Let’s face it, there is a lot of sex toy shame. Maybe it’s because men feel invalid when a woman is using a sex toy. Or because women make men responsible for their orgasms.
I believe part of sex toy shame is because antiquated laws, such as making the sale of sex toys a criminal act . A prime example of this belief is when the ultra-conservative Senator Ted Cruz asserted in 2007 that people do not have the legal right to stimulate one’s genitals. Please, would someone just punch this dude in the face already!
Another example is a current case in Sandy Springs, Georgia where a court decided that in order to get your hands on a vibrating device, one will need a doctor’s note. Eventually, both laws upholding the ban on “obscene devices” was lifted. But the shame associated with using objects of desire has not.
“Our bodies are designed for receiving pleasure, not pain. So, it’s kind of weird living in a world where suffering is celebrated and pleasure is vilified.”
Social Expectations & Sex Toy Shame
We live in a time where it is fairly acceptable for women to use vibrators, dildos, and other sex toys to get off. Look at the new show on Netflix. The characters, Frankie and Grace have developed sex toy for menopausal women! However, this is a fictional account. Using sex toys is rarely discussed. And when a woman decides to use a vibe, she always criticized.
Men don’t fare any better either. Whether you are using a pocket pussy, prostate plug, or penis pump, there remains a persistent air of unease around male sex toys too. I think this is mostly because of the false belief that if you don’t achieve orgasm “naturally” or with a partner, there must be something wrong with you. Of course, with these kinds of expectations, it is no wonder people are having sex toy shame.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with you for wanting to use a sex toy!”
I realize it can be hard getting over the socially-imposed guilt of using a sex toy. But when it comes to enjoying a personal relationship with your body, there is no reason to feel ashamed. So, whether you’re male or female, young or old, partnered or single, gay or straight—-
Here are some ways of releasing yourself from sex toy shame
If my neighbors knew what really goes on in my home, they would be mortified, but not me. No one has the right in interfering with your pleasure. Using a sex toy is a personal choice and a private matter. Part of the shame comes from worrying about what other people think. Luckily, if you’ve got a hankering for some genital stimulation, you don’t ever have to leave the house.
These days, buying sex toys is as simple as shopping online. In fact, most sex toy manufacturers have informative websites offering their products direct-to-consumer. Plus, there are a plethora of online retailers offering a smorgasbord of genital delights. Did you know Amazon sells more sex toys than any other product on their site? And with discreet brown box shipping, the nosey parker next door will never know!
Here’s a piece of advice, though—do your research and choose wisely, because sex toys can be expensive and are non-returnable.
“Once you understand what turns you on, choose a sex toy that will maximize and enhance the pleasure.”
You are your own sex-expert! Nobody knows your body better than you. Just like exercise can promote feelings of being centered and present in your body, masturbation does the same thing. I really encourage you to spend time simply touching your body and locating the pleasure centers.
Focus on erogenous zones such as the genitals, nipples, neck, or anywhere else it feels good to touch. Once you understand what turns you on, choose a sex toy that will maximize and enhance the pleasure. Personally, I like nipple rubbing and clitoral stimulation.
Take a Look
Alright, it’s time to do this! Take a mirror and see what’s going on down there. You wouldn’t buy a car without looking under the hood, right?
For the ladies, a hand mirror works best for closer examination. But first, let me clear something up. Your VAGINA is not the same as your VULVA. I’ve included a diagram for reference.
- Also, keep in mind genitalia come in all shapes and sizes. So please, don’t judge or compare yourself to porn stars—that’s just unrealistic. Identify your outer and inner lips, and locate your clitoris. Place your fingers inside your vagina or anus and get a sense of what everything feels like. Using a little bit of lube will help your fingers slide around a bit better too.
Guys, you’re not off the hook either! The best approach to viewing your goodie basket is standing or squatting over a large mirror. Go ahead, and lift your ball sack, examine your taint—and take a gander at the gorgeous asshole. No one is watching you. So, really get in there and feel every part of your chassis. Believe me, exploring it does not make you gay!
Enjoy the Scenery
The exercise in looking at your junk is an opportunity at seeing yourself as a whole being. You are fully equipped with sexy bits that feel good when you touch them. Your genitals are not a separate part of your body. Once you grow accustomed to the visuals of the so-called junk in your truck, you may not feel so ashamed about masturbating or putting sex toys in areas that most of our society deems as “sinful.”
“One of the most powerful things you can do to boost your sexual wellness is to make your pleasure the priority! Put yourself at the top of the list.”
True story! I was involved with a guy who got mad at me for masturbating. His judgment made me feel ashamed and embarrassed. Eventually, I stopped playing with myself altogether and handed him power over my pleasure. Big fucking mistake!
Then it dawned on me. The reason why we masturbate is because it feels fucking fantastic. Masturbating also includes great health benefits. I realized when we allow the expectations of our partner (or anyone else) to overrule our self-pleasure, this eventually leads to feelings guilty and ashamed.
One of the most powerful things you can in boosting your sexual wellness is making your pleasure the priority! Put yourself at the top of the list! While masturbating, try focusing your mind on the pleasure and sensations of your body. Since the mind can usually focus on one thing at a time, you should begin to feel more relaxed and less embarrassed. Putting orgasms at the top of the list makes it very difficult for someone else to pleasure-shame you.
Enjoy Every Minute
So you got your first sex toy, now what? The first rule in using a sex toy is just to loosen up and enjoy the ride. Just use my motto: “Relax. It’s just sex!” There’s a reason why sex toys are called “toys.” They are for fun, play, sparking the imagination, and encouraging exploration. By shifting your perception and being more accepting of enjoyment, and less focused on another’s judgment, you will feel free to openly exploring your body. The point here is to not take things so seriously. When you stop giving a shit what other’s think, it sends a clear message that your body, and its functions, are not to be hidden or suppressed.
Removing sex toys shame is important for maintaining a sexual wellness. Sex toys not only improve sexual acuity, they also let couples experience new ways of playing. However, introducing a sex toy into a toy-less relationship requires some finesse. If you are concerned about ruffling your partner’s feathers, it’s best to avoid waving a dildo in the air like you just don’t care!
People with virtually no experience in the sex toy department may pull away, especially if they feel like they are being pushed. The best approach to warming a shy partner up to sex toys is to talk about it openly. The key to open and honest communication, however; is talk about sex outside of the bedroom. Discuss (without judgment) which toys you may have an interest in using and why you think it will feel good. Check out at a few online sex toy retailers together. Keeping the sexual communication flowing, you both just might open the door to brand new level of excitement.
All We Need is Love
Masturbating, jerking-off, flicking the bean, stimulating the genitals, or whatever you call it is the ultimate act in self-love. When you love yourself, without shame or guilt, you wind up nurturing your physical, emotional, and sexual well-being. Our bodies are designed to give and receive pleasure, so why not take advantage of it on a daily basis.
“Remember, you deserve pleasure and connection, and sex toys are designed FOR leading the way.”