By Patricia Marie
I suspect that my first foray into the world of sex toys was like many others’ experiences, very limited and somewhat anti-climactic. I was in college and the thought that I was free from the reigns of parental-supervision and could purchase whatever illicit and forbidden thing I wanted to was overwhelmingly exciting for me. So much so that I didn’t do much research before settling on the sparkly, purple dildo that would surely become my new best friend.
At the time, I thought that phallic-shaped vibrators were the only type of sex toy worth trying and, according to the late-night MTV shows that I snuck to watch in high school, would give me all the pleasure I could ever imagine. I wasn’t having much sex back then – I actually wasn’t having any sex, just some foreplay and a bunch of casual kissing encounters. So, the thought of getting the type of orgasm that was close enough to sex was very exciting for me. I was an old pro at masturbation but was only familiar with the spine-tingling sensations I got from clitoral stimulation. I longed to know what it felt like to cum from penetration and finally figure out exactly where that ever-elusive and possibly mythical G-spot was.
My dreams were shattered when I used my dildo for the first time. It was very pretty but that’s where my affinity for it stopped. Using it did not elicit any feelings of arousal and I definitely didn’t feel like the solo-sex-goddess I expected to feel like. All I felt was a cold, plastic object going in and out of me. I supposed maybe I needed something to set the mood, so on another occasion, I tried to watch some porn and use it. I was a little bit more in the mood because of the porn but when I added the dildo to the mix, I immediately lost my mojo.
Frustrated, I gave up on my sex toy and relied on my fingers for the next couple of years, wondering what it was about me that prevented me from experiencing pleasure from penetration. As far as I knew, women were naturally supposed to get raging orgasms from penetration and dildos were no exception.
After having a few more person-to-person sexual experiences, I decided that maybe sex toys just weren’t for me. But one day, at my first ever toy party, I discovered the plethora of sex toys to choose from. I’d had no idea. A bit intimidated by the variety, I settled on a bullet toy. Not only was it in my price range, but it was also discrete and not overly complicated. When I used it, I discovered a level of pleasure that exceeded what I was only able to achieve with my own hands. It was perfect. I’d finally found my sex toy bestie.
Even though I’d experienced it during sexual encounters, it was using toys that allowed me the space to explore my body and learn that I generally enjoyed clitoral stimulation over penetration. Because there was a toy specifically built for it, I no longer wondered if I was strange or broken for having that preference.
The truth is most women receive more pleasure from clitoral stimulation and don’t orgasm from intercourse. But because most sex education fails to cover this fact, the only way I learned that what feels good to my body is normal was through sex toys.
Using sex toys is an excellent way to experiment and learn more about how your body responds to certain sensations. There’s no embarrassment or shame because you can be alone with yourself and your desires while you explore your own body exactly the way you want to.
The idea that different toys are made to stimulate our bodies in unique ways is proof that we can discard our perception of how we think we’re supposed to experience pleasure and embrace the way we actually do. My experimentation with sex toys taught me that one size doesn’t fit all and there is no one right way to feel good.
The more you know about your body, the more you can love it, figuratively and literally, and the more empowered you will feel about seeking experiences that give you pleasure.
Patricia Marie is a writer, an editor, and the founder of culture & lifestyle blog, The Glam Femme. In addition to writing queer, POC-focused contemporary fiction, Patricia enjoys creating erotic short stories that subvert cultural norms and thoughtfully promote diverse experiences and authentic voices.