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6 Myths About Vibrators

Men should know the truth about these handy assistive devices

I've answered thousands of sex questions over the years, and here's one that women ask with surprising frequency: "How can I get my man to welcome a vibrator into our bed?"

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Men should know the truth about vibrators.

Because of the many myths associated with vibrators, rare is the man who can imagine that kind of threesome: you, me, and ... it?! But men who try these power tools of a different type often become converts.

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So here are the rumors — and the facts — about vibrators.

Myth: Vibrators are for lonely losers.

Truth: One-third of American women now use vibrators, according to Chicago sex researcher Laura Berman, Ph.D. — and women in relationships are more likely to use vibrators than are single women. Rural, urban and suburban women are equally likely to own them; users likewise span the economic spectrum. The only demographic factor that affects vibrators is education: As it rises, so does the likelihood of vibrator use.

Myth: No real man would ever use a vibrator in partner sex.

Truth: A recent survey by the University of Indiana's Kinsey Institute shows that 45 percent of American men have used vibrators in partner sex at least once. One in 10 has done so in the past month.

Myth: If a woman needs a vibrator to have an orgasm, there's something wrong with her.

Truth: 'Fraid not, boys! Vibrators simply make it easier for a woman to become aroused and reach orgasm. They also improve a woman's sexual satisfaction.

Women who have difficulty with orgasm are sexually normal. They merely require stimulation beyond what fingers and mouths can provide. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 25 percent of women are in this situation.

Would you badmouth a carpenter for using power tools? Of course not. Power tools just get the job done quicker and more efficiently.

Myth: If a woman needs a vibrator to have an orgasm, there's something wrong with her man.

Truth: Not necessarily. Couples should coach each other about what turns them on, and men should make love the way women generally prefer — slowly and sensually, emphasizing playful, whole-body massage that includes the genitals but does not fixate on them. Provided men embrace whole-body sensuality, there is nothing wrong with them or the way they make love — even if women prefer (or require) a vibrator to attain sexual satisfaction.

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Myth: Vibrators replace men.

Truth: No way, dudes! Vibrators provide only one thing. They cannot kiss or embrace a woman, warm up the bed, tell a joke, whisper "I love you," or listen to a woman's triumphs and troubles at the end of the day. So a vibrator does not replace a man. All it does is supply the intense stimulation that some women like or need.

Myth: Vibrators ruin women for sex without them.

Truth: Does driving ruin you for walking? No, it just gets you to your destination that much faster. Sensitive body parts respond to erotic stimulation no matter what the source. Vibrators bring women to orgasm faster than other types of erotic stimulation, but they don't change a woman's ability to respond to anything and everything else. Far from ruining women for sex that does not include them, vibrators actually help women respond to other types of stimulation. Why? Because they enable them to experience their full range of sexual responsiveness — a key reason why so many sex therapists recommend good vibes.

Sex counselor Michael Castleman answers your questions at

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