Sex

Huge Vibrators May Scare Men, but They're Really, Really Good

How I learned to stop worrying and love big wands.

by Zoe Ligon
Oct 24 2017, 3:08pm

Art by Zoe Ligon

Two years ago, I was finally having sex the way I'd always wanted—with a big-ass 6,000 RPM Magic Wand vibrating on my clit. Unfortunately, my ecstasy was short-lived. My partner at the time kept complaining about the long, microphone-shaped erotic device. He said the bulbous head hurt against his pelvis. He whined that there were only a few positions that worked for him. And even though it felt a-ma-zing for me, he thought it distanced his body from mine. Giving up the wand meant falling back into the uncomfortable sex I'd been having for the jollies of cis males, who were rarely concerned with my pleasure and didn't want anything to do with gigantic vibrators. And I, a sex-positive sex toy–store owner, foolishly tolerated it.

Of course, I'm not the only woman who's had to deal with this in relationships with men. I started selling sex toys when I was 21. I'm 25 now. And for years, I've had cis women ask me, "Do you have anything this size," pointing to the tiny vibrating bullets, "that has the power of this?" motioning toward a Magic Wand. They all want the little vibes over the wands, because as my friend Dirty Lola, sex educator and assistant manager of Brooklyn's SHAG, points out, "Wands, especially large ones, tend to draw the ire of cis men... It all links back to insecurity and a lack of knowledge. Men have this irrational fear of anything they perceive as better—which in their eyes means anything bigger than their penis—at pleasing their partner. "

For years, I tried to tell my cis women customers, "Yes, you can you use a wand with a partner," and, "No, you won't become 'addicted' to your wand and never want to look at a dick again." All the while, when I came home, I'd give in to the same trepidations. More toppy lovers might tie me down on top of a wand, or use it as a reward after a particularly sadistic play scene. But adding a wand to my clit while I was getting eaten out or having penetrative sex? My mind just didn't venture there.

This was because, as Lola notes, when you try to bring up the wand to some close-minded men,
"There's always a bit of shaming happening. 'It's so big! Do you really need that?' And then there's awkward questions delivered with uncomfortable laughter, like, 'So you put the whole thing inside?' These can totally deflate their partner and ruin the entire experience..."

Of course, I didn't help things by acquiescing. Looking back, a part of my problem was my narrow concept of sex. Even as a more-woke professional in the erotic industry, I defined sex strictly as penis in vagina (PIV). But in reality, that is a cis man's notion of sex, which doesn't work for most women since our clits are located outside of our vaginas. I'm one of the more than 75 percent of women who cannot orgasm from penetrative sex alone. When I adopted most men's perception of "good sex," I gave up the opportunity to assert my own and truly enjoy myself.

Art by Zoë Ligon

A big part of my willingness to accept PIV was that I wanted to make guys feel good about themselves so that they would want me and I could feel loved. While there was the rare occasion when I orgasmed with a partner who was giving me head, the reality is that a lot of the time, like 80 percent of all women, I just faked it for a man's sake. This was especially true during PIV intercourse.

When I did "orgasm" during PIV sex, it was more from me just bearing down on my pelvic floor and straining a bit, like I was pushing out poop. Then my body would have a light wavy feeling inside that would subside with my arousal. These days I hear my clients use nearly the exact same language I did back then to describe a sexual climax when they were pre-orgasmic, never quite reaching the mountaintop and falling off into bliss. Like I mistakenly did, they choose to just put on a happy face and enjoy the more psychological elements of penetration instead of attaining that deep, uterine contraction feeling one can get with a wand.

The reason the wand can create such intense orgasms is because it has powerful motors that provide unparalleled vibrations. These larger motors are the reason for its size, which dwarfs most other vibrators and bullets.

You can trace the vibrating technology in the wands we use today back to the 19th century, when the original vibrators were patented. Unsurprisingly, the vibrator started off as a tool of the patriarchy, one with a particularly misogynistic purpose. Male doctors developed it to "relieve hysteria," a made-up condition they used to infantilize and control women. Of course, women loved vibrators, but their fondness for these early sex machines wasn't seen as a form of liberation—it was a confirmation of their compromised "medical condition."

After the Great Depression, vibrators fell out of the mainstream. It wasn't until the late 60s that Norelco created a mustard-colored massager and Hitachi created the iconic Magic Wand. People loved this style of toy because it was way less clunky than the previous models, which all looked like giant steampunk hair dryers or hunks of metal you strapped onto your hand.

The author with her wand

The fact that the wand remains on the market, almost completely unchanged in design nearly 50 years later, is a testament to how frickin' amazing it makes people feel. I find it quite ironic that a device men created to get women to chill the fuck out is now a monster of their own creation, instilling them with fear and loathing that their penises will be eclipsed by its greatness.

But there are methods you can use to get guys over their wand-phobia. According to sex educator and self-proclaimed Queen of Wands, Carly S., one helpful way to ease unfamiliar dudes into wand world is to remind them that those small toys everyone thinks are for couples are actually "harder to maneuver." Wands offer more grip and control. Guys may also need reminding that penetration is not the only way to play. "Thinking that this long, thick wand would go inside can be incredibly [off-putting] to folks," she says. Instead, show them "how pleasurable and versatile [a wand] can be."

Porn is also a pretty good way to get them acclimated. "There's tons of porn where men are using it on women, and they're having a great time!" Carly says. If they still don't "get" wands, try using the wand on them. "You put that wand right under the head of the penis and it can feel amazing. When men realize the pleasure potential, they seem more willing to try it."

What helped me go from, "I shouldn't impose on the intimacy with my partner by also using a wand," to finally owning my own sexuality was meeting a guy who cared more about my pleasure than his ego.

After my relationship with the wand-hater ended, I took a hiatus from flesh cocks and the bullshit that comes with them. But when I recently got back into the dick, I decided to try something different right from the start. The first time I hooked up with a new lover, I blatantly told him, "I need this to orgasm. We can have sex, but when it's time for me to cum, this is the way to do it." And I handed him the big ol' pink Doxy wand, which can reach up to 9,000 RPM. It's my other favorite wand, and it's even bigger than the Hitachi

Unlike previous lovers, it was a no-brainer for him—he was into it because I was into it. While confidently asserting your own needs might not turn an insecure guy into a wand wielder, when you find the right person, it can make all the difference. Sex with that partner occasionally involved traditional PIV, but the wand always made a guest appearance. Sometimes it stole the show altogether—and he never cared one way or the other. Sometimes I came, and he didn't. Sometimes he came, and I didn't. Sometimes neither or both of us would come. Either way, it was always a good time because it was never one-sided.

Our relationship ended up being short-lived, but it helped push me through to the other side. I discovered how to ask for my wand needs, and I realized that what I found sexually attractive in a male partner was their desire to give me orgasms so intense that I'd pass out.

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