Sex advice: It’s impossible to compete with her vibrator

Please explain to me how a six-inch piece of vibrating plastic can make my partner of 15 years orgasm when no matter what I do I have never been able to. We are both in our 60s and very close, but this situation makes me feel uneasy.

Sex advice: It’s impossible to compete with her vibrator

You are by no means the only male who feels threatened by his partner’s toy box. I am never sure whether, for the men who feel uneasy, it’s down to the fact that they are not involved because of what vibrators can actually do. Google: “I hate my wife’s vibrator,” and it brings up more than 51 million results. Interestingly, if you google: “I hate my girlfriend’s vibrator,” you get only 624,000 results. That difference is probably due to age. Older men are simply less familiar with the idea of women using vibrators because historically women have either masturbated privately or not at all.

Unease for the older male is compounded by the fact that as men age erectile difficulties become much more common. In fact, about a third of men suffer from erectile dysfunction before the age of 64. When your own equipment is beginning to let you down in the bedroom, the last thing you want is an ever-ready competitor. However, the reason your partner may like to use a vibrator to reach orgasm easily might well be because she is getting older too.

After the menopause, declining sex hormones mean that there is a decrease in the amount of blood flow in the female genitals. Sensitivity in the nerve endings declines and becoming aroused enough to achieve orgasm takes longer. The problem with this is that at the same time, less oestrogen means the skin lining the walls of the vagina and vulva is thinner and less elastic, so it is much more easily damaged. Because vibrators provide focused stimulation with relatively little effort and minimal friction they help women to achieve orgasm much more quickly, without causing the discomfort that thrusting can bring.

One of the issues that bothers men most is that so many vibrators are phallic. What it is worth remembering is that it is the frequency of the vibrations, not the size and shape of the toy, that provides pleasure. Cheaper battery-operated models are less powerful. Generally, older women need frequencies of about 120hz and there is, in fact, no need for a vibrator to be modelled on a penis at all. Most good vibrator manufacturers steer clear of phallic shapes. The Tenga Iroha and the Minna Limon, for example, have soft, squishy organic forms, while the Lelo Sona looks like a bright pink digital ear thermometer. All three deliver powerful stimulation.

One way around this issue is for you to be a bit more involved. If you have never shopped for a sex toy online I would urge you to have a look. It’s a lot of fun and if you choose a new toy for your partner, you will feel more included and you will want to help her to use it too.

When it comes to sex in later life, we need all the help we can get, so rather than seeing your partner’s vibrator as unfair competition, think of it as a trusty sidekick that does the hard work for you. Humans don’t vibrate, so her toy is giving her something that you can’t. However, the same is true in reverse. Her vibrator can’t whisper sweet nothings in her ear or pour her a gin and tonic.

Send your queries to suzigodson@mac.com

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