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What Happened When My Best Friend and I Controlled Each Other's Vibrators

Mar 2 2017 6:45 PM
What Happened When My Best Friend and I Controlled Each Other's Vibrators

Photo by Foster Addington via Stocksy

After we heard about the We-Vibe Sync, a couples vibrator that allows you to control another person's orgasm from your phone, we wanted to try it for ourselves. Would it ruin our friendship, or bring us closer together?

My good friend Julia and I were at a sex-positive Halloween party when we heard about the Sync, a We-Vibe couples vibrator that allows your partner to control your vibrator from their phone while it's buzzing inside you. Sync is meant to make couples feel closer together when they're apart, so I, insufferable as ever, instinctively took a "Hey, that's disrespectful to single people!!" stance. Why should couples get yet another thing that single people can't have? They've already got a) romantic love, b) someone to appreciate their butt, and c) consistent human-to-human sex?

I also suspected that having an outside partner controlling the pace and rhythm of my vibrator could liven up my stale masturbation routine, and Julia was down. We were both single, and spending an increasing amount of time together, so in light of the horrifying election results and the malaise that comes with afternoon sunsets, we figured we could both use a jolt of positivity. And what could make us feel better than vibrations in and around our vaginas? Nothing, is what.

Read more: Can You Ever Get Too Dependent on Your Vibrator?

We soon realized that synching our vibrators would be the ultimate test of friendship—would we be able to come at the (virtual) hands of a friend? On one hand, we'd farted around each other repeatedly. But would we be too in our heads about an orgasm? Was the technology even there yet? Both veering towards the heterosexual end of the spectrum, Julia and I have never been attracted to the other physically (though we try to tell each other we're beautiful every day), but this particular vibrator is super strong. Could it throb away the weirdness? Would being physically separated help or hurt us on our quest for mutual assisted platonic orgasm?

Over brunch in November, we ordered smoked salmon bagels and put our vag gear on the cafe table, each of us syncing our vibrators to the other person's phone and alienating everyone else attempting to enjoy their breakfast. This required a level of focus, technological savvy, and problem-solving skills neither of us was prepared for or have. After about a half hour of trial and error, they finally synched. When I opened the app on my phone and chose a vibration setting—like the slow "Wave," which vibrates intensely then softly, intensely then softly—the device buzzed in her hand. We were ready.

Photo by Victor Torres via Stocksy

We put off actually trying it for weeks. Maybe the premise of being gotten off by a friend, however indirectly, made us uncomfortable. Or maybe we were just so depressed because of how dark it was outside that taking any action, whether masturbating with a friend or washing bed sheets after spilling curry on them, felt super daunting.

Without ever vocalizing these apprehensions, we both worried communally masturbating could affect the friendship. As a person who's hooked up with more male friends than I have fingers, I can confirm that friend sex makes things weird for one or both parties, almost every time. But seeing as Julia and I aren't sexually attracted to each other, we hoped this friendly arrangement didn't have to change a thing. In fact, there's a historical precedent! In the 19th century, semi-romantic friendships were fairly common, as there weren't quite the same boundaries between non-sex friends and sex friends (i.e., lovers) that exist today. These sexually ambiguous relationships were known as "Boston marriages" and were shared between close women friends. Peggy Wishart of the Historic New England's Sarah Orne Jewett House in South Berwick, Maine, told The Atlantic that these relationships were common among educated, financially stable women who didn't require the support of a man to survive. While many of these "Boston marriages" were sexual, no one suspected they were, as society had (and continues to have) a mental block against women's sexuality existing independent of men. "[I]t didn't necessarily occur to friends to wonder what their sex life was like," Wishart said. "Women were perceived as being non-sexual to begin with, and most people assumed that if they didn't have husbands, they wouldn't have any interest in sex."

Maria taking control in the We-Vibe Sync video chat

Not only could we follow in this storied tradition, Julia and I didn't have to grapple with shame, really—at least not socially imposed. If two guy friends were to masturbate together unromantically (and somewhat ironically), they'd be more quickly labeled as gay, but even discounting the hOt lesBiaN sTuFf trope, women and femmes have more space to experiment sexually without being boxed into rigid identities.

When 2017 arrived, we couldn't put off getting each other off any longer. We chose a dreary Wednesday night to insert our vibrators and video-chat on the We-Vibe app, both in our respective beds. We poured ourselves glasses of red wine. Julia read a few pages of The Corrections to get her in the mood. Then, we turned on each other's devices.

Julia taking a literary approach to mutual assisted platonic orgasm

Dzzzzzzzz. It felt really, really good. It's a nice vibrator.

We soon learned each other's favorite modes—hers, "Tide," and mine, "Cha Cha Cha." Was this really happening? It was. It actually was. This was very much happening. We could see each other's faces through the video chat, though the connection kept wavering, which might have made things a little easier. I messaged her "bout to cum" as a joke, but I wasn't even joking. Were we dating now? What were the rules to this? Was I actually bout to cum? I let myself forget the gimmick for a moment and enjoy myself, my heart rate rising.

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But ultimately, our masturbation exchange could only escalate so far. I couldn't forget that Julia was my friend and that this was an experiment—which is to say, I couldn't lose myself the way I would need to in order to orgasm. Julia felt the same way. After about five minutes, our vaginas were tired and overstimulated; both of our minds had decided that it wasn't going to happen. So we yanked out our devices and finished our wine, enjoying the video chat feature. (We live a block away from each other.)

Maybe in the summer, when we're feeling more carefree and sexual, I'll insert my Sync, head to the farmer's market, and ask Julia to surprise me at some point in the afternoon. Until then, I'll use the couples vibrator on my own, watching supercuts of Ben on Parks and Rec until I get there.

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