December 28, 2021

The “Myth” of Clitoral Desensitization—& the Way to Avoid it. {Adult, Partner}

This article is written in partnership with Je Joue—they’re dedicated to sexual pleasure and empowerment. We’re honored to work with them. ~ ed.


“Mom, what does it mean when you’re touching yourself and your legs start to shake?”

I was under the age of 10 when I asked my mom that question. I’d discovered the power of a 90s style plug-in personal massager.

Like any good parent, she asked how I even knew that was a thing before triple—no, quadruple!—checking that there were no outside parties involved in my exploration (there were not). And so, there it was—the new vocabulary word I’d never forget:

“Well, Marisa, that’s called an orgasm.”

There was zero shame and a sh*t ton of curiosity and self-indulgence. Fast forward to my adult years.

“You should probably stop using your vibrator,” a friend encouraged me during a recent chat. I’d just shared that, with rare exception, I tend to need a li’l something extra in bed with my partners. The sexual shame was real.

Give sexual shame the silver bullet with one of these elegantly powerful vibrators >>

As if overcoming years of societal neglect when it comes to a thorough understanding and acceptance of women’s sexuality weren’t enough, there’s a pleasure hierarchy that, if we pause for a moment, many of us in possession of a vagina will realize we buy into.

Example: when my friend hinted that she comes just fine without the use of a vibrator, I felt somehow inferior—like a slightly broken woman lacking in true femininity because I need a vibrator and at least a good 20-minute sesh before I’m ready to, shall we say, arrive.

Maybe something really is wrong, I thought. There’s got to be some truth to this if multiple women are suggesting it to me, right?

Wrong. First of all, according to our friends at Je Joue, a sex-positive, luxury adult toy-maker that prides itself in opening dialogue around some of the most taboo of sexual topics, over 75 percent of womxn require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm (1).

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Second, according to sex coach Amy Levine, people with vaginas typically take a bit longer than people with penises to get turned on, and often require 20 minutes of foreplay just to become completely aroused (2). That’s 20 minutes for arousal, folx; not even orgasm.

Wrapped up in a clit-sized nutshell? There are a lot of people with vaginas out there who function just like you and me, and we’re not failures.

The patriarchal nature of society—and especially medicine—has lent itself to a ton of misinformation regarding vaginal anatomy and womxn’s sexual pleasure. This misinformation has perpetuated the myths that we continue to believe today.

Let’s dismantle, shall we?

The Myth of Clitoral Desensitization—& the Way to Avoid it.

Basically, my friend’s assertion was that if I’m using a vibrator on a regular basis, I’m desensitizing my clitoris with the sensory overload of vibration. In other words, I’m making it more difficult for myself to climax in general. And while that’s partially true, it’s also mostly not.

What it really comes down to is the vibrational quality of our trusty ticklers, not fried clitoral wiring.

Let’s head south and explore the region a bit.

Less than 30 percent of women know this, but 90 percent of the clitoris is internal. So that little button we see (the glans) is only 10 percent of the organ. There are actually 6 to 18 parts to the clitoris (depending on what you want to count as “parts”)—most of which can be stimulated internally via the vagina.

This is why more and more women these days are saying that the whole concept of “G-Spot” pleasure is a myth—because it’s simply the stimulation of the clitoris through the wall of the vagina. This would also mean that all “vaginal” orgasms are, in fact, clitoral.

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Here’s another fun fact: In that tiny, visible portion of our clitoris alone, there terminate over 8,000 nerve endings. That’s more than twice the number in the head of a penis, and that’s just the tip (pun intended); there are even more located within the remaining internal portion.

Here’s why that’s important when we’re talking about a penchant for pulsation and whether or not using it on a regular basis as a means to orgasm can reduce our sensitivity.

The Buzz on Bullet Vibrators & Clitoral Climax

When it comes to clitoral orgasm, you can take the high road, or you can take the low road (don’t worry, it’s got nothing to do with ethics).

The vibrational frequency of a vibrator comes from its motor, and most on the budgetary low-end are going to be high-frequency. Je Joue explains it like this, in what we’ll call orgasmic physics:

Higher frequency vibrations travel less effectively through our body tissue. Because they don’t have as far a vibrational reach, they do not stimulate our interior clitoral nerve endings, but rather overstimulate our glans, which can lead to that temporary numbing sensation that people sometimes describe when using sub-par vibrators (3).

High vibes can leave you (temporarily) “numb”; get these low-vibe bullets to help yourself come.  >>

Low-frequency vibrations, in contrast, have a penetrative vibrational reach and sustain their power. As the experts at Je Joue explain, that translates to a wider, deeper dispersal of vibrational stimulation to the innermost parts of our clitoris. So deep that, when using during partnered sex, even our playmates can feel it.

Je Joue’s low-frequency bullet vibrators send a little ripple that penetrates deep beyond the glans with every pulse. The result is a rumbling, more intense, and longer lasting “crescendo” of an orgasm that builds, hums, and holds before slowly fading away.

If you’re like me, just the idea of that leaves you quivering in excitement.

Killing “dead vagina syndrome.”

As professional sexologist Jill McDevitt, PhD, says, it’s society that “feels and teaches women to feel uncomfortable with the idea of women experiencing pleasure for the sake of pleasure and getting themselves off.” The result, in McDevitt’s words, is “folks with vulvas being told that a vibrator will ‘ruin’ them for partnered sex and that they’ll be unable to orgasm in any other way.”

But studies actually show that there is no such thing as long-term clitoral desensitization as a result of vibrator use (4). In fact, there’s evidence to show that low-frequency bullet vibrators like Je Joue’s Classic, Rabbit, G-Spot, Mimi, and Mimi Soft models, do the opposite and open the world of orgasm to people who might usually have a more difficult time experiencing that release.

A 2015 study reported that 86 percent of its participants found that low-frequency bullet vibrators helped them to reach clitoral orgasm easier, and 85 percent expressed that they improved their sex lives over all (4).

I’ve used multiple brands of bullets, and have definitely arrived at a point before, where my clit gave up on feeling the high vibes. And nothing sucks worse, in my opinion, than being close when a clit suddenly falls into apathy.

Don’t just come, crescendo. Find your perfect bullet, here. Take 25% off site-wide using code EJ25 >> 

When it comes to creating clitoral peaks with low-frequency vibrations, the sexperts at Je Joue have a deep knowledge of womxn’s pleasure, and the wide variety of needs when it comes to clitoral stimulation and orgasm.

Still, when I received all five of their low-frequency bullet vibrators to sample, I was pretty skeptical. Full disclosure: My (maybe former) go-to bullet is great when I want a release that’s intense and quick. But the Mimi was a different game when it came to getting into the O-zone—in a good way.

It was about 15 minutes before I scored—but I scored big time. While the average orgasm only lasts 13 to 51 seconds (5), it felt like my orgasm lasted for more like three minutes. I suddenly had a full grasp of what “crescendo” meant.

But that’s just one of Je Joue’s bullets. As I gazed at the treasure trove of four more sitting on my desk, my eyes practically turned to hearts.

With thousands of clitoral nerve endings in our glans alone, it’s no surprise that when it comes to clitoral climax, it’s different strokes for different folks. And that’s exactly why Je Joue has distinctly different vibrators to meet our varied needs.

So, sit back and, as is generally the custom at this time of year, set some intentions or practices around your sensual self-care—and maybe encourage some of the other nine varieties of orgasm that exist in addition to the clitoral sort while you’re at it.

5 bullets, 5 sensual intentions, and 3 types of orgasm for a blushing new year.

1. Erotic Explorers:

You’re an adventurer at heart and you love to experience all things new. Consider the Mimi your metaphorical safari Jeep, rumbling and tumbling anywhere, whether the soft terrain of your luscious labia or your clitoral pinnacle—perhaps even at the same time. The various curved surfaces of the Mimi will take you to the (c)literal edge of wherever you want to play for the night.

Intention: Cultivate Sensuality.

Mimi. Say it out loud: Me. Me. Set aside 20 minutes to reflect on what it is that you take pride in when it comes to your sensuality and sexual expression. Desire ebbs and flows; here one day, gone the next. So, come up with three “me time” practices that can help you to tap back into that admirable energy whenever you start to slip out of touch with your more primal self.

2. Intrepid Titillationists.

You like things here, there, and everywhere, and that’s exactly what Je Joue’s Rabbit bullet is all about. The Rabbit is the perfect companion for those of us who like to play with subtle changes in direct and indirect clitoral contact. The tippity-top of the ears has the lightest vibrational exchange between bunny and bud, while hugging the clitoris all the way down to the base of the ears provides the most intense vibrations for a less subtle slide into the O-zone.

But wait, there’s m-oh-oh-ore: With the rabbit, you’re just a hop, slip, and a hump away if you’d like to foray into the realm of nipple play and possibly experience a nipplegasm (yes, it’s a thing).

Intention: Tune in.

Practice listening both to your needs and, if partnered, to the needs of your lover. Set an intention surrounding how you’d like to feel as you take pleasure in yourself, or in your partner and define what that means to each of you. Then, tune into the sound of your breathing, your bodies as you climb your way to your sensual peak.

3. G-Spot Aficionados

Okay, so we know we just said that the G-spot is kind of a myth. But it’s also kinda not (folx, we’re still figuring this all out—clinically speaking). The most recent idea is that it’s a specific zone of the clitoris accessed through the vaginal wall—and chances are that if you’re reading this, you love it and you know it well. Je Joue’s G-Spot Bullet Vibrator helps you to cross the pleasure barrier between the external and internal world of clitoral stimulation to truly make the most of your orgasms.

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Intention: Take up space.

As womxn, we have a tendency to make ourselves small. Illustration: we focus on a teeny tiny spot of our clitoris for pleasure when really there’s a gold mine of enjoyment to be found everywhere. Take up more space in the bedroom. Roll yourself around on the bed during self-pleasure, and assume different positions to see how they feel. Assert your specific desires with a partner just a little more than usual. Expand your horizons in your most private of spaces—the boudoir—and ponder how you can bring that expansiveness out into the everyday world.

4. Delicate Dabblers

Je Joue’s Mimi Soft bullet vibrator is sensual to the touch, and perfect for beginners in the bullet world. This little softie provides deep to fluttering vibrations, and its softness spreads pleasure depending on the pressure you choose. You can even make the experience super subtle by just holding the Mimi in the palm of your hand and letting its low-frequency vibrations filter through your fingers for the most feathery foray into the vibrator world.

Intention: Establish Boundaries.

Ponder where it is in life that you are soft, and where it is that you are rigid. Whatever this brings up for you, come up with one way that you can play with that power or lack thereof in the bedroom, and choose a place and time to play that out in a fantasy with yourself or with your partner. Return to this practice when you notice you’re feeling particularly closed-off or overly exposed.

5. Classic Caressers

You’re no stranger to quality over quantity, and you have your loyal go-tos—the tried-and-true staples that seem to never steer us wrong. Je Joue’s Classic Bullet is for you. This silky soft classic is perfect if you prefer a more hands-free experience, taking the effort out of holding it in place. Simply slip your bullet and your (or your partner’s) fingers into the finger sleeve attachment to experiment with the soft silicone tip for pin point stimulation. Or, if you’d like to experiment with sensations, move the bullet to the back of the fingers to keep skin-to-skin touch, with added vibration.

Intention: Internal Validation.

Relying on external praise and gratitude will only get you someone else’s brand of fulfillment. So, the next time that you’re ready to get it on with yourself, take a look in the mirror and take a moment to either audibly or mentally tell yourself how sexy you are. And when you bring yourself to climax, say to yourself, “Thank You, (your name here).” Tell yourself how good that was. You deserve your own praise and approval.

Whether you’re a sensitive sweetie or like to hit the clit hard-core, there’s a little something for everyone.

So get out there and play (the name je joue is French for “I play,” after all), knowing that your vibe won’t ruin you for a partner or for yourself. In fact, it can only add to your self-knowledge and a stronger awareness of what can get you “there”—whether that’s a sweet, sustained space of pleasure, or a full-on O.

Go on, you know you want to play. Pick your toy & take 25% off site-wide using code EJ25>>


(C)literally the Best Bullets you’ll ever Experience.


1. Mimi Soft Clitoral Vibrator

You can use this silky sub-woofer of the vibrator on any pleasure zone you want to stimulate. Use the flat side for more dispersed vibrations over a wider surface area, such as the entire vulva. Or enjoy the squishy edges for softer direct pleasure.
Take 20% off with code EJ20 >>
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1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4906240/One-five-women-climax-sexual-intercourse.html
2. https://www.bustle.com/articles/111423-how-long-does-it-take-a-woman-to-get-aroused-vs-a-man-5-things-to

2. https://www.jejoue.com/blogs/our-blog/buzzy-vs-rumbly-vibrators-understanding-the-science
4. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/overusing-vibrator-sensitivity#The-answer?-No,-your-vibe-isnt-going-to-wreck-your-V
5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232318#the-female-orgasm

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