Sex Toys 101: Debunking the Sex Toy Myth
Let’s begin by going through these social stigmas when it comes to the use of toys in the boudoir:
Myth 1: Why would I need one? We both reach climax during sex..
Ahhh… the “sexual pleasure = orgasms” debate. To take this down, we’ll have to challenge the conception of sex and pleasure in the first place. Sex isn’t just penetrative (PIV) sex. It includes oral, anal, mutual masturbation – basically if it involves arousal and pleasure with one’s genitals and/or intimate parts, that’s considered a sexual experience. While we’ve grown accustomed to society’s (and let’s face it – porn) mindset that for sex to be good, it has to end up in orgasms.
That’s simply not true.
For some, the intimacy with their partners and feelings of trust, mutual pleasure and closeness achieve just as much satisfaction. Masturbation and mutual exploration of your partner’s erogenous zones allows you to learn what types of touches, sensations and techniques will turn you on or off. Sex toys and pleasure tools aren’t a need but add variety and fun and bring your relationships, especially to yourself, closer.
Myth 2: I’m not sure how to bring it up to my Partner. He/She might think She's/he’s not good enough for me if I used one.
Most of us still equate sexual performance as a major factor in a romantic partnership’s success and personal worth. Even women aren’t immune to having their sexual prowess connected to worth, just check out Cardi B’s summer anthem: “I don’t cook, I don’t clean/ But let me tell you how I got this ring” (Ed’s Note: I do still love WAP and think it’s absolutely about owning your own power and sensuality without shame. Plus it’s just so freaking catchy…)
Back to communication with your partner, first off – you might be overthinking it. Out of all my exes, I’m pleasantly surprised that perhaps it was just one or two who took offense when I asked about introducing toys. Turns out in my case that it correlated with their lack of generosity as lovers and their own body insecurities. In general, most of my partners were extremely open and encouraging when it came to experimenting with tools in the bedroom. It took some pressure off of them in having to guess what combination of moves will achieve my orgasm. UpUpDownDownLeftRightLeftRight anyone?
It’s also generally a massive turn-on to have an open-minded partner who’s ready to try something new. This approach will work if you’re just dating and still in the honeymoon phase so you’re both learning about each other.
This is where partners may feel like they’re getting “replaced” or rejected in their sexual performance. Some may also project and wonder where this sense of experimentation is coming from (e.g. “Is she fantasizing about someone else?”, ”Is she exploring with someone new?”). While it may seem frustrating when we’re genuine about our intentions, it’s perfectly normal to both parties to have these fears and doubts.
We recommend approaching the subject in a non-sexual and relatively neutral setting. Please do not spring on them with a pegging harness as a surprise during foreplay. Depending on how comfortable your relationship is, you could be as direct as you want (“Hey, how do you feel about being tied up…”) or hint (“You remember that scene when we watched that movie…”) when you’re testing the waters.
Once your partner engages in the conversation, please be direct and simple in order to avoid any confusion and miscommunication. For example, you may bring up a scene from 50 Shades of Grey because you’re intrigued about being handcuffed, and thought you’re referring to being flogged instead. Ouch!
If they seems hesitant, avoid accusatory language (“You never want to try anything new…“) and assure your partner that a toy cannot and will not replace them. Instead, focus on how it’s adding playfulness and excitement to routine and leads to increase intimacy and trust. (See Common Myth 1). Suggest that you can go shopping together as a couple, whether online or in person to pick out something within your comfort zones. There’s also tons of toys that can be enjoyed as a couple or recommend that he should also try out a male’s toy during your exploration sessions together.
Myth 3: Isn’t it a waste of money? What if I use it too much and get addicted?
Technically, you can get addicted to anything so we won’t try to moot that point. However if you’re worried that you won’t be able to achieve orgasms without them in future, just remember that libidos change and yes, sometimes your tastes and what works for you will change too. You can always take a break from toys or certain types of sensations. That’s part of understanding your body and knowing your turn-ons and turn-offs. That’s the fun part of sexual exploration – you’re always learning something new about yourself!
No one ever complains how a handbag is a waste of money and we’re definitely guilty of having more than just 1-2 in the closet! If you’re still trying to justify a toy, treat them like an accessory to your sexual escapades. Sure, you’ll look cute in that outfit but wouldn’t it look amazing with that great necklace to complete the look? Knowing and owning your sensuality will give you a better appreciation for your body and what it can achieve. It’s also part of our self-love and what better investment with optimal returns other than yourself?
Myth 4: I’ll feel like a pervert if I walk into those sleazy shops and buy one for myself…
There’s a little bit of truth to this myth in the past when the only sex toy shops you’ll see are those seedy little dark spots with flashing CONDOMS CONDOMS CONDOMS neon lights. That’s all changed of course. With the proliferation of online stores with discreet packaging and shipping, you also have female-friendly and ethical sex brands that are into sexual wellness and pleasure empowerment. There are also local stores that take sex seriously as a business with customer oriented service and product knowledge expertise in a non-intimidating and friendly manner. There’s Alice Maple and The Hedonist Store for those in Singapore and in the US, there’s the OG Babeland (shoutout to my first keychain vibe!) and Spectrum Boutique that’s all about sex and body-positivity for all on the Kinsey Scale.
Myth 5: It’s kinda intimidating. I don’t know where to start or what to buy…
Sex toys are called toys for a reason – they’re suppose to be fun! Of course I can say this now as a confident connoisseur of toys and tools for every sexual occasion. However I still remember clearly how nervous and full of trepidation I was when I saw that plastic blue bullet vibe.
“Is it going to break in me?”
“Am I going to be electrocuted if it short-circuits?”
“What if this isn’t natural?“
“What if I can’t come still with this toy?”
Every. Single. Anxiety. And yet, I didn’t ask: “What if it feels super good?” “What if I have multiple orgasms?”
“What do I want to try out next?”
Trust me, you will 😉
I won’t promise that you’ll ever get rid of that anxiety and the feeling of buyer’s remorse each time when you’re about to try out a new toy. I remember how it took me multiple trips to my favourite store to explore ”backdoor” fun and that’s when I really appreciated having an empathic and knowledgeable guide to go through my needs, hesitation and budget. (P.S. Her name is Pea and also serves as my unofficial sex therapist!)
Sure, I have some duds in my toy box but I’ve also found my Holy Grail that if I were to be stuck on a desert island, just give me my Womanizer Premium and a charger and I’m set for life! This is my favourite myth to bust because I can’t wait to help you find your very own personal gem for your toybox.