I resisted testing one of recent history’s most popular toys – The Womanizer– for a while. See, I’m a broad stimulation chick; when folks say things like “pinpoint” in relation to vibrators my skin actually crawls. But after months of hearing raves about this toy’s ability to deliver orgasms to the previously anorgasmic and change the minds of other broad stimulation lovers, I decided to give it a shot. My relationship with my clitoris has always been fraught and I kind of hoped this might help me connect with it, understand it, and frankly, finally make me see what all the fuss was about and – I’ll just say it- feel like everyone else.
Oh, yeah, fair warning: this isn’t going to be a review like you’re used to. I guess I could talk about how the name is absurd, the price makes me grumpy, and the design reminds me of when my grandmother would bring over off-brand superhero toys from the dollar store – ok, I guess I just talked about that stuff, done now. What I actually want to talk about though is how a lot of people love this toy and a lot of people love direct clitoral stimulation and these facts have led to broad sweeping statements about both of those things – reviews¹ that proclaim this toy can make ANYONE orgasm and articles quoting everyone from doctors to comediennes telling the world that we need to be touching the clitoris in order to give pleasure to people with that particular anatomical feature. Result: I, a somewhat successful sex writer (and I’m willing to bet other people like me), feel broken and struggle to communicate my needs to partners.
So, let’s just say this right now: Nothing works for everyone. Our bodies are all different and that’s okay. This is why every time I see a newer blogger who doesn’t know better (or a not-newer one who should know better) proclaim that “everyone with a clitoris needs this toy!” or “The Womanizer can make ANYONE orgasm!” or “orgasms guaranteed!” I shudder and get angry. My experience with this toy went like this:
Attempt #1 – 5 minutes of me wondering if I’d been misunderstanding where my clitoris was my whole life intercut with brief flashes of mild pleasure that quickly turned to discomfort.
Attempt #2 – It felt good for about 30 seconds and then it got really uncomfortable and then I stopped. I suspect it could have resulted in what I refer to as a “painful orgasm” (more on that in a minute) but that’s not enjoyable for me.
Attempt #3- Now kind of determined to figure out what the deal is with this toy I settled in and… got really frustrated. It ended up being kind of like attempt #1 again.
Okay, so I’m not saying the toy “doesn’t work”, I’m saying it doesn’t work for me – it’s not comfortable or pleasant and left me feeling more broken and “othered” than before. I kind of wanted to shove the toy in a drawer and forget the whole thing had ever happened. I really didn’t want to write about the Womanizer.
I already take some flak in the sex blogging world for having what have been referred to as “unique” needs – I don’t just say “clit” and “g-spot” constantly, I learned about the clitourethrovaginal (CUV) complex and figured out why I come when I hold wands over various parts of the vulva, (I know, what a freak, right?!!)- so accepting that I, once again, would have to talk about not being into a popular toy because touching a part of my anatomy that is “supposed” to bring me pleasure (I’m already the dissenter on beloved g-spot toys because g-spotting doesn’t do it for me) ranges from uncomfortable to painful filled me with dread. I didn’t want to be the weird one again.
But wait, there’s more! I realized if I wrote about this I would be “outed” to my partners, all of whom have known me for at least 2 years but only one of whom already knew this about me. Suddenly they would find out that I really want them to stop touching my clitoris, that when we’re sexting and they reference stroking my clit, my heart sinks, that I sometimes stop them and push their hands away because I’m getting sore and raw and know if they continue I’ll be into too much pain for intercourse, the thing that actually does it for me, that while, yes I do respond to and orgasm from them touching my clitoris a bunch, it’s not pleasant – it actually hurts. That, basically, I’ve been lying to them- for years. Because I feel super-protective of my partners I want to be very clear- none of this is their fault. My partners are amazing, they really are and I know if I told them all this they would do whatever I needed, hell, this problem exists because they are doing what they know to do to bring me pleasure but still I can’t bring myself to tell them the truth. Why? Because it feels somehow unfair. It feels like calling firefighters over to a burning building and telling them they need to put out the fire but they can’t use water to do it. I don’t know how to tell people that the tools they have – the ones that normally work- are useless with me. I was raised to not be demanding or burdensome, to not ask too much of anyone. I don’t want to be high-maintenance. I don’t want to be the “broken” partner.²
I realized though, that this is exactly why I started this site. If I’m feeling this broken and scared there have to be other people out there feeling it too. I can’t be the only one who flinched when they heard Amy Schumer tell the world to simply introduce parters to their clit like that would solve all orgasm difficulties ever. That being the case, it’s important to talk about this. It’s important for you to know that the Womanizer didn’t work for me so that if you, like me, find yourself batting well-meaning partner’s hands away from your clitoris maybe you don’t drop almost $200 on this toy. (Consider the Doxy Wand instead- broad stimulation over the labia can be a lot more comfortable!). It’s important for you to know that if this doesn’t work for you it’s not that you failed and all the sexy sex writers who know all about sexy sex succeeded – The Womanizer does not, in fact feel good for everyone. This is why I jump on reviewers who tweet “Everyone with a ______ needs this toy!” It’s not because I’m old and grumpy (ok, it’s not just because I’m old and grumpy). I’ll say it again, NOTHING WORKS FOR EVERYONE. It’s important for you to know that it’s cool if your clitoris or g-spot isn’t where it’s at – there’s a whole lot of other stuff to explore! This is why it killed me that all of the CUV region publicity came out with headlines like “The G-spot Doesn’t Exist!” because then everyone just got angry, wrote stuff that said “It does exist and it’s awesome because, mine!” (problematic in its own way) and ignored the useful information. It’s important for you to know that whatever works for you is good, even if it’s not what works for everyone else, that you can ask for what you need, that needing something different isn’t wrong or asking too much.
I finally wrote about the Womanizer because it’s important for you to know that none of you are broken.
What to try if the Womanizer is not your cup of tea? Well here are some things I like (remember, your tastes may differ):
- BMS Factory PalmPower Wand
- Doxy Wand Massager
- Jimmyjane Iconic Wand
- Swan Wand
- Vibratex Magic Wand Rechargeable
- Vibratex Mystic Wand
Thank you to SheVibe for sending me the Womanizer to test and being supportive of me when I write stuff like this about review toys. You folks are the best!
These products were provided to me free of change in exchange for my honest review. My review policy is simple: I will never lie about liking a product if I don’t (in fact I probably won’t even write about it) but when I do like something it’s hard to get me to shut up about it.
¹I’ve opted not to link to other reviews because I don’t want reviewers to feel singled-out or picked on. This isn’t about anyone specifically, in fact I couldn’t name a specific one I disliked off the top of my head and there have been many great ones (A LOT of people have reviewed this thing!), it’s about a pattern.
²All of you who think sex writers have their sex lives totally figured out and are so much cooler and more together than you, bookmark this and come back to it so you can remember that no one has this shit figured out.