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What’s so novel about a sex toy?

noveltyThe first time I ever laid eyes on a sex toy, I was about 15.

We had recently moved into a neighborhood that was less than a mile from a brand new mall. Most of my friends lived within five miles of me, and teenagers in the US tend to gravitate to malls, so naturally, the mall became one of our favorite places to hang out.

A few months after we moved in, they put in a Spencer’s, but the mall had some stipulations. If they were going to sell “adult materials”, they had to split the store into two sections, and card people who entered the adult section. Thing is, none of the stores in that mall ever carded people for anything. Every time we visited, we left with something we weren’t even supposed to have access to, let alone be allowed to buy. From wind-up jumping penises to chocolate covered Kahlua, if we weren’t supposed to have it, one of us made sure to buy one. 

It became a sort of game. See who could leave the mall with the most taboo item.

The first time we snuck behind the barrier (though, can you really call it “sneaking” when the store employee is complicit?) and saw the “Novelty Vibrators” sign, I was actually kind of offended. Even at 15, when I was still a virgin, it bothered me that things surrounding sexuality were considered “taboo”. I didn’t understand why we had to slap “novelty” stickers on sex toys, ultimately labeling them “jokes”, in order to sell them legally.

I mean, it’s just sex! Humans are supposed to have sex. We were made for it. It’s encoded in our DNA. So why do we feel the need to hide from it?

We’ve all been to Spencer’s, right? We all know what a “novelty vibrator” looks like. They’re usually shaped like an elongated bullet. They all have either turn dial or push button controls at the very bottom. They’re usually made of hard plastic. They almost always run on batteries; usually AA but sometimes Cs. (I’m told that once upon a time they all ran on Cs. I’m too young to remember that.) And while they’ve been deemed great gag gifts, they’re not always so great at getting someone off.

Or maybe I’m biased. Most of my vibrators are considered “luxury items”, so I absolutely could be biased.

Of course, one of us picked up the biggest vibrator in the (very small) bunch. We didn’t do any of the giggling you see teenagers on TV do when we discussed it, but we did bat around the idea of buying it for a guy friend (OGF) of ours as a joke. He’d only just recently gotten over his homophobia, and he only made an effort to get over it because a friend of ours came out a few weeks prior. They’d been tight since elementary school, so OGF decided it was time to understand and accept homosexuality. After some discussion, we decided picking on the imaginary “exit only” sign hanging over his anus was a little less than classy, so we scrapped the idea.

Then we found the butt plugs. And can I just say that teenagers who have never experimented with anal sex, and have, in fact, been told that anal sex will make your head fall off (if not in so many words) should never be exposed to a butt plug in a novelty store? I mean, really. It just smells like disaster.

We must have screamed “Ew! Who would use that?!” a hundred times before the store clerk came to see what we were talking about…and asked us to be a little more mature about their adult novelty section (but still didn’t ask for our IDs). Which is just laughable when you think about it. You’re selling these things as jokes, but we’re not allowed to joke about them? Uh huh.

I’ve since learned more than any person has any right or reason to know about sex toys and their uses. I own so many vibrators that I occasionally go through the toy bags and find myself wondering when the hell I got one, why I’ve never used it, and who’s mad at me for not reviewing it…only to find out later I have used it, I did review it, and I even gave it a 3-4 star rating!

Oh, the woes of having spent a year as a regular sex toy reviewer. It’s horrid. Someone save me.

I’ve also come to love butt plugs, though I haven’t used one in a while. Most of my plugs are too big for my nearly virginal (these days) ass. That whole having your gall bladder out thing totally screws up your digestive system. For serious. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. 

Moral of the story, kids, is don’t let your kids learn about sex toys from Spencer’s. Seriously.

Jury’s still out on how I feel about parents buying their teens sex toys. I’ve always been icked out by the idea of talking to my parents about my sexuality (which is probably one of the reasons I ended up 16 and pregnant). And I kinda feel like a person should pick out their own sex toys at first, so they can figure out what they like at their own pace, and not be influenced by the interests of others. But parents definitely should talk to their teens about sex toys. If only so they don’t grow up thinking they’re gag gifts like I did.

By the way, we ended up buying OGF a collar, instead. He’d recently started dating this chick who practically kept him under lock and key, and back then, we didn’t know girls could be abusive, too, so it seemed appropriate. These days, though, I’d love to go back in time and tell my teenage self and her friends what utter douches they are for poking fun at a friend who’s being emotionally abused. They do say hindsight is 20/20.

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post written by Rayne Millaray, sponsored by vibrationsdirect.co.uk

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  1. May 8th, 2013 at 14:41 | #1

    Rayne: What’s so novel about a sex toy?: The first time I ever laid eyes on a sex toy, I was about 15. … http://t.co/Zr2rHayN3V #slave

  2. April 26th, 2014 at 17:58 | #2

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