My wife can only have orgasms with vibrators

A man asks:

My wife can only have orgasms with vibrators. I feel very inadequate here. It is causing a very big emotional problem for me and our marriage. She is happy with the situation, and is not willing to do anything to change this. What can I do to feel better about the situation?

Dr. Sommers responds:

Your question is, unfortunately, not surprising. Many women turn to vibrators after experiencing repeated frustration with trying to reach orgasmic release with ‘human power’ only. I have some concerns about this seemingly easy way to resolve the difficulty and try to warn or educate my patients. My main concern is that the nervous system may get used to (habituate) a level of powerful stimulation, and thus change the orgasmic threshold. A number of magazine articles and even therapists don’t seem to be concerned about this.

In my view, the fact you say this is a “big emotional problem for you and your marriage,” and that you “feel very inadequate,” suggests this should be an issue you need to tackle as a couple, and if you can’t arrive at a satisfactory solution, then seeing a local experienced professional may be indicated.

You may need to explore your seeming need to be the one who ‘gives’ your partner an orgasm. She may need to develop increased empathy toward your feelings here, and reflect on a compromise, e.g., if she wishes to keep using the vibrator she might save it for solo sessions only. Or you may agree that you become the person who holds/controls the vibrator in lovemaking. In this regard, did you know you can find a vibrator that attaches to your hand and it’s your fingers then that vibrate in contact with the clitoris?

The above are but some suggestions to explore.

With every good wish for a happy love life,
Frank Sommers, M.D.

Notice and Disclaimer:

Answers to questions are provided by a qualified psychiatrist/sex therapist on the understanding that these answers provide education and/or instruction, and do not constitute therapy or counselling. Any person seeking counselling or therapy should consult a local qualified professional.