I’ve always been pretty honest and open on 30 Dates. I like to think part of the blog’s success comes from the fact that I try to write as if I’m talking to a good friend. And yet there are certain aspects of single life which I’ve skated around for various reasons.
This blog has never been anonymous. Even before my name was attached to it, my picture was. And all my friends have known about it since day one – because it was their idea! All I did was set myself the Facebook challenge! For the most part, sex advice on the internet is written by anonymous writers. Or women old enough to be my grandmother!
But sex is something which women my age talk about a lot. And if I’m not embarrassed to share my opinions on things in public, then why should I avoid talking about them on a blog, where I’ve shared far more personal things about my self-esteem, body image and love life? Yes, there are still lines, and I would never talk about anyone I’ve slept with, or what I get up to in bed – because frankly a girl has to have a few secrets – but this blog has become a commentary of single life … and a Sex Toys are quite an interesting aspect of life as a single girl.
There’s always been an odd taboo which surrounds the topic of Sex Toys … and even more so about sex toys for men.
For the most part, women are far more honest and open about owning them. In part it relates to our attitudes towards relationships, dating and sex. In general girls will talk more openly about stuff. The general acceptance that women own sex toys also has shows like Sex And the City to thank. The ‘Rampant Rabbit’ entered our social vernacular, and has never left. From the age of around 20 onwards, none of my friends were ever shy about owning sex toys. And shops like Ann Summers, which have brought sex out of seedy looking, blacked out shops, and into sparkly, brightly coloured high-street lingerie shops, have again made toys like Rampant Rabbits a purchase as normal for a woman as an iPad or an mp3 player.
And yet the taboo still remains … mainly because of men’s reactions to sex toys.
When I was at uni, I shared a house with three guys and a girl. We had an open door policy – none of us ever locked our bedroom doors, and only ever really closed them at night time. I went to a close-knit Cambridge college, and the guys in my year were a gossipy bunch. At the start of the year the guys were asked what it was like to live with girls, and one of my flatmates made the drunken joke that I “warmed a big black dildo up on the bathroom radiator every night.” I guess that’s 20 year-old guys for you. Delightfully, the rumour stuck …
The irony was, that like most 21 year-old girls, both myself, and the other girl who lived in the flat, owned Rampant Rabbits. The guys had asked us outright, and we had both freely admitted to it. No. we didn’t warm them up on the bathroom radiator (I think they’d probably melt if you did that???) and no, they were fluro pink and pretty average in size rather than ‘big and black’, but we owned toys, and we would happily have talked about them, or even shown them to the guys, if they had asked.
The guys were all clearly intrigued. I guess in their defence, a lot of them had gone to all boys’ schools, and boarding schools … and as I realised increasingly in my time at Cambridge, very few really understood platonic friendships. However, instead of asking us to show them the Rampant Rabbits, the boys waited till I was out one day, and together with a group of guys from my year group, rifled through my underwear drawer, and filmed themselves removing my vibrator from the drawer, using one of my teddy bears, so they didn’t have to touch it. They laid it on my bed, and as a group sat around poking and prodding the thing.
(I can hear you all sighing …. Ten years on, I’m sighing too!)
I only found out about this little adventure about a year later, after we’d moved out of the flat, and when one of the boys got drunk and told me about it.
I won’t even begin to talk about the obvious invasions of privacy, or the childish way they went about it. And it probably won’t surprise you too much that I don’t speak to many of the guys I went to university with these days!
But the saddest thing, is I don’t think their behaviour was rare. Yes, they went about it in an odd way, but for a lot of guys, sex toys are still something foreign and intimidating. Maybe because they’re not confident enough themselves in bed. Maybe they compare themselves to the battery-powered object. Maybe it’s because their own parts can’t rotate, or vibrate. Maybe it’s because some toys are made to unrealistic proportions, and designed purely with total female pleasure in mind … Maybe it’s because girls are so relaxed talking about them, that they find that intimidating.
Whatever the reason – it was the guys’ behaviour which turned that sex toy into a taboo. Not the way I would have happily talked about it.
No girl would ever see a sex toy as a full replacement for a man.
Yes, some can do incredible things, but in the same way that a blow up doll will never properly replace the excitement of having a naked girl in your bed, a vibrator or a dildo is never going to replace the excitement of sleeping with a guy you fancy!
There really is no need for guys to be intimidated by them. In fact, I’m sure if you actually ask most girls, they’ll tell you how much fun it can be to spice things up in bed with a vibrator or a cock ring. But in my experience it’s only the guys who are most comfortable and confident in bed who would even suggest such a thing.
Maybe it’s because of this male taboo … Or maybe it’s because the idea of guys wanking has always been so much more comic than the sexy image of a girl playing with herself … but male sex toys carry even more of an awkward stigma. So much so in fact, that whilst most people over the age of 18 can tell you what a Rampant Rabbit is, I very much doubt the same number of people know what a ‘Fleshlight’ is.
With all that in mind, I’ve teamed up with sextoys.co.uk to review some of their sex toys. No, I won’t be going into graphic details, or taking photos, or anything seedy – I’ll be talking about them in the same way I would to any of my female friends. Because the taboo surrounding sex toys needs to disappear. They’re not something to be ashamed of. Everyone has needs and desires, and if you’re going to frown on a girl for sleeping around when she’s single … then really the other alternative is that she deals with those desires in a less promiscuous, and safer way! So why not have some fun in the process?
In the coming weeks I’ll also be joining forces with Matt Chappell, from Ask Men, to give more general dating advice. We’ll be teaming up to give male and female perspectives on different dating issues, including questions related to sex – so that you can find out the answers in an easier way then rifling through someone’s knicker drawer!
And Matt will also be writing a male take on Sex Toys, so watch this space for Sex Toys and The Single Guy!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx