1/24 update. I published this post in April 2020. I’m getting so many questions about this topic that I’m moving it to the top of my blog.
Seniors often ask me, “What’s the best vibrator?” I’m happy to help, but the answer isn’t that easy. The question usually comes from people who identify as women who never used vibrators in the past, or who tried vibrators but never got attached (so to speak) to them. Now they discover orgasms are elusive, and they need an assist to intensify sensation, ramp up arousal, and reach orgasm.
I’ve reviewed more than a hundred vibrators on this blog over the last decade, and tested many more that I decided not to review. My blog reviews screen for the best vibrators for our age group and give you the pros and cons of each. Despite all my experience, I can’t tell you which one is “best.” That’s not an inadequacy on my part, it’s because the vibrator that’s best for you depends on many factors.
Your first step is figuring out exactly what you need. We’re all different, and your own needs and preferences will determine which vibrator will become your best friend. Let me guide you through how to sort through the many possibilities.
How Do I Get Started With Vibrators?
Start by answering these questions:
- How will you use your vibrator? I know, you’ll press it against your sexy bits to give you orgasms, but how and where? Do you want a vibrator that stimulates your clitoris? Goes into your vagina? Does both at the same time? Will you use it solo or during partner sex? Do you want it to double as a back massager?
- Do you care what it looks like? Some women want a sex toy to look like a penis. Others really don’t want it to look like a penis. Some want it not to look like a sex toy at all.
- How should it feel against your skin? Vibrators can be firm, flexible, cushiony, hard, soft, textured, smooth and any other tactile quality you can think of.
- How strong should the vibrations be? Do you want your vibrator to be quiet and whisper-light, turbo power, earth-shaking strong, or something in between?
- How much does noise matter? Will you worry that your neighbors in the next apartment or a family member in the next room can hear it?
- What size is too big, too small, just right if this is a penetrating toy? Sometimes a size that would have felt perfect 30 years ago is just too girthy and uncomfortable for us now, especially if we’re not having regular penetrative sex.
- Do you have mobility restrictions or other physical issues to consider? Is wrist arthritis an issue for holding a vibrator? What position will you be in when you use it?
- What else is important to you? This is completely individual. You may want it to be no-brainer easy to use: off, on, that’s it. Or you may relish multiple patterns, rhythms and intensities, and not mind a bit of a learning curve. You may want the controls to be comprehensible by touch without your reading glasses. You may want to travel with it.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start narrowing your choices.
Never underestimate the power of a good orgasm, whether it’s vibrator-assisted or not. At this time in our lives, catching that evasive orgasm can be difficult. Make it easier with the right tool!
How do I Choose the Right Vibrator and Purchase Online?
Read online reviews. I review sex toys from a senior perspective on this blog, taking into consideration intensity, ease of use, body-safe materials, etc. Click “vibrator review” and keep reading and scrolling until you find those that match your criteria. Links to order from the reputable retailers that I endorse are included within each review. If you’d like to compare several vibrators, choose a retailer from my advertisers and affiliates. (Find their banner links in the right-hand column of my blog if you’re using a computer, or scroll past a few posts if you’re using your phone.) These folks support me in providing senior sex education to you, and I’ve vetted each one as a high-quality, reputable online store.
The most entertaining way to learn more about some of my favorite sex toys is to view my webinar, Sex Toys for Seniors. In this 90-minute online class, I do a lively show-and-tell, covering these topics:
- My criteria for evaluating sex toys
- 8 questions to help you choose your personal vibrator.
- 5 myths and facts about vibrators.
- Show-and-tell: my highly recommended sex toys for seniors.
Subscribe to my newsletter for a special webinar discount!
You’ll also find a ton of sex toy information in my book The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty, including how to buy sex toys made of body-safe materials (the cheaper ones may not be). You’ll also find info on every other senior sex topic!
The Womanizer X Lovehoney Pro40 Rechargeable Clitoral Stimulator from LoveHoney is not a new product, but it’s a popular one which I’ve enjoyed immensely all year and should have reviewed for you sooner. If you’re a fan of “air pulse” technology, or if you’ve never tried it and don’t know what product to start with, you can’t go wrong with this one.
But first, some history:
In March 2015, I met my first Womanizer sex toy. It was a garish, ugly thing with an offensive name and a fake jewel control button that stabbed my thumb. I felt the need to tell you this:
Let’s get this part out of the way first — this is the ugliest, tackiest looking sex toy that has ever graced my nightstand. It looks like a design by sixth graders assigned to figure out what a girly ear thermometer might look like…and the name — Womanizer. Seriously?
But it used a new technology that bestowed orgasms so glorious that I forgave the appearance, the thumb stabbing, and the name. I described the sensation as “clitoral suction,” though it doesn’t really suck — it combines vibration and pulses of air to create the sensation of gentle sucking.
Fast-forward five years. By now, end of 2020, most sex toy connoisseurs have heard of and enjoyed the “air pulse” or “Pleasure Air™” technology from Womanizer, which boasts several models of different sizes and — fortunately — an updated appearance. The price has come down. The awful name hasn’t changed, but we’ve gotten used to it. We’ve pretty much divorced the word in our minds from the offensive connotation. (It’s similar to the way we’ve adapted to the name “iPad,” which no longer reminds of of sanitary napkins.)
The Womanizer X Lovehoney Pro40 Rechargeable Clitoral Stimulator is based on an earlier model that was discontinued by Womanizer and has been revived with LoveHoney.
Here’s why I love it:
- Works really, really well. Put a little water-based lube on the edges of the head and on the clitoris, position the Pro40 so it envelopes the clitoris, trying for a tight seal, turn it on, and relax into the sensations. Turn up the intensity as you need it until there’s no place to go but over the moon.
- 6 intensity levels from delicate to “yowza!” Start with mild sensation and build up as you get aroused. There are no patterns, which suits me, because I prefer strong and steady without the distraction of rhythmic variations.
- Buttons you can see, feel, and understand even with lube-slick fingers. I’m irked when otherwise great toys need a strong light and reading glasses to figure out the controls. The Womanizer Pro40 has raised buttons and big labels, and nothing extra to confuse you.
- Lightweight and ergonomic. Comfortable to hold.
- Waterproof. Use it in the shower or bath, just be aware that it makes a funny noise* in water which may cause laughter instead of arousal (or maybe that’s just me).
- Easy to clean. Just remove and wash the head and wipe lube off the rest.
- USB Rechargeable.
* Speaking of noise, yeah, there’s noise. On a low setting, it’s practically silent, but rev it up and it gets loud. With lube, if you don’t have a snug seal over your clitoris, it makes a slurping sound. Just adjust the fit and the slurping stops, but it’s still loud. My solution for you if noise is a problem: send household members outside to walk the dog while you attend to yourself.
Some Womanizer models come with two interchangeable heads of slightly different size and design, so that you can choose the best fit for your body. The original Pro40 did this, too. This one, however, has only one head.
Caveat: Do not use if you have a pacemaker.
by Shamus MacDuff
My first dry orgasm surprised me. I was reveling in the myriad delightful sensations of my orgasm, when my partner observed that there was no semen. Really? It felt the same as other orgasms with ejaculation. This struck me as unusual or even unnatural. My partner reassured me that a “dry orgasm in men” was normal – the first I’d heard that term! I didn’t know then that ejaculation is unnecessary to experience orgasm.
“Ejaculation is an event that takes place in the penis,” explains Dr. Andrew Siegel. “Orgasm occurs in the brain.” Occasional orgasms without ejaculation — “dry orgasms” — are common as we age, and in most cases are no cause for alarm. A dry orgasm occurs when a penis owner reaches sexual climax without ejaculation — no fluid emerges from the penis.
As penis owners, we’re used to sexual climax involving these components:
- Emission (secretions deposited into the urethra)
- Ejaculation (contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that push the seminal fluid out the urethra in an explosive eruption)
- Orgasm (the intense emotional feelings that accompany the physical act of ejaculation)
Many of us are surprised and worried the first time we have a dry orgasm. Thankfully, in most cases, there’s nothing to fret about. It is quite common to climax and ejaculate “wetly” in some sexual encounters, and to orgasm “dryly” on other occasions.
Like me, most penis owners experience intense pleasure when orgasming, whether it’s wet or dry. Dry orgasms happen normally from time to time. Their frequency increases with age, as they accompany other age-related changes. Michael Castleman, sex journalist for 46 years and author of Sizzling Sex for Life: How to Maximize Erotic Pleasure at Any Age, explains,
“Menopausal women notice vaginal dryness and atrophy. Men notice that the volume of fluid in their ejaculations gradually declines, and in some men over 70, more or less disappears.”
With aging, the prostate gland enlarges. The pelvic floor muscles also weaken, diminishing the power of ejaculation. These are normal age changes and may contribute to dry orgasms. There’s usually no reason for worry about the occasional dry orgasm. However, if you begin to experience dry orgasms regularly, consult a doctor to find out what might be causing this.
Some medical conditions may contribute to frequent dry orgasms, such as surgery to remove the prostate as a treatment for prostate cancer. As Michael Castleman notes, “Afterwards, they still come, but any seminal fluid spurts not out of the penis, but backwards into the bladder, where it mixes with urine and leaves the body during urination.”
Medical causes for dry orgasms include
- Removal of the prostate and seminal glands
- Laser prostate surgery
- Radiotherapy to treat prostate cancer
- Operations for testicular and bladder cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Some drugs, such as Flomax to control urinary problems and various blood pressure and psychiatric medications
- Severe emotional stress and other situational psychological issues
All of us experience changes in our sexual selves as we age. We take longer to reach an erection (here’s where sex toys and lubricants can assist!), and our erections are not as firm or reliable as they once were. Our refractory period after ejaculation increases, and the amount of ejaculate we produce decreases. On occasion, we don’t produce seminal fluid, and we experience a dry orgasm.
All of this is simply a normal part of growing older and no cause for upset. I find that when my own dry orgasms occur, they are every bit as powerful and satisfying as their juicier and more frequent counterparts. I wish you the same. And, if you’re still worried, consider this comment from Michael Castleman:
“Dry orgasm has advantages. No wet spot. Women who never liked semen in their mouths and/or swallowing can provide fellatio more happily. And older men can self-sex with less messy evidence to dispose of. The key thing is to alert older men that this happens, that it’s normal and no big deal.”
I invite you to comment and share your own experience with dry orgasms.
- “Ejaculation: What to Expect As You Age,” New Jersey Urology
- “Is It Normal, Doc? Five Changes All Men Experience as They Age,” Tower Urology
- “Should Men Worry About Dry Orgasms?” Sexual Medicine Society of North America
- “Dry Orgasm: Why It Happens and What You Can Do,” Healthline
— Shamus MacDuff, age 77, has been writing for this blog since 2017, when he wrote the popular post, “Sex without Penetration: A Man’s View.” Since then, he has become my reviewer of sex toys for penis owners. Read Shamus MacDuff’s other posts.
UPDATE: The focus groups have ended.
Are you a senior (age 50-80+) with opinions about sex toys, and you’re not shy about sharing them with us? Hot Octopuss and I invite you to participate in a live, online focus group for seniors discussing sex, sex toys, and more. In return for an hour of your time, you’ll get $100 towards your purchase of Hot Octopuss products — and the satisfaction of knowing that a company that is invested in your sexual pleasure is listening to you!
Hot Octopuss is looking for your thoughts on sex, sex toys, and how you buy them. Joan Price, our Senior Sexpert, will conduct our secure Senior Sex online focus groups and would love your views in exchange for $100 in vouchers.
Focus group participants will be chosen from survey respondents.
Right now focus groups are scheduled at these USA times, and we may add more later to accommodate other time zones:
- Wednesday 9th December – 2pm EST (11am PST)
- Wednesday 9th December – 7pm EST (4pm PST)
- Saturday 12th December – 2pm EST (11am PST)
- Saturday 12th December – 7pm EST (4pm PST)
If you’re not familiar with Hot Octopuss, here’s what I want you to know:
- They make superb vibrators, especially for seniors. Their penis vibrators can be used with or without an erection! See Shamus MacDuff’s reviews of the Pulse Solo Lux and the JETT, especially.
- I’m the Resident Senior Sexpert of the Hot Octopuss Senior Sex Hub, a resource offering senior sex information, blog posts, and Q&As. Check it out!