What if I can only orgasm with a sex toy?

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There is no shame in pleasure.

In a very Carrie Bradshaw-esque way, I do a lot of pondering and wondering. I sit at my desk, peering out my window, staring into the clouds and ruminating on life’s big questions.


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With much chatter about orgasms and the abundantly evident orgasm gap, I had one such thought recently: ‘What if sex toys are the only way you can reach orgasm?’. 

The trouble with orgasms

We all want to reach that point of pure bliss, but it’s not always easy. “Orgasms can be very tricky!” says Creative Sexologist, Toya Ricci. For some, it’s more difficult than others and a variety of factors are at play, like stress, anxiety, medication and certain health conditions.  

According to Caroline Reis and Annie Miller, the founders of Australian sex toy shop, Flossy, often the biggest roadblocks to orgasm “start in the brain”. Stress and anxiety are linked to an inability to get aroused.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, “completely squashes oxytocin and dopamine”, affecting our body’s natural creation of these required hormones. Ultimately, the ability to orgasm is impeded. The solution to stress isn’t always that simple (but do embrace the benefits of masturbation!). 

Whether used as a way to release stress or as a tool for pleasure, Toya makes it clear that the vibration sex toys offer is beneficial to the body. They stimulate the right nerve endings and activate the muscles in the pelvic region.

“Vibrators and other pleasure devices can provide very fine and targeted stimulation that can be difficult to achieve through other means,” she tells me.

But can I become over-reliant on my sex toy?

The Flossy founders have contended with the worry of becoming “too reliant” on sex toys to orgasm. “In most cases, over-reliance on a vibrator to orgasm isn’t something to worry about (not just because we sell them!),” they point out.

Toya echoes this sentiment. “If you know how to make yourself reach orgasm by any means, that is valuable knowledge!”. As long as you are using your toy safely, there should be no harm done. Stronger vibration can cause a feeling of numbness, but Toya reassures me “it isn’t permanent”.

It’s not groundbreaking to say this, but Hollywood has certainly impacted our beliefs around sex and orgasming. The societal expectations are unrealistic, says Toya, and the flow-on effect can cause issues within relationships. Partners feel they are failing one another, or that a vibrator is “a poor substitute”.

And as she reminds us, “Orgasm doesn’t always have to be the goal when it comes to partnered sex!”. Communicate clearly, and acknowledge that it’s the easiest way for you to cum, but that you are open to exploring other means of pleasure with them too. 

There is also the problem of the associated shame. What is wrong with me if I can’t reach orgasm with my partner, whether through penetration or other means? Am I broken?

“Our bodies are all wired differently, so it’s not unusual for people to only cum through using a vibrator,” offers Toya. “Up to 70 per cent of people with vulvas need direct clitoral stimulation in order to achieve orgasm. And some people never orgasm, but they still really enjoy having sex.”

Her message is clear and inclusive: everyone orgasms in different ways. We need to change our definition of ‘real sex’. Certainly, masturbation and the use of toys are not the same as partnered sex, but “it is just as valid as a sexual experience and can deliver many physical and mental health benefits”. 

Meanwhile, Caroline and Annie stick firmly to their belief that we should focus on pleasure over orgasm alone. “We like to reframe… vibrators as tools to connect more deeply with oneself,” they tell me.

Branching out

Whatever works for you, it’s always fun to spice things up. Sex toys (of which Flossy has many) are clearly a great starting point. They’re useful for solo or partnered exploration, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with needing one to reach orgasm.

Toya also implores us to get familiar with our bodies and to gain a better understanding of what feels good. If you’re looking for some pointers, try these Toya-recommended pleasure practices out:

  • Think of your body like a map and mark the places that you find most arousing
  • Stimulate your mind (it’s “a good way to get your juices going”), maybe via porn or reading or listening to erotica
  • Give Toya’s masturbation prompt cards a whirl. They offer guided sessions for maximum pleasure
  • Get physical with your vibrator. “Try grinding against it, sitting on it, strapping it to a pillow, or different positions.”

Whether you experience orgasm or not, and regardless of how you come to reach it, the key takeaway here is pleasure. Pleasure should be the focus of our sexual encounters and it might mean something vastly different for each of us. That’s the way it’s meant to be; it’s not some erotic script that we all have to follow. 

And as Toya says, “Sex and pleasure should be a constant voyage of discovery. Make it your goal to wholeheartedly embrace your pleasure!”.

Head here for advice on choosing the right sex toy for you.


https://fashionjournal.com.au/life/orgasm-with-sex-toy/

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