A long-married couple is in bed together one night about to get intimate when the wife suddenly decides to spice things up by turning on the lights. When she sees her husband standing before her holding a dildo she exclaims in horror, “Harold! I can’t believe you’ve been lying to me all these years. Explain yourself!” To which Harold replies, “I’ll explain this if you can explain our three kids.”
Q. What do a vibrator and tofu have in common?
A. They’re both meat substitutes.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a blog about sex toys. More specifically, it’s a blog about my FIRST sex toy: a lovely little vibrator named Eva who is my new bestie.
Eva arrived two weeks ago and so far she’s been a great addition to the family. But I didn’t bring her home for the reasons you might think: I’m not sexually unfulfilled (but thanks for asking) and I’m not looking for a substitute or replacement for my partner. Turns out I had a lot of misconceptions about vibrators.
For many reasons, 2017 has become the year to reclaim some of my Jen-ness, to find, recapture, and wrestle to the ground some of who I was before marriage, kids, Disney movies, parent council meetings and cotton undies became my norm.
Even at my most liberated and untethered, no one would have described me as wild and crazy, and it’s not like I’m trying to be 22 again. Getting my first vibrator at forty-four isn’t even about sex: it’s about establishing more control over, and making time for, the things that make me happy. It’s about finally being mature enough to say “This is what I want” without shame or fear of judgment. It’s about living life more on my terms.
And let me be clear: I love my life. My family, my job, my hobbies, even my 10 p.m. bedtime, and I wouldn’t change a thing. But I also like having things that are just for me—things I don’t have to share with or explain to anyone. I used to feel sorry for women who “needed” a vibrator. Her husband must travel a lot, I’d think. Or, they must not have a good sex life. Turns out these women had the right idea all along, and I was the one who was missing out. But now that I’m in on the secret, there’s no turning back.
In my (albeit limited) experience, a vibrator does not adequately replace sex with a human partner. Many people disagree and claim they’re just as if not more satisfied with batteries-only sex. But for me, at least in the early stages, Eva has not proven herself as a pinch-hitter penis. She’s a complement, not a replacement; an add-on, if you will. Eva is more like an insurance policy, something to have “just in case”, like sleeping with a knife under your pillow when camping in the forest, or having an extra phone charger in your purse. It’s security, assurance that I can take care of business all by myself should the need arise. She’s like a roadside assistance plan for my vagina.
I will admit that shopping for Eva was a bit intimidating. I knew I didn’t want something that looked like it escaped from the set of a porn shoot but other than that, I had no idea where to begin. Big? Small? Pink? Plastic? PVC-free? Three-speed? Silent? Automatic shut-off?
Needless to say, I thought long and hard.
When I found Eva online, I was immediately intrigued. In addition to being designed by two women, she was cute, compact and discreet. She also, ahem, came in my favourite colour. After reading several reviews (all positive) and watching a short instructional video in which an animated Eva walks across the screen and hops easily into the pencil outline of a vagina, I knew she was the one.
Unlike some people (ie. the ones who write blogs about vibrators), Eva is a lady who values discretion. I am therefore forbidden to give you too many details about our time together but suffice it to say we are very happy, especially now that my cat knows Eva is not his toy.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a partner who isn’t intimidated by the thought of being “replaced” or of you taking control of your own pleasure even when s/he’s not there, a vibrator can be an exciting and liberating addition to your sex life. Think of it like melted butter on cinema popcorn: could you live without it and still be happy? Absolutely. Would you want to live without it now that you know it’s there? Probably not. Melted butter just makes the “popcorn” taste better, especially if you’re enjoying it together.
And then there are the health benefits that come with sex. According to webmd.com:
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance. When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and heart disease.
The same source says a healthy sex life can boost immune function, lower blood pressure, improve bladder control and sleep, ease stress and reduce a man’s risk of prostate cancer.
Do you need a vibrator to accomplish all this? No, but switching up the routine is rarely a bad idea. I’ve been sexually active for twenty-seven years (I’ll do the math for you, I lost my virginity at 17) and I didn’t think I had much left to learn, at least nothing that was legal and in my comfort zone. Turns out I was wrong, and you might be too.
Still not sold? Don’t worry, you’ll come around.
This blog was originally published on Urbanmoms.ca in 2017.