Double standards in sex toys?
Let us explain… ❤️
You must have been living in a cave somewhere, ( if you are, you should now stay there – it’s not worth coming out) if you haven’t seen the stories in the media about the huge rise in the sale of sex toys. If you have missed this then Coronavirus has underlined the figures with a bright pink highlighter pen because sales have shot up even more during the lockdown for Coronavirus.
Women have turned the tables on the sex toy industry embracing toys as vocal customers and even starting their own brands under the banner of ‘veganism’ or ‘eco-friendly’ or the mantra ‘designed by women for women’. But for men, there seems to be just a little element of stigma remaining. Some women when questioned in a survey admitted happily to a cupboard full of sex toys but yet expressed horror when asked for their reaction to a male partner if he fessed up to the same. Is this a double standard and one that goes the other way (for once)?
The simple fact is that if a man were sitting around in a bar and admitted he had a sex toy, he would more than likely be ridiculed by his mates. He would probably never even dare talk about it in reality. Imagine how different it is for women who openly discuss these things and are the opposite of censorious. That famous scene in Sex in the City helped of course. Perhaps the contra male equivalent is the blow-up doll peeking out the back of Trotter’s Robin Reliant in the cult TV comedy, Only Fools and Horses and there are plenty of other similar portrayals across film and media as well.
So there is stigma for men without a doubt but happily, the internet has not stopped them purchasing from the privacy of their own homes and male sex toy sales have gone up by 1,000% in the last decade. So someone’s buying then. The best selling toy perhaps unsurprisingly is the Fleshlight, a rather realistic looking vagina mounted in a container designed to look like a torch, hence the name. The brand endures and it is now possible to buy accessories for Fleshlight like shower mounts and sleeve warmers – there is even a connection to your iPad. Here are some of the other popular male sex toys with some interesting data around male purchasing habits:-
- Cock rings are the most popular generic sex toy with Fleshlight the best selling individual branded item. Prostate massagers, penis pumps and stamina rings are right up there with the top buys
- Quite a high percentage of surveyed men, over 75%, said they would consider buying a toy for their use only with just over 20% saying an emphatic ‘no’ in response to this question
- Many felt they should be able to buy a toy without embarrassment but perhaps most of this stems from the reaction of other men rather than women
- Almost three-quarters confessed to being happy for their partner to use a male sex toy on them, quite an interesting statistic as there is still this overarching perception of men as not wanting to be seen as in some way weak or inadequate in the bedroom
- Just over half of the men surveyed said they had used a female sex toy on their partner and had enjoyed the experience, under 5% didn’t like it
It’s a moot point as to whether men are secretive about their use of sex toys because they fear ridicule from women or from other men. Sex toys can have a very real place in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction or ED or, the aftermath of prostate surgery, doctors do actually recommend penis pumps and vibrators. For many men who have slid over the hill of middle-age and decided Viagra isn’t for them, sex toys can help them regain intimacy with their partners, pleasure can be shared, it doesn’t always have to be about penetrative sex.
There also seems to be a correlation between the solo use of sex toys by men and an interest in their sexual health. The use of sex toys naturally encourages time spent in either conscious or unconscious examination of the testicular equipment. And men who said they used sex toys seemed to be more engaged with the whole concept of sexual pleasure and orgasm both their own and their partners. The taboo is starting to disintegrate as many sex toys are bought by couples; joint purchase makes it easy for both men and women to avoid their private concerns or any stigma they feel would be attached to a solo shopping trip. Women perhaps led the charge with increasing empowerment across a much broader landscape than just the bedroom, men are following behind.
Introducing the subject of sex toys within a relationship does require a degree of tact and sensitivity. If you have never used them before (or admitted to it) then you may not be sure what kind of reaction you will get. No-one wants to broach the subject of sex toys only for their partner to take this as a slight upon his or her sexual performance. Sometimes it is easier to talk about when you are further on into a relationship and there is a degree of mutual trust or, in the early days when boundaries are not so clearly defined and there is less expectation.
Shopping for sex toys together can be huge fun and it can all be done quite privately online, respecting the sensitivities of both parties. There are lots of easy and subtle ways to introduce the conversation about sex toys – watching a scene in a film or talking about your friend’s sex toys- quite harmless and low key, a good way to test the water and see what response you receive. At the end of the day, both parties must feel comfortable and there are many lines to be drawn in the sand depending on personal preference and how that couple wants to play things collectively. Every relationship is different. But sex toys really can enhance sexual enjoyment so why miss out?