Sex-Positivity – Self-Love – Starting the Revolution
While browsing a collection of sex-discussion/research/positivity websites (let’s be honest…my biggest tools for procrastination) I recently encountered dialogue about something called “masturbation death grip syndrome.” An evidently common ‘affliction’ among men of all shapes, sizes, and ages, death grip syndrome refers to a decreased sensitivity in the penis caused by—for lack of a better term—masturbatory overuse. By gripping too hard during masturbation, many men begin to experience an inability (or increased difficulty) to orgasm during hetero intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, and partner-administered handjobs.
While this is certainly useful information for those of us who enjoy fooling around with men (and may encounter, during our sexual romps, a man dealing with death grip syndrome) I want to talk about how death grip syndrome, with a few tweaks (…like to the word “grip”), can apply to those of us with the clit-vulva-vagina hardware downstairs.
I love my vibrators. I love vibrators in general, actually. I had my first orgasm in high school with a handy dandy little red bullet vibrator. Since then, I’ve moved on to experimenting with finger vibes, other miniature vibes, and my trusty Freestyle, the unquestioned ruler of my sex toy drawer. But I hear your question: why on earth am I talking about how much I love my vibrators?
Well, here’s the problem. Just like men can experience decreased sensitivity due to whacking off too hard, I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in my clitoral sensitivity after periods of regular vibrator use—and even a definite soreness in the whole clit area. The soreness and decreased sensitivity aren’t just uncomfortable and hindrances during masturbation, but also massively annoying for my sex life with partners.
I’ve never had an orgasm with a partner, probably partially because I didn’t start asking for what I want until fairly recently, but also (I think) because I’m somewhat spoiled by my vibrator’s ability to please me with such ease and regularity. I want to be able to orgasm with partners. Now, I know that I could easily ask my partner if he/she could use a vibrator on me, but given my own success with fingers-only orgasms, I have deep faith that the same is possible with someone else’s fingers…and dammit, that’s what I really want! But every time I get into a habit of vibrator-reliance, all I can think is: BOOM! There goes the chance of me having a partnered orgasm sans vibrator. My brain is used to vibe stimulation, so it refuses to grant the big O for anything else.
I talked to my gynecologist about the issue (since the soreness was worrying me), and have arrived at this conclusion: vibrators are like a really tight grip on a guy’s penis—really fantastic to get yourself off in the short run, but inconvenient and potentially sexytime-hindering in the long run. The nice thing about death grip (or death vibration…which just sounds weird) is that it’s not permanently damaging. That’s right: it goes away! As one website focused on death grip (NSFW) states, “all of the nerve endings you’ve always had down there for enjoying touch…are all still there and alive, but your brain has become conditioned to your limited and direct method of stimulation…In short, your brain is kind of bored with your sexual diet.”
I’ve figured out through experimentation that if I leave off masturbating with a vibrator for a couple weeks (which is difficult…I’m usually a once-or-twice-a-day kind of girl), I can easily return to lubricated, finger-generated orgasms without vibrating assistance, and without soreness. But every time I get back into a vibrator-only self-sex-life, I’ve ended up with a sore, hard-to-stimulate clit and a set of increasingly hard-to-get orgasms. As such, I try to mix it up! I use my vibrator sometimes for quickies with myself, but not if I have the time and energy to do it on my own. I stick to my own hands as primary tools, which leaves me feeling more in touch with my body and definitely less sore the next day.
Have you ever had this problem? What did you do to solve it?