On Being a Toy-Loving Parent

I realized needed to keep a tighter rein on my sex life when I started waiting for my 4-year-old to come down the stairs with my giant purple vibrator clutched in his pudgy fist.

He didn’t, thank god. But it could’ve happened.

I had lost it. One night after it had been put to good use, it was carelessly tossed aside. Maybe it was the post-orgasm euphoria that made me forget, maybe it was the gin and tonics. I don’t know. The point is, for 2 weeks, I had no idea where it was.

I looked. I looked in all the obvious places — under the pillows, under the bed, under the dog’s bed. I even looked in the fucking nightstand where it belongs.

“Honey,” I said. “Have you seen the big purple vibrator?”

“Nuhhhh,” he said, not deigning to look up from his book.

“You know, the big purple vibrator we used the other night? You wielded it like a fucking light saber, you should remember it.”

“I don’t know,” he said with a token glance in my direction.

I didn’t know either. I had no clue where it could be. What’s worse, I worried incessantly about where it might be, or where it might end up. Would I find it in the kids’ toy box? Would one of my boys come to kiss me good morning and discover it beneath the dresser? Would the 4-year-old wander downstairs with it one day, pretending it was a pirate’s sword, or a laser gun?

How would I explain the appearance of a giant purple dildo in school drawings from my second-grader? What would I answer if they asked “What’s this, Mommy?”

I’m no prude, and I am trying to raise my children in a sex-positive environment. I don’t want them to growing up to have lots of sexual hangups, or failing, like I did, to understand the pleasurable nature of sex. But they’re too young for anything but the most basic explanation. Let alone an explanation that could accommodate a giant purple vibrating dong.

Fortunately, before this incident put me to the test, I found the vibe. It was buried in a basket of unmated socks on my bedroom floor, for 2 weeks (which I think speaks more to our failure to keep up with the laundry than our failure at parenthood).

What I have learned is to put the sex toys back where they belong, maybe even get a proper case for them. And, that I may need to come up with an innocuous lie to explain an inadvertent discovery (“It’s a massager, honey, put it down and go play outside.”).

But also, that I probably should start thinking about the day in the not-too-distant future that the sex discussions become more front and center.

I’m hoping that honest conversations with my kids about sex, when they are the right age, are a lot easier than explaining the big purple vibrator.

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