Let’s talk about sex...toys

Millions of people use sex toys, most of whom do not classify themselves as “sexual gurus” or “deviants.” According to 2016 data research by Statistic Brain, sex toys are a $15 billion industry. Contrary to some peoples’ beliefs, it is completely normal to be interested in using sex toys for pleasure. For 18 years of my life, the sex shop next to the local bagel store remained a constant. It never moved, never modernized. The old sign that simply read “Adult”—one must admire their tact—never went out, even through Hurricane Sandy. It survived two separate drunk driving incidents in which the impaired driver sailed through the shopping center it called home. I questioned it as a child.

But when I hit puberty, those questions morphed into a singular judgment—the customers of this sex shop were freaks. How dare they blatantly buy dildos and strap-ons? How dare they be so confident? And how dare I not be one of them?

Only after years of wrongly viewing human sexuality as a male-dominated sphere did I begin to understand the appeal of sex toys. When I recognized that sex had the power to be a positive force in a person’s life, my foolishness left me feeling ashamed of how judgmental I was.

I then decided that those same sex toys I once saw as delinquent were for those who embraced sexuality, lived it and breathed it. I figured I was just not one of those people and that I would forever stay on the outside looking in on their world over a poppy seed bagel.

In truth, mystery shouldn’t surround toys—especially with the convenience of the Internet. Literally anyone can buy and use any toy that their heart desires, all only a click away on Amazon. Anyone who wishes to become educated on the matter can with a simple Google search, where one will find many informative articles—I suggest “The Shame Free Guide to Buying a Sex Toy” published by the Huffington Post.

Additionally, toys do not have to be used alone or, in other words, they should not be considered something you use when you can’t get a date. While you should not be embarrassed to use a toy when single, toys aren’t restricted to solo use.

Talk to your partner. If they’re concerned about not sexually satisfying you enough, assure them that a toy cannot give affection or even come close to replacing a human—it just heightens the experience.

You might be surprised what you learn from one another. And if you are alone there’s no harm in amplifying your one-on-one time. Never feel ashamed for loving your own body. It’s the only one you’ve got—so make it happy.