Technique: Sex Toys?

I’ve never been crazy about the idea of sex toys. To me the idea of using mechanical aids was ugly and distasteful. I was sure that the minute a man wasn’t using his actual flesh to interact with mine, sex would cease to be intimate communication and turn into some kind of machine-mediated circus act with me as the star “performer.”

Men’s fascination with the very IDEA of vibrators felt creepy to me. “Hey, look!” I thought I could hear them thinking, “Here’s a machine I can use to make a woman come in thirty seconds flat! No more muss! No more fuss! I won’t have to do anything but buzz her up, and then I’m IN!”

And let’s face it, that perception contains some truth. Modern men don’t want to be selfish boors in bed. They want to provide an orgasm or two to please their partners AND themselves. But to provide one the old-fashioned way is sometimes difficult and uncertain. With the Original Orgasm Maker (by Ronco!) all difficulty and uncertainty are things of the past. This handy-dandy little device makes Os a breeze! It slices, it shreds, it chops, it… oops, wrong commercial.

Someone I quoted in email much earlier in the blog noted that using a vibrator might make some men lazy and complacent. They might be tempted to give up engaging in “ordinary” sexual interaction and immediately reach for the vibrator every time. It could reinforce some men’s idea that simply achieving the “goal” of orgasm is more important than the process of getting there. After all, a man might reason, if the vibrator gives reliable pleasure and gets me to the Main Event sooner, why not use it?    … continued …


I can understand this outlook and even sympathize with it. Because of the relative ease with which they achieve it, most men come to understand orgasm as THE reason for having sex. For the vast majority of them, sex without orgasm is pointless. Worse, when a man can’t achieve orgasm the experience of sex is literally painful. Or disappointing, or enraging, or humiliating…you name the negative emotion or sensation, it’s in there. So men sometimes find it hard to understand why women tend not to be interested, or are even hostile to the idea of getting Os in the speediest, most efficent way possible.

When considering the use of vibrator with my husband I was also disturbed by something more subtle. It’s hard to describe, but it was very much a part of the entire sex toys debate inside my head, so I have to try. I felt that he wanted to use these devices ON me in a detached and voyeuristic way, to move away from me as a person and wife, and observe my responses to a machine the way he’d observe a woman in a porn magazine. Part of the thrill for him, I suspected, would be the ability to “make” my body respond in some kind of automatic fashion that I couldn’t control. This was during our sexually distrustful phase, so I didn’t want to be poked with a fake silicone penis if it would give him that kind of distanced, power-trippy, perverse thrill.

Later, I was willing to experiment, but to tell you the truth, I still don’t care for vibrators. The pleasure they give is very nice in its way, but psychologically, down under the physical response, I still distrust them and the detached, gee-whiz charge they might give my husband. It’s not that I don’t want him to get a kick, but I worry about that kind of kick. Even for the sweetest, most honorable men in the world the buzz of using a machine on a woman to “make” her feel a sexual response might be just a hair over that very fine psychological line between exploitation and mutual enjoyment.

Yes, this is arguably a stupid and paranoid way of looking at the matter. So I guess you could say I, Julia Grey, fearless purveyor of sexual advice, have a Real Live Hangup. Mibad.

What I don’t have a hangup about any more, though, is a little mechanical aid called a cock ring. I’ll talk about that in another post.

Comments on this post from the original blog:
I don’t use toys either, but for a completely different reason. If you listen to the women that do use them or have them used on them on a regular basis,( at least most of the ones that I have talked with), they tell you that they can’t achieve an orgasm without them anymore. I am not talking the first time user here. I am talking women that have been using them for some time. So again, it begs to question if we can train our body to only react to certain stimuli. Oh, and men, before you ask to use one on a woman, or make a fuss because she says no, think about it a minute. Can you do 1900 rpms?   

Lynn • 8/18/03; 2:20:58 PM

On the one hand, I understand and appreciate your feelings about toys (and yours too, Lynn). You have your likes and dislikes, and there’s no arguing with them. On the other hand, having experienced the “toys” issue from the other side, your husband also has my sympathies.I was told throughout my puberty and adult life that men should do more than most men were currently doing to satisfy our partners. If one activity or position didn’t work, try something else, and don’t fixate on the idea that there is only one way to mutual satisfaction.   

I can’t pretend to be the greatest lover on Earth, but I do want to please my wife in bed, any way I can. So, when I found myself unable to please my wife the “usual” way, I sought advice and counsel, and was told pretty much the same thing: try different positions, don’t let yourself get stuck in the rut of “penis=sex, sex=penis,” and at least let your partner know you’re willing to take extra time to please her.

Well, I tried all that, and guess what – my wife ruled out just about every effort I offered to make; she called every alternative to penis-vagina sex a “cop-out” and a “crutch;” and then she accused me of not doing enough to please her. Not even a perfunctory “Thanks for trying.”

For your sake and your husband’s, I sincerely hope you showed your husband a little more understanding than my wife showed me.

Dave • 8/19/03; 11:04:02 AM
Actually Dave, I hope that it is the other way round. You see I have no husband, which is a good thing. But what I do have is a very active libido. My reality is that if what someone else is doing to me doesn’t feel good, then I either show or tell them how to make it feel better. It is not difficult to get me to orgasm, and with me, there is a whole lot more to sex than just a penis.   

Lynn • 8/19/03; 12:24:41 PM

Your wife either had some activity or practice that she wanted that she could not or would not communicate to you, or she sensed (rightly or wrongly) that you were fixated on a “goal” that was more about YOUR gratification than hers.Many women interpret novel suggestions as expressions of dissatisfaction with “normal” sex, and pressure to “get creative” or “try new things” scares the bejabbers out of them. They think, “Have I married a closet PERVERT who is going to want more and more crazy varieties of sex as time goes on?” Scared people do not react nicely or rationally.   

None of these possibilities might be true in your case. But I do hear the harsh strains of Marital Power Struggle going on in the background. I suspect something else is going on that neither of you is entirely facing up to. You seem to be “working on” her to force a response, to validate you sexually, and she is resisting that. She doesn’t want to give you the satisfaction of pleasing her in bed. That would put you On Top in the relationship. Your resentment of her “ingratitude” is another indication that this whole impasse is really about Power, not Love.

Julia Grey • 8/19/03; 12:49:54 PM
Actually, I’m not really “working on” anything right now – we’re pretty much drifting toward divorce, and I have no intention of changing course. It wasn’t the “ingratitude” that hurt me, so much as her eagerness to blame me for whatever was wrong, while actively denying me any opportunity to make it right. In other words, I got none of the power and all the responsibility – both in and out of bed.   

Yes, it’s a power struggle all right.

Dave • 8/19/03; 1:33:29 PM
I love the little vibrator my husband bought! It’s a bullet, and he holds it in his hand while he caresses all parts of my vulva. He’s very playful about it sometimes, and other times more serious. It’s not the only thing we do, but it’s a big part of our sex lives. We don’t have penetrative sex more than once a week, but he plays with me sexually a lot more often than that.   

Gentle Maitresse • 8/21/03; 12:33:22 PM


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