Is using a vibrator ok? My friend told me that I wouldn’t like sex as much if I started using one.

There’s nothing unhealthy about using a vibrator. Vibrators are a completely normal part of masturbation and/or partnered sex for many people. They won’t make you enjoy sex less—in fact, they may help you enjoy sex more!

For those who aren’t familiar, a vibrator is a kind of sex toy that—surprise!—vibrates. These vibrations can provide more intense stimulation than other sexual activities, like manual sex (fingering, hand job), oral sex (going down on, eating out, giving head) or penis in vagina (PIV) sex.  Because of this, some people find that the vibrations feel really good when the toy is pressed against the clitoris or penis, or inserted into the vagina. Vibrators can be used for masturbation (solo sex/touching yourself for sexual pleasure) or during partnered sex.

It’s a myth that vibrators will make you enjoy sex less.

Using a vibrator can actually be a great way to get to know your body better and explore your sexuality! Some people (especially people with vaginas) find that the intense vibrations allow them to have an orgasm (or come/cum) faster or easier than without one. This can take away any pressure or anxiety about taking “too long” during partnered sex.

You may find that directly after using a vibrator, your clitoris feels a bit less sensitive. However, this is NOT permanent—it goes away after a few minutes to a few hours. Scarleteen points out here that this sensation is similar to the way your butt might feel after a long bike ride.

There’s no wrong or right way to feel pleasure.

If you’re interested in using a vibrator, go for it! You may find that there are an overwhelming number of options out there. Do some research to find one that fits your needs. Every body is different—you may find that you like pretty strong vibrations, or super gentle ones. It’s also completely normal and ok if you end up not liking the way vibrators feel.

If you do decide to get a vibrator, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep in mind that vibrators can still spread some STIs. If you’re using the vibrator with a partner, talk to them about their STI status and when they were last tested. For safer sex, use a condom. Remove or replace the condom after you use the vibrator and before your partner uses it.
  • Keep it clean. After using it, wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water. Or, use a new condom with the vibrator each time you use it.
  • If the vibrator is made of silicone, don’t use silicone-based lube with it. This can destroy the toy. Instead, stick with water-based. You should be able to tell the difference by looking at the packaging and ingredients list. Silicone-based lubes are usually clearly labeled.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to find accurate, nonjudgmental info about sex—especially when it comes to pleasure. If you’re 10-22 years old in NYC, you can call the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center at  (212) 423-3000 to get confidential healthcare and answers to your sexual health questions—all at no cost to you.