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The Talk: Sex toys and stigmas

9 mins read

Sex toys. We have all heard the term and many of us have told jokes about them/talked to our friends about them in a joking manner such as “I went past my sister’s room and heard a buzzing noise, bit weird to brush your teeth in your room.”

But should we have a more serious discussion of sex toys and broaden our society’s knowledge of them? I would definitely say yes, and especially of male sex toys, which I can’t remember ever hearing about in any circles I’ve been in.

As a bisexual male, I am very active in the LGBTQ+ scene and the majority of my friends identify as a part of this community. Yet, even my friends barely talk about sex toys except for maybe vibrators. It seems weird to me that most of my friends are sexually active and very open about the topic of sex, but even for them, sex toys are almost like a taboo topic.

Source: Marie Curie

Well, to test how large of a taboo this was, I joined a conversation with a lot of LGBTQ+ folks about sex toys as they were discussing vibrators, giving each other recommendations, and sharing stories.

I felt this was a good time to add my perspective as all of the people I was talking with were women and I have extensive experience with male sex toys. So, I brought up the story of my first time going to Ann Summers to look at them and buy some.

Well, this definitely had an effect. Not a huge one but I felt the conversation change a little and I heard a few people talking. I later found out that one girl in particular (who was very openly talking about her own collection of sex toys) was made very uncomfortable by me mentioning that I had bought some.

Source: Lowdown

I’d like to mention my first time buying a sex toy: at 3am in the morning I had been watching videos and reading articles about male sex toys and decided to drive to ASDA to buy one as it was the only place open at that time.

Unsurprisingly there wasn’t a large choice of sex toys and they were mostly for women. So, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a bullet. Along with this, I bought lube and condoms to make it look like I was buying this stuff for my girlfriend, as the bullet was in a locked case and I had to get the night worker to open it for me.

He gave me a bit of a weird look, chuckled, and said: “lucky girl.” I just smiled and agreed, before rushing to my car like I’d just stolen from the shop.

I felt a bit of shame, but sucked it up and found more sex-positive YouTube videos from people in the LGBTQ+ community who were working to break the stigma. After a little while, I decided to go a bit deeper (pardon the pun) and take a visit to Ann Summers.

Source: White Rose

This was not a comfortable experience at all. The only Ann Summers in Edinburgh is in Princes Street and this was a very sunny day. With an empty backpack, I cycled to the shop and went straight to the toy section without looking at anyone or anything in the store.

Slowly looking over a giant wall of sex toys in the middle of town with people around me was nerve-wracking. But I didn’t show it as I wanted to prove to myself I could do it and put my sex positivity to the test. The staff were amazing, and there was no judgement about it, even though I bought quite a few and it was clearly all for me as they were mostly male toys.

Now a few years later I am very confident in myself, my body and my sexuality. And while I don’t use toys often, because they are a hassle with properly cleaning and storing while people exist, I do own an extensive collection of pretty much every sex toy aimed at males and some for women.

Source: Cosmopolitan

The stereotypical male sex toy is a fleshlight, which tends to be made fun of due to the weird look and stigma attached to all toys. Although there’s a large market for them, with many adult actresses partnering with companies and promoting these moulds of their vaginas like a celebrity and perfume.

On top of fleshlights, a smaller version called a pocket pussy has become extremely popular in countries such as Japan, where they even have a socially acceptable brand called “Tenga” which men are given as gifts and sit on normal store shelves as a part of the inventory.

One of the best types of male sex toy is a prostate massager. Using them involves a lot of preparation and effort the first couple of times, but they provide an intense orgasm that feels very different to the traditional one men are used to.

There are butt plugs, which have also been seen as a joke on the internet and are usually portrayed as being for women, but they are also just as good for guys and they come in different sizes and tech levels.

Source: Pintrest

Cock rings have been growing a little in popularity, as men have realised they extend the duration of sex/solo sessions. Plus, they can be used to enhance the pleasure for a female partner too.

Lastly, you don’t have to be gay to play around with a strap-on if you have a partner. If you’ve been on TikTok then you may have seen the rapidly increasing popularity/meme of pegging.  This is a specific kink in the BDSM community but is becoming more mainstream.

Even for guys, there’s a ton of options when it comes to sex toys. I feel that a lot of guys miss that and, in turn, miss out on enhancing solo sessions and making sex with a partner much spicier and longer.

The stigma needs to be dropped for this subject: the vast majority of adults have sex regularly and our society as a whole has been talking about it more. Now like-minded people can meet each other over various new means and open up the discussion of sex and sexuality in our modern world. All you need is a little courage, wet wipes/cleaning equipment and an open mind in order to make sex and masturbation much more fun and intense.

Featured image credit: Metro

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