I Let a Guy Remotely Control My Vibrator and Here's What Happened

“So, when am I going to stimulate you with a touch of a button?”
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“So, when am I going to stimulate you with a touch of a button?”
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Living in a world peppered with gratuitous Game of Throneslove scenes and the refreshingly frank Masters of Sex holding court on the airwaves,  you’ll quickly find that being unfamiliar with the more extreme parts of sex is the new extreme: who, after all, hasn’t talked nonchalantly about ball gags and butt plugs over coffee? But self-awareness is shockingly little comfort when you find yourself fake drunk texting an old flame to ask if they’d have any interest in controlling a vibrator for you via an iPhone app from 3,000 miles away.

“Think about what it feels like to give up control,” my editor counseled when she suggested I check out the We-Vibe, an incredibly fancy vibrator made for couples to play together, or from anywhere in the world. Though the We-Vibe can be, and is designed to, be used in bed with your partner, its most interesting feature is the fact that thanks to a combination of Bluetooth and magic, a paramour can control it for you anytime. While visions of a tale of me being surprised in the grocery aisle by a familiar gentle rumble were no doubt dancing through my editor’s head at the time we discussed this, all I could focus on was the larger issue at hand: how in the world would I casually bring up the idea of controlling my vagina via app to someone I hadn’t slept with in months?

Cary, an old friend I should have dated when we lived in the same borough, was far more mature about the prospect when I finally stopped beating around the bush with awkwardly flirty texts (the phrase “I only do that on bank holidays” may have been used). Yes, he’d be game to try it, yes, he wanted a pseudonym, no, he wasn’t interested in listening to me argue the economic instability of a flat tax in an attempt to seduce him.

“So, when am I going to stimulate you with a touch of a button?”

And then nothing happened. For three weeks. Taunted by the packaging of the We-Vibe on my desk on a daily basis, I was rendered essentially mute when it came to initiating the conversation about logistics. For someone who makes a living off of crafting words, sexting is a form of particularly cruel and unusual torture. Despite what many of you will likely tell me to the contrary, there is no good way to start a sext that doesn’t feel at least 15% awkward, and as I quickly realized, if I wanted this to be less than transactional, a sext was the easiest way to jumpstart this process.

Likely picking up on the fact that I have never been the type of woman to say “Hiiii, watcha doin? [smile emoji] and yet somehow had managed to fire that missive off three times in  a week with unexplained photos of my boobs and more discussion about the GOP debate, Cary, ever the consummate professional when it comes to consummating, finally broke the suffocating silence.

“So, when am I going to stimulate you with a touch of a button?”

Thank God. To put into perspective what a pussy I was being about this whole thing, it’s worth noting that after two weeks of being too nervous to even open the box, knowing what the natural next step had to be, I left it at home to drive down the coast for a few days. I took a road trip to escape my vibrator.  Luckily, I had worked up the nerve to play with the We-Vibe a few hours prior to Cary’s text, and paired with a glass of wine, things were starting to feel significantly less daunting.

The learning curve of using a product that essentially clips into you like an orgasm holster is terrifying...

For starters, the right vibrator helps, and as far as couples play goes, the We-Vibe is the Maserati of vibrators. Despite having found a drastically unhelpful photo lining the We-Vibe up next to a stack of similarly shaped staple removers when I was searching for reviews and tips, the vibrator itself feels amazing – velvety smooth, pleasantly ridged, and surprisingly hefty in a world where vibrators often feel they’ll break apart inside of you. The learning curve of using a product that essentially clips into you like an orgasm holster is terrifying, but familiarization is quick. Different settings that can be controlled separately for external and internal vibrations were overwhelming at first (did you know you could Cha-Cha-Cha on your G-spot in various frequencies?), but the WeVibe has an iPhone app that’s so effortlessly intuitive, it renders the enclosed remote useless. Two glasses of wine and one mishap in which standing up while wearing the We-Vibe jammed it up further than expected later, and I’d settled in on a delightful little pattern called Echo that was a sensation like I’d never felt before.

Any sexiness Cary and I tried to force was quickly lost as we fussed with the logistics of the app.

“There are charts?!” he texted, as he first tried to connect to the app, before quickly pivoting to the wholly manufactured “I’m so turned on right now.”

The couples play setting isn’t perfect. After six or seven dropped connections (“Tech is so hot,” I texted back), things still hadn’t gelled. Despite my suggestion to Cary that I was drunk, horny, and willing, I returned a call to Capital One’s fraud department to sort out some old credit card issues while he valiantly attempted to teach me how to use Bluetooth.

When he finally got it working, I was so caught off guard there still remains a good chance I approved $850 in fraudulent Bloomingdale’s charges. I’d like to say we were off to the races at that point, but the We-Vibe definitely still has quite the learning curve; when you’re trying to keep an app open, Bluetooth connected, cancel a credit card, and get someone off via a product you’ve never used before, suffice to say, it takes a while.

It yielded a semi-uneven, yet entirely hilarious tap dance over my clitoris.

Even though the app offers incredibly useful texting, video chat, and phone capabilities, it illuminated the bigger problem we had: communication. Using a vibrator to make someone come all the way across the country isn’t easy; figuring out how to do so while you’re both mastering a new product is even harder. Given that Cary couldn’t see me, and the majority of texts were variants of “Is it in?” “Are you pressing play?” and “LOL TECHNOLOGY,” things got off to a less than sexy start. I realized a few minutes in however, was that the problem had nothing to do with the We-Vibe, it was me.

Cary had already more than demonstrated how "in" he was; three years of good friendship and occasional, yet truly exceptional, sex from the only man who had ever gone out of his way to make sure I had a great time every time was testament to that. And yet when it came to even thinking about trying something outside of our comfort zone, I clammed up instantly. It would have been immeasurably simple to text back “Try the Echo setting, and don’t let up” but asking for what you want always is the hardest, isn’t it?

Control isn’t just about letting someone else be in charge of your pleasure – though the trust needed to do that is, as evidenced by my inability to let Cary take over, crucial. It’s also about letting yourself indulge in the moment, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. For me, someone so obnoxiously opinionated in every other social setting, asking for what I want in bed, and running the risk of coming off as anything less than perfectly self-assured, induces anxieties that surprise me even today.

I finally did stop resisting the urge to make jokes about the whole situation and let Cary just take over. It was decent; after all, he had no idea which of the 12 varying sensations were my preferred, yielding a semi-uneven, yet entirely hilarious tap dance over my clitoris. The vibrations were strong, which I'll never complain about, but we never did quite hit a rhythm — at least not one that yielded an orgasm. But the idea of someone else having control of your pleasure, especially without them in the room, that's what made the experience intensely sexy, regardless of our connection.

Photos by Mika Knezevic / Getty Images