In their last conversation, Dr. Pat and Dr. Hilda opened the toy box. Here, the sex-toy discussion moves on to solo pleasures and gets down to basics: how much vibration, where, and how.

Dr. Hilda: I view vibrators as something most commonly for the pleasure of women, something to do for themselves. Solo pleasure—that’s the word I was looking for. I view them more as solo pleasures.

Dr. Pat: Well, I choose to disagree. I think that a woman is responsible for her own orgasm activity. And I think most couples would feel really good about it in a first-time situation. You know, a woman’s going to have performance anxiety on the first date herself. I mean, if she just met the guy and decided to have sex with him, she should have some performance anxiety.

Dr. Hilda: Yes, but it’s exciting.

Dr. Pat: Performance anxiety, nonetheless: “Oh no,  I’m taking too long to climax.  How much can I tell him?” And the ruminating goes on and on. A vibrator sort of solves all those problems, and everybody has a really good time.

Dr. Hilda: Well, I certainly tell my patients, especially those who are perimenopausal or menopausal and who may not have a partner, or have a partner who has very little interest in sex, that she needs to keep the blood flowing in her vagina. And the best way to keep the blood flowing in your vagina as you’re going through these changes is by self-stimulating. You can use a pillow, or your hands, or pretty much any object.  But these vibrators I find to be very useful. And they’re so pretty. I mean, look at this. It’s like a work of art. It’s so pretty that if you left this on your coffee table, your 80-year-old mother would have no idea what this was. She would think it was a beautiful piece of art. Do you think your friends really know what this is?

Dr. Pat: My friends would know.

Dr. Hilda: I don’t think my friends would know at all.

Dr. Hilda: You turn it on down here, and the vibrations go along the whole length of this, and you just rest it on your vulva. It’s not for insertion. That would not be comfortable, I don’t think. That little metal part would be cold. So you’re just lying and you’re moving it along the vulva, along the clitoris. But it’s so pretty, and I think that’s the key to this one. It’s so beautiful that you could leave it out. I mean, let’s face it. You have this amazing orgasm, and you’re alone. What are you going to do?  Fall asleep, right, because you don’t have to amuse anybody after you’ve had your orgasm.  You can just go to sleep. And so the next morning you might forget to put it away. So if someone happens to come over, whether they’re cleaning your house or it’s a family member or you drop dead during the night and it’s found, nobody would know.

Dr. Pat: Okay, baby.  What does this do?

Dr. Hilda: This is very, very strong. I don’t have batteries in any of these, so you won’t be able to see. But this is a very, very strong one, and you hold it like that, like a gun. It creates very, very, very strong vibrations. For some women who are older, and aren’t as sensitive in the clitoral area, I recommend this.

Dr. Pat: I thought you said you told older women not to use—

Dr. Hilda: Some older women prefer the more gentle one. But for some older women who I’m introducing to sex toys, who maybe have not had anything for 30 years and haven’t had an orgasm for 30 years—

Dr. Pat: They need a bomb!

Dr. Hilda: They need this. This is the one that I give.

Dr. Pat: This is definitely the big boy, as they call it.

Dr. Hilda: This is the big boy. Strong vibrations, and for most women within a matter of seconds—

Dr. Pat: I can see why.

Dr. Hilda: —they go from zero to 60 in about 10 seconds. It’s pretty amazing. And I’ve had patients who were in their 70s and never had an orgasm ever in their lives, and I prescribed this one.

Dr. Pat: Do you actually prescribe it?

Dr. Hilda: I write a prescription because most of these patients are not going to walk into the sex toy shop and try the different toys.

Dr. Pat: Medicare does not cover it.

Dr. Hilda: No, Medicare does not cover it.  You can walk into a sex toy store—

Dr. Pat: Medicare does cover Viagra, but it does not cover these.

Dr. Hilda: —and I have one near my office, which I like. By writing it on my prescription pad and sending them to my favorite toy shop, with exactly what I want them to get, it takes away the guilt and the shame. It becomes a medical device, not a toy. “My doctor has prescribed this for me.” And so it becomes much easier.

Dr. Pat: “To lower my cholesterol.”

Dr. Hilda: Exactly.

Coming next: Sex, health, and the economy.

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