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Her Campus / Megan Charles
Sex + Relationships

The Truth About Sex Toys

Yeah, I have a vibrator. If that is what you wanted to know, then congratulations. Feel free to exit this article now. As for the readers who want to know the truth, welcome. Reading about sex can feel uncomfortable, but this is a safe space to learn and to relate. Sex toys are often used as vessels or comedic relief, but the deep-rooted implications are platforms for sexual health acknowledgment for young women.

As a high school and college student, sex was luckily never a scary topic to me. When I was younger, I was educated about what sex was, when people feel ready to have it, that it is normal and that humans could sexually please themselves. Initially, this was uncomfortable for me to accept, but as I grew to learn the reality beneath it, I understood its importance. In the end, the truth about self-pleasure does not entirely correlate to sexual satisfaction, but to the power, protection and self-assurance that it gives to women.

Today, when most of us think about the term “sex toys,” it can cause us to giggle or to simply dismiss the subject because of our lack of understanding. For me, it is comfortable to see that our lives are not as dramatic as a “Fifty Shades of Grey” novel. Self-pleasure does not unfold as an erotic scene from a movie or music video. In fact, the truth that I uncovered reveals that it should be normalized, especially for women who are not fully aware of their bodies.

I realized how important it was for girls to know their bodies better than anyone else only recently. Earlier this year, a younger friend at my college approached me with a reluctant look on her face. As I proceeded to ask her what was wrong, I noticed that her worried expression began to consume her. She began to tell me that her boyfriend might be ready to have sex with her. She was not ready for this, but claimed she “knew it would have to happen at some point.” This comment absolutely broke me inside. Girls who view sex as inevitable should not have to dread their first experiences with another person or feel pressure to rush into a situation that they are not ready for.

The sad reality of this scenario will always be difficult for me to accept. So many young women come to college with the notion that sex is a taboo topic that should be avoided. Additionally, masturbation or any other forms of self-pleasure are things that young women try to avoid more-so rather than not, and it is not as widely accepted as it is with men. With all of these factors coming into play, most women have their first sexual experiences with other people before they have the chance to know about their own bodies. Not only is masturbation shunned in our modern-day society, but people avoid talking about this subject generally. In turn, women are left uneducated about the physical and psychological benefits that come with reading, listening to and understanding their bodies.

Subjectively, men should not have the privilege of learning about women’s bodies while women are still unaware of what they like or how they will respond to vulnerable situations. Being exposed to new sexual situations can be awkward enough, and adding another person to the mix who has the potential to hurt you or become aware of your body before you are leaves my body feeling bitter.

The underlying truths to self-pleasure only bring awareness to the most important factors within a sexual relationship:

  • Consent.
  • Physical awareness.
  • Confidence.
  • Comfortability.

Women can put themselves first and more than often, we do not. Societal views play a major role in this, but in the end, your sexuality and body are only for you to understand. The truth reveals that women can have the option to take control of how comfortable they are with themselves before entering a situation that they are not mentally or physically prepared for. 

Keila is a second-year Journalism student at the University of Florida. She was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. As a true Florida native, Keila is obsessed with all things Disney. She loves reading, writing, film, glitter, the color pink, and the oxford comma (scary, we know). Keila hopes to have a career central to writing, editing, and media.
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