If you want to talk masturbation and vibrators…
…you can’t find a better person to interview than Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, who wrote her dissertation on women and vibrator use while earning her Doctor of Philosophy in human sexuality from the Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. She also has a Master’s in public health from the same institution, and is a licensed social worker with a Master’s degree from Columbia University.
A founder of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality, Dr. Marcus has served as its director since it was created in 2000. The center’s compassionate and experienced staff is trained specifically in female sexual health and is committed to helping women solve their sexual health challenges.
Read on to learn why the good doctor thinks
so highly of masturbation.
Tell me, pure and simple, why should a woman masturbate after 50, whether she’s married, single, straight, gay, divorced, whatever?
I think it’s necessary. Your genitals, your vulva, your clitoris, your vagina, those are parts of your body that also need to be exercised. You need blood coming into the area. You need the muscles to be stretched. They make jokes that ‘you either use it or you lose it,’ but it’s really true. When we see a woman who hasn’t been in a relationship for a bunch of years, and hasn’t masturbated at all, often she has a lot of dryness and atrophy that would really be avoided if she had masturbated.
So even if a woman has gone through menopause, it’s better if she masturbates?
Much better. Even if you have an active sex life, and you’re masturbating, you can get vaginal atrophy, which is thinning of the tissues. But if you ignore those areas, and you don’t bring blood into the area, or stretch those muscles, then it will be worse.
What is your advice to women when their urge to masturbate is less strong?
If you’re in a partnered sexual relationship, and you’re having some kind of sex once or twice a week, then honestly I feel like masturbation is a little less important. If your sexual urges are basically being fulfilled through your relationship, and you feel sexy and good about yourself, as long as something is happening with your vagina, then I wouldn’t say to you, ‘You must masturbate.’
But masturbation is really important, at least once a week, for many, many women who don’t have regular partners, or aren’t having sex with regular partners.
It keeps you kind of connected to your sexual self, as well as exercises that part of your body. Assuming you can get yourself turned on, read something erotic or watch something erotic or fantasize. See if you can get yourself going, and spend some time with yourself.
Having a sex life is important, whether you’re married or not. It’s important for your sense of self, whether you’re having sex with someone else or with yourself. The erotic part of your brain is elastic and should get worked like any other part. If you don’t do it, it gets harder and harder to do. But the more you tap into that part of your brain, the easier and more fun it becomes.
What if you have vaginal atrophy and you don’t want to take estrogen-based drugs. Can masturbation help?
There are non-estrogen products that can help with vaginal atrophy, so it won’t get worse and worse, but those are medical things and I don’t feel comfortable talking about them. Lubricants make you wetter, but they don’t heal the thinning and brittle tissue that rips more easily with vaginal atrophy. Women always mix up with atrophy with lubricants.
What’s your opinion about vibrators?
I did my PhD thesis on vibrators. I love talking about them. People think of vibrators as kinky sex toys, but they’re not that. I always say ‘they’re your friends.’ When you think of the cost-benefit analysis, how much work you have to put in versus how much pleasure you get, using a vibrator can make sex easier and more fun for many, many women, both with their partners and by themselves. Finding one or a few vibrators that you enjoy and work well for you is pretty important. They are very individual. Women respond very differently to different kinds of vibrators, the smoothness of vibrations, the sound. We give women five or six vibrators we think they might like, and they try them, with condoms, in the center’s exam rooms.
Some women like vibrators with bigger surface areas covering their clitoris. Some like pinpointed feelings. We recommend internal vibrators, shaped like penises, when we think a woman should have something in her vagina because she doesn’t have a partner. Clitoral vibrators are good when you work with a partner.
What do you advise if a woman has never used a vibrator, doesn’t masturbate, and her sex drive has decreased, partner or no partner?
First spend some time in your bed, with a real nice body lotion, or in the bath, and get to reconnect with your body. What feels good and what doesn’t? Then buy a couple of vibrators, play with them and see what happens.
A vibrator love note from
FOFounder, Geri Brin
I’ve tried more than a few vibrators since making their acquaintance around 12 years ago, (I sometimes think of all the fun I missed all those years before we met), but even when I fell in love with one right from the start, the affair didn’t last long. So when the folks at Revel Body asked if I’d try their new Revel Body SOL Sonic Vibrator, I was game.
“We think of these as lifestyle products to enhance sexual well-being, not as sex toys.”
Hands down (another of those crazy little puns!), this is the best vibrator I’ve ever used. Without getting into boring, hard-to-understand, technical information on what makes it such a cool operator, let me describe it this way:
The cute little round device has a magnetically centered moving part, powered up by quick, alternating magnetic pulses created by a patented Revel Body technology. Unlike traditional battery-powered vibrators, with limited speeds, this unit sits on a stand, which charges the lithium-powered battery, and delivers a wide range of adjustable vibration “never before seen in sexual wellness products,” according to the company. Making that even clearer, the powerful vibrations provide superior stimulation to the sensitive part of your body, referred to by others (never us) as the clitoris.
Said even more succinctly:
This thing makes you feel great!
The tube-shaped magnetic center can easily be popped out when you want to change one of the three tips, colored deep pink and funnily called Rose, Fawn and Ever. Each tip is shaped differently, to create a unique sensation when glided upon the clitoris (there, I said it). Experimenting is the best way to find the tip that works best on and for you! The technology also reportedly reduces vibration to the hand by 80 percent, and the ergonomic shape makes it feel comfortable and easy to use.
Welcome to The Joys of Om
“Revel Body SOL is the only vibrator that can operate at the frequency of the OM tuning fork (136.1 Hertz), used to tune the instruments for Indian temple music. It is called Sadja, or Sa, the base tone of the Sitar and Tambura, and is said to be good for meditation, sexual awakening, deepening intimacy, reducing stress and renewing your mind, body and spirit,” said Robin Elenga.
Made of high-quality, body-safe materials, the Revel Body SOL is waterproof, rechargeable, and is pretty enough to leave on your nightstand. Vibrators that are shaped like penises generally don’t perform like the real goods and you can’t wait to stash them away.
Another great feature of the Revel Body SOL is that it generates underwater vibration and suction when the concave side is used underwater and held again the body. It is a sensation unlike any other. I see lots of baths in my future.
One more thing: The $139 investment is
nothing, considering the return.
I’d pay twice as much for this, even if I had to give up drinking cappuccino
for a couple of weeks. Those can be stimulating, too, but they
don’t come close to this.
to receive 30% off your Revel Body SOL. Enter code FABOVERFIFTY at checkout!
This post is sponsored by Revel Body. Thanks for supporting FabOverFifty!