Thursday 2 December 2010

Sex for Women: to vibrate or not to vibrate

So, personal device, dildo, vibrator, eggs, Ben Wa. Is this 2MI? Too much information? After all, just talking about one of these things does infer [gasp] masturbation! Oh no, blindness, hairy palms.

I think it's been pretty obvious in my articles and it certainly is obvious reading just about anywhere that these items are of such a personal nature that discussions about them are virtually taboo. However, it seems as those the traditional barriers to talking about these items or should I say our sexuality may just be slowly eroding.

In my other blogs about sex educators, I discovered that Sue Johanson recommends sex toys; Scarleteen discusses them, Violet Blue is pro-sex toy and Dr. Laura Berman not only promotes sex toys, she has partnered with a company Pleasure Me Now to offer various toys to the public. I feel confident that if I walked down the street and did an informal survey, the percentage of respondents admitting to having such a device might not be as high as expected (or hoped for?); we are still shy about discussing sex. However it would seem that the experts are in agreement that this aspect of our sexuality as an individual, not as a partner in a relationship, is normal, recommended and considered "required reading" as part of a fully resplendent sex life. Gosh, "diddling" is a good thing?

Let's start with teenagers
An online magazine called Jezebel ran a short article about an Oprah show in April 2009 where sex expert Dr. Laura Berman talked about teaching parents to talk with their daughters about sex including the importance of pleasure, masturbation and vibrators. Check out the video here:

Jezebel - Apr 10/2009
Oprah: Moms Should Buy Vibrators For Teen Girls by Tracie Egan Morrissey

It's interesting to see the reaction. Gayle King an editor for O magazine just shakes her head and reacts negatively to the whole idea of discussing vibrators with a daughter. Referring to an earlier part of the show, Gayle says that kids know too much and are doing too much. She's not in favour of contributing to this 2MI.

Dr. Berman then responds by saying how in her experience grown women are ignorant about their bodies, never mind kids and in the end, you can't give "too much" information to a child. Oprah then chimes in with the best point of all: no matter what anybody thinks or does, children already have "too much information", that is, they are already getting information from friends, classmates and media. Any parent who thinks they want to stem the flow of 2MI is missing the point that kids are getting this information anyway. So the point ends up being, wouldn't any parent what their child to be getting good information?

The next part of Dr. Berman's explanation is interesting. If a young girl learns about sex and learns about her own pleasure, she is not going to be dependent on a boy for it. She's going to know about sex; she's going to know about pleasure; the mystery is gone; the curiosity is satisfied. Dr. Berman then makes the bold statement that girls would be less likely to go into sex early and when and if they do, they will be more discriminating and more careful since being more knowledgeable. A girl doesn't "need" a boy; she'll enter into a relationship when she "wants" to.

Controversial? Dr. Berman admits this in the video. However, it certainly makes sense. It's obvious that ignorance isn't working as anybody can judge by looking at the stats on STDs, teenage pregnancies, abortions, etc. It's also obvious in listening to Dr. Berman discuss elsewhere about adult women showing up at her clinic and they are having sexual problems.

"Gossip Girl" star's fascinating vibrator furor
Salon - Jul 22/2010
Taylor Momsen causes a furor by talking about her sex toy. What's so wrong about that? By Mary Elizabeth Williams

In a nutshell, this article first talks about one of the stars of the television series "Gossip Girls". 16 year old Taylor Momsen caused a bit of a stir when in a magazine interview, she apparently said she's not into guys and her best friend is her vibrator.

Mary Williams, the author of this article about all this, is quite amusing in the assessment not of what Taylor said specifically, but of the state of affairs about the entire topic of sex.

Momsen may not be the role model I'd prefer my tween daughters to emulate, but the collective horror over her reference to self-pleasure speaks volumes about how taboo the subject still is. And frankly, if I'd had a vibrator at 16, high school would have sucked a lot less.

Male masturbation — in particular adolescent male masturbation — is so blithely accepted it has its own canon — from movies like "Spanking the Monkey" and "American Pie" to an astonishing number of pop songs. Suffice to say that if you're a teenage boy, everybody assumes you're about to beat it, you just beat it, or you're beating it right now.

But girls? We hit our first stirrings of big league horniness, and we think the guy who scratches that itch is a miracle worker. It must be the real thing — I feel it in my bathing suit area!
...ever wonder why so many women still equate sex with love? Could it be in part because they're still barraged with the message that there's something dirty or weird or inferior with loving themselves — especially when it involves equipment? Behold, for example, the advice from Redbook that a lady's fiancé "replace that vibrator" because "women prefer the real thing." "The real thing" is plenty awesome, but why does a vibrator have to have a rep as a shabby substitute for Mr. Right, instead of as something that just gives pleasure?

When you figure out you can rock your own world just fine, it changes how you view sex. You understand that that specific, everything-is-right-with-the-world feeling isn't luuuuuuv, and you don't have to overromanticize something your male counterpart can rub out in the shower before homeroom. Taylor Momsen might not be the soul of youthful wisdom, but there's something unique and powerful about a teenage girl announcing she doesn't depend on a boy to feel good.

These are the words of a grown woman. Interesting; it does give one pause to reflect. In my blog Sex: I'm a man and you're a...  I talk about the double standard. Above, we have Ms. Williams herself pointing out how there seems to be one set of rules for men, another set for women and the set for women seems to focus women only on love and takes them away from pleasure and sex.

Divinyls - I Touch Myself (full lyrics)
I love myself I want you to love me
When I feel down I want you above me
I search myself I want you to find me
I forget myself I want you to remind me

I don't want anybody else
When I think about you I touch myself

Oprah: Having the Sex Talk with Your Kids by Dr. Berman
To teach your 15- or 16-year-old daughter the concept of pleasure, Dr. Berman recommends a product many mothers may not think of getting for their daughters—a clitoral vibrator. "I know it's controversial, but I can tell you giving them this kind of information makes them safer in the long run," Dr. Berman says.

Video: How to Have the Sex Talk with Your Child Video - Dr. Berman
(Unfortunately, you have to go through an advertisement before you see the actual video)
Dr. Berman talks with a mother and her daughter Jordan. An interesting clip and I must say, this seems like a mature (for her age), intelligent young lady. Maybe kids are not always so much kids. Maybe we should give them more credit than we do?

Dr. Berman demos her own products
vibrating panties? :-)

Final Word
To vibrate or not to vibrate, that is the question. Actually the question seems to be more about to know about sex or not to know about sex. The "double standard" permeates our society and even women themselves can look upon sex as something women don't do or enjoy. After all, I'm a man and you're a... Well, now how bizarre is that?

Too young? Too much information? Too old? Too late? Lots of questions, too few answers?

I'll end off with a story from a woman who discusses the use of vibrators but who also discusses amusingly enough going to a "sex toy" party put on by a company called Pure Romance (adult sex toy parties for women), the "Mary Kay of sexual toys".

Your Husband or a Vibrator?!?!?! - Nov 29/2010
While writing this blog, I went online and did a search on Married Women and Vibrators and found this question on a different website and it was exactly what I was thinking, "Do you think these toys can substitute your husband? Why do you use them? And would it be possible that woman will get addicted to the toy and enjoy it more than her husband?"

I read so many different responses to that question. Some responses were from men who didn't want their wives using it because they felt they (the husband) couldn't satisfy her. Other men used it with their wives. Other men said their wives were using and lying about it! That was funny. The married women responded with mixed responses as well. Some women said they needed it to get turn them on before having sex with their husbands. Others said it's not a substitute for their husband but just an additional form a satisfaction. It seems quite a few women had them but didn't use them around their husband but they knew they had one. I guess what it boils down to is what works for you, works for you. It's just all so interesting. What do you think?


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1 comment:

BigLittleWolf said...

So much here that is, well... chat-worthy. That said, I disagree with your, um, opening.

It isn't always an either-or proposition (husband/partner or toy). Surely, French men aren't the only ones who enjoy jouets with the woman they love?

As to ages, education, etc., yes, the double standard is alive and well as you point out. All the rest, I'm mulling.