I was at a party recently when the talk turned, naturally enough, to sex. Somehow the subject of vibrators came up. I discovered that my female friends (I'll call them Prudence, Faith, and Charity) were vibrator virgins: while they were no strangers to sex, they had never indulged in battery-operated pleasure.

As a journalist who smelled a good story, I asked if they would give vibrators a try if I supplied them with the necessary equipment. The catch? They would have to share their first-time experiences.

We reconvened over dinner in an Italian restaurant a few weeks later to compare their experiences. They were more than forthcoming; I felt as if I had stumbled into an episode of Sex in the City.

In the name of better orgasms for everyone, here are their stories.

The participants: Prudence, 22 years old, a graduate student at Columbia University, Faith, 23 years old, an editorial assistant at a publishing house, and Charity, 22 years old, a personal trainer.

Me: You all chose different models of vibrators. Can you describe them?

Charity: It's four inches long with a nubby end and looks like a curling iron.

Prudence: Mine is this big, rubbery, purple penis. I chose it because it looked like the real thing.

Faith: Mine is bright pink and made of soft plastic. It's been dubbed the "Pink Pony" by my friends at work. (I guess I must have told them about it one night when I had a couple of drinks.)

Me: Can you talk about your first time?

Prudence: Mine was great. I had an orgasm in less than two minutes. I was totally ecstatic. I was just naked in my living room, holding this thing and trying to decide which one of my girlfriends to call first.

Charity: I really wanted to try it with a partner, but I couldn't since I was dumped recently. So I went solo. When it was over, I was like 'I think I just had an orgasm' but I wasn't sure. It was weird. It felt good, but it wasn't the same as an orgasm from sex. It was abbreviated.

Faith: My first experience felt a little artificial, almost mechanical. And then I tried it again, and it got much better. I think I'm getting the hang of it now.

Me: Since this was your first vibrator, how did you know what to do with it?

Faith: It's pretty self-explanatory. The whole thing is very anatomically correct.

Me: Prudence, you haven't told your boyfriend about your vibrator. Why not?

Prudence: I worry that it would be like telling him that he wasn't fulfilling me, which isn't the case. But I think I've always been a little more sexual than he is. He's a lot more conservative than I am. I'm worried that it would hurt his feelings or make him feel insecure.

Me: Has using the vibrator lessened your desire to have sex with him?

Prudence: Not at all. In fact, I feel like if I'm thinking about sex more. And if I use it in the afternoon, I really want to have intercourse with my boyfriend at night. It's actually been good for our sex life.

Me: Would you think about incorporating the vibrator into a relationship?

Charity: It would have to be the right person. Some guys would be freaked out.

Faith: It's fun on its own, but I think it would be even more fun with someone else. I've been in long-term relationships, and I know you need a little something to spice them up after a while.

Me: Would you recommend a vibrator to other women?

Prudence: Definitely. Especially women who have trouble reaching orgasm. It helps you figure out what it takes to have one.

Me: What would you compare your vibrator to? Is it like an amusement park or a good movie?

Faith: It's better than a movie. It's nice to know it's always there. I can use it whenever the spirit moves me.

Me: Why do you think more women don't own a vibrator?

Charity: Because they're embarrassed. But it's so much fun and it's not something to be ashamed of.

Prudence: Maybe everyone should just buy them for all of their friends.