Will sex toys desensitize my clit and ruin me for partner play?

Ducky Doolittle
Profile Picture of Ducky Doolittle Ducky DooLittle is a sex educator from NYC. She is also the author of "Sex with the Lights On: 200 Illuminating Sex Questions Answered". Ducky has appeared in the New York Times, HBO's "Real Sex", "The Morning Show", MTV, NPR, "The Howard Stern Show" and Playboy TV, to name a few.  Full Bio
Q:I've heard that using a sex toy every day will make it harder for me to orgasm during sex with my partner. Is that true? Will my vibrator make me less sensitive?
A: Nope. This will never happen.

Sex toys are awesome tools. If you find a strong toy you love and use it vigorously, you may experience a little discomfort, a friction burn perhaps, but only temporarily. Your nerves, muscles and all will be fine.


As for your toy getting in between you and your lover? That won't happen either. A sex toy will never have a heartbeat, write you a love letter, laugh, breathe hot breath through your panties, eat breakfast with you or do your laundry. It may, however, get you off faster than your lover can, and that can be disheartening.

But fear not, because when you have an attachment to your toy, it’s not actually an issue with your body as much as it is with your brain.
The human brain is designed to find the fastest way to get things done. It’s a very dominant force within us. For example, if you know it should take 25 minutes to get to work and then you get stuck in traffic for an extra 10 minutes, your brain can spin out, making you angry or anxious. The same thing can happen when you wait in line at the grocery store or when you have to wait for your computer to reboot. We all know that a few extra minutes is not that big of a deal, but this very dominant impulse toward efficiency will start to drive us insane when it happens. Your brain knows there is a faster way and will try to drive you in that direction.

This is the same force at work when it comes to sex toys. Partner play may deliver an orgasm to the average woman in 10 to 30 minutes, but with a sex toy, you orgasm in four to six minutes flat. This creates a standard that your brain would like to hold on to. But your body is not "ruined." What has actually happened is that your brain has developed a new expectation. You can change that.

The best way to calm this impulse is to periodically take breaks from using your toy. If you use it every night, start taking a couple days off here and there, giving yourself orgasms with your fingers instead. This way, your brain does not get locked into an expectation of speed. It’s a little frustrating at times, like when you just want to orgasm very quickly so you can drift off to sleep, but it works.

Sex toys do a lot of things, but I promise you they will not desensitize you or "ruin" you for partner play.

Have a question? Ask Ducky here.

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