There is no shame in using sex toys!
So why do myths still abound surrounding the use of toys? Part of the problem is that as a society we still have trouble talking about sex and pleasure openly. Thankfully, I am noticing a trend toward more sex toy exploration for the young and old. This is evidenced by the rise in online sales of sex toys and the appearance of boutique-like sex shops in many neighbourhoods. Yet, still, a knowledge base is clearly missing for many.
Here are some common misconceptions about using sex toys:
- Only single women with no partner use them. In fact, women in relationships are even more likely to use them (with close to 50% of women reporting the use of toys at some point).
- Only young women use sex toys. In fact, women between 55 and 60 are just as likely as young women to have used a toy.
- If you want to use a sex toy it must mean that you are dissatisfied with your partner. In actuality, sex toy users are significantly more likely to report a higher level of desire and interest in sex.
- You can get addicted to your vibrator. Granted you can really really like your vibrator, but it is not a replacement for human intimacy.
Sex toys are sex life enhancers, whether you are partnered or alone. There is no shame in using them on a regular or even frequent basis.
Some statistics you might find interesting: 78% of women who use sex toys are partnered; 1 in 5 women masturbates at least once a week; sex toy users report greater satisfaction with their sex lives when compared to non-users; and sex toy users find it easier to reach orgasm.
In my book, The Sex Bible for People Over 50: The Complete Guide to Sexual Love for Mature Couples, I discuss, in detail, the benefits to using sex toys as we age, especially for women. As women age, they may lose some sensation in the clitoris, and often just require more intense stimulation that a hand cannot provide. Here is where a clitoral stimulator is a great plus. If you or your partner suffers from arthritis, then a toy can do all the work for you. If a partner cannot penetrate due to erectile dysfunction, then he can use a dildo on his partner, or use a hollow strap-on penis to do the job. A man can use a penis ring with a vibrating “bullet” to help him maintain an erection and give her some added stimulation.
Here’s a rundown of the kinds of sex toys to look out for:
Dildos are toys shaped like a penis and they come in all lengths and girths. They vary in color, shape and texture. You can even get them made of beautiful glass.
Some dildos are also vibrators, operated by batteries with the latest ones being rechargeable. As the name implies, they vibrate and often have many different settings depending on the level of sensation you are looking for.
Clitoral stimulators are usually small toys (some as small as lipsticks) used on the outside to massage the clitoris.
G-spot stimulators are dildos that have a distinct curve to them.
There are even sex toys for men, such as the “sleeve” used for self stimulation. Although not often considered to be a sex toy, I would include lubricants in this category. Lubricants come in flavors, and are usually water based or silicone based (these are the only 2 that can be used with condoms). If you are not using condoms, then you can always try more “green” lubricants, including coconut oil. However, please be aware that some women experience vaginal irritations with some types or even brands. So go ahead and experiment, and take the shame out of pleasure!
Dr. Laurie Betito is a Montreal Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in sexuality. She hosts a nightly radio show, Passion, on CJAD800 (www.cjad.com), has a private practice and is the author of the newly released book, The Sex Bible for People Over 50: The Complete Guide to Sexual Love for Mature Couples. She can be found at www.drlaurie.com