It’s impossible for a human to recreate the sensations a vibrator produces.

We become lazy masturbators. Justifiably so. Why bother using your fingers and slave away for ten minutes when you can turn on a machine, be done in three and have a more powerful orgasm.

So it’s a good thing? Lots of women wouldn’t have any orgasms at all if it wasn’t for the humble vibrator. A world without them would be a very sad place – one I certainly wouldn’t want to live in!

There is NO evidence that using a vibrator regularly causes any lasting physical damage or ruins our ability to have an orgasm in other ways. (They can – for mere minutes – make the area numb if you’ve used it on a high setting for a long time.)

If you are comfortable telling your partner this is how you orgasm and are happy to use it with them, there is no downside. Couples who use vibrators together reduce the orgasm gap – the number of orgasms women have with partners versus men – significantly. It’s a win-win for sexually secure people.

There might be issues if…

You or your partner think there is something ‘wrong’ by only being able to climax this way.

It’s not ‘unnatural’ or ‘cheating’ or shameful if this is the only technique that works for you. Vibrator orgasms aren’t inferior to an orgasm created by a penis, finger or tongue. No way is better or worse than the other.

Some are still hung up on the myth that says women should orgasm during intercourse. Yet only 17 to 25 per cent of women climax through penetration alone. No-one’s making this stuff up to make you feel better, it’s fact.

Another thing you might be attached to is wanting your partner’s body to be responsible for your orgasm (ie their hands, tongue, penis etc).

This I get because of the intimacy factor.

But if it’s the difference between no orgasm together at all or one where your partner is holding the vibrator giving you one hell of an orgasm, I know what I’d prefer.

If you want to retrain – and not forgetting the more ways you can orgasm the more you’ll have – here’s how.


Vibration is strong and your clitoral nerve endings have become habituated to that level of intensity. The aim is to get them used to a gentler style of stimulation.


Use the vibe to take you to the brink of orgasm, then ditch it and use your fingers at the very end. Make the switch a little earlier each time, until you don’t need the vibrator at all.

Stop using the vibrator for a month before trying the methods below.

Rub against something. This masturbation method suits long-term vibrator users better, because it provides firm pressure and friction. Little girls learn to masturbate this way by humping the arm of a sofa or chair. Recreate the feeling by lying on your stomach with genitals pressed firmly into the bed with a pillow or firm cushion between your legs. Use your hands to move the cushion to where feels best.

Use a hand-held shower head or the jet in a hot tub. If you have strong water pressure, simply holding the stream of water or positioning yourself against the jet, will be enough to tip you over.


Once you’re retrained your nerve endings to respond to stimulation that isn’t vibration, you’ll be far more likely to orgasm through the second favourite way for women to climax…

Oral sex: If you’ve tried this and it didn’t work, there are three reasons why. First up, your nerve-endings were habituated to your vibrator. (Now cured by hitting reset). Second, his technique didn’t work for you. (Educate him by telling you what you like and don’t like; you’ll find lots of great oral techniques online – has plenty.) Third, it’s because there’s another person in the room. (See ‘I can only orgasm alone’.)

Make sure your partner takes their time, everything is wet and done slowly and that they use their whole tongue, not just the tip, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Guarantee a mind-blowing oral orgasm by doing this: get them to hold a vibrator on the mons (the fleshy bit with hair on it) on the lowest possible setting as they’re giving you oral sex.

The vibration will be slight, but your brain will spring to attention. Vibration! This I know! It’s used to vibration being the ‘She’s about to climax’ trigger, so the brain merrily sets off on that well-worn path of brain synapses.

This originally ran as one of my Femail Mail Online columns.