Vibrators and Other Pleasures: When Moderation Fails (2011)

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I Love Sex Toys tee-shirt[Also see Vibrators and "Dead Vagina Syndrome" (research and mainstream press)]

Can you use sex toys or Internet erotica in moderation? The answer lies in your brain—not in any external advice, wisdom or dogma. It depends on the state of your reward circuitry, your brain's ancient appetite mechanism.

Sure, your brain may be particularly vulnerable to intense stimulation due to genetic make-up or past trauma. Yet it also matters what kind of stimulation you hammer your brain with. Consider this woman's experience:

Vibrator-use can absolutely desensitize a woman. I started using one in college, thinking I was a modern, sexually empowered woman, and couldn't believe how effectively it got the job done. It worked TOO well. Within a month, I could no longer orgasm with my boyfriend, and a few months after that, I couldn't even do it with my own hand any longer. The vibrator went in the trash and my responsiveness came back some weeks later. Even now, a decade later, I still sometimes miss the intense stimulation. However, I definitely do not miss having the sexual responsiveness of a rock.

I've stayed away from Internet porn for the same reason. It's too stimulating, and I know I would quickly get hooked. I tried masturbating to it once. I literally came in less than one minute (not at all like real life!) because the stimulation was so intense. Real-life sex will never be able to measure up to that. Perhaps I am the exception, but I know myself well. If I started regularly using Internet porn, I would end up as one of those people who can no longer get turned on without it. No thanks. I'll keep my sex-life organic.

Orgasm using natural methods (think fingers and imagination) is not likely to become a problem. It also stands to reason that your brain evolved to handle the odd binge. Nor is occasional indulgence in something superstimulating likely to decrease your sexual responsiveness.

On the other hand, too much supernormal stimulation can easily become a problem—at least in some of us. It can actually decrease brain sensitivity, and thus satisfaction. 

I had a girlfriend who said that there was a period in her life where she got really into using her vibrator. But she found herself completely unable to orgasm with partners because she had become so desensitized. She quit the vibrator, and I think she said it took her about 6 months to get back to normal.

Nearly half of the participants in one study stated that they were concerned with becoming dependent on the vibrator's supernormal stimulation.

'Supernormal' refers to a stimulus that releases inordinate amounts of neurochemicals in the brain's reward circuitry. This occurs when our brain decides something is more enticing than anything our ancestors generally encountered. This extra neurochemical wallop deceives us into registering our abnormal stimulus as Extremely Valuable. That's when we can more easily become hooked. (For more, see Intoxicating Behaviors.)

To understand just how coercive superstimuli can be, consider this: When scientists constructed synthetic butterfly "mates" with exaggerated cues (i.e., the signals that males use to assess mate desirability),

A male silver washed fritillary butterfly was more sexually aroused by a butterfly-sized rotating cylinder with horizontal brown stripes than ... by a real, live female of its own kind.

It it's not only males who are fooled by exaggerated stimuli. Female birds preferred to sit on large, brightly spotted, fake eggs, and ignored their own. Supernormal Stimuli author Deirdre Barrett defines such stimuli as "imitations that appeal to primitive instincts and, oddly, exert a stronger attraction than real things."

Now, think about the synthetic thrills that light up our brains today: larger-than-life video games, glittering casinos, enticing junk food, drugs, sex toys that out perform any penis, cam2cam chat.

The Internet itself feels like hyperstimulation...surfing with many tabs open/multitasking, snagging interesting things from the net. It's like my brain always wants to be entertained by something now. Reading books is not good enough for me anymore.

These are enticements your ancestors couldn't indulge in with the ease you can. They can lead to bothersome brain alterations that are tough to reverse. For example, Internet addiction has been associated with reduction of gray matter in the brains of adolescents. Pathological gambling and overeating have been shown to alter brain function, too.

We can overstimulate our brains many ways, but food and sex are particularly alluring. Unlike drugs, both are already coded into our brain's reward circuitry as Necessary For Existence (top priorities). That is why many users can, and do, get hooked on superstimulating versions of food and sex even though they have no problems with other enticements. Seventy-nine percent of Americans are now overweight, and half obese. By some accounts, half of American ministers reported problems with their own porn use as early as 2001.

The point is that an intense "natural" pleasure can morph into a risky indulgence for you (or your loved one)even if it seemed quite innocuous at some earlier point in life, or still doesn't appear to cause trouble for your friends. This shift happens quite innocently in an environment saturated with enticement. Eskimos eat seal blubber all day long with a smile, but most American kids are crying if they don't get the thrill of an exciting MacDonald's Happy Meal.

Fifty-two percent of women are already using vibrators according to a 2009 study. Thirty-one percent of young women are using porn. One young man who fought a long battle to recover from porn use, and realized how profoundly his brain had changed, said:

1 out of 3 women my age are watching pornography. I remember I used to think it was so cool if a cute girl watches porn. But seriously, this is really, really bad—not good—for me and for people in general. I definitely don't want my future wife's brain to be desensitized by porn, so her life and my lovemaking skills seem boring and bland. Jeez this is awful. It's sad to see how bad technology has screwed with our brains thanks to Internet porn.

In the 2011 study mentioned above more women reported concerns that vibrator use was having a negative impact on the intimacy of their relationship than felt it enhanced their relationship. Do you and your partner already need to join three-somes to have satisfying sex (that is, you two plus your favorite toys and two computer screens with your favorite porn)? If ordinary sexual stimulation isn't doing it for you, your brain has probably adapted. So, the question is, do you want to get rid of the crowd and "reboot" yourself so you can enjoy sex with each other?

"Can't I just cut back?"

Sure. But suppose you find that you can't cut back without experiencing withdrawal symptoms? These might include: intense "need" for an orgasm (even if you just had one, the "chaser effect"), consistently feeling less responsive during sex, powerful attraction to novel partners, fantasizing about extreme stimulation, cravings for rougher or more painful sex, irritably snapping at others over nothing, or feeling uncharacteristically deprived, anxious, dissatisfied or unfairly treated ("needy").

These can sometimes be signs of an addiction process at work. Remember, a primitive part of the brain perceives substances and activities that release lots of stimulating dopamine in the brain as Extremely Valuable. It wires itself to be on the lookout for them. Whenever you get near one, your brain's reward circuitry jumps up and down like a crazed Jack Russell terrier. This is known as sensitization. When you activate a sensitized pathway, it releases a bigger blast of dopamine than usual, igniting demanding cravings.

However, there's growing evidence that sensitization actually gives rise to desensitization—and a numbed response to pleasure. The result can be a need to binge in search of satisfaction, and decreased sexual responsiveness. For example, older men who have stuck to "vanilla," still porn images don't seem to develop the erectile-dysfunction problems that other, often much younger, men who use more extreme porn do. For more on how superstimuli can hijack brains watch this video series.

Paradoxically, it can be easier to give up a superstimulus entirely than to try to use it in moderation. (At first, it's often very uncomfortable, however.) The reason a period of abstinence can succeed where moderation fails lies in that extra jolt of dopamine a sensitized brain releases in response to conditioned cues. In a brain that has changed and is not back to normal, moderation sets the sensitized pathway aquiver with reverberating cravings instead of satisfaction.

In short, "Everything in moderation" only works for some people, with regard to some stimuli, some of the time. Happily, if you avoid a stimulus to which you are sensitized for a lengthy period, the noisy brain pathways gradually weaken, and your appetite moves back toward normal sensitivity. Consistency pays. Mark Hyman, MD makes this point with regard to cravings for another superstimulus, sugar:

Eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners and your cravings will go away: Go cold turkey. ... You have to stop for you brain to reset. Eliminate refined sugars, sodas, fruit juices, and artificial sweeteners from your diet. These are all drugs that will fuel cravings.

The same is true of sex toy and erotica use. It could be easier to go through the necessary withdrawal discomfort and reboot your brain than wrestle intense cravings repeatedly to maintain moderate use.

"When you want to climb out of a hole..."

If you think you may be overusing erotica or your vibrator, experiment with stopping completely for a month or two. Can you feel yourself move back toward normal sensitivity (or toward increased sensitivity)? Is an evening of flirting more satisfying than an evening with your vibrator? If you relapse early on, do you notice extreme cravings afterward? As you make your own experiments, it grows easier to steer for the results you want.

You could even notice unexpected benefits as your brain returns to balance. One woman reported that when she gave up her magic wand (after a trip to the emergency room with a damaged ovary, and a discreet tip from the attending physician), she was also able to stop smoking and improve her diet, both with relative ease.

It is hard for any of us to accept that a once-harmless pleasure has morphed into a risky indulgence. Yet whether or not the pleasure has changed (e.g., Internet porn in lieu of romance novels), our brains can, and often do, change. Arguing about whether a particular enticement is "bad" or "good," "moral" or "immoral," is beside the point. Its effects on you are what matter, and your mileage will vary depending upon the sensitivity of your brain, whether it has changed, how much your tastes have escalated, and so forth.

It pays to observe yourself carefully so you don't inadvertently numb your pleasure response with today's synthetic superstimuli. Here are some more first-hand insights from women and men:

Porn's not only a problem with men. I find, for myself, when I masturbate I lose all of my natural flowing juices... so when HE'S READY to have it, I'm NOT! He has to lather on the LUBE like crazy and I have to keep stopping to apply more lube and he gets frustrated with me. Even with all the lubricant on the outside, it becomes uncomfortable and even less enjoyable because I am having thoughts that I'd rather look at porn than be dry and having sex...I always knew that when his **** was half-hard or he was limp, that it was because of the porn. And he always knew when I'd been masturbating because I would be dry.

If you are someone who can get off to Internet porn in moderation, hey, great. More power to you. But if you are not—and you know if you are not—then you need to stop entirely. I tried the "once a week" promise; it never held. I had to stop totally.

After giving up porn for a time, I'm noticing that just watching the sexy girls (with clothes) is much more exiting than when I was deep into hardcore porn. I think that's a sign that my brain is rebooting—that it has regained normal sensitivity for visual stimuli.

To sum up, "When you want to climb out of a hole, first stop digging." Completely. Give your brain time to return to balance. Eventually, subtler pleasures will register as delicious once again. If your brain has changed a lot, this process may take months and be uncomfortable. But it's worth

NOTE: YBOP is not saying that masturbation bad for you. Just making the point that many of the so-called health benefits claimed to be associated with orgasm or masturbation are in fact associated with close contact with another human being, not orgasm/masturbation. More specifically, claimed correlations between a few isolated health indicators and orgasm (if true) are probably just correlations arising from healthier populations that naturally engage in more sex and masturbation. They are not causal. Relevant studies:

The Relative Health Benefits of Different Sexual Activities (2010) found that sexual intercourse was related to positive effects, while masturbation was not. In some cases masturbation was negatively related to health benefits - meaning that more masturbation correlated with poorer health indicators. The conclusion of the review:

"Based upon a broad range of methods, samples, and measures, the research findings are remarkably consistent in demonstrating that one sexual activity (Penile-Vaginal Intercourse and the orgasmic response to it) is associated with, and in some cases, causes processes associated with better psychological and physical functioning."

"Other sexual behaviors (including when Penile-Vaginal Intercourse is impaired, as with condoms or distraction away from the penile–vaginal sensations) are unassociated, or in some cases (such as masturbation and anal intercourse) inversely associated with better psychological and physical functioning."

"Sexual medicine, sex education, sex therapy, and sex research should disseminate details of the health benefits of specifically Penile-Vaginal Intercourse, and also become much more specific in their respective assessment and intervention practices."

Also see this short review of masturbation and health indices: Masturbation is Related to Psychopathology and Prostate Dysfunction: Comment on Quinsey (2012)

It is difficult to reconcile the view that masturbation improves mood with the findings in both sexes that greater masturbation frequency is associated with more depressive symptoms (Cyranowski et al., 2004; Frohlich & Meston,  2002;Husted&Edwards, 1976), less happiness (Das, 2007), and several other indicators of poorer physical and mental health, which include anxious attachment (Costa & Brody, 2011),immature psychological defense mechanisms, greater blood pressure reactivity to stress, and dissatisfaction with one's mental health and life in general (for a review, see Brody, 2010). It is equally difficult to see how masturbation develops sexual interests, when greater masturbation frequency is so often associated with impaired sexual function in men(Brody& Costa, 2009; Das, Parish, & Laumann, 2009; Gerressu, Mercer, Graham, Wellings, & Johnson, 2008; Lau, Wang, Cheng, & Yang, 2005; Nutter & Condron, 1985) and women (Brody &Costa, 2009;Das et al., 2009;Gerressu et al., 2008;Lau,Cheng, Wang, & Yang, 2006; Shaeer, Shaeer, & Shaeer, 2012;Weiss& Brody, 2009). Greater masturbation frequency is also associated with more dissatisfaction with relationships and less love for partners (Brody, 2010; Brody & Costa, 2009). In contrast, PVI is very consistently related to better health (Brody, 2010; Brody & Costa, 2009; Brody &Weiss, 2011; Costa & Brody, 2011, 2012), better sexual function (Brody & Costa, 2009; Brody & Weiss, 2011; Nutter & Condron, 1983, 1985;Weiss&Brody, 2009), and better intimate relationship quality (Brody, 2010; Brody & Costa, 2009; Brody &Weiss, 2011).

Moreover, although less risk of prostate cancer was associated with greater number of ejaculations (without specification of the sexual behavior) (Giles et al., 2003) [Note conflicting evidence, however: "Prostate cancer may be linked to sex hormones: Men who are more sexually active in their 20s and 30s may run a higher risk of prostate cancer, research suggests."], it is PVI frequency that is specifically associated with reduced risk, whereas masturbation frequency is more often related to increased risk (for a review on the subject, see Brody,2010). In this regard, it is interesting to note that masturbation is also associated with other problems of the prostate (higher prostate specific antigen levels and swollen or tender prostate) and, compared with the ejaculate obtained from PVI, the ejaculate obtained from masturbation has markers of poorer prostatic function and lesser elimination of waste products (Brody, 2010). The only sexual behavior consistently related to better psychological and physical health is PVI. In contrast, masturbation is frequently associated with indices of poorer health (Brody, 2010; Brody & Costa, 2009; Brody & Weiss, 2011; Costa & Brody, 2011, 2012). There are several possible psychological and physiological mechanisms, which are a likely consequence of natural selection favoring health processes as cause and/or effect of motivation to search for, and capacity to obtain and enjoy, PVI. In contrast, selection of psychobiological mechanisms rewarding motivation to masturbate is unlikely due to the severe fitness costs that would occur if it deterred one from PVI by making it irrelevant for well-being (Brody, 2010). More plausibly, masturbation represents some failure of the mechanisms of sexual drive and intimate relatedness, however common it may be, and even if not uncommonly it coexists with access to PVI. In this regard, it is noteworthy that greater masturbation frequency is associated with dissatisfaction with several aspects of life independently of PVI frequency (Brody& Costa, 2009) and seems to diminish some benefits of PVI (Brody, 2010).

Finally see this PDF – Social, Emotional, and Relational Distinctions in Patterns of Recent Masturbation Among Young Adults (2014)

"So, how happy are respondents who masturbate recently when compared with those who have not? Figure 5 reveals that among those respondents who reported being “very unhappy” with their life these days, 68 percent of women and 84 percent of men said they had masturbated within the past week. The modest association with unhappiness appears linear among men, but not women. Our point is not to suggest that masturbation makes people unhappy. It may, but the cross-sectional nature of the data does not allow us to evaluate this. However, it is empirically accurate to say that men who claim to be happy are somewhat less apt to report masturbating recently than unhappy men."

"Masturbation is also associated with reporting feelings of inadequacy or fear in relationships and difficulties in navigating interpersonal relationships successfully. Past-day and past-week masturbators exhibit significantly higher relationship anxiety scale scores than do respondents who did not report masturbating in the past day or in the past week. Past-day and past-week masturbators exhibit significantly higher relationship anxiety scale scores than do respondents who did not report masturbating in the past day or in the past week."


A woman wrote (in response to someone who said our article was trying to "make women frightened of their sexuality"):

What bothers me in all of the sex-positive talk is it wants to deny that too much vibration can have deleterious effects on the body. Why is that we can accept that injury to the hands can be caused by, oh I dunno, say a jack hammer, but we want to resoundingly deny it can happen to the clitoris? Have to say, hot damn vibration feels good, but it left me with an achy numbness which made it near impossible to enjoy softer touch over time—which meant I had to give it up entirely to get the sensation back.

Admissions like mine and articles like this aren't where the threat lies. It's in the hands of individuals who want to make us feel ashamed for exploring our sexual side, who censure information and who limit conversation. The more open we are about sex the better off we'll be.

I'm a woman and I'm pretty sure I've desensitized myself to men and the desire for actual sex by watching too much porn. I don't think it's simply a phenomena affecting men; more women are affected by this than they would probably like to admit as well, even though we obviously can't suffer from erectile dysfunction. I personally have a significant loss in libido for the real thing, and I attribute a lot of that to watching too much porn. Seeing a man's genitalia in real life hasn't become exciting because I see them all the time in porn. There's no stimulation simply from viewing the opposite sex naked. It's about the same to me now as watching the nightly news.

under an article about porn-induced sexual dysfunction:

I have this exact problem except I don't have a penis.

When I read this it made me realize this is what I have been suffering. I did not know Porn was my problem. I have been looking at porn, and addicted to it since I was very, very young. I am only 24 and my love life is a struggle at best. My husband understands somewhat but I have never really been able to tell him what it was from, as I didn't tell him about my addiction. Mine started normal, where my sensitivity to touch decreased exponentially, since I started looking at porn. Also as the paper said, the porn I viewed also increased in "harshness". I used to get turned on over nakedness and now at a stage where I am concerned about my mental sanity.

I have a hard time achieving any type of orgasm without clitoral stimulation and some hard thought processing on my part. I miss being able to have sex and it feel good without much effort.

I have not looked at porn for a long time, and have just started again, and the time away did not increase my libido but might explain why i had no libido. I used to have a very extreme libido and could barely control it, now I don't even like being touched.

I think in my case, giving up porn and visual aids would be difficult and a long journey. I have a feeling it might be years before my sensitivity would come back, if that. Here is for hoping! Thank you for writing this and bring this to not only my attention but many others!

I hope the authors understand that women, along with men, use porn to masturbate too. In secret I bet women are pretty close to the amount and severity that men use and maybe that's why many women need some type of stimulation to achieve anything. Vibrators are the devil and I will be getting rid of mine, that's for sure.

Contributed by a forum member:

I have a female friend whose orgasms have become so-so. She's been smoking herb for years and says she can't have a good orgasm unless shes smoked weed and unless she fantasizes about being used. She's also into extreme porn and doesn't want to give that up.

Seemingly no sex drive, but watch porn and mastubate frequently. Any way to change this? 19yo virgin and first post , so pretty new to it all.

I've been in positions to have sex (heh) since I was 16, but I chickened out at the 11th hour every time. The three relationships I've had were incredibly short lived (a few months, tops) because I bailed as soon as I was pressured for sex.

It was all pretty tame, but as soon as it moved from dry humping (which I was never completely into) to handjobs or beyond I freaked out and was immediately not attracted to the guy.

Meanwhile, I've been masturbating since I can remember (maybe once every day) and watching porn (about three times a week) for the last few years. Why can't I be turned on by a guy that is actually there and eager to please me?

Has anyone else had a similar experience where they enjoy porn and masturbating much more than sex?


My previous SO and I had a long distance relationship, and that's when I started getting into masturbating and porn. We sometimes wouldn't see each other for a couple months at a time, so I masturbated and watched porn almost everyday for 3 years. Within the first year of our relationship, I found that the sex we had was dull and I couldn't get off from just sex at all. So as soon as he was done, I'd sneak off to finish myself watching really extreme porn. The porn got more extreme as the years went on, and the sexual relationship I had with my SO became worse.

I have a new SO, we've been seeing each other for over a year. In the beginning of our relationship, he mentioned to me that when we had sex, seems like my mind was elsewhere and that I'm not connecting with him at all. Sometimes in the middle of sex, I'd end up thinking about something I've seen or read recently, instead of HIM. After I decided to take this challenge and read a little on r/kareeza.. things are so much better between us. I feel an empowering connection, and my mind doesn't drift at all. Sex feels better, being with my SO is better, and I can orgasm so much easier now with just sex alone. Plus, the orgasms are better than PVO.


Kim has commented on: "Porn-Induced Sexual Dysfunction Is a Growing Problem"

Subject: This doesn't just apply to men!

It's ridiculous to claim women don't understand the need for masturbation. Numerous recent studies show that a very high percentage of women masturbate, and frequently! Why would female sex toys exist if no one buys them?

As for this article, I am struggling with this particular issue as well, and I am a woman in a long-term relationship. I usually masturbate every few days, and I started using porn because it made it easier and faster to reach orgasm. However, each time it gets more and more difficult to climax, and over the years the porn I watch has become more extreme/unusual to get the same amount of excitement. I also cannot climax with my boyfriend. It's very true that porn desensitizes you, but once you can hardly orgasm without it, it's difficult to give up.


posted this:

I am only able to come when masturbating to kinky porn (mostly gangbang). My SO is definitely not into that, and I'm worried that regular sex will never turn me on enough to get me to come. Should I be concerned?? How can I wean myself off this?

I'm a 40-year old woman, and I do have a lot of history when it comes to masturbation. Reading this article, I'm glad that my experience with sex toys was a negative one. About three years ago, I did buy a vibrator (because the digital stimulation of my clitoris, pillow humping, etc. didn't really satisfy me anymore), but this plastic penis turned out too big for my vagina, and so it wouldn't enter - and I didn't really know how to use this vibrating device otherwise. After a little while, my bad conscience also caught me and I trashed it. Later, I heard about a smaller device, and I was tempted to get it, but fortunately I didn't! Anyway, I can only underline what was said in the article:

"We can overstimulate our brains many ways, but food and sex are particularly alluring."

Indeed, it usually has been one of the two addictions that I've been hooked up in the past. Whenever food wasn't my problem, it was certainly masturbation (sometimes even both) - including fantasizing of course, as well as inappropriate reading material that would turn me on (at times also soft porn). And I have definitely overstimulated myself in many ways. Unfortunately, I'm still single, and my last sexual encounter is many years ago. But I'm a Christian and I don't believe in premarital sex, so I can't do anything else but wait!

ExistenceTheorem7 days 21 points 2 hours agoOh, believe me, some women need no fap.

I used to watch more porn than most men I know. I'd get an urge, then spend anywhere from five minutes to an hour searching for the perfect video to get off to because I found myself bored of the same old stuff. I started off with soft stuff in my early teens and it turned into the most taboo things I could find. I had a folder in the GB range on my PC. I put files on my phone and mp3/video player for easy access when I couldn't be near a computer. I got a trial account on a porn site because I saw a gif that turned me on so much that I just had to know who the girl was.

The next part is a bit more graphic and details how all this altered(alters) my views on sex, so I'm gonna go ahead and NSFW it to be safe.This porn addiction has changed my life in so many ways. The idea of slowly making love seemed uninteresting to me. I only had PIV sex with one guy and it sucked because he has ED due to PMO and is trying to fix it. However, I've done other things with other guys. I always wanted to blow them and found that it turned me on more than getting it from them. In fact, I never wanted anyone to go down on me, not even a girl who offered after I went down on her. Guys couldn't finger me hard enough; everything had to be rougher for me. I wanted to be called a bitch and a whore. I asked to be slapped and most guys couldn't do it. Sex was basically everything but loving for me; all that was missing from my sex life was a camera and a paycheck. I considered myself bisexual, but could never see myself in a relationship with a woman. Basically all I wanted to do with women was eat them out and fuck them with a strap on. So not only was I objectifying myself, I was objectifying them as well. Sexual encounters with others felt okay, but never did much for me. I'd lie about how good it felt and I'd fake orgasms just for it to end. It felt wrong, dirty, and I just wanted to be left alone. With porn? I'd have the most intense orgasms and I'd do it anywhere from one to five times a day.

Nobody ever knew because I'm pretty damn tight down there and my PMO problems never showed in that aspect the way it does with some men and ED. However, the damage it has done to me psychologically with regard to sex, self-esteem, and relationships are pretty damn evident. Also, it made me want to flirt with men a lot less. "Why do I need to talk to that cute guy? He's never going to make me feel good sexually the way I can feel by myself." I'd be in a conversation with a guy online, and I'd just get up and walk away from the PC to masturbate. I'd be late to class or work because I just needed to get in that one quickie PMO session. I was pathetic and I wanted to change it. It wasn't until recently that I came to terms with all the ways that I've changed from this. I've been free of PMO for seven days and I'm all tingly down there, porn clips flash into my head sometimes and, to be candid, sometimes I feel like I just want to grab the first guy that walks by my house and just fuck his brains out.

So yeah, ladies definitely get affected by all of this.

A young woman reports:

this is so relieving to read. i'm a 20 year old girl and i'm pretty this is my problem. I have yet to find any other females reporting having this problem though. Apparently they just don't look at porn, heh. i was mega confused when I hadn't been with anyone for a year and wasn't even able to get aroused for my new boyfriend who I knew I was attracted to as much as I could ever possibly be to anyone. I thought it was just self consciousness (even though I didn't actually have any anxiety) or just my hormones were whacked.

It wasn't adding up though, I'm like a shining beacon of health among my more sexually active peers. If anything my athleticism should be bumping up my testosterone and giving me an edge.

Today I realized I can barely get myself off WITH porn and my Os have not been the same the last few times. I'm surprised my boyfriend even managed to. anyways, i found out about this today. even though all the info I found is in regards to males there's many parallels. can't get off or aroused without P, not actually being aroused before M, watching more extreme P consisting of stuff that weren't actually in line with my real life fetishes, etc. even homosexual porn ceased to gross me out.

I am so ecstatic to find to root of my problem. rebooting should be fast and easy considering I was never really *addicted* (just bored) and i haven't been engaging in said desensitizing behaviors for even a year or as often as others. your results make me be hopeful. cheers! ^_^=

Posted on YBOP

I'm a 40-year old woman, and I do have a lot of history when it comes to masturbation. Reading this article, I'm glad that my experience with sex toys was a negative one. About three years ago, I did buy a vibrator (because the digital stimulation of my clitoris, pillow humping, etc. didn't really satisfy me anymore), but this plastic penis turned out too big for my vagina, and so it wouldn't enter - and I didn't really know how to use this vibrating device otherwise. After a little while, my bad conscience also caught me and I trashed it. Later, I heard about a smaller device, and I was tempted to get it, but fortunately I didn't! Anyway, I can only underline what was said in the article:

"We can overstimulate our brains many ways, but food and sex are particularly alluring."

Indeed, it usually has been one of the two addictions that I've been hooked up in the past. Whenever food wasn't my problem, it was certainly masturbation (sometimes even both) - including fantasizing of course, as well as inappropriate reading material that would turn me on (at times also soft porn). And I have definitely overstimulated myself in many ways. Unfortunately, I'm still single, and my last sexual encounter is many years ago. But I'm a Christian and I don't believe in premarital sex, so I can't do anything else but wait!

I've noticeably lost sensitivity in my clitoris from my vibrator

Hello NoFap, I've been lurking for a while now and have been debating whether I should start on a NoFap regimen. I read hentai quite a bit and masturbate almost every day. I understand that I need to quit: I've noticeably lost sensitivity in my clitoris from my vibrator, I find myself mentally objectifying my male friends, and I lose a lot of valuable time that I should be spending on work projects.

However, I'm afraid that if I do quit, I might have that confidence that so many Fapstronauts have experienced and/or might feel more physically attracted to my male friends. I have a partner in a long distance relationship, and I don't want to accidentally flirt or give signs that I'm interested when I'm not. To clarify, I'm very clear in my verbal behavior that I'm in a wonderful happy relationship and am not interested in anyone else, but I don't want to develop any non-verbal behavior that says otherwise.

One month no porn, masturbation or vibrators

I am a 26 year old female. I was in a pretty fruitless long term relationship where I was able to utilize porn to pick up the slack. After the relationship ended, I definitely increased my porn use to every day. I met my now fiance and we have sex pretty regularly. However, when I was out of work for a couple of months, I was masturbating several times a day. By the time he got home, I didnt ever feel like having sex or the sex just didnt feel that great.

I went back to work but still was masturbating and watching porn at least 2-3x a day. I realized he was rarely able to get me off with oral (he used to all the time!) and never could with his hands.

It has been four weeks of no masturbation, porn or vibrators and I feel like a changed woman!!! Our sex together has become so much more fruitful and connected. I dont have porn images running through my head. He's able to get me off so easily now with both oral and his hands and I feel like he is so much more fulfilled. I am craving him versus craving the porn. I still get urges but I am more able and willing to control myself.


Just dropping by to share my progress so far.

I started nofap in January, 247 days ago to be precise. Reason being I could get myself off as much as I liked but couldn't orgasm with a partner (any partner), whatever they did or however hard they tried.

Back when I was 19 had never masturbated before in my life, and I used to only orgasm from me-on-top PIV sex (which I realise is quite rare, as most women need clitoral stimulation, but I didn't). By age 20 I had got quite a taste for orgasms, and when single got myself a rampant rabbit - big mistake, PIV O's never seen again, or any other kind of O's with anyone. Over the next 14 years I could O only from the rabbit, while fantasising (or watching porn). 6 years ago I chucked the rabbit and finally learned how to use my hand, but still had to fantasise or watch porn to O. I could only orgasm with a partner, if I MO'd myself a certain precise way during sex and fantasised, so I wasn't present. I also couldn't get physically aroused with my partner any more. I though this was because we had been together for nearly a decade and the spark was gone - but actually it's because my mind only recognised my own hand and unrealistic fantasises as a source of orgasmic pleasure.

So, fed up with only being able to satisfy myself and feeling broken down there, I decided to try nofap. I quit porn and haven't looked at it once since quitting, which wasn't a problem as I only watched it a few times a month and was never addicted to it. I was desensitised from it though, even from just watching it a few times a month. I also attempted to quit MO, which I have been pretty successful with, having long streaks, but then I would have the odd week of relapsing here & there. Most importantly I decided to stop fantasising about unrealistic or pornographic things. These thoughts had accompanied my arousal and orgasm for 14 years, and its these thoughts that were really messing up my psychological sexual function.

There were 2 issues that needed sorting out;

  • Physically - I had the female version of death grip. I could only O if I rubbed my clit with a certain pressure, direction and speed. So I had become completely physically desensitised to any other kind of touch from myself, let alone from another person.
  • Psychologically - I had the female versions of both PIED and DE. I could only become physically aroused or reach O if I was off in fantasy land or watching porn. No one and nothing that happened in real life triggered physical arousal for me, even if I was horny and gagging for sex. So of course, O with a partner was not possible.

This is how it's gone so far;

Day 20+ arousal issues started to improve
Day 40+ sex and touch start to feel much more pleasurable
Day 47; had my first ever O from oral sex - in the upright sitting-on-face position (still needed that element of being in control) - have continued to have these since then
Day 70+ during a relapse phase, able to MO clitorally without fantasising for the first time, from touch alone. And able to O from massaging and gentle touch rather than intense rubbing motion.
Day 200+ during another relapse phase, able to MO vaginally without direct clit stim for the first time, simulating sex. Vastly increased lubrication during sex - sometimes to gushy levels
Day 246 (yesterday!); I had my first ever O from oral sex while laying down - crucially, this is the first orgasm I've ever had in my life where I wasn't upright/on top, and therefore not in control of the motion. So technically, it's the first time in my life that I've been able to lie back and relax while someone else brings me to orgasm, with absolutely no input from myself

Where I have put 'first time' above, I mean first time ever, in my entire life.

So it's taken me 8 months to get to this point. I'm still not able to O from PIV sex like I used to before I started masturbating, but I do believe it will be possible if I keep going with this, as I'm able to MO vaginally now. The physical ability is there (which it wasn't before, I wasn't physically able to when I was PMO'ing and fantasy MO'ing all the time), it's just the mental side of transferring it back to actual sex to figure out now.

Strangely my MO'ing has never reduced my sex drive or my attraction to partners, or my capacity for intimacy. I remained a very sexual person throughout my MO addiction. I just didn't work properly any more. And as a very sexual person, this was very upsetting for me.

It's worth mentioning that death grip, PIED and DE are all very noticeable for a male, with the sex organs on the outside and very obvious. But for a female, where it's all neat and internal, you can't tell. You don't realise there's a problem for a long time, because you can't see it. And whereas a man needs to be physically aroused to have sex, a woman doesn't. I enjoy the sensation of lube, but I spent 14 years relying on it because my body wasn't responding. If I were a man, I'm pretty sure I would have been sorting this out as soon as my bits stopped working properly, instead of 14 years down the line. I'm now in my 30's, and spent the whole of my 20's with a MO addiction only responding to myself. All the while completely clueless to what the problem actually was.

Anyway, my advice is this. If porn or masturbation are in any way affecting your desire for sex, your responsiveness to another person, your sexual function or your ability to orgasm, now is the time to start taking action. It might take a long time, it might take a really long time, abstinence will be unbearable at times, and you will relapse at times. You will sometimes feel like it's pointless, that it's not working. But it will be working. If you try, and you dust yourself off and get back on it after you fall, slowly but surely, your mind will be re-wiring in the background, your sensitivity and responsiveness will start to return. For me, reconditioning has been absolutely crucial so far, not just abstinence. If I didn't have someone to play with, who was aware of my issues and willing to be patient with me and help me learn it all again, I would not be able to do this, my sex drive is too high to just go without sex. My partner, who is a recovering PA himself, has given me wonderful oral for months, on a weekly basis, well aware that there would probably be no orgasm from it, but willing to do it anyway, purely because it feels nice for me and helps my mind re-learn. It's this kind of play and understanding that is needed.

Don't get too hung up on the 90 days thing. I was never even addicted to porn and it's taken me a lot longer than that to get to where I am now, and I'm still not where I want to be yet. Think of it as a new way of life that will be ongoing, and just be patient with it :)

Hopefully I'll be back at some point to say that my PIV orgasms are back :Dbut regardless, I'll be carrying on, because being able to lie back and receive pleasure and O on my partners face is just the best! :)

LINK - Female - unable to orgasm with men, only alone - success story so far!