My boyfriend says I should get rid of my vibrators because I have him now, and don’t need any substitutes. I’m trying to be gentle with him, but this is stupid right? I’m already more inclined to get rid of him than the vibrators I’ve had much longer relationships with. But I don’t want to hurt his ego, either.
Your situation reminds me of a joke I once loved to tell.
“Why did God create men? Because vibrators can’t dance!”
Cute, right? Too bad most of my ex boyfriends have been shit at dancing.
I wish your issue wasn’t such a common one, dear reader. And while you don’t have to be masculine to thumb your nose at your partner’s sex toys, I hear similar narratives from heterosexual couplings far more often than I do from LGBTQ+ ones. Here’s why:
When we socialize young men, we do so in a way that strips young women of their sexual agency and autonomy. Men are told that they – and they alone – are to be responsible for giving their partner an orgasm. If their partner can’t reach orgasm with them, we tell those men that they are somehow “less masculine” for not being able to “make her cum.”
Meanwhile, while our society has embraced a culture of normalization around male sexual awakening, young women are routinely dissuaded from experimenting with themselves sexually. We encourage young men to masturbate, yet we perpetuate the notion that a young woman doing the same makes her “dirty,” “sinful,” and “slutty.”
As such, there’s little mystery to why adult men feel as though their wife or girlfriend’s sexual pleasure should be derived solely from the intimacy they share. If their partner can get their pleasure elsewhere, doesn’t that make them less of a man? Doesn’t that inherently mean that they’re failing at their predetermined role? And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine why so many adult women struggle with deep-seated feelings of sexual shame while simultaneously not feeling empowered to communicate their sexual desires, preferences and dislikes to their male partners. Many would rather fake their orgasms with their partners than talk to them about what they want for fear of “hurting his feelings.” This contributes to a less authentic and connective sexual relationship that often breeds feelings of hurt, resentment, disappointment, and resignation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The absolute BEST THING you could do for your sex life is to TALK TO YOUR PARTNER ABOUT IT!
But wait, there’s more! Our sex negative culture also does a tremendous disservice to both masculine and feminine people in that it narrows and places limitations on what we define as “sex.” For example, how many men still believe that all women can have an orgasm from PV (Penis in Vagina) intercourse? In reality, recent studies have shown that only 18% of women can cum from penetration alone. Moreover, many women require a level prolonged, intense clitoral stimulation that is impossible to achieve with a human hand or tongue.
Cue the sex toy movement. I fucking LOVE sex toys, but unfortunately there are a ton of harmful myths and misconceptions out there about them.
- That your sexual relationship should be “complete” without any accessories. If your partner wants to incorporate sex toys into the bedroom, that must mean that they’re somehow dissatisfied.
- That sex toys are only for single people who can’t find a partner.
- That owning a sex toy makes you “weird,” “freaky,” or “disturbed,” making you less attractive to a potential partner. For folks with vulvas, that using a vibrator will permanently damage your clitoral sensitivity and you’ll never be able to orgasm without a vibrator ever ever EVER again.
Keep in mind, these are lies perpetuated by a culture that remains threatened by the idea of women having agency and autonomy over their bodies. A culture that still prioritizes and rewards procreation, not pleasure. A culture that uses misinformation campaigns and scare tactics to keep women from exploring, knowing and celebrating their own bodies. A culture that tells women that they should coddle and protect the male ego at the cost of their own safety and comfort.
You deserve all the sex toys you want and more, dear reader. Your partner – hopefully! – brings more to the relationship table than sexual prowess. He’s not responsible for your orgasm; only YOU are responsible for your orgasm, and it’s up to you whether or not other people get a front row seat to the action. If this guy can’t get down with that, then he doesn’t get access to your body. Plain and simple.
Best of luck to you!
If you have your own questions about sex, love, relationships, or any of the moving parts involved therein, drop Andre a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to use the subject line "Ask Andre," so we know where to direct your thoughtful questions.