Dr. Chauntelle, Hop On Hints, sex toys as gifts, social psychology -

Helpful Hop-On Hints #2: Sex Toy Social Psychology

According to science  or, interesting-yet-unverifiable data gathered by a large and legitimate sex toy distributor/retailer  44 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 60 have tried sex toys. This makes me think of two questions. First, what types of sex toys are all these women trying? Second, what about the remaining majority who are not exploring sex toys at all? Let’s think about this.

Overwhelming Options
There are several key categories of sex toys – vibrators, dildos, and masturbation aides, among others – and within each key category, there are almost endless options. Vibrators, for instance, are said to be the most popular category of toy and a quick search on Amazon turns up more than 5,000 individual products. With all these options, you can imagine how overwhelming  or even intimidating  selecting your first toy might be. Now, imagine selecting a toy as a gift for a partner.

Unique Individuals, Unique Considerations
In addition to sheer quantity, there are also social components that may come into play when considering sex toys. For some people, the idea that sex toys are “not natural” may impact their decision to explore, or not. Others may worry that a high-powered sex toy will desensitize them, and thus somehow make them dependent on a device for sexual pleasure. Or, what about how you enjoy yourself, be it a quick fix, a long sensual experience or something else? What will your partner  or the neighbors, or your friends  think?

We receive messages, both literal and interpreted, throughout our lives. These messages tell us what sex is, how we should do it, and how we are supposed to enjoy it. More often than not, these messages do not include the seamless use of sex toys, much less a ride-on-top saddle vibrator like Motorbunny.

Regardless of why someone may avoid exploring sex toys, it’s important to remember that a person’s reasons for doing so are intensely personal and unique – and they all have a social component.

Is a Gift the Same Thing as a Message?
Partners receiving a toy as a gift, on the other hand, may feel threatened, as if a toy is a replacement for a human. (FYI, it’s not. Toys and humans are different.)

An additional interpersonal component may come into play when an item like Motorbunny is given as a gift. Why am I receiving this? What does it mean?! Chances are, it means your partner wants to hang out with you, but this may be something that’s difficult to feel comfortable with due in part to these wider messages (that we internalize uniquely) about what sex is “supposed to” be.

Sometimes we all need to take a moment to consider these messages, especially where they came from and how they have directly impacted us as individuals. This is not to say that meditating on wider social norms will magically sort out your struggles with them – but it is helpful to, for instance, take what you think about a product like Motorbunny and consider why you think it.

This is an important thing to take into consideration as you start to explore your sexual expression in the company of your Motorbunny.

- Dr. Chauntelle

P.S. Feel free to send in your questions – and trust me, if you have a question, there are others out there wondering about something similar. We can talk about them here. (Anonymously, of course!)