We Tried It: The World's First Laser Vibrator

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WEb01Photo Courtesy Of Afterglow.
We've heard of light making you sneeze — but can it make you orgasm? Introducing the Afterglow: the world’s first vibrator with light technology, a.k.a. pulsed infrared rays. It began as a light-therapy treatment for women with pelvic pain and overactive bladder disease. Then, one day during the clinical trials, a patient said, “This is really weird, but the treatment is making me orgasm.”

It makes sense: The low-level laser targets blood flow to the genitals, which in turn increases arousal, which in turn causes mind-blowing orgasms. So, Ralph Zipper, MD, a urogynecologist based in Florida, found a way to put his $30,000 light-therapy laser into a vibrator. And, voila: The Afterglow was born.

The vibrator's concept is actually fairly similar to what Viagra does for men — but with a twist. Our bodies produce a chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP, which causes muscles around the blood vessels to relax. When that happens, more blood flows into our genitals, and we feel more aroused. Viagra works by preventing the breakdown of cGMP (sort of like the way water collects in a bathtub when you plug the drain). But, pulsed, infrared light actually increases the production of cGMP, more like a bathtub spigot turned on high.

Light therapy is also known to restore tissue, decrease inflammation, and ward off bacterial infections — so it’s kind of like giving your nether region a spa treatment. Plus, the Afterglow promised out-of-this-world orgasms, so I decided to try it.

After Dr. Zipper gave me a science lesson on light therapy, he pointed me to Sherri Lorraine, DPT, PhD, for some woman-to-woman pointers on how to use the thing in the first place. Dr. Lorraine’s one warning: “This is not a ‘wham-bam thank you ma’am’ type of device. This is a 'had a hard day at work, need to have a glass of wine and relax' type of device.”

I figured, there are worse things, right? So, I waited for a hard day at work, poured myself a glass of wine, dimmed the lights, and made a date with the Afterglow.
WEb02Photo Courtesy Of Afterglow.
The vibrator itself is a sleek, lavender, rabbit-style gizmo with two silicone prongs and a clumsily sized keypad. The keypad, if ungainly, is at least practical; its five buttons offer up to 85 distinct vibration combinations. When you turn it on, the whole thing starts flashing wildly with blue and red lights — sort of like hosting an EDM show inside your vagina.

Never before have I seen a vibrator that comes with such an extensive instruction manual. It should be described as a Vibration Bible rather than a mere manual, since following the instructions carefully will supposedly lead you to experience "Kundalini," a yogi term for full-body energy.

I played around with it for a while and enjoyed toggling through the pulse patterns. I was able to orgasm — but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

A few days later, however, I was ready to experience orgasmic nirvana: Kundalini. With a quick skim of the instruction manual, I prepared myself to experience the Afterglow’s "PulseWave O Program" — a specially designed eight-minute process that’s supposed to be the holy grail of vibrations.
WEB03Photo Courtesy Of Afterglow.
Throughout the eight minutes, the vibrator cycles through a series of pulse patterns, intensities, and rhythms. Dr. Lorraine warned me to be patient with this one; you need to allow at least five minutes for the light energy to do its thing, and it’s even better if you can last until the end of the eight minutes.

“If you think you are going to climax before that, back off and wait,” says Dr. Lorraine.

But, here’s the thing: When I tried the PulseWave O, I didn’t climax at all. There were a few times when I felt like I was about to, but then the vibrations would change and jerk me out of my rhythm. Surprising, since some women claim the Afterglow (which is a bit pricey at $250) has brought them to a new level with their orgasms, or even rejuvenated their vaginas after childbirth.

My verdict? As far as I’m concerned, the Afterglow gave me some standard, good vibrations — but if anyone reading this gets to Kundalini, send me a postcard.