It's Okay To Play
Sex Toy Myths De-Bunked
There are so many ways to enjoy and receive pleasure. Sex toys are used for play by many folks. There is no one “type” of person who uses sex toys. People are often shocked to learn that maybe even their neighbour, parent, married and single friends, or a colleague might use them! But even though people may be comfortable discussing other aspects of their sexuality with others, the use of toys is sometimes still kept a secret- even from a partner! And although their use in general is increasingly accepted as a healthy sexual practice, the many myths resurface regularly in my workshops and with my clients. Let’s do a little debunking.
Only single people who are desperate and unable to sustain a relationship use toys. Actually all kinds of folks use them. Statistics are that people of all genders, orientations and relationship statuses use sex toys. In fact, 78% of those who use them report being in a relationship. Some folks reserve the use of toys for solo play, but many also include them in partner-sex. They are a part of many sexual escapades just as lubricant, condoms and massage oil might be.
Sex and orgasms from using toys is not “real” or “natural” sex. What is real sex anyhow? We all have different reasons for having sex: Is it about connection? Pleasure? Orgasm? Intimacy? Reproduction? Toys can be a part of sex for whatever reason, even if it’s about reproduction (although you’ll need some additional ingredients as well for that purpose). What is real is that technology is a part of life: from growing and transporting roses and condoms to where our food comes from (not from the backyard for most of us) and to how we get around even on foot (not many folks make their own shoes). Any type of interaction that produces connection, intimacy, pleasure seems pretty natural and real, whether toys are included or not. And sex can feel just as good or better with toys, so why not?
I might get dumped for a toy. No one has left a relationship because they fell in love with a toy. Toys don’t cuddle, are often not much fun to lick and kiss, and don’t make great dinner companions (although they are great at listening without interrupting!). In fact, people who use and welcome toys in partner-sex are more open to enhancing their love making skills by bringing pleasure in whatever ways that work so that both enjoy their connection even more. Some view “giving” a partner an orgasm without using toys as proof of one’s sexual skill and prowess, however it is not always as effective (and more likely to produce faked pleasure and orgasms). It is important to take your ego out of the equation, and to be open in order to “give” more fully.
People who need to use toys are broken and sex with them is unsatisfying. Lots of us use glasses in order to see, calculators in order to do math and some of us need a little more oomph than a hand, penis, tongue and/or vagina/butt can offer. The use of toys can enhance the kind of pleasure we enjoy and sometimes makes orgasm possible, which is awesome. We all have our challenges, skills and roadblocks. Let’s embrace the options we have to make sex better rather than focusing on our limitations. For example, the Hot Octopuss Pulse is a “guybrator” toy that men can use whether they have an erection or not. And his partner can climb on top simulating intercourse, whether the partner enjoys or can accommodate intercourse or not. And any sex where there is pleasure, connection, and communication is bound to be awesome and satisfying.
People who use toys with a partner are obviously incompetent, lazy and lousy lovers. Those who use whatever means it takes to bring pleasure to their partners are awesome lovers. Being open to multiple types of sex is a fabulous quality that will help keep sex alive in a relationship for many years.
People get addicted to their toys and can never have “regular” sex again. We certainly get habituated to certain stimuli and patterns: if we always drive everywhere it can be hard to switch gears to take public transit, walk and/or bike when the car breaks down. But after a few days of new routine most of us get into a new groove. And sex toys can be a part of regular sex anyhow. They add variety and often make a partner’s job easier. And as per #4, for some folks, sex toys are a fundamental part of regular sex.
Using sex toys is unsafe. Even walking outside can be unsafe without certain precautions. If we don’t talk about sex, people will do many sexually unsafe things in general. Some safety “tips for toys” include: use body-safe toys (e.g. no phthalates); don’t insert anything anally without a flared base; don’t forget anything inside of you; use proper lubricants and cleaners based on the manufacturer’s suggestions; learn correct safety of any kink or bondage equipment; do not use the same toys for vaginal and anal play without thoroughly cleaning them. Research anything you are unsure of or ask a reputable retailer about safety when you make a purchase.
The best sex toy is… Just like there is no one best restaurant, haircut or car, there is no one best sex toy. Depending on budget, preferred type of stimulation, size, pressure and style, there are popular choices but no one-size-fits-all best option. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right but the more you know about your body and pleasure and what works and what doesn’t, a knowledgeable salesperson can often help narrow down the choices to make a more successful decision.
So go ahead and explore. Everyone else is!