A Girl’s First Vibrator

I recently came across a FetLife.com discussion begun by a woman who wanted opinions on whether or not she should buy her fourteen-year-old daughter a vibrator. Was she serious? I was surprised to read on and see that most people were in support of the idea!

I thought perhaps it was just the FL crowd, so I Googled the concept and found that Oprah–and it’s hard to imagine someone more mainstream than Oprah–had in fact supported her guest, Dr. Laura Berman, who said it was just fine to give one’s daughter a vibrator. Evidently other moms were just as worried by the idea as I was, but Dr. Berman’s arguments were persuading enough to make me sit down and re-evaluate my stance.

I have absolutely no problem with people of any age exploring their bodies and learning how they work, including how to bring themselves pleasure. I got my first vibrator at age sixteen from an older boyfriend who bought it, at my request, from the local sex shop. It was a great way for us to bond sexually and I’ll always be thankful to him for getting it for me. It was metallic blue, about six inches long, and, until I lost it in a move, my best friend. If it had come from my mom, I’d be rather embarrassed and I don’t know if I could bring myself to use the damn thing.

If I were to have a daughter who would, in turn, have a vibrator, I wouldn’t care at all. If I came across it while cleaning her room, I’d simply put it back and not think of it again. The kid knows what’s what; good for her, assuming she’s over the age of, say, thirteen. (Any younger and I’d worry about where and how she got it.)

Most girls will figure it out eventually. I was a pillow humper and did just fine. It’s more important to give someone the sexual confidence to begin exploring in the first place. It’s not 1950 anymore and masturbation is commonly discussed and there is, of course, the internet. A really independent and educated girl may take matters into her own hands and simply buy a vibrator at a health store. I can’t think of a better use for allowance than a first orgasm!

I would buy my daughter an electric toothbrush and allow her some private time instead if I was really worried. I might even make a passing comment about how I had, on occasion, used my toothbrush that way when I was a teenager, mentioning also how I used to clean it. I would even be comfortable showing and discussing different models online.

However, I think it’s plain odd to buy one’s own child a sex toy. Even if it doesn’t weird the parent out, it might weird the kid out. For example, I wouldn’t care if my teenagers were viewing porn, so long as their dad hadn’t given it to them. I might even consider it a form of sexual abuse, though I don’t think a simple vibrator goes quite that far. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in ten years, the girls who got their first sex toy from Mommy were talking about how uncomfortable the whole situation was and how they wish it had been a romantic gift from their partner or something they’d picked out for themselves.

I realize this is a sex positive parenting issue and I’m completely in favor of teenagers having access to vibrators and other sex toys, but I would much prefer to let them procure the items on their own and encourage mental and physical self-exploration. Ideally, I think sex toy education should be worked in with the procreational sex education that we already have. Hell, why not mention it in abstinence lectures?

Dr. Berman pointed out that it’s important to teach young women to take “the reins of their own sexuality so that they don’t ever have to depend on┬Žanother person until they’re ready.” It’s an empowerment issue and an important lesson, but I’m just not convinced that parents should do anything other than make the information available for their daughters to act on when they’re ready, which includes procuring that first vibrator.

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Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive, women-principled adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Good Vibrations has always included all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the GoodVibes.com website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.

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