During the shitstorm of anti-feminist trolls I faced after the publication of my Establishment article, the funniest criticism I received was this: “Every feminist’s ideal boyfriend is a Hitachi Magic Wand.”
A conservative blogger had written about me and my degenerate sex toy collection, and I clicked the link while at a party with a bunch of friends. When a concerned pal saw what I was reading, he cooed, “Aw, don’t look at that,” and tried to take my phone from me so it wouldn’t ruin my night. But I wasn’t sad or angry; I was giggling my ass off.
It struck me (and still strikes me) as so funny that these anti-feminist, anti-woman, anti-pleasure curmudgeons think sex toys are incompatible with the presence of a real-life partner. These people honestly believe that by sheer virtue of owning dozens of vibrators and dildos, I am scaring away anyone who might want to bang me. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m throwing clothes and toiletries into a backpack, getting ready for a weekend at my boyfriend’s place. It’s a rarity: he has the house to himself, with his family being out of town. We are going to fuck on every available surface.
My eyes land on my sex toy drawers and I realize some important decisions need to be made. “What toys should I bring?” I text my love. While waiting for him to respond, I idly graze my fingers over my Tango, Orchid, and Wahl.
The reply comes back: “Your Eroscillator. Duh.”
I should have known. He loves how hard that toy makes me come, while his cock is deep inside me or his fingers probe my G-spot. Sometimes he even hands it to me during sex without me needing to ask – a non-verbal assertion that, yes, he values my pleasure, it’s important to him, it turns him on, and he can’t wait to feel me clenching around him.
I wrap the Eroscillator’s cord carefully around its body and slide it into my bag, then skip off toward the subway station.
27 percent of the people I’ve banged have owned their own Magic Wand (to my knowledge, anyway). That’s no small number. That’s 1.3 in 5. Those odds are pretty good, compared to the world at large. I have excellent taste in partners.
Though self-pleasure is obviously an important ideal to me, I’m especially charmed by cis men who own a Magic Wand purely for the usage of the women they bone.
These are usually men to whom their partners’ pleasure matters a great deal. They’re the type of men who want you to come, but who will back the fuck off if you tell them it’s probably not gonna happen tonight and you’re okay with that. The type of men who will patiently offer up their fingers, mouths, dicks, and talented toy-wielding hands if it means they get to watch you writhe and convulse beneath them. The type of men who will never judge you for getting sweaty, red-faced, breathless, loud, and incoherent during and after your orgasm, because to them, that’s not unattractive – it’s the whole point.
When I’m flirting with someone new and sex toys come up in conversation, sometimes I learn that my flirtee owns their own Hitachi. It’s usually mentioned so casually and offhandedly, I could miss it if I zoned out for just a moment. But it’s info that perks my ears right up, because I know what it’s likely to mean.
“I bought it for an ex-girlfriend, but she didn’t want it,” he says with a shrug as he plugs it in.
“Lucky for me,” I fire back, unwrapping a condom to pull over the thing’s unwieldy, porous head.
I’m already wet from his deft fingers, so he can push them right into me again once the Hitachi is settled on my clit. I turn it on just as he finds my A-spot and have to bite down on my own hand to keep my moans at a reasonable decibel level. The deep vibrations rocking my entire clit combine with his sweetly insistent fingers, and I zoom right into “about to come” territory within seconds.
It doesn’t take much. I’m just thinking that I wish he would say something nurturing and domly to me to push me over the edge, when he leans in and mutters, “Does that feel good? Yeah? Like that?” And then I’m coming all over his fingers, sinking my teeth even deeper into my own skin. The vibrator rattles noisily against my sudden wetness and I leave it there until I can’t stand it anymore.
“Man, I love that thing,” I breathe. He laughs and says, “Yeah, I could tell.” We curl up to sleep: him spooning me, and me spooning the Hitachi.
The way I use sex toys with partners, it’s a way they can prove to me that they trust and respect my authority over my own body.
I rarely just hand a partner a toy and let ’em go wild with it. Usually I’ll hand it to them while listing some very specific instructions. “Push it all the way into me, tilt the tip up toward my belly, and move in and out in small motions. Yeah, like that. A little bit faster, please.”
Or sometimes I’ll just hold the damn thing myself. I’ll press a vibrator against my clit or external G-spot while my partner fucks me with fingers, a toy, or his dick. Since my clit is a total princess, it’s often easier if I handle that part myself, freeing him up to do other things.
I don’t attract the type of person who’d pridefully try to control my toys against my wishes. I wouldn’t want to bang that type of person, anyway. I only want to be with people who respect my autonomy, my knowledge of my own body, my pleasure preferences. And when a partner hands me a vibe without getting butthurt about it, without sulking in disappointment, without seeming to feel devalued or unneeded, it just proves he trusts me to know what’s best for me.
It’s a feminist act, in some ways. It’s a man saying-without-saying, “Your body is yours, you’re smart and experienced, and your pleasure matters. I’d love to be a part of that, if you’ll let me. And if not, that’s fine too.”
He’s got one hand on my chest and the other inside me. My Tango is wedged against my clit, thrumming helpfully, but I’m just not quite getting there.
I see a look come over his face that I can’t decipher, and then he says, “I don’t think this is strong enough. Do you wanna switch to the Hitachi?”
My appreciation for this man, in this moment, is grander than I can translate into words. My heart melts, and so does my vagina. Far from being scared or put off by vibrators, he’s getting annoyed with the one in my hand for being too small, not strong enough, not giving me enough pleasure. He wants more for me, because my enjoyment is paramount to him. And not in some selfless, detached way: me getting off is a direct turn-on for him. And I know that’s why he shuts off my Tango, retrieves my Magic Wand from the bedside table, and places it in my hands.
A few diligent minutes later, I come so hard that I’m babbling, sweating, lost in rumbly reverie. I’m vaguely aware that he takes the vibe from me once I’m totally done coming, and I hear him set it on the table before climbing back into bed with me.
Maybe it’s the orgasmic neurotransmitters talking, but I’ve rarely felt so cared for, respected, safe, and seen during sex as I do now. He knew what I needed and delivered it not with complaints but with extreme enthusiasm. It wasn’t even a big deal to him. He wanted me to come, so, duh, he made sure there was a suitable vibrator in my hands. It was the obvious thing to do, and he did it because he cares about me.
I drift off to sleep in his arms. His hands still smell like me.