Thought Catalog
May 30, 2017

Why We Owe It To Ourselves To Break The Shame Around Sex Toys

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What is the issue?
Yana Toyber

Sex toys have become increasingly common over the past few years with prominent sex toys bloggers and stores showing up everywhere. However, just because they’re more common doesn’t mean they’re not stigmatized. As a sex toy blogger and digital marketing specialist for a sex toy store, I’ve been trying to decrease the stigma for a long time and I believe that if we want to end the stigma around sex toys, we need to address what created it, who is being affected, and what we can do to end it once and for all.

There are three main groups that have been effected the most when it comes to sex toy stigmatization: men, couples, and those who regularly practice religion.

It’s no coincidence that there are more sex toys for women than men as women often need more help. Sex toys for men are seen as something that’s almost useless as men can use their own two hands to get off. Even if a man is using a sex toy, it’s seen as creepy. My own boyfriend had a hard time getting used to male sex toys unless I was using them on him. I think this mindset is based around the idea that sex is seen as a necessity for men rather than an experience.

The thing is, sex is an experience for BOTH men and women, not a necessity unless you want to procreate. Everyone should be able to find out what they like in terms of sexual experiences and in some cases, that involves sex toys. However, women can be elitist to the point of being hypocritical when it comes to sex toys as many have a dildo or a vibrator, but won’t allow the man they’re with to use any toys. This is another mindset that needs to be reformed and it brings me to my next point.

It’s not just single men who are feeling the stigma around toys; couples are too. We all have this preconceived notion that things are failing on an intimate level when you bring sex toys into the bedroom, and usually from an inadequacy standpoint. While that may be the case sometimes, there’s a bigger point that needs to be made here when it comes to relationships.

Relationships need to change over time to include variety and many people have forgotten that. We all think that once you’re in a relationship, things have to essentially stay the same, even though studies show that the happiest couples are the ones that are willing to change with age. This can mean bringing sex toys in, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. And while some may feel inadequate compared to a vibrator, nothing can replace the intimate connection you share with your partner.

The last group that stigmatizes sex toys is a bit of an oddball and that’s religious people. While religion carries the stigma of “unorthodox” pleasure with the first two groups, this is the only group that I’ve seen that stigmatizes toys designed for women especially. The idea of a woman being pure for marriage and having sex for the sole purpose of procreation does stem from religion in some ways, and therefore, it is frowned upon and even discouraged for a woman to find out her sexual preferences if she so chooses. I’ve seen many women discover their sexuality in their 30s under these circumstances and while I do believe that religion holds a place in our society, it should not be able to dictate love, intimacy, sexuality, or experimentation as that’s all part of the human experience

Here’s the point I want you to take away from this: let it be your choice if you want to try out sex toys or not. Don’t let society tell you what can help you make life the most pleasurable as only you can do that. Don’t be afraid to try something new as I was once in your shoes and had to learn what my sexuality represents to me, not to other people. Sex toys helped me figure that out, and it could for you if that’s what you choose. TC mark