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The Science Of Vibrators – Captivsenses

Man reading book

What’s are ‘rumbly’ and ‘buzzy’ vibrators?

One of the best ways to empower ourselves, our lovers, and our sex lives is with education. Too few of us were taught inclusive, pleasure-focused sex education as young people. Too few of us were taught the intricacies of the female anatomy.

So, is it any wonder that a ‘pleasure gap’ exists, with women 30 per cent less likely to orgasm than men in heterosexual encounters? Is it any wonder that people think ‘finding the G-spot’ requires a PhD in gynaecology?

Man reading book
Overcoming the pleasure gap between the sexes isn’t as complex as you might think.

The lack of awareness around vibrators is symptomatic of female pleasure being denied, erased and neglected for centuries. Some people express feeling shame about wanting, or needing, a vibrator to reach orgasm, but they don’t have to.

If only more people understood the science – there would be way less shame and way more orgasms!

If only more people understood the science of vibrators, there would be way more orgasms

Je Joue, for example, is a luxury, sex-positive toy company that has created its own motors that produce ultra-low-frequency vibrations. They know that a ‘rumbly’ vibrator is going to make our good friend, the clitoris, very happy indeed. After reading this, you’ll think so too…

To understand why vibrators feel so great, we need to have a firm grasp of female anatomy. This involves busting some myths that have been around for many years.

Close up of roseClose up of rose

Learn about female anatomy and you’ll be rewarded with increased pleasure for you or your partner.

The clitoris is an iceberg, not a button!

In the history of sexual anatomy, the clitoris has long been rejected, disgraced, and misunderstood. As far back as 1545, when a French physician dissected this organ for the first time, he named it membre honteux — “the shameful member” — and declared its sole purpose to be urination. (1)

In the history of sexual anatomy, the clitoris has long been misunderstood

Viewing the female body through the male gaze (unavoidable when men have historically been the only ones allowed to study medicine and human anatomy) has led to the vagina taking prominence as the gateway to female pleasure. That’s because it’s the area these men were most concerned with.

The clitoral ‘button’ is actually the tip of an ‘iceberg’.

Even though it is the most important physical aspect of female pleasure, the clitoris was largely ignored for centuries. Some in history went so far as to criticise women who enjoyed clitoral stimulation or experienced clitoral orgasms.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1998 that Melbourne born Urologist, Helen O’Connell published her ground-breaking medical paper and the true extent and purpose of the clitoris was first documented. (2)

The sole purpose of the clitoris is pleasure. There are two to three times as many nerve endings located in the clitoris than there are in a penis, and all female orgasms involve the clitoris.

When we talk about the clitoris, most of us think of that small, visible ‘button’

When we talk about the clitoris, most of us think of that small, visible ‘button’ that hangs out at the top of the labia. (This button, or glans, contains 8,000 nerve endings — that’s more than twice as many as the head of the penis!) And, while this definitely is the clitoris, it is by no means all of it.

Kiwi fruit with cherry on topKiwi fruit with cherry on top
The clitoris may be likened to a button, pea or cherry but there’s much more to it.

The clitoris resembles a wishbone but the tip is the only part we can see. Under the pubic bone, the organ looks like a wishbone with a body up to four centimetres long.

Coming out of the body are legs, or crura, up to nine centimetres long, and also eggplant-shaped bulbs up to seven centimetres long. All these bits, O’Connell confirmed, are sensitive areas made of spongy tissue and become erect, just like the penis. (3)

In fact, it’s been suggested that 90 per cent of the clitoris is located internally.

3D model of clitoris3D model of clitoris
The clitoris resembles a wishbone, with most of the organ not visible to the naked eye.

Fun Fact: It can take up to 40 minutes for the clitoris to become fully erect – so it’s no wonder than women require more warm-up time and foreplay! You can help speed things up by using an arousal gel – this will help the clitoris become erect more quickly.

The clitoris looks like a wishbone with a body up to four centimetres long

And, did you know it’s estimated that over 75 per cent of women require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm? This is not so surprising now, given what we have just learned about the clitoris.

Yet, many women still feel a pressure to be able to orgasm from penis-in-vagina sex alone. ‘Vaginal orgasms’ are somehow seen as the Holy Grail by many – but why? Biology and science show us that this should not necessarily be the case, that more often than not, clitoral stimulation should be the main focus when trying to pleasure many a woman.

Banana on orangeBanana on orange
The importance placed on traditional penetrative sex means the clitoris can miss out on some attention.

Porn is NOT sex education

Generally speaking, the porn industry’s depiction of female pleasure is problematic for a vast number of reasons. Porn is not real. Porn is created, in the large part, for the male gaze. Therefore, it is not surprising that, once again, our good friend the clitoris is neglected, ignored and misunderstood.

Furthermore, the vast majority of women require more than a few seconds of thrusting to reach orgasm.

Man holding cameraMan holding camera
Erotica often ignores the intricacies of pleasure.

Because it took us millennia to get past the assumptions of propelled by certain psychologists and doctors, to reach a complete anatomical understanding of the clitoris, we’re also still playing catch-up with clitoral pleasure.

In many cases, you have to understand — and pay a whole lot of attention to — your clitoris

But one thing we know for sure is this: In order to have a fun, fulfilling, orgasm-filled sex life as a woman, in many cases, you have to understand — and pay a whole lot of attention to — your clitoris.

And, if you have lovers or a partner with a clitoris, you’d better start paying attention too.

Couple in bedCouple in bed
Put assumptions aide, and get to understand your partner’s body intimately.

‘Rumbly’ vs ‘buzzy’ vibrators

Rumbly’ and ‘buzzy’ are adjectives that the sex toy community invented. If you imagine it as a spectrum, rumbly vibrations (sometimes referred to as ‘thuddy’) reside on one end, buzzy on the other.

This does not refer to the intensity of vibrations, but rather the frequency. Buzzy vibrations are caused by high-frequency vibrations, while rumbly vibes are powered by low-frequency vibrations.

Buzzy vibrations are surface-level and shallow

The majority of sex toys fall on the buzzy end of the spectrum, especially battery-operated ones. Buzzy vibrations are surface-level, shallow, even sharp at times. Sometimes you can hear them more than you can feel them, and they tend to have a grating high-pitched sound, like an electric toothbrush.

Rumbly vibrations are deep, resonant and penetrating

Rumbly vibrations are deep, resonant and penetrating. They sound lower-pitched – more like a bass speaker. You can feel the vibrations more than you can hear the high-pitched sound (which makes them a great choice if you have roommates and thin walls!).

Je Joue bullet vibratorJe Joue bullet vibrator
This Je Joue bullet is an popular example of a rumbly vibrator.

Externally, rumbly toys are able to send their lower-frequency vibrations further – and are thus able to stimulate the entire internal clitoris. Internally, buzzy vibrators can create a different sensation, because the high-frequency vibrations tend to stimulate the very top layers of skin and nothing further. A rumbly vibe used internally is going to feel deep and sensual, like a massage chair.

You can feel the difference between rumbly and buzzy vibes by holding them in your hand. The vibrations coming from a rumbly vibe will resonate from within the body of the toy, rather than at the surface.

Which one is better is a personal choice, and you may even prefer different sensations on different occasions.


Because of their dedication to pleasure for women, by women, and based on actual female anatomy, Je Joue designs its toys with the clitoris in mind. Je Joue has created its own unique motor, that has been designed to vibrate at an incredibly low frequency. This is what powers the deeper, richer sensations inside their rumbly toys. Deeper vibrations cause deeper orgasms; superficial vibrations cause superficial orgasms.

Now that we have an understanding of just how large the clitoris is — and how much of it is hidden from view — it makes a lot of sense that just focusing on that ‘button’ alone misses out on much of the clitoris’s potential for pleasure. This is why Je Joue’s subwoofer-style vibrations are so effective — and feel so good. Je Joue bullets aren’t just stimulating the button— they’re stimulating the whole iceberg.


(1) Mollendorf M 2011, Re-envisioning Reproduction: Dividing Life from Death in Charles Etienne’s De la Dissection,’ Quidditas, vol. 32, article 8, pp. 101-137, viewed 16 February 2021,

(2) O’Connell HE, Sanjeevan KV & Hutson JM 2005, ‘Anatomy of the clitoris’, The Journal Of Urology, vol. 87, no. 4 pt 1, pp. 1189-95, viewed 16 February 2021, DOI: 10.1097/

(3) Ibid

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