My First [and Second, and Third] Vibrators

I was 16 years old and had wanted a vibrator since I could remember. Being a very sexual teenager from the start, I was open with my friends and let all of them know how desperate I was. And I got lucky twice!

My friend, her boyfriend and I were at the local mall and stopped by Spencer’s to look at their black lights and posters. I feel like everyone stole their first vibrator from there. I had never stolen a thing in my life, so I refused. But once we got to the parking lot after perusing all the other shops, they showed me what they got for me; a purple pocket rocket with interchangeable heads. I could’ve kissed them both right there!

I loved my little pocket rocket! I wish I could remember which company made it. It sadly only lasted me about a year until the battery cap cracked in half. I was so pissed to have to go back to using my hand. I’m still not one to get off easily from manual stimulation.

When I was 17, I was itching like crazy to finally turn 18 and be able to go to the porn store and buy a new vibrator. Luckily, a friend who was of age (thanks, Dizz!) surprised me with a grab bag from our local porn store. They usually consisted of lube, condoms, and a vibrator. It was a classic vibrator that looked like a mini lightsaber. I lucked out too! It wasn’t pink. It was a bright turquoise and strong as hell. Oh, how I loved it. I rarely had to change batteries and it quickly became my best friend…til I broke it. See a trend? I wear these things out!

THEN (still not 18) I got my hands on a “massager”. It was one of those usual over-the-shoulder jobs with different plastic heads. I lucked out cuz one head had a pointed tip. I remember the first time I tried it. I’m pretty sure I lasted 10 seconds and laid there staring at in post-orgasm bliss for about a half hour. Then of course I went at it again. It was amazing.

I’m really lucky that all of my first experiences with sex toys were safe and hygienic. They were all plastic and I took care of them as best as I could guess. I didn’t start experimenting with other, more scary and harmful materials until I was of age and could purchase my own toys. Previously I was too shy to ask my friends for dildos or vaginal vibrators that weren’t hard plastic. I thought for sure people would think differently of me for wanting something that’s insertable. Silly me, really. These friends who helped me out back then are still some of the most sex positive folks I know! But once I got into insertable toys, that’s when I had my first experiences with things like Jelly, PVC, etc. Thank goodness I never had a reaction, and I’m so happy I’ve learned better since those young days of desperation! Only silicone for this vagina.

Ode to My Diva Cup

My reasons for switching from tampons and pads to a menstrual cup were numerous; I was sick of spending money each period on pads and tampons, I heard that menstrual cups help relieve cramping, I had this weird fascination with cups, and I bought into the green marketing scheme (which in this case actually worked).

The Diva Cup is just one brand’s version of menstrual cups. There are different brands, shapes, sizes, and materials used in the different kinds of menstrual cups out there. The Diva Cup is pure silicone; meaning it’s non-porous, sanitizable, phthalates free, and hypoallergenic. You can sterilize it the same way you would silicone sex toys; boiling, 10% bleach to water, good old soap and water, or even sex toy cleaner. I prefer soap and water, and I sometimes boil mine since I noticed the clear silicone can sometimes discolor a bit and boiling seems to remedy that. When using soap and water, I like to fill the cup then close my palm over the opening and turn it upside down. Then I gently squeeze the cup so that water and soap flood through the tiny suction holes along the rim and get rid of any residual blood and crud.

Prior to switching from tampons to the cup, I had serious menstrual cramps that usually kept me in bed for two days. It got to the point that I sometimes couldn’t even eat or keep any food in my system for the duration of my cramps, and clearly that’s a pain in the ass and reason enough for me to try anything that is claimed to be helpful. I had heard that menstrual cups can help alleviate some of the cramping. The theory is that during menstruation the cervix lowers into the vagina, and tampons jabbing it can worsen the cramps. The difference between cups and a tampon are that tampons are just a cotton cylindrical chunk whereas cups are literally a hollow cup that sits around the cervix (if the cervix is low enough for this to happen). Mine tends to descend pretty low into my vagina. Some women have even said they’ve felt their cervix just a little less than an inch inside their vagina. Ever wonder why you pull a tampon out and only see the lowest part of it bloody while the top is still dry? I never understood that til I wrapped my mind around this concept.

So since the cervix tends to ascend and descend during the various stages of a woman’s cycle, it can also move from one side to the other, putting positioning the menstrual cup on a bit of a learning curve. My cervix sometimes creeps over to one side mid-way through my period, usually around the time that it’s ascending back upward in its usual position. It took me FOREVER to figure out just where I need to put the cup and why it wasn’t catching blood when it was completely inserted and opened properly. Turns out it was likely that my cervix opening was outside of the rim of the cup.

General insertion is pretty easy. Most of the how-to’s I’ve read say you should first try to figure out where your cervix is. It feels like the ball of your nose when you insert a finger and feel around. I can feel the little hole of the opening on mine, so I know which way to aim my cup. I usually fold my cup over once and push it in, parallel to the ground. Once I release my grip, the cup pops open and I push it in a little further until the stem is passed the opening to my vagina.

Insertion is rather easy when my period is heavy, but when I’m towards the end of it the silicone can be a bit draggy. Not as draggy as Tantus, but nowhere near as buttery smooth as a Lelo silicone. I just use a silicone-safe lubricant and lube up the rim of the cup.

I wish I was one of those wonder women who can wear the cup for the full duration of my period, but I can’t. I also can’t only wear my cup. I need a pad to feel secure, and sometimes I just have to switch to tampons because I’m paranoid of break through bleeding. I also usually do have some break through bleeding the first couple of days. I think there’s only been one period where I successfully wore only my cup for the full length of my period, and I sure did feel happy about that. One of the problems is that I’m a heavy bleeder. When I exclusively used tampons AND pads (that’s SUPER tampons, and overnight pads, every single day of my period), I had to change my tampon about every two hours or I’d bleed through and have an accident. This is just for reference to give you an idea of how much I bleed. With the cup I can go 4 – 6 hours before I absolutely have to empty it. Now, even though that’s a longer time than with tampons, it’s not the same kinda break through bleeding. With tampons I’d just get some spotting or a few gushes, but if the suction of my cup breaks, a good portion of the blood it’s holding will come out. And that’s a LOT. Like, more than my little pad can handle when I’m out running around at school or work. So I tend to empty it often when I’m out and about, or if I know that day is gonna be a particularly heavy bleeding day I just stick to pads.

So has my experience been perfect or foolproof? No. Sometimes I get so frustrated with breakthrough bleeding and the finnicky insertion that I go back to tampons. I also hate futzing with my cup in public bathrooms, so I avoid that at all costs. But I’d never toss the cup. I use it for about 70% of my period, and that’s definitely saving me some money.

Here are some additional resources if you’re looking for more information on menstrual cups, sizing, brands and the like:

  •      Vagina Pagina’s Wiki post on Menstrual Cups
  •      Vagina Pagina’s Community Menstrual Cups tag
  •      Menstrual Cup Community on LJ

TMI Tuesday

1. Do you believe in marriage?
Yes, but I don’t believe in governmental control of marriage, marriage licensing, etc.

2. Have you ever proposed marriage or been proposed to marry? What happened?
Yes. I was young and dumb. This was well before I realized I was a lesbian, and obviously it didn’t work out. But we’re best friends and hang out often, and we’re both happy with where our lives have gone since then.

3. What would be your dream way of proposing marriage?
This. Hands down, best proposal ever.
(yeah, I totally just teared up re-watching that one)

4. What would be your nightmarish way of proposing marriage?
At some kind of sports game. No bueno.

5. Mainstream society has engagement rings; in your opinion, what token should be given to signify engagement?
I like engagement rings, just not diamonds. I don’t support the diamond industry, and I’d rather use my own recycled metals.

6. What do you think would have happened to cause someone to have “Will you marry me?” on the back of their caravan?
Ummmm. What?

Check out TMI Tuesday, and participate!

TMI Tuesday

 1. Have you ever investigated having an open relationship?- Have you tried to have an open relationship?

Yes, I once entertained the idea of having an open, polyamorous relationship. I support polyamory, and I really wanted to explore the lifestyle as I do agree with its philosophy, but it didn’t work out with my partner at the time and we soon changed to a “closed” relationship. I haven’t tried again since and I probably won’t do it again.

2. Do you have any sexual phobias?
– What have you done to manage or overcome them?

I had a discussion about this once a long time ago with a friend of mine who is very much a kinkster and more well-versed than I with sexual phobias and the like. I have a specific sexual phobia concerning nipple injury. I’ve even had nightmares of my nipples being cut off, and I can’t directly touch my own nipples. I don’t really care to overcome it now, but I did consider getting vertical nipple piercings to try and get over it. I obviously wussed out.

3. What is the best new sexual activity you have tried in 2013?

Strap-ons! I’m very vanilla I guess.

4. Have you ever called into a sex advice radio/television show or written to a sex advice columnist?
– Was it helpful?

Yes. I wrote to Laura, a columnist and the owner of The Tool Shed. And yes, she was very helpful. She published my question and also emailed me back with more info.

5. Would you use the services of a sex therapist? Why or why not?

Yes. While I’ve been sucessful in learning how to have clit orgasms with a partner, I still struggle with having them regularly and I think it has to do with past traumas. I would like to eventually work through them and hopefully my orgasms will come easier.

6. Should sex therapists be allowed to engage in actual sexual activities with clients? Why or why not?

Hmmm, maybe. This isn’t the first time I’ve considered this question. I think with people like me who have trouble achieving orgasms regularly due to a psych block, there could be benefit in having a sex therapist present during sexual activities with a partner, perhaps to maybe talk the patient through the act. I don’t know if I would benefit from sexual activities with a sex therapist, but I do think it should be legal if it’s beneficial to others. Any little bit of help counts.

 This week’s TMI Tuesday questionnaire was a lot of fun! Check out the page and join in.

Keeping Kegels On Point

     So, kegel exercises…apparently they help with urinary incontinence and with increasing the likelihood and intensity of orgasms. I naturally assumed that meant G-spot orgasms, but through some experimentation and reading, I’ve come to find it can also mean clitoral orgasms too.
     Many sex therapists will note that those who struggle with having a clitoral orgasm with a partner should try pelvic rocking and PC muscle clenching during sex. Apparently a certain level of muscle tension in the vagina can enhance clitoral orgasms and make them easier. I never made this connection on my own with a partner because I assumed I had to do the same thing with them that I do alone to have orgasms. Which is nothing. I just press my vibe on my clit and away I go. No rocking, no muscle clenching, no nothing. As you can imagine, this led to a lot of sexual frustation when I just couldn’t have an orgasm, at no fault to my partners, past and present.
     I also noticed that clitoral stimulation without any kind of PC muscle tension is a little too strong and overwhelming for me. When my partner is directly stimulating my clit with her fingers, I feel overwhelmed and it can sometimes even hurt. If I clench my PC muscles while I’m receiving clitoral stimulation, this helps me harness that overwhelming feeling and it eventually turns into pleasure. This is a great feat for me. I actually recently had my first clitoral orgasm at the hands of a partner. I’ve been sexually active for 10 years now, and just now I’m finally reaching orgasm from my clitoris with a partner in full control. That’s not to say I have any issues having G-spot orgasms. I’m actually a pro G spotter. But I’ve always wanted to have mind-numbing clit orgasms with my partner.
     So, why am I sharing this? To anyone who has strong PC muscles (I can shoot a dildo across the room), don’t write off kegel exercises or exercising devices! I thought that kegel balls were only useful for G-spot orgasms and urinary incontinence. Even though my PC muscles are very strong, using kegel balls helped me figure out how to use my muscles properly during sex. It kind of reminded me where they are and what the heck I need to do with them.
     I don’t have any recommendations for specific kegel balls and what to try as a beginner. I only tried one, the L’amour Pleasure System from Cal Exotics. I’m not happy with them personally, but they did help me figure out how to focus on the strength of my PC muscles. I’ll be reviewing them soon.
     Any questions or concerns, please leave me a comment below or shoot me an email.