I was faking it…

one woman’s search for orgasm

My little vibrator

with 9 comments

The first [vibrators] were awesomely large, with a big box attached to the mains. One imagines that they were also awesomely noisy. But then they were miniaturised (relatively speaking). Hand-cranked versions became available, which presumably must have been distressingly prone to running out of power long before satisfaction had been achieved.
                         -Vivienne Parry (source)

“Internal or external?” said the large-busted sales assistant with the lip ring as she gestured towards the display of vibrators.  With her generous thighs, dyed- black hair and plunging neckline, she was exactly the kind of person I’d expected to meet working at a women’s sex store in a part of my city known as the hippy/dyke street.

She was sensual and earthy yet tough—and so much calmer than the woman with the tense shoulders and the nervous smile standing next to her.

Though I’d often been curious about the store, the words ‘female sexual empowerment’ written in bold letters above the awning, I’d never dared to go inside until that day.  I hadn’t quite known what to expect, certainly not a rack of black leather harnesses and shelf full of small, stainless steel balls.    

Maybe I wasn’t ready for this, after all.

I remember once having a conversation with some girlfriends when I was in my mid-twenties about the weirdest places and ways we’d had sex.  The best story included a secluded grove of trees just off a busy hiking trial and a red rubber dildo.   

My contribution?  A hotel bed.  My sexual past is fairly ‘conventional’–which is why I wound up huddling near the Joy of Sex book stand  in my local sex store stand, as far away from the leather and steel as possible, for the first ten minutes of my visit.   Not only have I never done ‘it’ in any way that could be remotely considered ‘kinky’, I certainly have never discussed the possibility of doing so with a complete stranger!

hotel-room

pretty raunchy...not

And yet, there I was, standing next to this woman who was obviously an expert in these matters–and now I had not choice but answer her. 

“Huh?” I said.  Internal or external?  Oh no!  She was not going to make me say it was she?

“What variety are you looking for?” she said.  She was going to make me say it.

 “I want one for my vagina.”  Not my liver or whatever else she was referring to.

She smiled. It was the same smile my mom had given me when I’d asked her what the difference between tampons and pads were and when do I know which one to use?

The sales assistant then proceeded to give me a brief rundown on the different kinds of vibrators her store had to offer. I had the feeling this was not the first time she had done this.

“First off, external vibrators,” she said, picking up a small device that looked like a triangular ipod, “are for stimulating the clitoris, whereas internal vibrators are used to stimulate the walls of the vagina.”  This time the object in her hand looked more like a rubber banana–a long, smooth shaft.

Then she pointed to something that looked like a cactus, with two arms and soft, spiky bits sticking from all over it,

“This can be used for simultaneous internal and external stimulation,” she said.

I’ve never used, nor owned a vibrator before, but whenever I think of one, I imagine the banana-kind, or as my sexpert friend had called it, the classic ‘internal’ vibrator—a little more than an ipod but not quite desert-flora.

That, however, was not the most difficult decision I would be asked to make. Whilst there are a lot of different ‘features’ to choose from within the ‘classic’ internal vibrator category—water resistance, rechargeable, textured—the real question has nothing to do with function and is all about form.

To the left of me was a row of neon orange, green, pink creatures that looked like they had escaped from the local Toys’R’us. And to the right, a line of dark plastic penises, complete with bulging veins and foreskin.

Choosing between plug-ins and batteries was easy—this however, was ultimately a question about the nature of my sexual desire. What did I think was hotter: a grown man or children’s toys?

I went for the green glow wwormyorm with a smile on his face.

Now, before you judge me as a sexually repressed woman who’s attempting to return to that peaceful and pure time of her life, before she had never heard of words like ‘masturbation’ and ‘clitoral hood’, by surrounding herself with artifacts of her childhood, the truth of it is that the reason I chose the vibrator I did was because the other ones looked kind of scary.

I couldn’t help but imagine the massive plastic Robocop-man that those phallic-shaped vibrators had once belonged to, and who would surely come looking for his lost member at some point, banging on my door and announcing to my whole building that he was going to arrest me for…masturbating?

Interestingly, though Solot and Miller, in I Love Female Orgasm states that 44% of Canadian women, and 45% of American ones, own vibrators.  That’s a lot of ladies, yet I’ve never heard any of my girlfriends exchange stories about the weirdest place and ways that they have ever ‘self-pleasured themselves’.  And in light of my own bizarre-vibrator police fears, I think I know why: shame. 

It would seem that female masturbation is one practice that has yet to ‘come out of the closet’.

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9 Responses

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  1. Some toys are funny looking for sure! I love using toys on a girl though… LOTS OF FUN!

    Hackett

    February 3, 2009 at 2:45 am

  2. Yes…it gives us an excuse to just ‘play’ again…

    jaquieonassis

    February 3, 2009 at 6:05 am

  3. I’m not that big on vibrators, but I think the standard advice on this would be “just get the Hitachi Magic Wand.” It has hella settings & is able to vibrate very powerfully, giving the chunkier “sneakers in a dryer” ride that many women prefer. Just a note, in case you ever feel like you wanna upgrade 😉

    betoma

    February 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm

  4. This is something I have absolutely no experience of. When you walk into your friendly local high street sex shop, you’re confronted with all these frighteningly large, gaudy things, and make a swift u-turn. Yours does look a bit like a child’s toy! My friends allude that they have them, but I still feel the same way towards them as I do towards dishwashers and blackberries… mildly suspicious.

    hoorah

    February 4, 2009 at 12:02 am

  5. thanks for the vibrator suggestion, betoma..there are certainly are a lot to choose from. what an industry!

    hey hoorah, i think we’re agreed on the dishwashers and blackberries issue but as for vibrators have you ever wondered what exactly it is that’s holding you back? I’d be curious to know…

    jaquieonassis

    February 4, 2009 at 4:38 am

  6. Interesting question. In making the following list, I don’t wish to pass judgement on anybody else’s choices, but simply be as honest as poss about my own reasons and prejudices, no matter how lame!

    1) Embarrassment. What if my parents find it? And they often just look embarrassing, like big, red and shiny etc. And you have to buy it from a person in a shop, and carry it home, with people looking at you.
    2) Satisfaction with sex life and preference for sex over masturbation (sex as a more holistic experience, not just about genitals!)
    3) Delibarate abstinence from masturbation to improve quality of sex
    4) Bizarre female angst over remaining “tight”
    5) Reluctance to use anything ‘unnatural’, plastic, or specifically designed for sex. For older people with failing marriages, or swingers?

    hoorah

    February 6, 2009 at 2:19 pm

  7. Hoorah… some guy’s like it a little looser.

    You don’t have to carry a toy in plain view… you can also order it online, which a lot of people prefer.

    Abstinence from masturbation won’t improve quality of sex. Abstinence from sex won’t imporve the quality of sex later either. The only thing that truly improves the quality of sex is a persons ability to truly “let go.”

    Hackett

    February 7, 2009 at 1:54 am

  8. Thanks for the honest Hoorah!

    I think Hackett makes some good suggestions. And I know you’re not looking to improve anything because it sounds like you’re sex life is awesome as it is, but I still would suggest reading books like I Love female orgasms and Sex for One, because they truly do offer an exciting, empowering view on the whole concept of masturbation.

    jaquieonassis

    February 7, 2009 at 2:01 am

  9. Do either of you ladies know that most masturbation classes (yes, they actually have classes to teach women how to masturbate and ejaculate) are done in a group setting?

    These classes are literally a group of women sitting in a classroom all masturbating at the same time using fingers, toys or whatever.

    Would you prefer to use a toy in the prvacy of your own home or would you be able to attend a masturbation class and masturbate with 40-100 other women all masturbating at the same time.

    I think it would be less embarassing to buy a sex toy and then take the toy home then it would be to masturbate in a group?

    Hackett

    February 7, 2009 at 4:00 am


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