Ask the Doctors: Where Did My Orgasms Go?

After not finding the answering while searching the web in a few places, I thought maybe you could answer my curious question. Is it possible to lose the ability to ejaculate with clitoral stimulation? I have always been able to achieve multiple orgasms when my husband would stimulate my clit, then I discovered the Butterfly Vibrator. Wow, I could not believe it. As silly as it sounds, I really have trouble now with or without the Butterfly. Could the feeling come back?
— Missing My Clit

This is what I think I’m reading in your letter: You were multiply orgasmic, and ejaculating; then you started using the Butterfly; now you’re less likely to orgasm and ejaculate. Do I have that right?

It’s not common, in my experience, for women to find that they are less orgasmic over time with a vibrator, unless they are getting into perimenopause and finding that the hormonal effects of that life-phase have caused this change. So if you’re into your 40s and noticing other perimenopause “symptoms,” that might help explain the sensation change you are experiencing. The other things that are likely to affect sensation that way can include certain illnesses, so I would urge you to get a check-up, if you haven’t had one in a while. However, there are things that can change the sensation of an orgasm that you might not expect.

If you have gotten more sedentary in your lifestyle and are not getting much exercise, it can affect your sexual pleasure; if your PC muscles, in particular, are not in tone, your orgasm will not feel as pleasurable (and besides the pulsing sensation that gets milder, this might possibly affect your ability to ejaculate, as well); a loss of libido and turn-on with your husband might also affect at least your response with him; and depressants like alcohol can dampen the erotic feelings of orgasm or make it harder to achieve one. Actually, if you have gone on any new meds at all during this time period when you’ve noticed the changes (especially antidepressants), those are a very likely culprit — ask your doctor if sexual side effects are possible on this drug (or any combination of drugs you may be taking, including alcohol and other recreational substances).

In other words, your experience with the vibrator might be a complete fluke, having nothing at all to do with the change — just showing up at around the same time as the changes became evident.

Now, when women notice changes in response that have to do with vibe use, it is often because they get used to quicker stimulation with a toy than they experience with a human partner, so they get unaccustomed to the slower build-up generally associated with human stimulation. If nothing in the paragraph above rang any bells, you might wish to explore the possibility that you got really habituated to the vibe, and wean yourself off it — but again, I would ordinarily not expect you to become less responsive to the vibrator if nothing else were going on.

For now (again, unless you found an important clue in what I’ve already written), I would suggest two things. First, start exercising your Kegel muscles. (Also called PC muscles, these are responsible for the pulsing or squeezing sensation you get with orgasm, and exercising them really helps blood flow to the genitals — which helps you get more aroused.) This couldn’t hurt, and it definitely might help. Second, if possible, start having sex with your husband without the vibrator, and ask him to explore with you, now that your sexual response has changed somewhat. If he’ll do this (and plenty of guys just LOVE erotic science projects), keep track of how aroused you’re able to get, how long it takes, and whether you can come, and what difference you notice given the amount of time you have available.

It may be that, without the vibrator to rev you up, you go back to talking more time, and more time generally allows you to get more aroused, making it easier to have an orgasm or to ejaculate. Time is, in fact, the great unsung factor in sex, and taking more time generally rewards you with the ability to respond more strongly. It may be, on the other hand, that you just want to get a stronger vibrator. But unless having the Butterfly in your life has turned you into someone who makes do with quickies, I would look further than just the vibe for clues as to what’s going on.


We’re dedicated to getting you the information you need about sex, pleasure and your health. If you have any questions, please email our staff experts, Dr. Carol Queen and Dr. Charlie Glickman, at education@goodvibes.com! For product-related questions, please email or call our customer service staff at customerservice@goodvibes.com.

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Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive, women-principled adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Good Vibrations has always included all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the GoodVibes.com website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.

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