Can you spot the sex toy?
I’m a mostly straight 28 year old in a longterm relationship, and as the co-host of the weekly comedy sex podcast Guys We F----d: The Anti Slut-shaming Podcast, I’m pretty open to experimenting. Anything that helps you learn all the ways you can have orgasms is a win-win in my book.
Toys? Those are also definitely a yes in my book. After all, if you try out a vibrator for the first time and don’t leave the house for two days: win. If your boyfriend buys you an intimidatingly enormous dildo and you have to go to the ER after using it? Well, at least you know that he should get you a smaller one next time!
You might realise that you don’t enjoy sex toys, or that vibrators feel like they’re burning your clit off. This is great news! Because now you know something more about what you like or don’t.
Too often people go to their graves without having ever indulged their sexual curiosity. And you don’t want to be that person with all the regrets, right?
So, if I may, here’s a little advice on the subject.
When buying, ask questions
For the record, I’m not a “dedicated to sex toys” kind of girl, but I’m certainly a “dedicate a drawer” type.
I got my first one at 18. My then-boyfriend bought me a skinny pink vibrator with thick ridges for my birthday. We were at his parents’ house, and he took me back to his room, which was confusing – until I realised that he didn’t want me to unwrap a sex toy in front of his parents (Good move, D!).
When I opened my gift, a gigantic, bashful smile spread across my face. I had always dreamt of having a vibrator, but was too terrified to step inside a sex-toy shop. And I had always been under the impression that guys would be intimidated by a girl who used a vibrator. But here he was, introducing a toy into our relationship.
If you’re not blessed to be gifted a toy, though, you’re going to have to buy your own. I know it’s tempting to shop online and get your discreetly wrapped box a few days later, but for your first foray, I highly recommend going to a real store if there’s one near you.
I bought my first sex toy with my current boyfriend Stephen. Important thing to note if you’ve never walked into one of these places? The people who work there will not judge your sex life. It’s like when I worked at an Apple store, I never talked to a customer and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re here to buy a… computer? Ew, freak!’
And just as I learnt a lot about computers working at Apple, the people working at adult stores know a thing or two about sex and orgasms, so ask them questions.
On my first visit, a cute girl with purple hair asked me about the kind of orgasm I liked. I wanted to run away, but boy, I’m glad that I didn’t. I hadn’t thought about that, and I realised that I preferred clitoral stimulation, but wanted to explore G-spot orgasms – as well as find something to use with my boyfriend.
After we had discussed orgasms for 45 minutes, she recommended the Gigi vibrator by Lelo. Good call. Magical, actually.
If you still wince at the idea of a physical store, browse a few websites first. That way, you’ll have an overview of your options and can go to the store with questions instead of being overwhelmed by all the colourful, penis-shaped rubber things in your face.
And once you own the toy? Enjoy. Every body works differently. Set aside an hour and take advantage of having a vagina!
Want to get your partner into toys?
If you’re fond of your toy, you may want to use it with your partner. Feel out how into it he or she is, and don’t be shy – this is the person you have sex with, after all. So many women have told me they’re nervous to introduce a vibrator into sex because they don’t want their partners to feel bad. My 18-year-old self worried about that, too. If you feel
“once you own the toy? enjoy. And take ADVANTAGE of having A VAGINA!”
the same way, I have some questions for you: why are you prioritising their feelings over your own? What if they don’t mind and are actually excited about that scenario? And if they do get upset, can’t you at least have a conversation about it?
I personally assume that everyone is wonderful until they prove me wrong, so let’s say for argument’s sake that your partner gets his or her panties in a twist over the idea of you using a vibrator during sex and, after much discussion, is still not OK with the idea. Fine. If you can live with that, you may end up having better sex anyway because (hopefully) you will have talked about what you want and what works for you.
And if you aren’t OK with giving up on toys? Talk some Christmas morning, my mouth said, “This looks fun!” but my heart said, “Ah, WTF?” When we tried it out a few nights later, I made him go very slow. And I’ve got to say, I enjoyed it – until the end, when my insides started to feel funny. We fell asleep and four hours later, I woke up in excruciating pain. Turns out I had an ovarian cyst, and it had burst. (At the hospital, I wasn’t going to tell the doctor what had happened, but they loaded me up with morphine and I proudly shouted, “It was the biggest dildo ever, you guys!”)
According to the doctor, the cyst had already been close to bursting and the dildo had irritated it further.
That huge dildo is now collecting dust in my bedside drawer because I don’t have the heart to throw it away. It was a gift from my beloved, and looking at it makes me laugh too much to toss it.
Stephen and I have since
moved on to gadgets, like the Hitachi Magic Wand. In other words: I got back on that horse! Having a bad experience with anything in life is almost always a plus, because you come out of it with thicker skin and more knowledge about how the world and its people work.
Or in this case, the size of dildo that feels right for you.
Men might want one, too
But perhaps the most fascinating part of my sextoy experience was learning that, like women, men have different types of orgasms.
Stephen and I discovered this after buying the Aneros Helix, a male G-spot stimulator. Most of my straight male friends think sex toys are reserved for women, with the exception of the Fleshlight (looks like a torch, but unscrew the cap and it’s a mould of a vagina, mouth or… you get the idea).
Meanwhile, the majority of my gay male friends are living it up in the bedroom with a plethora of toys. Why should they have all the fun? Ask your partner if he’d like to incorporate a toy for his pleasure into the bedroom. Seeing Stephen get off with the Aneros was super hot.
And don’t worry about sex toys taking over your sex life; we use some sort of gadget only 40% of the time. That works for us, and you’ll find your own number. For Stephen and me, it’s mainly a combination of convenience, location and, yes, ego plays into it a little.
There was a time when I broke out the Magic Wand every time we got naked, and Stephen made a subtle comment like, “Wow, you really like that thing, huh?” so I started leaving it in the drawer a little more often. The point is, we talk about it. Those talks can get tricky, but speaking up about your insecurities, hesitations, preferences and fantasies paves the way for enjoying sex in all its sweaty glory.
“Ask your partner if he’d like to incorporate A toy for his pleasure into the bedroom.”