Bad Vibrations and the Myth of “Dead Vagina”-Syndrome

From a scientific perspective, there are no relevant studies or evidence, so the “dead vagina” syndrome remains nothing more than a questionable rumor.

By Anne Lomberg on July 20, 2023 -
Updated on October 21, 2023

Also available in German
Bad Vibrations und der Mythos des “Dead Vagina”- Syndrom

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a sex educator that stuck in my mind when she explained that she first tells her students to say goodbye to vibrators. I had to ask twice because I wasn’t sure and initially assumed she was recommending them to her students. The opposite was the fact, and I have to say that surprised me quite a bit because I thought that sex educators had one goal above all else, which is to teach that sexual exploration, no matter what way, should be fun and everyone should figure out for themselves what works best for them. At least, that’s my philosophy, and I don’t see what purpose is served by not using vibrators if they are a great asset in discovering one’s own and shared sexuality.

But then, of course, it came up: the phenomenon of “dead vagina” syndrome. Perhaps one or two of you have heard of or dealt with this misleading term. “Dead vagina” syndrome means a kind of numbness or loss of sensitivity of the vagina that can occur due to too long or too frequent use of vibrators, making it insensitive to other stimuli. However, it is scientifically proven that this is a temporary after-effect of orgasm, not a long-term condition or damage. Furthermore, the myth circulates that the orgasmic experience would be affected when using vibrators, that one would virtually never enjoy a full-body orgasm, or that the orgasm would regress and no longer feel as intense. I can report from personal experience that this is absolute nonsense and does not harm orgasm ability at all. In fact, I had the best climaxes of my life in combination with penetration and vibrators. From a scientific perspective, there are no relevant studies or evidence on this either, so the “dead vagina” syndrome remains nothing more than a questionable rumor.

Know your needs

In some articles, I have already pointed out how important it is to know and explore your needs through masturbation. Toys are just a tool that can be used in a playful manner, but they are not a must. For my part, I love the additional stimulation with vibrators, clitoral, vaginal, and also anal. Through this, I have discovered my needs and desires. I’ve figured out the best way to climax, which sweet spots trigger me the most, how to squirt, and what it means to experience anal orgasm. Vibrators enriched my love life immensely, privately as well as with partners by my side.

The conflict I experienced in talking to the sex educator was that she was too radical for my taste in her statement about “getting rid of vibrators.” In this context, I would like to point out the importance of exploring oneself playfully without being steered in any directions that work for others but are illusory for your own pleasure. It is counterproductive for sex educators to try convincing their “students” of something just because they think certain tools, like vibrators, don’t work “for themselves.”

Addictions and overstimulation

If you like using vibrators and sharing them with partners like I do, but you’re worried about not being able to orgasm without one, give it a try. Touch yourself, let your fingers guide you, and connect with your body this way. If anything, it’s a psychological rather than physical addiction that can make you feel like you need the vibrations to reach the climax you crave for. Fingers and a penis can’t replace vibrations, so they don’t compete. Vibrations offer additional stimulation that brings new orgasmic experiences. You can use them or not. A decision that everyone should make on their own.

Let’s talk about Dildos

In the conversation with the sex educator, I learned that she sells crystal dildos, which directly triggered an aha moment. I have often noticed that women who are convinced by or sell crystal dildos react negatively to other types of sex toys. On the one hand, I can understand that because they are marketing their product and believe in the spiritual power that comes with crystal dildos; on the other hand, I find it too radical again.

Yes, crystal dildos are made 100% naturally and look particularly aesthetic. And it may be that the stones positively affect you and bring your body and mind into harmony, but only if you believe in it, right? There we go again with the psychological component that doesn’t work for everyone, just like thinking that we can’t climax without vibrations. Unless you’re spiritual and believe in some kind of energy, it’s very unlikely that a crystal dildo will cause a different orgasm than a glass dildo. What I’m saying is that it’s important to understand people as a whole and see what works for each individual without steering them in any direction or preaching that crystal dildos are much better compared to regular dildos or vibrators.

I’m happy to test some crystal dildos for you guys with an open mind because that’s what it’s all about. Making room to experiment, making room to get to know yourself and your body better, being open to new experiences, and sharing those experiences without wanting to convince or put yourself on a higher level that comes with a certain enlightenment and subliminally always conveys Bad Vibrations.

Overall, the encounter with the sex educator left an impression. It gave me new food for thought and made me write this essay. Somehow, an interesting parallel emerged, and I couldn’t help but think of how in certain cities, you might wander through the streets looking for the next promising restaurant, and then there are these guys, called touts, waving their menus to lure you into theirs; this always causes a backlash, a kind of resistance that keeps me from even considering any of these restaurants. For some, however, that’s exactly what works because they’re relieved of a decision they don’t want to make themselves or have too much choice. Whatever works for you, let yourself be (guided), stay playful, and connect with yourself … whether with vibrations or without.

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