Sex & Relationships

Ask Joan: Seniors’ Updated Guide to Vibrators

Have more questions about sex for seniors?  Every month Senior Planet’s award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Subscribe now (do it here) and don’t miss a single column. Senior Planet subscribers also get The Weekly Orbit, our newsletter with features about personal finance, health and fitness, technology tips, an online book club and more!  

Joan writes:

If you’ve been resisting the idea of using a vibrator, I implore you to get over the idea that using a sex toy is not “natural.” Knee replacements and hearing aids aren’t natural, either, but if they help us live our lives with zest, why say no?

Why vibrators at our age?

  • If we’re unpartnered, keeping ourselves sexually active solo is important for sexual health, emotional well-being, and overall health, and that’s easier with the right vibrator.
  • If we’re partnered, using a sex toy to speed up arousal can enhance partner sex.
  • As older people, we need more stimulation to get aroused.
  • We need a longer arousal time to reach orgasm. Aches, pains, and arthritic wrists can make the longer arousal time uncomfortable. Vibrators speed things up!

As I frequently say, a well-chosen, well placed vibrator can be the difference between orgasm and no orgasm. That’s true whether you’re having solo sex or partner sex.

But don’t buy the first or least expensive product you find that goes buzz. So many different styles, sizes and types of vibrators exist now – lucky us! – that you can find just the right product to fit your needs.

Your first step is figuring out exactly what you do need. We’re all different, and there’s no one vibrator that I can guarantee will become your best friend. Let me guide you through how to sort through the many possibilities.

How Do I Get Started with Vibrators?

Start by answering these questions:

  1. How will you use your vibrator? I know, you’ll press it against your sexy bits to give you orgasms, but how and where? Do you want a vibrator that stimulates your clitoris? Goes into your vagina? Does both at the same time? Will you use it solo or during partner sex? Do you want it to double as a back massager?
  1. Do you care what it looks like? Some users want a sex toy to look like a penis. Others really don’t want it to look like a penis. Some want it not to look like a sex toy at all.
  1. How should it feel against your skin? Vibrators can be firm, flexible, cushiony, hard, soft, textured, smooth and any other tactile quality.
  1. How strong should the vibrations be? Do you want your vibrator to be quiet and whisper-light, turbo power, earth-shaking strong, or something in between?
  1. How much does noise matter? Will you worry that your neighbors in the next apartment or grandkids in the guest room can hear it?
  1. What size is too big, too small, just right if this is a penetrating toy? Sometimes a size that would have felt perfect 30 years ago is just too girthy and uncomfortable now, especially if you’re not having regular penetrative sex.
  1. Do you have mobility restrictions or other physical issues to consider? Is wrist arthritis an issue for holding a vibrator? What position will you be in when you use it?
  1. What else is important to you? This is completely individual. You may want it to be no-brainer simple: off, on, that’s it. Or you may relish multiple patterns, rhythms, and intensities, and not mind a bit of a learning curve. You may want the controls to be comprehensible by touch without your reading glasses. You may want to travel with it.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start narrowing your choices. Here are some of my favorite vibrators for a variety of needs and preferences. For more information about each of these, read my review linked to each name.

For the Clitoris

If you need super-strong vibrations, the Magic Wand is the king of handheld clitoral-stimulation vibrators. The trade-off for such a strong motor is that it’s heavy and loud, but it works fast. I show several other wand-style vibrators in my webinar, “Sex Toys for Seniors.”

If you prefer lighter intensity or you’re a novice, try the Iroha Yuki or Sakura. These cushy clitoral vibrators are cute, lightweight, soft, and feel great if you don’t need super-strong intensity. Simple to use, undaunting for new vibrator users. Plus they look adorable.

For a strong vibrator that’s easy on arthritic wrists, the Palm Power packs a lot of intensity in a small, light, ergonomically designed vibrator. It’s not the Magic Wand, but it’s strong. A choice of attachments change it from a clitoral vibrator to a G-spot stimulator or even a “rabbit”-style that’s both penetrative and clitoral.

During partner intercourse, enjoy the Eroscillator, a favorite of mine for 20 years. The slim wand lets you give yourself strong clitoral stimulation without the vibrator getting in the way of two bodies. It’s also great solo. Buy the “soft finger” attachment that looks like a marshmallow and envelopes the clitoris with delightful sensations.

As a travel companion, the We-Vibe Touch is strong yet tiny and practically weightless. The curved shape cups the clitoris in a delightful way, and it’s surprisingly powerful for such a small vibrator.  

For the most powerful vibrations ever, the Sybian is an adventure. You either sit on it or rock it into you and dial the intensity until you’re carried off to orgasm land. It’s expensive and loud and there’s nothing like it. The choice of accessories make it clitoral or penetrative. 

For Vaginal Penetration

There’s a world of penetrative vibrators in every shape, size, and design imaginable. Some readers tell me that they like vaginal penetration, but girthy sex toys are uncomfortable and slender ones are hard to find. Here are some slim options:  

For vaginal vibrations and a playful look, Patchy Paul is a slim, rumbly vibrator from Fun Factory that resembles a caterpillar! 

If you’re having vaginal pain with penetration, try the FDA registered therapeutic vibrator FeMani Vibrating Massage Wand, and please download the Vaginal Renewal Program from A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resources. 

If you’re interested in dildos — penetrative toys that don’t vibrate — see recommendations in my blog post, “Limba Flex Dildos from Fun Factory + Dildo Fun Facts,” including sources for all sizes of dildos.

 For the Penis

If you have erectile problems or just need extra stimulation to reach orgasm, these tools will do the job. Even if your medical issues make erection impossible, you can still reach orgasm. All the penis vibrators recommended here can be used with or without an erection.

Pulse from Hot Octopuss is a super strong penis stimulator. Open the flaps, place the penis inside, turn it on and let the pleasure begin.

JETT from Hot Octopuss is a penis ring with two bullet vibrators attached that gives jet-propelled enjoyment.

Manta from Fun Factory is a “gripper” style of vibrating stroker that can be used in a variety of ways.

For all Genitals:

Clitoral stimulators work to arouse a penis as well. All you need is lube and a sense of adventure. Some vibrators are specifically designed to be gender-inclusive, such as Fun Factory’s Volta. The strong vibrations and curved “flippers” shape give a penis or a clitoris a happy ending.  

How Do I Buy One?

You can order sex toys from a reputable retailer online (I endorse several on my blog) or by visiting a progressive, all-genders-welcome sex shop in person. I do not recommend buying vibrators from Amazon — you can’t tell if they’re the real thing or a cheap knock-off that will die quickly. To choose the right vibrator:

  • Read online reviews. I review sex toys from a senior perspective on my blog, evaluating intensity, ease of use, and how well these work for aging bodies. 
  • See a “show and tell” of my favorite vibrators in my webinar, “Sex Toys for Seniors.” 

Never underestimate the power of a good orgasm, vibrator-assisted or not. If catching that elusive orgasm is difficult, make it easier with the right tool. 

Send Joan your questions by emailing sexpert@seniorplanet.org. All information is confidential. Joan can only answer questions that are chosen for publication from readers age 60+

Joan Price is the author of several self-help books about senior sex including her newest, “Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality after Losing Your Beloved,” and the award-winning “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex.” Visit Joan’s website and blog and her Facebook page. For senior sex news and tips, subscribe to Joan’s free newsletter.

COMMENTS

4 responses to “Ask Joan: Seniors’ Updated Guide to Vibrators

  1. I want to date somebody who is interested in me not my 29 year old daughter who wears a size 7 i dont want to meet today and have sex today i want to go hourse back riding go for a walk go to the zoo or an old fashioned drive-in. I want some adult conversation i am 53 and i want some friendship befor sex

  2. I always look forward to reading Joan Price’s column in Senior Planet. Without exception it is filled with up-to-date information and much wisdom. And her writing is always clear and accessible.

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