Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Thanks to popular culture, sex toys aren’t as taboo as they once were. Chances are that a significant number of the people you know own at least one. However, commonality doesn’t necessarily mean that having a collection of toys is entirely free from stigma.

When I was 19, I ventured into an adult store because I heard they had opera-length fishnet gloves in the fetish section, which seemed like the perfect gift for my goth-tastic best friend. The gloves were exactly what my friend wanted, but the overall experience was rather horrifying. None of the peculiar, caramel-colored silicone objects or the poorly packaged, dolphin-shaped vibrators looked appealing or attractive. It all felt a bit grim – like disembodied phallic shapes that had recently landed from an alien spaceship. And to think that people actually used these things in or around their bodies? It was far from sexy.

This attitude itself is actually quite normal. Sex positivity is often something that needs to be actively cultivated, especially during the formative years of your sexual awareness. But why do these ideas exist in the first place? What’s so shameful about sex toys, anyway? Below, we’ll address a few common misconceptions. Remember, being open about your sexual preferences isn’t about conforming; it’s about embracing who you are.

Myth: Toys are for people who are bored with sex.

In every school, there was always that one person who assumed the role of the “sexuality guru.” Our guru once complained to me that a girl who had just entered her first sexual relationship was already seeking advice on toys. “Toys are for people who are getting bored!” she exclaimed, waving her hands in teenage exasperation. Bored? Imagine someone you care about making such a statement about your relationship, insinuating that you’re the couple on the brink, desperately introducing something new to salvage what’s left. Who would want that kind of judgment?

Our high school guru failed to recognize that toys can be a fulfilling addition to any partnership. Instead of suggesting that your relationship is failing or in need of external stimuli to maintain intimacy, sex toys serve as tools to enhance the intimacy you already share. Of course, an orgasm and feelings of love and happiness are distinct experiences, but it’s rather lovely when the two coincide. This leads us to the second misconception…

Myth: Orgasms from toys will replace partnered sex.

Most people, as a rule, don’t come equipped with a vibrating mode. They aren’t textured, rotating, adorned with flexible nubs, multi-pronged, or outrageously oversized. That’s probably why a male friend of mine, upon encountering an assortment of dildos, needed reassurance that a) these were not “normal” in size, and b) toys aren’t real people.

Toys can’t replicate the affection, comfort, and profound intimacy we experience when we’re with someone we genuinely care about. A vibrator can’t kiss or hold you. A dildo can’t provide the unique experience a human can. So, there’s no point in trying to compare them. Sex toys need to excel in their own way—by being exceptionally good at what they’re designed for. And why not make them fun with rainbow colors and intriguing shapes while we’re at it?

Myth: You shouldn’t need sexual aids to get off.

In reality, sex toys can have a crucial function for individuals who struggle to achieve orgasm due to factors like anatomy, medication side effects, or conditions such as carpal tunnel or other disabilities that make traditional masturbation difficult. For some people, sex toys might be the only way to experience sexual pleasure. Restricting oneself or a partner from this source of enjoyment because of nervousness or societal stigma is unnecessarily limiting. Instead of hindering intimacy, sexual aids can enhance it. This is something to celebrate, isn’t it?

What’s truly unfortunate is when those who have no difficulty reaching orgasm choose to use sex toys. They might be perceived as indulging excessively in hedonistic pleasure—after all, they have two hands, right? That should be enough, right? Anything more is considered unnatural.

However, such judgments come perilously close to the idea that people aren’t entitled to their own pleasure. Dildos, for instance, have been in use for thousands of years, so what could be more natural than that?

 

Myth: You can become desensitized to vibrators

Well, there’s a grain of truth in this myth. Extended stimulation, especially from vibrators with surface-focused, buzzy vibrations, can lead to temporary numbness. However, this typically goes away after a few hours. If you’re using a more powerful vibrator like a Magic Wand, which has intense, rumbly vibrations that penetrate deeper into the skin, your body might become accustomed to that type of stimulation. But taking a break for a day or two can help your sensitivity bounce back. Just like how your hair benefits from switching up your shampoo every now and then!

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Myth: Guys who use toys are just weird.

Embracing your sexuality should never be considered “weird.” When it comes to sex toys, there’s a broad range of options for people with clits and vaginas, and these toys can be not only functional but also sculptural and classy. On the other hand, some people might be put off by the appearance of more anatomical sex toys, like dismembered genitalia. However, it’s important to note that these toys come in various shapes and styles, and discussions about “female-friendly” toys are relatively common in public settings.

In contrast, there seems to be a lack of open conversation among men about their experiences with toys like C-rings or Fleshlights. Exploration of sensations through activities like pegging or prostate stimulation is often stigmatized due to toxic masculinity, which may associate them with homosexuality. Some toy companies even market products specifically to the homosexual market, which can make cisgender heterosexual men feel excluded from exploring their own sexuality. This notion is indeed a myth that should be challenged.

Overcoming the stigma

Don’t be swayed by shame

If you’ve ever felt a mix of curiosity and discomfort when it comes to sex toys, it’s important to explore the experiences and influences that may have shaped your feelings. These feelings could be rooted in negative reactions from peers, the fear of offending a partner, or the notion of keeping a sexual preference secret. Perhaps the anatomical references associated with sex toys make you uncomfortable.

One way to overcome these feelings is to explore real or online stores, where you can find non-representational sex toys that are less obvious in their purpose. Some discreet options include bullet vibrators that resemble makeup or masturbation sleeves that don’t resemble anatomical body parts.

It’s crucial to remember that there’s nothing wrong with seeking a little extra pleasure, and you’re entitled to experience sexual satisfaction and pleasure, whether alone or with a partner. Orgasms are a normal and healthy part of human sexuality.

By admin

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