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How to Use a Vibrator Discreetly

joan-price-150Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email sexpert@seniorplanet.org.

“I was wondering if you could advise me on a sex toy for my 60-year-old friend. She has a job and also cares for her parents, and is understandably under a lot of stress. I think she’s depressed with everything life is throwing at her. It occurred to me that maybe if she could just go off and bring herself to orgasm and have some much needed fun and stress relief in her life, she would be much happier!

Her sex life has been nondescript for years, unfortunately. Her husband is 10 years older and no longer has any interest in sex. I don’t think they’ve had conversations about sex – I just get the impression that because he’s older, he isn’t interested anymore.

Although she doesn’t really confide in me about her sexual desires, she recently mentioned that “it’s been a very long time,” and she needs some passion back in her life. I think she’s really frustrated.

Is there some sort of vibrator on the market that’s discreet, doesn’t make a sound and that she could sneak off to the bathroom and use? We’ve never spoken about this, or about sex toys at all. Do you think a surprise gift would be welcome?” —Concerned about Sexless Friend

Kudos for caring about your friend’s sexual frustration and wanting to give her a gift that keeps on giving. You have a big heart. And you’re right – orgasms are mood lifters. However, if you and your friend have never discussed vibrators, I don’t know whether it’s a good idea to surprise her with the gift of a sex toy. She may love it, or she may find your gift disturbing. Even if she loves the idea, her choice of vibrator might be totally different from what you think she’d like.

Let’s back up for a minute: You assume that your friend’s husband is no longer interested in sex because he’s 70. Don’t assume that there’s an expiration date on sexual pleasure. There are plenty of sexually robust men in their 70s, and even men experiencing erectile difficulties can enjoy a satisfying, loving sex life. Reasons for giving up on sex as we age include medical conditions and medications that affect sexual function, relationship difficulties and communication problems, to name a few. (I go into these in detail in my latest book, “The Ultimate Guide to Sex after 50,” and I also invite readers with these issues to send their questions to sexpert@seniorplanet.org for a later column.)

Back to vibrators: I suggest you tell your friend that she take a look at my “Senior’s Guide to Vibrators” on Senior Planet and tell her that you’d love to buy her something that will give her great moments of pleasure. Show her some reviews of quiet, discreet vibrators, such as the ones listed below, ask her to choose one and tell her you’ll buy it for her.

You indicate that your friend will have to run off to the bathroom for privacy. We don’t know why she needs to keep her sexual needs a secret. If she had written to me herself and told me that her relationship with her husband is good in other ways and their communication works, I might have suggested ways that she could have an honest talk with him. But let’s assume for now that she can’t or won’t do that and does need stolen moments of privacy. You mention the idea that she could run off to the bathroom for a quick orgasm. Just bear in mind that it’s hard to have a vibrator-induced orgasm on command – especially for older women, and especially when we’re rushed and worried about being heard.

Here are some tips for using a vibrator discreetly at times when we have little privacy:

  1. Choose a vibrator with a reputation for being relatively quiet. Most aren’t really silent – you’d have to sacrifice power for that – but some softly hum, some sound like an airplane taking off in your bedroom and most are somewhere on the spectrum in between.
  2. Choose a waterproof vibrator to use in the tub or shower. The shower masks any vibrator noise, but not everyone can accomplish an orgasm standing up, and often we need a long time to get aroused enough. We can be more relaxed in the bathtub, but some vibrators make more noise under water.
  3. Take private “nap” time with the bedroom door closed and a quiet vibrator under the covers.
  4. Play music while you use your vibrator. Of course, you don’t want the music to be so loud that someone will bang on your door.

Here are a few vibrators that are discreet (they don’t even look like sex toys), reasonably quiet and waterproof, with links to my reviews:

For your amusement, I’ll tell you on of my most embarrassing story about noisy vibrators. I was in my 30s and living with friends in California. While they were listening to a BBC radio broadcast (yes, it was that long ago), I sneaked off to my room for a date with my Magic Wand. I didn’t realize that my powerful electric vibrator was interfering with their radio reception! My housemates went wandering through the house trying to figure out where the interference was coming from, and when they got to my door… well, you can imagine the laughter. The friend with the longest memory still tells that story, and it’s almost 40 years later. Fortunately the Magic Wand is now available as a rechargeable, unplugged model. It’s still very loud, but it doesn’t interfere with radio reception – and the BBC streams online, so no one else needs to experience my embarrassment. —Joan

 

Joan Price is the author of the new Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50: How to Maintain – or Regain! – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life”;  the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex”; and the sexy memoir, “Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty.” Visit Joan’s  blog, “Naked at Our Age,” and her Facebook page.

4 comments
  • Kinkazoid
    REPLY

    Great article!
    I’m so so happy that there are people like you that feel comfortable talking about this topic openly. Buying the right sex toy and using it RIGHT, is not an easy task. Every type has it’s own features, material and size options, shape, texture, etc. Especially if you are after 50…. Wish readers to find the right one! )

  • Julius Amberfield
    REPLY

    It was really nice how you suggested that if we do want to use a vibrator discreetly we have to go for one that has a reputation for being quiet since most others types are not really that silent. I will be sure to note that down as my wife and I are planning to add a few things to make our nights more interesting. I want a vibrator that’a quiet so it won’t wake the kids up. Thank you.

  • David M. Pittle
    REPLY

    I always begin by recommending a sexually knowledgeable gynecologist to be sure there is nothing physically problematic. Then, I might suggest that you look up “Sensate Focus” on your Google. There will be several references which can be downloaded. They won’t be identical, but basically close enough for you to get the idea. Adapt whichever one you like. This may get your guy over the hump, so to speak. Even if not, it will give both of you gobs of pleasure.

    Beyond that, a competent sex therapist can almost certainly help. There are many ways to address the problem, but one of them is to not make it a problem. Most men invest their penis with magical power. We’ve been taught since childhood that it is the center of our and our partner’s pleasure. But that is not necessarily true. Most women can get a lot of pleasure through other kinds of touch. (Imagine getting a tongue massage ALL OVER.

  • Judy simoni
    REPLY

    I was glad to find out about others having these hesitation. I was so angry after my divorce if a man approached me he would scurry away for fear of his life I’m Italian so everyone knows how I feel without saying a word. I found this kind patient man and have lowered my guard and let him in we both wanted intimacy and he tried and so did I but I will need a lubricant for sure and because of that he did not get erect as I think was possible and I did bleed a little because I haven’t had sexual intercorse for 12yrs. I asked him If he was disappointed he said no I did try to pleasure him in other ways but I’m worried what can I do before our next encounter. I really want this I never thought I could allow someone to get into my private space. Yikes help me!!!!

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