Here’s How Buying A Vibrator Can Change Your Whole Sex Life

It’s the kind of thing that’s equal parts embarrassing and exciting – kind of like having your boyfriend find your erotica that you read in the bathtub. It feels all at once inappropriate, yet so damn good – no, scratch that – so damn natural. I’m not talking about eating cookie dough with your bare hands while watching The Biggest Loser reruns (although that has its time and place as well). I’m talking about using sex toys; primarily, a vibrator. I thought I understood my sexuality pretty well before I bought one, but as it turns out, I was totally wrong.

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I still remember the first time I got a vibrator. I had just gone through a horrendous breakup and was super depressed. The kind of depression where you don’t even care that you can fit into (and look slammin’) in your skinny white summer jeans. I was despondent, and when I wasn’t, I was crying. I hadn’t felt happiness, joy, or pleasure in months – not even while eating pizza, and I love me some pizza. I felt dead from the waist down. Forget about masturbating – that sounded as appealing as seeing my ex on a dating website saying he’s looking for someone to “have adventures” with and is open to “multiple partners.” Which happened. Good times.

My bestie said I needed two things: a girl’s brunch and a new vibrator. I told her I had never tried one of those. After a silence you could drive a truck through, she just said, “Okay, I can’t even. We’re going to get one right now. It will change your life.” This seemed like a big statement to make, but I was hopeful, because I needed some big changes in my life. So I agreed and off we went to the sex shop. Now, this wasn’t some seedy crotchless-panty-with-edible-lube kind of place that smells like day old sweat and cheap perfume. This was more like a high end boutique on Madison Avenue – very nicely lit, super female friendly, and I have to say, extremely feminist in its… vibe. (Pun intended.)

I felt downright revolutionary the first time I picked up the purple silicone phallus and turned it on. It made the softest humming sound, and it was so comforting – like a spring rain when you’re under the covers.

The woman who assisted me in the store came right up and said with abandon, “That’s one of our best sellers. Extremely quiet with three different speeds and it’s water proof.” Water proof? I hadn’t even thought about water sports with my new “friend.” I wondered if I should give it a name, and decided I did. This one looked like a “Dave”- simple, refined, yet masculine. Dave it was. I paid for Dave, put him in my purse with the one year warranty, and he accompanied us to brunch.

When I was shopping for the vibrator, I felt like I was entering a place where the suffocating restraints of expectations – you know, the ones society puts on us that make us question our value without a partner – just didn’t apply. Since the breakup, I had been knee-deep in questioning my worth as a single woman, and reclaiming my orgasm felt like the first step in making my own rules. I needed and wanted to do things differently than I’d done them before.

When I got home, I turned Dave on, and almost immediately realized that I didn’t need a partner to validate me, because all I needed was myself… well, and Dave, of course. The pleasure became intense and real, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. For the first time in my life, I was becoming honest with what it was that I wanted. With the purchase of Dave, I realized I had been denying myself pleasure for a long time. I don’t know if that was because I felt I didn’t deserve to feel good or because I never thought that I could again have sex good enough to make me come. The first morning I woke up after my intimate night with Dave, I wanted more… on my own terms.

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The vibrator also made me realize that my orgasms before hadn’t been what they should have been. While I was in my relationship, I knew a little bit about what got me off, but not enough where I felt safe expressing it to my partner. After multiple uses of Dave, I realized that my ex had made me feel judged, and I had felt too vulnerable to talk openly and honestly with him about what I wanted during sex. I mean, we did have a lot of sex, but it wasn’t as connected or satisfying, emotionally and physically, as it should have been. It wasn’t what I really wanted, needed, or craved. I found my vibrator to be truly empowering, something that made me crave freedom and independence. Using Dave even made me feel more comfortable about the idea of telling potential future partners what I wanted and needed during sex.

My sexual horizons were broadened with the purchase of Dave. I’m not the kind of woman who likes casual sex, and I still don’t feel ready to date anyone yet, but I do feel strong enough to attend to my own needs – and then some. Learning about my pleasure in such an intimate way has been so different than learning about sex with a partner. My vibrator helped me focus on me, instead of focusing on someone else’s pleasure. In my relationship, I would have thought of that as selfish. But with the vibrator, it just felt like a freedom I hadn’t experienced before. I finally feel like I’ve started to own my sexuality, and I value myself enough to make myself feel incredible instead of waiting for someone else to do it. Thanks, vibrator Dave… or actually, I’ll just thank myself.

You can follow writer Shari Albert on Twitter @thatshari.

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