The first orgasm I ever had was achieved with a cheap, stainless steel vibrator. I didn't really know my body that well. I had been experimenting more with penetration than clitoral stimulation.

Once I learned how to cum well, I was 18, and I was insatiable. I couldn't get enough of it. I would masturbate every chance I got. I didn't know how to do it manually, so I relied on my battery-powered helper. It took me months before I actually could manage to get myself off with just my fingers.

But when electricity is pretty much universal, why would you want to ditch your vibrator? Why go through all the trouble of getting yourself off manually when a wand massager can get you off in mere minutes? Here's the answer: manual masturbation teaches you about your body.

We all like to think that we know our own bodies, but do we, really? If you don't know how to stimulate yourself manually, you're missing out on a ton of potential self-knowledge.

Vibrators are awesome, and they really help people who have trouble reaching orgasms. However, exploring your erogenous zones and hot spots by hand can help you learn more about what you like - and what you like less. So much of our vibrator masturbation is focused on the orgasm, which often arrives pretty quickly and easily. When you do the same work by hand, you get to focus a lot more on the sensation of the moment, and a lot less on the orgasm itself.

You're also more likely to focus on other areas. Without your fingers, how would you know that stroking your wrists drives you wild? Or that you like your labia to be stroked, pinched or pulled softly? Or that you can't stand direct clitoral touch but that rubbing the hood gets you over the edge? How would you discover whether you like your U-spot stimulated?

Our fingers are sensitive and precise for a reason. They can fully explore all of the areas of your body that a vibrator is too big and too blunt to find.

You Get to Experience a Different Sensation

Don't get me wrong: I love a Magic Wand orgasm. They're powerful and, most of all, quick.

Yet, sometimes I need to take my time. I need a sensation that's a little less intense and more... lingering. I need to control the timing and strength of my orgasm with precision. I need to feel it build slowly, crest into that perfect peak of pleasure, and then let it out slowly and with control.

I can only achieve this when I manually masturbate.

Sure, sometimes it's a hassle. It can take me up to 45 minutes to get there. I need porn or a partner telling me a dirty story. My hand and wrist get sore. However, the sensations are different, and generally more satisfying, than a vibrator orgasm.

A vibrator orgasm is like a sudden geyser, powerful but out of control, and over in an instant. A manual orgasm is like a lingering river headed to a beautiful waterfall. It starts slowly, picks up the pace as the fall approaches, and then lets me indulge in the falling sensation and the warm waters below, where I can swim for a while.

All of these metaphors are really just to show you that it's worth exploring how using your hands feels for you. Maybe it's not as good, and you prefer a vibrator. That's fine. At least you know, right?

But What About the Zombie Apocalypse?

Seriously. Think about it. Civilization falls. There's no more electricity. You spend your days running, scavenging and defending yourself from brain-hungry zombies. Don't you want to just lie down and take the edge off at the end of the day with a good orgasm?

I know I would.

Sadly, your Magic Wand won't work anymore. What the hell are you going to do? Thankfully, you've learned how to use your fingers, and you can get yourself off without the help of electricity.

OK. Maybe that's unlikely, but self-sufficiency is a skill worth nurturing. If you don't do for personal growth or self exploration, do it for the orgasms.