Do We Need to Protect Our Kids from Seeing Vibrators at the Drugstore?
If your activist side needs a break from the Occupy Wall Street protests, you might want to wander over to a site called One Million Moms where someone is trying to start a write-in campaign to have vibrators removed from drugstore websites because kids might stumble upon them.
I’m not encouraging you to join, I’m asking you to counter-protest this silly notion. First of all, drugstores have been selling vibrators for decades, as I know first hand because I bought one in 1978 at the age of 17 in a drugstore (it looked like this), so the idea that the mainstream stores are getting more X-rated is bunk. Secondly, what the heck are we afraid of if a kid stumbles upon a vibrator on a website? That it will lead to some expected curiosity (“mom, what’s that?”) and we might actually have to explain a little sexual anatomy to them? That sounds like a good thing to me. I ran across a survey recently that revealed that women who masturbate have higher self-esteem than those who don’t. So the worst thing that might happen if little Susie sees a Trojan Triphoria on Duane Reade is that she’ll a) want to learn about her body b) will want one and find a way to get one and c) will discover the joys of masturbation and ultimately end up with good self-esteem. Oprah had a respected psychologist on her show a year or so ago who courageously suggested that parents get their daughters vibrators so that they could learn about their bodies and feel more empowered to make good choices when it comes to partner sex.
I think I speak for countless girls and young women who were not happy to be kept in the dark about their sexuality. It was my own discovery of said drugstore vibrator that taught me what an orgasm felt like and what my clitoris was. I experienced that bliss with no shame and a healthy sense of adventure, but if I hadn’t discovered that till I was older I’d have felt robbed. So moms, don’t think you’re doing your kids any favors by pretending like they aren’t aren’t curious. They won’t magically mature into sexually-healthy, knowledgeable adults if you don’t put any effort into helping them understand what’s happening to their bodies. You don’t have to wait till they stumble on a sex toy on the internet, you can get them a good book or point them to a helpful age-appropriate website.
And finally, the folks at One Million Moms don’t have anything to say about the fact that you can find condoms everywhere–in drugstore, gas stations, bathrooms–which of course I think is a wonderful thing. But if you’re going to complain about kids seeing vibrators, why draw the line in the sand there? If it’s because there is “medical need” for a condom, consider that most women can’t come without intense stimulation of the clitoris (in fact it was just that “medical need” that led to the vibrator’s invention as you’ll learn from our Vintage Vibrator Museum site!). Viva La Vibrador!
- Vibrators: True Labor Saving Devices
- Q: The kids hear so much in school the negative side effects of sex. Do you have any tips on how to offer a more pleasure-positive counterpoint?
- Yes Virginia, There is a Clitoris
- Montana Sex Ed Program: Why Kids Need It