Until recently, I was among the percentage of individuals who believed that to experience a mind-blowing orgasm, one needs a partner. Then I bought my first vibrator.
The idea of purchasing a sex toy occurred to me when I began brainstorming methods to spice up my three-year relationship with my then-boyfriend. Our sex life had always been fulfilling, but lately it felt as if we had entered into an alternate, sexless universe void of any creativity or zest. I wanted to breathe new life into our bedroom and return to a state of mutual passion and excitement.
As a sex toy virgin, I wasn’t sure where to begin; I was overwhelmed by the sheer variety of vibrators on the market. A plethora of shapes, sizes and colors awaited me online, all promising swift transportation to a magical realm of pleasure. Eventually, after hours of rigorous analysis, I settled on the INA 2 Rabbit from LELO. I chose it primarily because of the rave reviews, but also because of the clitorial and G-spot stimulation it promised. The moment I finalized my purchase, an instant wave of excitement washed over me. This small purple silicone device was going to be the ammo that sparked animation back into our sex life. I was certain of it.
Unfortunately, three days before my new vibrator arrived in the mail, my boyfriend and I got into an explosive argument and called our relationship quits. I guess some problems are so big, even the promise of really good sex can’t fix them. When the package finally arrived on my doorstep, I wasn’t excited. I was angry, frustrated, hurt and sad—the emotions washed over me like a wave.
But the crying eventually subsided, and in its place, a new feeling: curiosity.
My new vibrator was patiently waiting inside it’s matte black box. When I opened it, I was met with a surge of hope—and another familiar feeling further south. At first, I was nervous. All I really knew was penile penetration—how would the soft purple nubs of the Rabbit compare? Would it feel the same? Would I be able to achieve an actual orgasm? Would I turn into Charlotte York, becoming insatiably addicted to the toy and locking myself in my apartment for days?
There was only one way to find out. So, I took the plunge.
I’m not going to lie, using a vibrator for the first time took a bit of getting used to. But after playing with the settings and figuring out which vibration mode I preferred, I was able to find that sweet spot. When I had my first orgasm with the vibrator, it was one of the most gratifying sensations: suddenly, gone were the crappy one-night stands and wondering when my next orgasm would occur. Not only was I able to reach an earth-shattering climax that lasted for what felt like an hour, but I was able to engineer that orgasm without the assistance of a man. There is something deliciously satisfying in taking control of my own pleasure and being able to experience a toe-curling orgasm whenever I want.
I realize a sex toy can’t replace the intimacy you experience with another person in the room. But enjoying partnered sex doesn’t mean sacrificing pleasure merely because you’re alone—I enjoy masturbating with my vibrator and sex with an actual partner. Sometimes it’s healthy to step back and explore what real pleasure means to you.
Since purchasing my vibrator, I’ve never felt more empowered. In the beginning of this breakup, I honestly felt lost. I thought it would take awhile before I experienced genuine, heart-racing pleasure. But thanks to a little, battery-operated device, I’m able to have incredible sex with someone I truly love, respect and admire. How many individuals can say the same?
Sandra Rose Salathe is a writer and die-hard feminist residing in Washington, D.C.