Can Vibrators Desensitize Your Clitoris? BLAC Asks The Experts

Before you toss your expensive sex toys in the trash, rest assured that vibrators do not typically cause clitoral desensitization — and we’ll tell you what actually can.


This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit.

Holiday season is upon us and if you’re like me, it means spending more time alone to do the things we’ve been missing out on all year. Catching up on sex is one of those things and a good sex life often involves sex toys whether solo and partnered sex. But I wanted to be cautious because I’ve been hearing that using a vibrator too much might cause some clitoris desensitization and we don’t want that. So BLAC asks the experts about using the desensitization of the clitoris.

What the Stats Say

Statistics suggests that nearly 80% of female U.S. sex toy owners over 18 have a vibrator at home which makes this one the most commonly owned sex toy type in the United States. The trend is quite similar with the global sex toy market where vibrators are the most sold sex toys, as of 2015.

But can vibrator use desensitize or numb a clitoris?

The clitoris is home to thousands of nerve endings (hence why we’re such huge fans of clitoral stimulation) but is it possible that too-intense pressure on that sensitive spot might cause an issue with orgasms down the line?

There have been whispers that strong vibrators (like the Hitachi Magic Wand, Le Wand or Doxy) or using a vibrator for a long time will somehow cause your sexual health to suffer. Before you toss your expensive sex toys in the trash, rest assured that vibrators do not typically cause clitoral desensitization.


Below BLAC talks to the experts about what you actually can if you don’t feel anything down there.

The Truth Ruth

It sounds scary. Even scarier, it’s been coined ‘dead vagina syndrome‘ by some in the industry. But, is it real? Can your vibrator use cause numbness of the clit? Heck no. Keep enjoying those good vibrations.

Sex therapists agree that there’s no risk of long-term usage of a vibrator as long as that vibrator is not hurting you. Clitoral stimulation can be intense and after reaching orgasm, the blood flow in the clitoris rapidly dissipates. The lessened blood flow might explain why some vibrator users do say they have numbness in that area–suddenly the clitoris is a lot less sensitive–but it’s just returning to normal.

Dr. Debby Herbenick has said about vibrator use, “It’s linked to positive sexual function such as desire and ease of orgasm, and it’s rarely associated with any side effects.”

Sex therapist Megan Stubbs, Ed.D

What can you do if you feel like you’re suffering from a desensitized clitoris?

First, if it’s right after vibrator use, give it about an hour. That’s how long it takes after orgasm for your vagina’s blood flow to regulate and any sensation of ‘numbness’ should be gone by then. 

Sex therapist Megan Stubbs, Ed.D suggests the sensation is similar to a deep-tissue massage, “It doesn’t last forever. With any kind of intense stimulation, your body just needs some time to reset and recover,” she says.

It’s completely possible you might someday feel numb or desensitized in your clitoris even if it’s not right after reaching orgasm. There may sometimes be an extra hurdle to feeling the effects of clitoral stimulation. But these situations are often caused by external factors: such as medication or stress, rather than any desensitization from sex toys.

Sometimes it can be hard to get off or get into the mood. If your use of a vibrator is making you worried about your sexual function for whatever reason, we think it’s great to put it down for a bit and focus on some different modes of arousal for your sex life tool belt. Maybe check out your g-spot?

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