The Tools We Refuse to Discuss

One weekend, a friend and I were bored, so we started browsing a site called We were looking at all the weird things that you could get when I suddenly mentioned dildos and our fates were sealed. Once you get to that point, there is no turning back. Especially after a reviewer stated that she was going to buy all of the eight different variants of a glass dildo that was on sale. Yikes. But, it made me think about how little expertise I had when I first started my own sex toy journey. I shudder to think what could have happened.

My relationship with vibrators and the like used to be a very distant one. You do not bother me and I do not bother you. We exist in different camps, on different sides. There was a certain weirdness about sex toys that I felt and reacted to. Sure we mention them, but we never really talk about them. There is a shame attached to masturbation that has always been clear in our society, and masturbating as an activity has always been linked to men. Especially as a girl, I did not feel comfortable even thinking about masturbation. Even now, I feel a real discomfort in just writing this. But my journey with owning a vibrator has taught me some really important lessons. Mainly the one that you will hear about every stigmatized topic: We need to talk about this!

When I first entertained the idea of getting a vibrator, I was absolutely terrified of the entire process. Not to mention ashamed that it was something that I would even want. I remember being curious so I opened up an incognito browser to I could look on Amazon to see their selection without it showing up on my mom’s Prime account. Those were dark times. In the end I chickened out, feeling too young and girlish to view these strange tools. But about three years later, I decided that I did want one, but that I also needed to do some research. Boy did I learn a lot, and fast! When I research, I go in deep. Motor speed and intensity really matters and vibrators can range from quietly buzzing bee to the cries of an elephant that is stampeding around in your bedroom. There are all different styles and brands and shapes and sizes, and there is really not much of a point in stocking up on dildos (even eight glass ones) unless you are really into that. Most importantly, I learned that some (especially cheap ones found on Amazon or Wish) are not body safe. This should have been obvious, but a lot of companies will purposefully mislabel their products so that they can pretend that they are safe. I learned that a vibrator is an investment, not a cheap toy.

So I saved up, because I wanted to do things the right way and not get something that would leach toxins into a very sensitive place requiring a condom with every use. I found a reputable store online and the rest is history. It was not too long ago actually, at the beginning stages of a time in my life when I began to accept myself for who I am. I allowed myself to entertain this idea and carry it out so I could explore this world without judgment. But the journey would have been a lot easier if it was not such a stigmatized topic. When we are so embroiled in shame, people get hurt. Not everyone will feel comfortable doing that research and if they do not, they are in for a whole lot of awful infections. We do not like talking about these things, but they matter. They matter to the health of any woman who wants to try something new and they matter to the half of the women population in the US who owns a vibrator but will often still feel embarrassed by it. We shouldn’t have to feel so alone and ashamed about sexual exploration, and at the end of the day, we probably don’t need eight glass dildos.