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, Spanx and hearing aids aren’t natural, either, but if they help us feel better and live our lives with zest, why say no?
Here’s why we should care about vibrators at our age:
- If we’re unpartnered, keeping ourselves sexually active solo-style is important for sexual health, emotional well-being and general 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
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 it’s not enough to buy the first 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.
So, 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:
- 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?
- Do you care what it looks like? Some women 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.
- How should it feel against your skin?Vibrators can be firm, flexible, cushiony, hard, soft, textured, smooth and any other tactile quality you can think of.
- 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?
- How much does noise matter? Will you worry that your neighbors in the next apartment or visiting grandkids in the guest room can hear it?
- 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 for us now, especially if we’re not having regular penetrative sex.
- 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?
- What else is important to you? This is completely individual. You may want it to be no-brainer easy to use: 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, with links to my reviews:
For female bodies
If you need super-strong vibrations to take you over the edge, try the Original Magic Wand. This is the king of clitoral-stimulation vibrators. The trade-off for such a strong motor is that it’s heavy, noisy and needs to be plugged in.
If you have arthritic wrists and/or are a novice, try the Iroha Midori, Yuki, and Sakura. These cushy clitoral vibrators in three styles are cute, soft and feel great if you don’t need super-strong intensity. They’re small and easy on arthritic wrists because you don’t have to lift or hold them up – just press the vibrator’s soft side over your clitoris and rest your hand on it to keep it in place. Simple to use, undaunting for vibrator novices.
If you want a stronger vibrator that’s easy on arthritic wrists, I recommend the Palm Power. How did they pack so much power in a small, light, ergonomically designed vibrator? Darned if I know. It’s not the Magic Wand, but it’s strong. You can buy attachments to change it from a clitoral vibrator to a G-spot stimulator or even a “rabbit”-style that goes both in your vagina and over your clitoris.
If you want softer, slim-sized vaginal penetration, Iroha Mikazuki and Minamo might work for you. Neither of these insertable vibrators looks like a penis. Iroha Mikazuki gently progresses from .7 inch in diameter to 1.1 inches midway to a maximum of 1.4 inches (you don’t have to go that far). Iroha Minamo goes from .9 inch to 1.3 inches. These vibrators are cushiony, not hard, with gentle to moderate vibrations. (Note: If you’re having vaginal pain with penetration, don’t use these, because the soft silicone can tug at the skin. Choose a smooth, hard-shelled vibrator instead, like the Vita, and please download the Vaginal Renewal Program from A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resources.)
If you’re mostly engaged in partner sex, consider the Eroscillator. This has been a favorite of mine for 20 years. Be sure to buy the “soft finger” attachment that looks like a marshmallow. It envelopes the clitoris and sends delightful sensations right where you need it. This vibrator works well during partner sex because the slim wand lets you give yourself clitoral stimulation without it getting in the way of two bodies meeting.
For male bodies
If you need help with an erection, try the Pulse. This is an amazing penis stimulator that does not require an erection. You open the flaps enough to place the penis inside, turn it on and let the pleasure begin. The three men I asked to test the Pulse fell in love with it.
How Do I Buy One?
You can order sex toys from a reputable retailer online (I endorse several on my blog, Naked at Our Age), or by visiting a well stocked, well lit, women-welcome sex shop in person, if you’re lucky enough to have one within easy traveling distance.
How to choose the right vibrator in-store
- Pick up the display models, turn them on, feel how comfortable they are to hold and the intensity of the vibrations
- Touch the vibrating part to the inside of your wrist to get an idea of how the vibrations feel on sensitive parts
- Once you’ve answered the questions above, tell the well trained and friendly staff what you’re looking for and ask for recommendations. They know the products and want to help you choose well.
How to choose the right vibrator online
Read online reviews. I review sex toys from a senior perspective on my blog Naked at Our Age, taking into consideration intensity, ease of use, bodysafe materials, etc. You’ll also find a ton of sex toy information (along with info on every other senior sex topic) in my new book The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty, including how to buy sex toys made of body-safe materials (the cheaper ones may not be). And check out more vibrator-buying advice from me on Senior Planet.
Never underestimate the power of a good orgasm, whether it’s vibrator-assisted or not. At this time in our lives catching that elusive orgasm is difficult; making it easier for yourself with the right tool is good for your well-being.
Joan Price writes the monthly Sex at Our Age post for Senior Planet, answering reader questions about senior sex topics. If you have a question for Joan, please email them to [email protected] (Personally identifying information will be strictly confidential.)