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Relatively few women use a vibrator to masturbate

Sex toys are a useful addition to a couple’s sex play: to take the pressure off a man’s erection and to provide erotic stimulation that does not necessarily lead to orgasm. But many gimmicks bought in embarrassment and ignorance are never used. Lying on her back exposes the vulva and can be a good position for a woman to offer intercourse. But orgasm is achieved by the combined stimulation of fingers, pelvic muscles and body weight on the clitoral organ. A woman uses a thrusting motion [i] to masturbate that involves lying on her front. This is incompatible with using a vibrator.

Companies sell vibrators to women so we naturally assume that they must succeed in using them to masturbate to orgasm. These fashion trends are driven by our love for hi-tech accessories backed by marketing campaigns. A vibrator is a piece of hard plastic. Unlike the real flesh and blood penis, there is nothing inherently erotic about a gadget. I am aroused by my lover and by focusing on his erection, his mind and his ability to ejaculate.

Using a vibrator to masturbate is the only female orgasm technique that does not mirror an orgasm technique used by men. A vibrator provides a tingly sensation but (unlike the flexible pressure of fingers) it does not massage the erectile tissue (and blood flow) of the pelvic region behind the clitoris and labia. There is nothing wrong with women enjoying pleasant vibrations but I question whether such stimulation leads to orgasm.

Only women ever attend masturbation clinics, which try to increase women’s self-esteem by providing knowledge about sexual anatomy (their own rather than a man’s). Basic concepts like feeling comfortable with your own nudity and being familiar with your own genitals are fundamental to enjoying sexual activity of any kind. A man doesn’t tend to need help with these issues because he enjoys observing and stimulating his penis.

Only mammals employ a thrusting technique to mate, which extends the male’s pleasure (not the female’s). Some women claim that a sex toy is more effective than a penis in stimulating them to orgasm. But women can’t evolve an ability to orgasm that depends on the invention of a gadget hundreds of thousands of years after the emergence of our species.

If the vagina had evolved the ability to respond to an external stimulus (which would make it the only internal organ of the body to be touch sensitive in this way) then it is much more likely to respond to the stimulation provided by a penis than by a sex toy. This ultra-modern female orgasm technique has literally been invented by the sex toy industry!

[i] The muscular action which is involved when a female masturbates in this fashion is typical of the copulatory movements of the male (p160 Kinsey 1953)

Excerpt from Jane’s book Sexuality & Sexual Techniques (2015)

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