Today, the Daily Mail “reported” that the sale of sex toys is way up and that tons of women own them. Immediately, media outlets rushed in to try to figure out what the secret was. Is it because vibrators are on TV a lot more? Could it be the economy? Or, could it be because women aren’t getting married anymore? Are Rabbits replacing men, like on that episode of Sex and the City?! Surely, there must be some explanation! And there is. The explanation is that women like to masturbate just as much as men, and there are tools to help them do it, so they’re buying them. Case closed.
Here’s the thing–as much as female sexuality is trying to be repressed and explained and controlled every which way (whether it be by making it more difficult to have non-procreative sex, or by making the only appropriate outlet for female sexuality terrible, terrible “literature” about BDSM), the fact is that it is a reality. Women have sex. Women enjoy sex. Women even enjoy having sex when there is not a partner around.
Hence, women, particularly professional ones who are becoming increasingly interested in balancing work and life and have more disposable income, are purchasing items to make their non-partnered sex more enjoyable. To which I say: good! And also: stop acting so surprised!
Sure, there are reasons why sex toys sales are up. Like, for example, the fact that in the last 10 years, masturbation among women has jumped dramatically–or at least, more women have admitted to doing it. Because unlike Sally Draper, many of us aren’t being shamed out of it. In fact, as more and better sex toys are being being rolled out (hello, Babeland), and more and more TV shows and films are addressing the subject not as a taboo, but as a thing that happens, more women seem to be OK confessing that yet, masturbation is a healthy part of sexuality, and yes, it can be done with the help of a vibrator. But these reasons are secondary to one giant one, which is that masturbation is a reality and that, for many women, it requires more than a hand and some lube.
The surprise and shock and need to explain why women are buying vibrators is understandable, because, as long as the economy or an uptick in sluts or a downtick in marriage can be the reason, then no one has to face the fact that women. Like. To masturbate. But we do. And if you need more of a reason than that, well…ask an economist. I’m sure they can find some nice, sanitary, non-masturbatory reason.
Image via JimmyJane