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Buying vibrators for other people; yay or nay?

Now I’m not talking about whether you’d buy a vibrator for your partner or your lover. That’s something that most of us have done at some point or you’d have no problem with considering it.

Prompted by this discussion about whether it’s appropriate for Mums to buy their 18 year old daughters vibrators, it got me wondering whether it’s ever appropriate to buy a sex toy for someone you’re not having a sexual relationship with. As someone who recently gave a vibrator to a friend for her birthday I can admit to feeling somewhat awkward when she unwrapped it. Luckily she was amused and (I imagine) secretly quite pleased but whether I’d ever do that again is up for debate.

As for parents buying sex toys for their (adult) children; now that’s a whole different kettle of fish. I have no children so can only talk from the perspective of being a child. Albeit an adult child. Both of my parents are extremely liberal and have always discussed sex, relationships and life in frank and unembarrassed terms, however I know for a fact that they wouldn’t have bought me a vibrator when I was 18. Not because they disapproved of them or with my exploration of sexuality but because it’s…icky. I don’t want to be getting off using something that my Mum has carefully picked for me. It will always have that association and quite frankly, that would be the end of the toy getting used. We’re close, we share most things, but I have no desire for her to know anything about my sex life and I know for a fact that she feels the same way.

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the sentiment. Sex education in Britain (at least when I was at school) is woefully inadequate in the sense that we’re all taught about disease and pregnancy and contraception but all with a thin veil of “Sex is dangerous. You WILL get diseases if you have it.”  That’s just no good. Sex is fun as well as practical and not only that but basically forbidding teenagers from doing things (or telling them explicitly what they should do) has the complete opposite effect. It’s just the whimsy of youth.

So I like the idea of young girls and boys being encouraged to explore their own bodies. How many women have unsatisfying sex with no orgasms because they never masturbated regularly in their youth I wonder? How are you (or your partners) ever supposed to know what does it for you?

As for Mum’s and Dad’s buying vibrators for their kids though, I think that perhaps there’s no clear answer to whether it’s ever appropriate. I texted my Mum at the beginning of writing this post to see what she thought. Her answer? “Ewww, no. Gross.”

What do you think? Get involved with our discussion over on Facebook, or leave a comment below.

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