Once upon a time, I ran sex parties. They were similar to Tupperware parties in many ways; the host would invite her closest friends, and some ring-ins to bolster numbers so she had a better chance of getting free stuff, there was usually cheese and crackers and wine, some quality plastic and silicone ware that came with a warranty and those few guests who were never going to purchase anything but had come because the host had come to their party.
Party planning has a pretty standard formula that has worked for decades selling everything from linen to shoes to candles. I sold cock rings and lubricant, vibrators and fluffy handcuffs, lingerie and orgasm balls. There was even a waterproof “rubber” duck that had a vibrator built in with a genuine Swarovski crystal in its beak. You could throw it in the dishwasher for easy clean-up.
I was working full-time as a journalist but this was my side gig, something I had wanted to do for a long time, and mostly did at night and on weekends. Birthday parties, hens’ nights, couples’ nights and let’s have a piss up and giggle at dildos nights – I did them all. Talking to the host’s grandmother, who had come along thinking she’d buy a nice scented candle, about clitoral stimulation using multiple pulse settings became the norm. I could talk about oral sex without flinching, remind the ladies that some toys were for external use only (or risk losing a AA battery in their vagina) and highlight the natural ingredients of the flavoured lubricant that were great for women prone to thrush. I enjoyed talking about sex and I was good at it.
At my peak I was doing five parties a week, often back to back on weekends, and taking home an extra $1500 a month for a few hours’ work. I had a sensational toy collection thanks to a staff discount and more lingerie that I was ever going to wear. But mostly I enjoyed broadening the horizons of so many women, and some men. Some had never owned a vibrator or any other sex toy. Fewer still had ever used one with a partner. By talking about sex, selling these toys and gadgets, I hoped to change the conversations couples were having about sex in the privacy of their home.
Some women told me their partners were utterly opposed to the idea of vibrators; they somehow threatened their masculinity or some other bullshit. My own experience has been that it has only ever enhanced sex, never detracted from it. And while I suppose the demand for vibrators comes from masturbation, their use need not be a solo experience, and many are designed for two.
I recently purchased a spreader bar, which I have since been informed is also the name of a piece of farming equipment. Fortunately, you don’t need John Deere to operate the one I bought. As the name suggests, it’s a rigid bar of metal with a leather cuff at each end for wrists or ankles to “spread”. No batteries, no operating manual, just some good, old-fashioned bondage. While to some it appears a medieval torture device, the pleasure that can be derived from simply being unable to close your legs while being teased and licked and played with is surprisingly delightful. And I was especially pleased because it was a new experience for me that I got to share with someone I quite like. New experiences can be rare, so it’s lovely to be able to create them when you can.
By far the greatest benefit of sex toys, as I see it, is that they provide women an opportunity to discover what gets them off. I know far too many women who spent their adolescence and early adulthood having never had an orgasm, or weren’t sure if they had. On a girls’ night many years ago, a friend of mine once commented during a related conversation that orgasms weren’t real. It was something Hollywood had made up for the movies. I was delighted when she discovered a few months later, with obviously a much better man than her former partner, that not only are they real but they are awesome.
I think any man who opposes the use of them, are fundamentally opposed to the idea of their partner experiencing pleasure and that makes him a first-class dick. Fellas, if your partner knows how to make her lady boner hum, it’s far more likely she’ll be interested in actually having sex with you. It seems pretty logical that women who don’t enjoy sex would have a decreased level of interest in doing the deed, especially if there’s nothing in it for them.
So, before you go blaming hormones, or her busy workload, or your beer belly, or the kids for your non-existent sex-life, ask yourself what’s in it for her? And if the answer is nothing, then swallow your fucking pride and go and buy a small (don’t scare her off with a 12-inch dildo – that’s stupid), quality, feminine-looking vibrator. Or better yet, shop for one together. If you can’t share a giggle together over the display of butt plugs, what can you laugh about?