I wrote this blog for Teddies for Bettys March of 2016. I could definitely improve upon and expand even more... but instead I'm going to use it as a way to start this conversation on my personal blog... enjoy.
Sex Toys. Adult toys. Handheld massagers. The names are endless and the opinions about their use is wide and varied.
Let me share my personal experience with sex toys. I'm the girl that watched the Sex and the City episode where Charlotte goes out and buys the Rabbit and doesn't leave her apartment for days on end. I immediately went out and bought the same exact one…
and did the same exact thing…
while 6 months pregnant.
A few weeks after becoming comfortable and hormones raging, I decided it was necessary that I introduce my husband to this new found discovery. Up until this point, we had never used any sex toys. Maybe I was young and too naive to see that this could have gone either direction, but I invited him to the room and said, 'there is someone I want you to meet." while holding out the pink phallic shaped vibrator that had a rabbit with long ears coming off the side, these crazy spinning pearls and my giant grin.
I said, 'this is bugs. he is our friend and we will enjoy him together.'
And so it began.
That was 15 years ago. I've been divorced, remarried, divorced again and dated… and I'm here to say, from my personal experience, that my journey with sex toys has been more of a private one then one used in relationships. In fact, I only used sex toys with people I was committed to and had been with for awhile.
For me, sex toys became a way for me to understand my body and emotions without judgement. I find it deeply intimate and actually enjoy using them alone more than 'with' someone. I think it's important that I mention this personal use didn't result from my partners ever being judgmental or not understanding. It was a relationship that I grew with myself.
Sex toys come up in conversation frequently at Teddies for Bettys, because we are one of the few places in Austin, one of the first shops in TX, that sells them in addition to our everyday bras and lingerie. I'm always interested in women and men's reactions. Sex toys may not be for everyone, but I can tell you what is; questions about them. Even those who say they will never use them tend to ask a question. Which is enough for me. To create an environment that feels comfortable to ask.
But, it had me thinking: Sex toys. Are they buzz worthy or a buzz kill? Do most women use them? Are they in relationships? Did they discover them together? Did their husband initiate? Do you bring them out while dating? Use them alone?
Looks like I have questions too. So I emailed some friends-slash-customers for answers. I was flooded with answers! (Another reason why I love my community.)
Each response I read either made me laugh or it resonated on some level… Here are just some:
'i'm the wrong person to ask. i've never had a sex toy, never wanted one, husband never asked for one nor mentioned it. i don't need to add one more thing that i have to hide from my kids. but keep selling them in your store.'
'I think sex toys can be fun for sure! Being single and starting to date I definitely use them. I would introduce them when dating because I think it can lead to more of a connection between people. I think it helps bring down barriers between people and therefore can lead to greater intimacy both physically and emotionally.. Plus I think it's important to take ourselves out of our comfort zones ( maybe with introducing them when dating…) and try new things. It reminds of the Woody Allen quote from Annie Hall.
"A relationship , I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark."
I have 3 or 4 sex toys and rarely use them when I'm alone. Usually not planned and I don't have the energy to get up and get it. Ha.
Most I've bought and used with whoever I'm with at the time. Love using them as part of a relationship. Adds to the fun and pleasure.
The alone time with my toys (single and married) allows me to navigate how I feel pleasure without the pressure of societal assumptions on what "should" make me feel pleasure. Sexual playfulness and curiosity in my intimate relationship is very important to me. What is the point of finding your twin flame, the one you trust in the whole entire world, and then decide to pull the plug on all sexual adventure?
My first exposure to sex toys came when I was house sitting for a friend. Every couple of minutes I'd hear a strong bump and thud, like someone was in the other room. I peered into the room and followed the noise to a pile of clothes. Underneath? the Lelo smart wand. It had been charging and was vibrating to show full charge. Needless to say, La petite mort comes in many forms.. After that, my curiosity was piqued and I went and bought my first toy. My boyfriend had never tried one either, and together we were able to share an even more intimate part of ourselves.
'I'm a divorced, mother of one, in a mutually exclusive, monogamous relationship. I never utilized these toys/tools until my boyfriend introduced the idea. He made me feel so comfortable about using them to our mutual benefit and helped me realize that there was nothing embarrassing or wrong with experimenting with such tools, a supplement to our "god"-given toolbox! We are such a priggish society concerned about judgement, but secretly harbor "fantasies" that we should culturally accept and celebrate as natural and normal, sexual needs! If we could all be more open and communicative about our needs, I believe couples would be more happy and fulfilled and less likely to divorce and/or cheat on their partners.'
'Sex Toys? I LOVE them. I used them when I was single and continue to now that I'm married. While dating, I would stop using them and then introduce them later on. My husband had never dated a woman who was openly into them, per say, until me. Now we use them together'
Let me insert one last opinion, actually. Sex toys have come a LONG way- (no pun intended) -No longer are they these awkward looking, loud, plug in devices.
They are chargeable. Silent. Waterproof. You can buy sets for couples play.
Lipstick vibrators with USB chargers so that you can travel and charge. Or keep as a back up in the office for your lunch break.
So tell me, what are your thoughts? Do you consider sex toys buzz worthy or a buzz kill?