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A surprising new use for your vibrator

They say necessity is the mother of invention. When David Ley, a researcher at the University of Alberta in Canada, needed a way to improve actors and singers vocal abilities, he invented a whole new use for the common vibrator.


Ley found that placing a vibrator on the throat of the people he was coaching helped them to have greater projection and vocal range. Even when the vibrator was removed there was still considerable improvement.

He originally noticed that massage to the throat and larynx would loosen up tension and relax muscles. However, he found that most people struggled with having someone’s hands around their throats. That’s when he came up with the brilliant idea to use the vibrations from a sex toy instead. He chose a vibrator that had a frequency of between 100 – 120 hertz because that is similar to the human voice range.

After some experimentation, he found that applying the vibrator to the top of the head and the cheeks helped with particular overtones as well. Ley eventually took his idea to the speech pathology department at the University to see if they could further explore the potential uses and benefits of using a vibrator to relax throat muscles.

Remarkably, they trusted him and were able to help a stage actress that was suffering with laryngitis during a particularly demanding musical she was appearing in. After trying the vibrator on the throat method she said, ‘It was like my voice had been polished and was completely brand new. It was so absent of stress, even though the show was a stressful one to do’.

Ley will be presenting his findings at the Voice Foundation Symposium in June.

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