What A Vibrator Really Feels Like

“Using a vibrator feels like you have a secret, and only you know about it.”

What A Vibrator Really Feels Like

What A Vibrator Really Feels Like

What A Vibrator Really Feels Like

13 minute read

Vibrators, used either solo or with a partner(s), can be a great way to enhance any sexual experience. But like anything else sex-related, your first time using a vibrator can be overwhelming, confusing, and even awkward. But learning how it feels to use a vibrator can, give you a better idea of what to expect when using this particularly pleasant and oh-so-tantalizing sex toy.

In order to ensure the experience is as positive as possible, Dominique Karetsos, founder of the Intimology Institute School of Sexual Wellness, tells O.school it’s important to use the Three Cs: 

  • Communicate with yourself and your partner(s). 
  • Consensually hold a safe space to explore.
  • Congratulate yourself for giving yourself permission to enjoy sexual pleasure. 

Karetsos says the Three Cs are vital “whether you are using a vibrator to explore sensations in multiple areas of your body for the first time, or to teach your partner where and how you reach orgasm. Maybe it’s to spice up a relationship, or taking the time for some self-care.”

Everyone is different, but one thing is for certain: when used consensually, vibrators can be a great addition to the bedroom. 

What does a vibrator really feel like? 

To find out what a vibrator really feels like, we asked to clue us in on some of their experiences. Note names have been changed upon request from participants to maintain anonymity. 

1. The right vibrator can feel like a special secret only you know about. 

“Using a vibrator feels like you have a secret, and only you know about it. It feels like being full and happy, and tingly all at the same time. It feels like nothing else in the world matters at that moment but getting the right combo for the perfect release — everything else disappears for a few moments.” - Heather, 39

2. It can fill (physical) holes your partner can’t. 

“I’d say it feels like something you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Vibrators are user-friendly and there’s no wrong way to use [them], and no one place [they have] to be used. If used on the exterior, your toes tingle and you get goose bumps all over your body — sometimes even feeling it in your hands. Used inside you, it can quite literally ‘fill’ any voids (or holes) your partner can’t physically. Or, doubling up and placing where your partner isn’t? [That’s] other-worldly. 

In summary, it feels like something you should try if you haven’t and something you should encourage others to indulge in if you have.” - Chelsea, 31

3. Orgasming from a vibrator creates a specific sensation. 

“Using a vibrator is an entirely different experience than sex with another person, at least for me. I don’t prefer one to the other — it’s just a different sensation. For me, vibrators give me really concentrated, intense orgasms. It’s a reliable rush of sensation to my clitoris, and I get that curl-your-toes, can’t-help-but-moan tingle in my pelvis. I’m also often able to have a full body orgasm when I use a vibrator, which is great. 

But I do think I’m sometimes slightly less satisfied from using a vibrator than I am when I’m with a partner who knows what he’s doing. [...] When I’m with a partner, I’m satisfied when we finish, both because of the emotional connection I feel with the person and the physical exhaustion of intercourse.” - Natalie*, 24 

4. Different types of toys can cause different types of feelings. 

“I have only ever used my magic wand, because I quickly realized it was all I really needed. The magic wand has a large head so it covers lots of surface area, stimulating the area from clit to vaginal opening at once. On the lowest setting, it gives me sort of a pleasant background sensation. I don’t know if this is weird, but have you ever intentionally held your bladder and sort of flexed your vaginal muscles to give yourself a little tingle? It's like that.” - Kathleen, 29 

5. It can just be about finding the right combination of toys. 

“I use vibrators for both solo and partnered sex, and it adds an intense edge to both! One of my favorite combos is using a thrusting internal vibrator and an external clitoral one. It’s super deep, and very intense. Sometimes wielding two vibrators can be a bit of a juggling act, but you get the hang of it after a while.

I also love vibrators combined with pegging toys! It makes it so I can get more into pegging because I am enjoying some vibrations while pegging my partner.

The sensation is very different than when using a vibrator in a more ‘typical’ manner because being a cis-female, it’s pretty rare when I am the penetrator versus being penetrated, even though I am using the vibrator on the same parts of my body as when I am not pegging. Perhaps it’s more of the mentality that makes the sensation different more than anything. It tends to feel less overstimulating and because of thrusting more of my pelvic muscles are involved, so orgasms tend to involve more of my pelvic bowl.” - Nicolette, 27

6. Vibrators can make sexy time with long distance partner(s) even better.

“My partner travels close to 40 weeks out of the year and his home base is not my city. We learned that we needed to keep our sex life active while only seeing each other every 4 to 6 weeks. One way we do that is by having video phone sex. 

My man can achieve an orgasm with just his hand. Me, on the other hand? Well, I can’t. We decided to incorporate my vibrator in these times, and wow. Having my partner watch me orgasm is empowering. It is a vulnerable moment for anyone and to have my partner watch me, practically drooling, makes me feel incredibly sexy. It also keeps the intimacy that is lacking [in our relationship] due to the physical distance. With a bit of imagination it is like we are having sex in the same bed!

Physically, I mean come on, I can orgasm as fast or as slow as I want to. It helps to know what I want my partner to do when I finally get to see him again, too. We have also looked into the vibrators that have the app associated with them, so he could control it. We just need to do a bit more research.” - Kate, 34

7. Set aside some time to really lean into the feelings you get from your vibrator. 

“I definitely have to be in the right headspace and feel like I have an extra 40 or so free minutes to dedicate to myself. I do it more often when my husband is not home and have this weird mental obligation where I feel like I have to tell him that I'm going into the bedroom to do it. He is very encouraging and chuckles at me when I bashfully tell him what I'm up to. 

The Lelo Sona is one of those clitoral stimulating vibrators that is supposed to simulate suction, and it’s f*cking amazing. It has lots of different settings that feel very instinctual — like they did a lot of R&D on the different pulsing speeds and which order they are in. I always feel way less anxious and more relaxed afterwards and try and promise myself that I will spend more time masturbating.” - Kathryn, 27

8. Using a vibrator can feel like being on a roller coaster. 

“My favorite one is The Womanizer. My sister is the one who told me to buy it. I was never a big masturbator and could never bring myself to orgasm without having sex with a partner. When I broke up with my recent ex, I started taking photos for a sex toy company and just thought, ‘I'm a grown ass woman and I'm going to get a grown ass woman vibrator!’ So, I invested like $150, or however much it is, and immediately went home and whacked off. 

The second time I used it, I had my very first solo orgasm. The clouds opened up and the angels sang hallelujah!

As far as sensation goes, it blows little fluffs of air out onto your clitoris. It feels like tiny little suctions, though, and you can increase the speed and intensity. I'd describe the sensation as the feeling you get in your tummy when you go down a roller coaster, but sexier and on your genitals. That followed by tingles all over and a little lightheadedness. I have not yet used it with a partner, though, just because I really love orgasming naturally and I'm a little worried I'd end up depending on a vibrator to get me there.” - Mandy, 32

9. The strength, speed, style, and setting matters. 

“If you’ve ever used an electric toothbrush to brush your tongue, then you have some idea. Obviously, it’s quite a bit more pleasurable than cleaning your teeth, but the feeling of vibrations on sensitive tissues won’t be *that* unfamiliar. 

Depending on strength, speed, style, and setting, vibrators can range from mildly arousing (butterfly styles, weaker bullets) to violently erotic (WeVibe, rabbit). G-spot vibrators are in their own category. If you’re into them, they can overwhelm the senses — in the best way. The vibrations no longer feel limited to just your clitoris and vulva, but spread throughout your whole downtown, sparking the whole city of nerves. The closest comparison I can make is a roller coaster with a really huge build up. That feeling of anticipation that lodges somewhere between your solar plexus and groin that eventually toppled over after you crest? It’s like that, only usually with fewer opportunities for funnel cakes after.” - Cat, 36

Danielle Campoamor

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Danielle Campoamor is a reproductive justice and abortion rights advocate and freelance writer published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, CNN, NBC, Newsweek, Teen Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Marie Claire, and others.

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