Will I Be Replaced By a Vibrator?

April 3, 2011
By Charlie Glickman

A lot of people have worries and fears about sex. Will I be good enough? Does my partner think I’m attractive? What if they think what I like is weird? And the more we worry about sex, the more likely we are to have problems, if only because we can’t let go and enjoy the moment.

There’s one version of this I’ve definitely seen cause all kinds of friction (not the kind of friction that makes people smile): when one partner is worried their sweetie’s going to choose a vibrator instead. Let me reassure you — sex toys are not a substitute for people.

Plenty of people use sex toys, and for any of a number of reasons. Some women cannot climax solely through vaginal intercourse. Many women have orgasms more easily with clitoral sensation, so a vibrator can be a powerful fun generator. Or maybe someone likes to wear a butt plug during intercourse because it rubs their prostate. Or perhaps they’ve found a dildo that hits the exact right spot. The thing is, none of these toys are going to replace a person any more than a really good kitchen knife or a cordless drill will. They’re just tools that help people get the job done, whether the job is cutting carrots, fixing a shelf, or creating pleasure.

One of the unfortunate ideas that our culture has about sex is that you’re supposed to “give” your partner an orgasm. It’s as if you’re somehow responsible for their climax. That puts a lot of responsibility on you. If your lover asks you to go a little harder/softer/deeper/etc., or to use a vibrator, or to give them a blowjob instead of fucking, it’s easy to feel as though they’re criticizing or calling you’re not a good lover. That’s almost never the case, but it’s easy to see how that can lead to problems.

But what if you didn’t have to take responsibility for someone else’s pleasure? What if you’re in charge of your own, they’re in charge of theirs, and together, you find where the overlap is? Remember, a vibrator or another sex toy creates a different sensation than you do, not a better one. It can’t substitute for you because it can’t offer love, lust, or passion. No matter how much fun it is, it can’t create the unique experience of being with you.

Keeping this in mind opens up sex toys as an add-on rather than a competitor. And when you or your partner(s) are having the kinds of sexual pleasure and fun that work for you, these toys can enhance the connection instead of getting in the way. Granted, a toy won’t guarantee that you’ll have great sex or a happy relationship, but they don’t have to be a source of stress, either.

Remember — they’re called toys for a reason. They’re supposed to be fun!

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