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‘Can using a vibrator desensitise me down there?’

According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine 2009, vibrators improve our sexual well-being and pleasure, and they are also linked to higher sexual function. Photo by IFONNX Toys on Unsplash

According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine 2009, vibrators improve our sexual well-being and pleasure, and they are also linked to higher sexual function. Photo by IFONNX Toys on Unsplash

Published Jul 29, 2022

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Whether you’re going solo or you’ve decided to spice things up with your partner, sexual pleasure is a fundamental aspect of sexual health and desire.

According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine 2009, vibrators improve our sexual well-being and pleasure, and they are also linked to higher sexual function.

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There is a lot of conflicting information, including myths and rumours about whether using vibrators is bad for you in the sense that you may become less sensitive down there after prolonged use.

Vibrators are particularly useful for enhancing and diversifying sexual pleasure.

One of the efficacy of sexual devices is for therapeutic use and sexual liberation, including masturbation, which causes your body to release a number of hormones like dopamine, known as a happy hormone.

Endorphins also have mood-boosting and de-stressing effects.

Sex toys and sexual devices are frequently used and have a variety of indications for increasing individual and partnered sexuality as well as treating sexual difficulties. Different models equal different benefits.

Lora DiCarlo is a sex toy brand that uses micro-robotics to create toys that mimic human touch.

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Filare has two balls underneath its silicone surface that swirl like a partner’s tongue.

The suction vibrator cups over the whole head of the clitoris, using gentle sonic waves to generate pulsation.

Earlier studies about clinical and research concerns with vibratory stimulation: a review and pilot study of common stimulation devices have shown that sex toy users also exhibit greater sexual functioning (i.e., stronger desire, more lubrication, and a higher frequency of orgasms) and are more proactive when it comes to maintaining their sexual health.

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Filare has two balls underneath its silicone surface that swirl like a partner’s tongue. Picture: loradicarlo.com/

In a study on vibrator use in the US, which included 2 056 women as participants, 71.5% of the women reported never having genital desensitisation with vibrator use, while 16.5% noted a mild and temporary change in genital sensation and less than 1% reported desensitisation that lasted for a day or longer.

Researchers have concluded that any brief changes in sensitivity that may result from vibratory stimulation are uncommon and have an effect on sensitivity similar to that of manual stimulation.

While it is possible to get used to the comfort and stimulation of a vibrator, it is also unlikely to develop a physiological dependency (i.e., a long-term change in sensitivity).

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Vibrator use among women is common. Using a vibrator to train yourself to have multiple orgasms during self-pleasure increases the chances of having multiple orgasms with a partner.

A change in sensation may happen unrelated to vibrator use.Picture: freepik

Moreover, they may help with pain associated with sex and pelvic floor dysfunction, too.

The genital vibrations facilitate vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels as a result of the relaxation of the blood vessel's muscular walls) and blood flow to the pelvic floor, supporting relaxation, comfort, and repair.

A change in sensation may happen unrelated to vibrator use. If a person's health issues affect their ability to have sex, it's advisable to go visit your GP.

Given that some research suggests that women's vibratory thresholds (the degree to which vibratory stimulation is felt) may rise with age, a higher intensity might be preferred as we become older.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.

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