What happens when your vibrator takes over?

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

So I was looking to see what month-long observance for May would trigger a current essay. I noticed three immediately that I have a connection with and could write a separate piece about:

1. Mental Health Awareness Month

If you don’t learn how to forgive your narcissist mother, you might end up in the looney bin. As I have had plenty of practice, I will show you the steps to do so.

2. National Pet Month

Some might remember my sweet Shih Tzu Chelsea who was the star of my HBO film A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary. She not only took people out of comas but also healed me with her unconditional love. Many adventures to share about our life together.

3. National Bike Month

Almost every day I am riding my own bike or a Citibike on the streets of Manhattan. As I am dodging pedestrians who are walking and texting and tourists who are unaware they’re backing up into an active bicycle path to take a photo, I am ringing my horn to alert all I am coming. Wonder what happens when they don’t get out of the way?

As I continued looking at the May list of month-long observances to my surprise I spotted International Masturbation Month. Do I dare go there, I thought? This is a universal topic, right? Far more universal than all the others, I mentioned. I suppose if someone were asexual this would not apply to him or her. One Google search proved me wrong. In a study published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 80% of asexual participants do masturbate. Voila! So we can include them in the experiential readership list.

When it comes to this topic I was a late bloomer. Well, maybe not as late as some but in my circles people were high achievers and early learners in this area.

Growing up Jewish I don’t remember anyone telling me it’s bad, don’t do it, you will go to hell and God will never forgive you. For that, I am forever grateful. However, living at home until I was 17, I was dodging lots of emotional bullets. Living in a fight or flight mode, with mom and my brother barging into my room frequently unannounced, I never felt free and safe to explore this part of my life and body. The little probing I did do, I discovered there was something down there when pressed made me tingle. That was about as far as I got. There was no one I could speak to about this so I kept this as my little secret wondering if I was only the one who had a magic button.

It was not until a couple of years after losing my virginity in university that I discovered the pleasures of masturbation. I was far away from home.

You never knew what could happen to you when you are at home. I remember when a much older male cousin of mine told me he was caught masturbating by his mother. His bedroom was right off the kitchen. To remedy this, she removed the door to his room. Wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up spending more time in the bathroom. As my aunt was a glamorous woman always dolling herself up, I sure hope she didn’t have to share her bathroom with her son.

Back in the late 70s a man, who owned a small furniture store in my neighborhood at the time on Upper East side, took me to the back of his store to show me something and it turned out it wasn’t furniture. He had built a love nest room, where he was bedding down his customers and other paramours. To his chagrin, he never succeeded with me. Just couldn’t go there with him. As he was funny, generous and kind, we eventually developed a friendship. As he respected my wishes, he never laid a hand on me. He loved to share his escapades with me and I loved to hear them.
This was the age of sex, drugs and rock and roll and my friend took advantage of every opportunity that came his way.

When it was my birthday he handed me a box beautifully gift-wrapped. Knowing it came from him, I’m not sure why I was shocked when I opened it. It was a multi-purposeful vibrator with several attachments. Each part was designed to relieve tension on various parts of your body, such as the knot on your back, which you better have a friend help you with as it is out of reach. It was not a dildo and none of the pieces were shaped as one. This only worked with electricity and had a sizeable cord.

At the time, I was in my first apartment in New York City, right out of college. In order to find something affordable I rented a room in a woman’s flat. Our bedrooms shared a common wall.

It didn’t take long for me to get the hang of my motorized vibrator. After experimenting with some of the attachments, I soon found the perfect part to bring me to a happy ending. Talk about addiction. I tried to muffle the noise under a couple of blankets, as it sounded like I was either crushing coffee beans or blending ice.

I lived in fear of getting electrocuted and being found dead with this between my legs. Talk about shame and humiliation. What would my tombstone say, “Gayle, a hot woman who overheated? May she rest in peace.”

Being a person who had a hard time throwing away things, still hoarding art supplies I never used since childhood, when I made the decision to throw out this vibrator just a few months after I received it, you know I was out of control and desperate. No human could replicate what this little pulsating machine was doing to my clitoris. I had to save my clit! And I did.

In case you’re wondering, I went on to have a fulfilling sex life both with significant others and myself. Vibrators have come a long way. If you haven’t already, you might consider getting yourself a LELO sex toy. They have them for women and men.

Here’s to happy endings and International Masturbation Month.

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