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Ask Dr. Chauntelle: “What If I Hop On, Then Always Need It To Get Off?”

Ask Dr. Chauntelle: “What If I Hop On, Then Always Need It To Get Off?”

“Vibrators are addictive.”

“Vibrators are numbing.” (!!)

“Using a vibrator often will make you unable to orgasm in other ways.” (Also, how often is “often”?)

You’ve probably heard something along these lines over the years regarding vibrators. And if you’ve ever watched the real-life-accurate (jk) lady program “Sex and the City,” you might think that vibrators totally can cause you to lose. your. orgasm.


These thoughts regarding vibrators and desensitization may even creep into your mind when you’re thinking about your Motorbunny. That’s reasonable as Motorbunny is, essentially, a powerful vibrator.

You’re not the only one thinking this. One question submitted recently asked about this specifically:

“I’m pretty sensitive, and I’m worried that Motorbunny has too much vibration for me. Is there a risk of desensitization?”
– Jeane F.

Luckily, the answer to this question—and the response to everything from vibrator dependency to numbing—is a resounding “no.” All of these ideas about vibration and desensitization have nothing to do with scientific data about actual vibrator use. That actual, factual information about vibrator use says something totally different.

What Does Science Say?
In 2015, Debby Herbenick, a professor at the Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public Health (among many other things), and her team conducted a survey of 2,021 men and women in the U.S. They wanted to learn more about a broad range of sexual behaviors, including vibrator use and its impacts.

According to this research and other studies by Herbenick et al, vibrator use was linked to greater—like, better or heightened—sexual function in terms of arousal, desire, lubrication, and orgasm. Levels of satisfaction were similar across all age groups except for women between the ages of 45 and 60, who reported being more sexually satisfied than women of the same age who never used a vibrator.

The studies have also looked at several “side effects” of vibrator use, including numbness or desensitization. Of all the vibrator users, over 70 percent said they had never experienced any side effects from using a vibrator—but 16.5 percent of respondents said they did experience some genital numbness after using a vibrator. According to the findings, this numbness went away for most women within a day.

Too Easy To Be True
There are a lot of social reasons why we may believe vibrators specifically, and even vibration in general, could be bad – like, physically harmful bad. For example, for many people, vibrators enable orgasms easily. In addition to our wider discomforts with sex and sexualities, we are also conditioned to be suspicious of ease. If it’s too easy, then there must be something amiss, right? (Wrong.)

There are many other socially situated ideas we may have about using sexual devices, from who uses them to why they may opt to. It’s always important to think critically about our beliefs about sexuality—and, especially, to consider where they come from.

Ease Into It
Science says desensitization from intended use is not an issue, and we know that a lot of the stories we hear about vibration and desensitization are, consequently, just stories – like sexuality urban legends. Given that, what’s the best way to bring Motorbunny—with its objectively powerful vibrations—into your life?

Simple: Start small. Keep your settings managed as you explore what works for you. Keep your uses to a frequency that your body responds well to. And don’t hesitate to make adjustments. If something is working, go for it. If something seems better for another day, take a rain check. And remember: Science also tells us that practice actually does spark physiological changes that, eventually, may make something perfect—so don’t be afraid to get your 10,000 hours in!

In reality, you are the most important thing to take into consideration as you start to explore your sexual expression in the company of your Motorbunny. That’s actual and factual, according to science.

- Dr. Chauntelle

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