Why You Should Own a Pleasure Box
When I moved out of a long-term sexual relationship with a live-in partner, I purchased both a bed and a leather-look box. I’d never had my own double bed before, and boy, was it a luxury! As for the box, it was meant for general storage, but it quickly turned into a pleasure box, in which I stored my sex toys and accoutrements such as my favorite handcuffs, my bullet vibrator, my desperately romantic leather collar, as well as Ambiance massage candles, erotica, massage oil and a host of other goodies. I included toys and accessories that I dreamed of using with a partner, too (e.g. my lovely leather paddle) — after all, these are a big part of my sexuality too. The box took pride of place next to my pillows, right where a lover might lay their head, and today it’s a central part of my own sex life.
I never meant for my pleasure box to become so significant, but it truly transformed my sexual self-concept. Every time I was in danger of defining my sex life in terms of sexual partners, I’d reach for my pleasure box and turn my world around. Of course, the box is also a useful organizational tool, but what it represents is far more important: It is a constant reminder that my sex life is my own and that I carry my sexuality within myself, regardless of whether I’m partnered or solo. I could be the last person on earth and I would still be sexual. My fantasies, my longings, my need to touch and be touched…all these aspects of sex that I so love are mine, mine, mine, and if others won’t accept that, they aren’t the right partners for me.
Recently, the power of my pleasure box became even clearer. Friends who have teenage daughters have been telling me about the pressure on teenage girls to give oral sex without gaining any pleasure of their own. It’s like a “service” if you will — or, as my friends put it, a “transaction.” Well, I can’t help thinking this is a symptom of a lack of sex ed. My own sex ed, back in the day, was all about safety and biology. No one spoke with us about sexual desires, identities or pleasures, and how these were a part of us — within us, not outside us. No one mentioned that sex was fun or had the power to change you. No one said that fantasies were a beautiful thing…and the notion of consent was off the agenda. So I didn’t see myself as sexual unless I was with a partner, and I became one of the teenage girls who gave my boyfriend oral sex without considering my desires.
I’d have laughed if you’d told me that my sex-life was my own.
Which brings me back to the pleasure box. This box is a way of reminding me that my sex life comes from within. Though I certainly own toys and accessories I’ll share with a partner, these items are very much about me — and that’s both empowering and freeing. I’ve enjoyed my pleasure box from the moment it was born, and I know I’ll continue to add to its contents by going sex shopping with friends, ordering handcuffs online, buying new anthologies, candles and lotions. I’ve even discovered what I think is the perfect lube! But the box’s main pull is what it represents: The sex life I own, the fantasies I cherish, my personal creativity and my pleasure in myself.
And whenever I reach for that box, I’m happy.