Sex & Relationships  
comments_image Comments

Is My Vibrator Ruining My Relationship?

I thought my boyfriend would be amused when I ordered another sex toy. Apparently, it was one too many.
 
 
Share
 
 
 
 

 

Not long ago, I informed my boyfriend that I had ordered a Hitachi Magic Wand to keep at his place in New Jersey. (Yes, Amazon sells them, and as of this writing, it’s their bestselling toy). I thought he’d be excited, perhaps — or, at worst, simply amused. Instead, I could practically hear the disdain over Gmail.

“Do you even need me to come home anymore?” he asked.

As a sex writer, I have a lot of toys, and this wasn’t the first time I’d bought the so-called Cadillac of vibrators, an extremely powerful plug-in electrical massager that’s been my go-to sex toy for over a decade. I already had one at my apartment in Brooklyn, but I wanted one for the long stretches of time I spent at his place, and the toy is way too large and unwieldy to cart back and forth.

“It’s just a vibrator,” I told him. “Of course I need and want you.” That seemed obvious to me, but it wasn’t as clear to him. As I probed further, I discovered I had tripped into sensitive territory. Owning one Hitachi Magic Wand was all right, but apparently two was overload, even for a boyfriend who once worked in marketing for a sex toy company.

“It’s not that I think you’re going to leave me for your Hitachi,” he told me, “but there’s a caveman part of me that thinks, I should be able to satisfy you. You shouldn’t need a magic stick.”

Uh-oh. I’d heard about guys feeling threatened by their girlfriend’s toys, but I always made certain assumptions about them. They were the same guys who didn’t want their girlfriends to wear short skirts or low-cut tops, the kind of guys Cyndi Lauper was singing about in “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” when she said, “Some boys take a beautiful girl / And hide her away from the rest of the world.” I lumped them all together into one unenlightened, close-minded group of dudes who thought vibrators were for desperate single girls.

I believed that toys were accoutrements of a good sex life, not a replacement for one. Some of the best lovers I’ve had came to the bedroom with their own arsenal, along with novel ideas about how to use them. I didn’t need to date King (or Queen) Dildo, exactly, but I did need a lover who was open to their use.

And my boyfriend certainly was. Up until that moment, he’d been game for most anything. Handcuffs, vibrators, rope, a ruler, a flogger. I’d been sent so many toys to review that we had to arrange the bedside table to accommodate the stash. And yet, a girl can have too many vibrators for her lover’s comfort — and I guess I had crossed the line.

It surprised me. My boyfriend was open-minded, nothing like the Neanderthal men of my anti-sex-toy imagination. He loved when I dressed up in sexy outfits when we went out. Once I wore a very revealing dress to the grocery store, and he reported back to me who’d been checking me out. He laughed when I told him about random emails I got saying things like “‘Cupcake Wars’ producer wants to bone you.” He’d been open with me about his sexual past and had never so much as hinted that there was anything wrong with mine. But now, the Cadillac of vibrators had him worried. Was I no longer happy in bed? Why did I have to seek out plug-in stimulation?

Maybe part of his unease stemmed from our different ideas about masturbation; he preferred to hold off on masturbating when we were apart, whereas I considered masturbation a complementary part of my sex life. The truth is, when I use my Hitachi, it’s often about stress relief as much as sheer horniness. When I’m on the verge of having a panic attack, binge eating, or generally freaking out, I can always bring myself back to my body. It’s a selfish time of pleasure and indulgence. I’m not thinking about what I look or sound like, or what’s going to happen next. Ideally, I’m not thinking about much of anything.

 
See more stories tagged with: