TMI Time: Let’s talk about sex toys!

Content warning for explicit discussion of sexuality and sexual behavior, masturbation, and sex toys. May contain external; links which should be assumed nsfw and visit-at-your-own-risk.

So, over on tumblr redbeardace made a very valid point that while ace communities have a lot of theoretical discussions about things like sex drive and masturbation, there’s often very little discussion about the specific topic of sex toys, which for many people are a big part of solo sexual play.

So, let’s change that! This is an open thread for anything you’d like to say or ask about masturbation, sex toys, or anything on those lines that you may not have felt comfortable saying anywhere else!

Some food for thought:

  • Do you use sex toys? Why or why not?
  • What kinds of sex toys do you particular like or dislike?
  • Are you comfortable talking about things like sex toys and masturbation? If not, why is that and what could make it more comfortable for you?
  • Do you think being ace affects your opinion of or use of sex toys, or your willingness to talk about using them?
  • Do you have any reccommendations for or against specific toys?
  • Any questions about certain kinds of toys that you’ve always wanted to ask?

 

Anonymous comments should be enabled, so feel free to use a pseudonym if you’d rather not be linked to this kind of conversation. However, please keep the conversation respectful and remember that everyone has different likes and dislikes, and that’s not a bad thing.

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About Sennkestra

I'm an aromantic asexual and a bit of an [a]sexuality nerd, recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in linguistics. When I'm not reading stuff on the internet I like to cook fancy food, watch anime, and make costumes and other arts and crafts projects.
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22 Responses to TMI Time: Let’s talk about sex toys!

  1. pheuthe says:

    Hey, I think this is a wonderful idea, this is the kind of thing I kind of miss in the ace community; there’s a lot of talk around sex repulsion and being weirded out by anything even remotely sexual etc., but as a non-repulsed ace, I kind of miss spaces to talk about masturbation and things like that, so, kudos :D
    Which probably answers the question of whether I mind talking about it. I’ve always seen all bodily functions as something normal, natural, so for me, masturbation/orgasm/genitals are just… things to talk about, nothing shameful or embarrassing.
    I find sex toys intriguing, and I don’t really think of them as inherently connected to sex with another person – I think of them as tools to achieve the desired outcome, i.e. physical satisfaction/relief. I haven’t really purchased any yet – but I’ve been seriously thinking about it for ages, so I might in not-so-distant future! :)
    Since I don’t have personal experience with them yet, I can’t really recommend any specific toys – but I do recommend a webcomic series “Oh Joy Sex Toy”, which is an awesome resource focusing specifically on sex toys, with detailed reviews of price, effects, how it works and IF it works, why yes, why not, who might like that toy and who wouldn’t. However, the comic often depicts sexual acts/various couples or naked individuals – while it’s usually done in a quite humorous and light-hearted way, purely illustrational instead of pornographic, I wouldn’t recommend the comic to aces who are sex-repulsed or squeamish about naked bodies/even mild depictions of sexual acts. But it’s a great resource for info about sex toys, so I recommend it for everyone else :)

    • Sennkestra says:

      Glad you like it! Back when I was on AVEN more, there used to be an ongoing “TMI thread” where people discussed all the things like sex toys and masturbation and periods and other “TMI” topics, and I hadn’t realized quite how much I missed that kind of conversation until the lack of it on tumblr was pointed out.

      I actually also happen to read that webcomic, and it’s a lot of fun :)

      I’ve only bought a few toys, since I quickly realized that I prefer high quality products which also makes collecting them a bit pricey. But the investment has definitely been worth it. (tt also helps that I live near Good Vibes, which is a famously non-skeevy sex shop. I highly recommend it to anyone in the bay area)

      Expensive toys aside, I’ve actually found that movable shower heads with a “massage” type setting are also quite fun and much cheaper and discreet if you ever have a house or hotel with one installed – before I could actually afford to buy my own sex toys, that was the first “tool” I ever tried masturbating with (shout out to Meg Cabots All-American girl YA novels for introducing me to the concept – I for one am glad for the liberal young adult novels “corrupting” the youth of today with frank mention of these topics).

      • I’ve actually never been in a sex shop. Strangely, what’s kept me out is more this preconception that they won’t have anything I’d want, more than, y’know, sex shop. I just imagine them being half a row of Doc Johnson crap and blow-up dolls, then vibrators and dildos and lingerie and porn filling the rest of the floor. All of my toys have been bought online (or, in certain rare instances, in the local grocery store, if it’s an item with an alternate use, like the “back massager” I got one time).

        I forgot about shower heads. Tried those, too. They aren’t enough to do the trick by themselves, but directing the spray towards the testicles can be nice.

  2. Sennkestra says:

    To kick it off: I’m definitely a libidinous ace and I’ve played around a bit with sex toys, although I’m both picky and cheap so I’ve only tried a few specific kinds. I’m nominally cis-female and I don’t enjoy vaginal penetration, so most of what I’ve bought are vibrators.

    And maybe I differ from the Secret Girl Code Mandate here, but…..I was sort of underwhelmed? Like, I can see the appeal of vibrators – they offer a sensation like nothing else, and they are definitely a fun way to change things up once in while, but for the most part my vibrators all live in a box in the closet unless I feel like experimenting – for day-to-day I much just prefer my hand.

    Maybe it’s just because I knew about the concept of masturbation early and got pretty good at it on my own before I was old enough to even think about buying toys, but for whatever reason I stick to the classic power of the left hand and just save toys for when I want to have fun experimenting with things for variety.

    I think part of it is that for me, the sensation that I prefer is that of firm, constant pressure, which is not something sex toys have any advantage in over hands. I’ve found that I definitely prefer stronger vibrations if I go that route, so maybe I just need to try something stronger to get what everyone’s obsessing about, but the really strong ones (like the hitachi magic wand, because damn those things are strong!) are just so loud and bulk and expensive that they seem like a hard purchase to justify.

    At the moment, the main toy that I actually use semi-regularly (as opposed to the novelty one offs that never got used again) is a medium sized lelo smart wand – it doesn’t go quite as strong as I might like, but it’s stronger than most similarly sized vibes while still being small enough for my small hands and quite aesthetically pleasing. (Also, it’s purple! which may or may not have been a major factor in that purchase…). The waterproof features are nice (shower spray makes a good cover up when you have a loud vibe, roommates, and thin walls) but the charge doesn’t hold long.

    (I also just bought an actual dildo (not just a vaguely dildo shaped vibe) for the first time like two weeks ago – it’s neon teal and a good balance between dick shaped and not actually looking at all like one. Although I’m not sure what exactly I want to do with it yet, it just seems like something i should invest in to round out my collection and is nice to have on hand when I want to experiment with various kinds of penetraion, like the non-vaginal kind….. And the color and aesthetics were so nice! That seems to be a recurring theme in my purchases.)

  3. I guess I’m obligated to kick things off, so here goes:

    Do I use them? Yes. I use them almost every time I masturbate. They feel better than my hand alone, and, in many cases, they will contain the lube, etc., making for easier cleanup.

    I’d say I like sleeves the best, particularly Fleshlights, because they completely envelop the penis and stimulate from all sides, all the way down. The Tenga 3D series is also pretty good (and I recently found an American knock-off that’s decent), but I’m not a fan of the Tenga Cups. They’re meant to be single-use, which is expensive and wasteful, they don’t really feel that great, most of them are too small, and there’s this weird lube soaked sponge around the opening that I’m not sure what to do with (It’s full of lube, so leave it in? But it feels like sandpaper, so take it out?).

    Vibrators are hit or miss. They have to be strong or I can’t feel a thing, but too strong leads to numbness, and even if the vibration is just right, there’s no guarantee that it will work.

    Head massagers (penis head, that is), can be interesting. These are Tenga Eggs, etc. I tend to use more of a twisting motion, because they’re too short to stroke with. I don’t use these that often, because they seem like they’ll easily break, and, like the vibrators, it’s hard to get it right. Sometimes they just don’t work for me.

    I also have a few anal toys. I keep trying them again, hoping that maybe this time, they’ll work better, and they never do. It’s an interesting sensation, but ultimately not really work the trouble.

    I’d be interested in some automatic toys, but I’ve had limited success there. One of them is too small, another one I’ve stopped using because it seemed like an embarrassing ER trip waiting to happen, and a third may or may not have caused an unpleasant, lasting tingling sensation… The other automatic toys I’ve looked at are usually very expensive and very unwieldy looking. I have a 3D printer and an Arduino, maybe I can make something happen…

    I’ve also, over the years, discovered that things like estim, sounding, and harnesses are totally not my deal. Not at all.

    As far as things I’ve learned to avoid: If it’s made from “UR3” or “Cyberskin”, pass it up because it will be greasy and smell like a chemical vat. If it’s made from jelly, pass it up because it will melt and deform over time. The more prominently or pornographically a naked woman is featured, the more obscene the text of the box is, or the more mutated the anatomy is, the more likely it is to be a complete piece of crap. What’s on the outside of a sleeve doesn’t matter, what’s on the inside does. Soft and stretchy is good, hard and plasticy is bad. Smooth insides are usually pointless, textured insides can be worthwhile. Closed-end sleeves should also be avoided (Unless you can turn them inside out), because they’re impossible to clean and dry.

    Oh yeah, make sure you dry your sleeves after cleaning. You really don’t want to have a mold problem…

    In person, I’m really not comfortable talking about these things. Some of it’s probably general squeamishness about the topic, but I think a large part of it is that it’s never really talked about, so I don’t really have practice with these sorts of conversations. There have only been two people I’ve talked about masturbation with, and only one about toys, and most of those conversations were text-based. (Even though I masturbated *for* one of them, I’m pretty sure I never talked about it with her in person…)

    Online, I’m far more comfortable talking about it, because none of you are actually real, and I don’t get embarrassed in front of imaginary people. Oh, wait… You are all real…? Uh-oh.

    It’s actually hard to say if being ace has changed my opinion or use of toys. If I weren’t ace, then presumably I would have had more than one sexual partner by now. Regular sex would probably mean that I’d use toys less. Some of the things I’ve tried using were back when I was in my “Maybe I can kickstart my interest in sex” phase. Did any of them change how I felt about toys in general? I’m not sure.

    I can say that being ace tends to make me annoyed about how some toys are designed or sold. They make it out to be a substitute for The Real Thing™, when no, it’s not. They’ll market things as “blowjob simulators”, but I have no idea what one of those is like and whether or not I’d want it simulated. They’ll put some ultra-fetishized porno-mutant body parts and license a porn star’s name for the thing, but I’m far more interested in whether or not it will effectively deliver an orgasm or not. And sex toy reviews are usually worthless, because people will describe their fantasies, say that it doesn’t compare to their wife, and praise the porno-mutant body parts, but never once say “It was soft and stretchy and the interior texture was a perfect balance of intensity and diversity. The material seems durable and it didn’t smell like a toxic waste dump.”

    Okay, so it’s now 2 AM, so I should probably stop typing, before I say something that I’ll find embarrassing in the morning…

    • It’s also probably noteworthy and potentially ace-related in some way that I seem to be willing to try toys that are not traditionally penis-oriented. Maybe I don’t have to prove my masculinity through super-manly sexual prowess, so okay, let me see if this Magic Wand does anything for me?

  4. killerbee13 says:

    It’s not exactly that I thought I wouldn’t ever do something like post publicly under my commonly-used username about sex toys and a potential interest therein, but I never thought I would, either. Then again, I did post Exit 21A to my blog entirely of my own volition.

    I’d say that this comment might be considered TMI, and that it contains NSFW text, but that would be pointless considering the context.

    Also, I am one of the ~51% of the population with a penis and scrotum (and the other associated organs which you would expect statistically). In this case in particular, it’s the relevant thing, and gender is comparatively insignificant.

    That out of the way, I have never actually used (much less bought) a sex toy, for a large number of reasons. The first one would probably be that I still live with family, and the second being that I have no income so I can’t exactly afford to just experiment when I have no idea what the actual potential benefit is. (A cost-benefit analysis requires at least an estimate for both variables, and alas I have none for the second. That’s kind of the thing I’d like to get out of this discussion, I suppose.) Without any sense of that, it seems that a far better investment would be almost anything else, like video games or a replacement watch battery or a pair of pants or something.

    Others have mentioned it, but I’d like to reiterate: penetration toys are somewhat stigmatized, and to the extent that they aren’t, they mostly just aren’t mentioned at all. I may have had a curious upbringing, but the thought I had until relatively recently (and several years after I started masturbating) was that only (and most) “women” used sex toys and that toys for “men” are creepy, weird, and/or gross in whatever way(s). (Scare quotes because the thought as I originally had it was mired in cissexism that I don’t intend to convey as my current opinion.) With that attitude, it’s not really surprising that I didn’t look into sex toys at all until after I decided to read Asexuality Archive’s guide to male masturbation post out of curiosity (it honestly didn’t seem like a very interesting subject to me so I was as much confused about how to make a full-on guide as anything else at the time) and the seed of a thought wormed its way into my mind.

    Not that that post deserves exclusive credit; changes in my social group around the same time exposed me to some new views on the matter as well. But reading that post was a “critical moment” in a way, because it was a discrete event that I still remember, and it seemed to normalize it through a sort of authority.

    So, I’ve never actually used anything other than my hand as a specific source of stimulation, and at least for the immediate future that isn’t likely to change. I masturbated in the shower a few times, but I decided it just wasn’t really as good as masturbating elsewhere and it had other problems like unnecessarily slowing down the process of showering, interfering with my habitual washing order, and not aligning reasonably with my normal “libidinal schedule”. So that was the end of that brief exploratory phase.

    To a certain extent, I’ve been doubtful that any changes would actually improve the experience in any meaningful way. So far, nothing I have tried has consistently or significantly increased the amount of pleasure gained from either the stimulation itself or the following orgasm, nor had any effect on my unusually long recovery period. (Defined as both “duration of hypersensitivity/ache/fatigue/etc” and “refractory period” in a sort of quantum-dynamical superposition way.) (re: “unusually”: One of the questions I ask almost every single one of my friends within about a month of becoming friends with them is “How often do you masturbate?” (followed a bit less often with something about recovery time/refractory period) and while I haven’t done anything rigorous, I do seem to be a few standard deviations to the long end on recovery (This is the case even if you ignore zero-points/”multis”). However, for actual frequency, I’m weirdly between the two apparent modes, (in my experience, these are >1/d and <1/7d with me being the only data point in the middle) so that’s a little unusual.) As of now, it’s enough to be pretty much satisfying most of the time; worthwhile when I’m in the mood but not something I really think about as a source of entertainment otherwise.

    I suppose that paragraph got a little off-topic. In fact, this entire comment has gotten quite long now, and could be an actual blog post without much additional effort. I guess I’ll try for closing thoughts.

    I don’t really think that being ace/demi has affected the way I think about sex toys directly, but I feel there is probably a large degree of indirect effect that is difficult or impossible to quantify. I’d say it’s likely similar to the way I interact with pornography in a way, though on a pretty meta level.

    I’ve noticed that, in sexual topics in general, I affect a certain style of speech in which I speak at length but completely avoid certain types of details. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable sharing them, but for whatever reason they’re semi-permanently in the not-relevant category. Like where I’ve gone and, in a shocking display of nerdiness, actually calculated the exact frequency with which I have masturbated over the last year. In fact, that’s still the 2nd most recent item in the history of my calculator app: 191/365=0.52/d, equivalent to 6.1 μBq. (I have another app which has a long-term stopwatch and a reset counter that I use for tracking this. Yes, I know, my nerd is showing.)

    I don’t really have any actual questions, except a general interest in refining the data for my CBA. How does it compare, as an investment, to something like a video game? A pair of pants? A (preferably 5+2-bead) abacus? A fancy pen? I just don’t have a sense for the economics of sex toys or of their efficacy.

    • killerbee13 says:

      I just realized that I said “penetration toy” instead of “penetrable toy”. It would almost make sense, since you use it by penetrating it, but unfortunately the subject-object distinction is drawn differently than I intuited.

    • To start with, frequency and recovery time: I will usually do it about twice a day: Once in the morning before a shower, and once at night before bed. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but that’s a pretty good average. As for recovery time, I haven’t checked it lately, but it was somewhere around 20-30 minutes. I have been able to do multiple orgasms (so, technically a zero time recovery), but that requires navigating a fine line between over-stimulation and going soft. If either happens, it’s over for now.

      I did track frequency and time spent once, but I’ve never calculated it in terms of radioactive decay. Nerd points to you.

      A video game will last you 20-60 hours, a watch battery will typically last for years, and a pair of pants, maybe 100 wearings at 16 hours a wearing? A toy will probably give you maybe 20 minutes of use at a time, and depending on the quality, it might last from half a use to a couple hundred uses. So time-wise, it’s likely to be closer to a video game than a watch battery, although the usage might be spread out over the life of the watch battery, if that makes a difference.

      Another investment consideration is that you’d need to purchase lube, as well, at least for a penetrable/sleeve toy. Trying to use one without lube just won’t work, even if you’re intact. Saliva might work if you had to, but a water-based lube’s the best. (Don’t use oil or lotion or things like that. They’re fine when using your hand, but many toys are latex based, and oil will destroy latex.)

      Many toys for “men” don’t do themselves a whole lot of favors in shaking the creepy/weird/gross label. Some people might want a deliberately perverted, four inch long rubber tube with a vulva on one end and oversized breasts on the other, but that sort of thing is not for everyone. It basically would be the equivalent of almost all toys for women being two feet long, four inches wide, with cantaloupe sizes testicles and “realistic squirting action!”… Some people will want that sort of thing (and hey, good for them), but not everyone. When those sorts of toys and deliberately jokey blow up dolls are the face of the industry, it’s not going to get a lot of widespread respect. Things are starting to change, and it’s easier to find non-anatomical toys or more natural anatomical toys. (And the porno-toys and blowup dolls will still be there for the people who want them. I just hope those sorts of toys end up becoming better quality, because people who like that sort of thing should be able to get a toy that doesn’t smell like a chemical factory and fall apart immediately upon entry.)

      Toys have definitely increased the amount of pleasure I get, both in the buildup and in the orgasm. They surround and stimulate the entire penis simultaneously, while a hand only has a couple of points of pleasure. You can’t really target specific points like you can with a hand, but it makes up for it.

      However, not all toys are equally effective. For me, I’ve found that soft and stretchy, with a medium intensity internal texture tend to be the best. Some toys are too small or too firm, so it’s difficult for me to get in (I’m probably a bit on the larger size) and if I manage to get in, they just feel like a tight grip clamping down, which I don’t find all that pleasant. The texture is important. A smooth interior rarely works for me, but ones with a ton of closely spaced mini-ridges can be too much for me. I tend to prefer smooth bumps or wider spaced ridges.

      Another note on the texture is that you probably won’t really feel specifically what it’s like, because a penis isn’t as sensitive as a fingertip, but the textures do make a difference. You likely will sense when the corona crosses a ridge, for instance, but you won’t really *feel* it, if that makes any sense.

      As far as your specific situation goes (living with family and little money), I can think of a couple of options. If you have a reasonably private living space (family members who don’t open your packages or rifle through your dresser drawers, etc.), you might be able to get a small, somewhat cheap toy and keep it hidden. Tenga Eggs would be the cheapest and smallest, but I think they’re also the most likely to tear. They’re literally Easter egg sized, because they’re stored in plastic Easter eggs. (Which might be good for hiding!) The downside is that they’re mostly just a head stimulator, it’s hard to get a full stroke out of them. I recently picked up a CalExotics Apollo Reversible Stroker, and it seemed pretty good. (Not as good as a Tenga 3D, but those cost quite a bit more.) About the same height as a soda can, but not as wide. Both of those are easy to clean and dry. You can run water in them, pat a towel around to dry it, turn it inside out, dry the other side, and be done with it.

      Another option would be a makeshift toy. Put a few drops of oil (cooking oil/baby oil, not motor oil) or lotion into a plastic sandwich bag, put the bag into a towel and then place the whole thing between some pillow, and you can try thrusting into it. I think there are sites that talk about DIY toy making, which range from practical to wild and potentially dangerous. Stick to the practical side.

      I would say that your situation, both financially and privacy-wise, would prevent a Fleshlight, which is my typical recommendation for those who can get one. They claim it’s discreet because it looks like a flashlight, but no, not at all. It doesn’t have a lens and it’s giant compared to normal flashlights.

      In closing, keep in mind that this is just my experience, a sample size of one, so your experience will likely vary wildly.

      • killerbee13 says:

        I guess I forgot to mention the potentially complicating detail that I’m (probably? I’m not going to test it with my penis, at any rate) allergic to latex. Which as a disorder seems to do literally nothing except raise the cost of almost everything to do with sex and basically never comes up otherwise.

        Weirdly, my initial thought about design was “I don’t see why it matters what it looks like” but almost immediately after I started thinking about it I realized that I’ve actually seen some toys that I thought were deeply creepy, so I guess I do care.

        I’m not really worried about my privacy inside my room, really crossing the threshold is the part I’m somewhat nervous about. Fortunately, I check the mail at least 75% of the time.

        As far as the rest, I have pretty little to say beyond acknowledging it and thanking you for not only getting through my novel of a comment but also replying to it. And maybe I’m slightly more interested in actually trying one now, too.

        (And becquerels are the correct unit for average inverse seconds, as opposed to periodic inverse seconds. Using hertz wouldn’t be accurate considering that the period fluctuates through at least two orders of magnitude unpredictably. It’s only over at least a month that the average actually converges on the above figure.)

        • Latex allergy: Yikes. That can complicate things.

          Looking at the information for the things I mentioned, the Tenga Eggs and the Apollo Reversible sleeve both claim to be made out of TPR/TPE, which is supposedly latex free. Fleshlight doesn’t say what it is (Probably also TPR of some sort), but claims it’s not latex.

          That’s actually a fairly large problem with sex toys: They’re entirely unregulated. Someone could make one out of hydrochloric acid and sell it if they wanted to. Many of them don’t say what they’re made out of, and some of the materials aren’t safe. I know there’s a concern about chemicals in some of the jelly materials, and that’s why silicone is recommended. I think TPE/TPR is supposed to be safe. It’s what a lot of stretchy wearables are made out of. But whether or not a toy is really made out of what they say, there’s no controls over that. So it’s best to look for independent verification. I would imagine that if something had latex in it and it claimed to be latex free, a reviewer somewhere would have called them on it.

          One option, if an allergy is a problem, is to use a non-latex condom. You can get the penis type, but a better option might be to get a vaginal condom (also called the “Female Condom”), as those are looser and would cover the outside entrance to the toy, too. That would make cleaning easier, as there wouldn’t be anything in the toy. I’m not sure if you can clean out and reuse them, though. (Obviously that would be a bad idea if another person were involved, but for solo play, it might work?)

        • And as far as “crossing the threshold”: Ordering wise, you can get them from Amazon and they come in an ordinary Amazon box (As long as they’re shipped from Amazon). I’ve never had a sex toy shipped in an obvious “THIS IS A SEX TOY” box. Even the return addresses are usually obscure and benign, like “ILF, Inc”. So if you can get something from Amazon and not have it opened, you’re probably fine there.

          Cleaning might be a bigger challenge, because I’m assuming you don’t have an attached bathroom. The smaller ones would easily fit in your pocket for a quick duck out to the bathroom, but, uh… Putting that sort of thing in a pocket just after it’s been used… That’s probably a no. They could be concealed in towels or dirty clothes, if that’s a possibility.

          • killerbee13 says:

            (combining replies to both comments)
            Well, you could take it up with the FTC on false advertising grounds, so nothing in america is entirely unregulated, but I get what you mean. If I buy one, I’ll definitely look into it more.

            I’m pretty much completely sure that vaginal condoms are only approved for contraceptive use once, so they’d likely tear pretty quickly after repeated use in a toy if one were so inclined.

            I would expect the packaging to be discrete, but since I don’t usually receive packages and am not inclined to lying really all that does is make it even more awkward if someone were to ask me what’s in the box. I doubt anyone here would make any sort of deal out of it, it’s just that I’d rather not leak that sort of information in the first place.

            Those are concerns, though I don’t think it’s too bad because my room is quite close to the nearest bathroom and at the times I usually masturbate I’m either alone on the upper floor or the only one up.

  5. Anon'd for obvious reasons says:

    I don’t use sex toys, although I have thought about getting some. It’s less that I’m actually interested, though, and more that masturbation doesn’t really do much for me. (Please don’t give me masturbation tips. I promise I’ve read a lot on the subject already.) I’ve read a lot of aces talking about how nice masturbation feels, but when I’ve tried it, one of two things happens: A. I cannot orgasm and everything leading up to orgasm doesn’t feel like much and is kind of irritating or B. I do orgasm (or, at least, I experience something that seems to resemble how other people orgasm) but it doesn’t feel pleasant. I suspect that I have low arousability and I definitely don’t have a libido, which probably doesn’t help. I keep trying to masturbate though in the hopes that maybe someday I’ll figure out what everyone else is going on about (which is probably not healthy, I know, but in the grand scheme of self-harm it’s probably not that bad). I’ve thought about getting sex toys in a “hey, maybe THAT will make it pleasant” way, but it’s difficult to justify the expenditure given that I find masturbation underwhelming and boring on the best days and physically unpleasant on the worst.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m an ace girl (cis), and I’ve thought about getting sex toys for a while now, about a year or so. I haven’t for a couple reasons: a. I have no place to store them safely at home without my conservative, religious parents finding them, b. I’m worried I’d get the package when I’m not home, and c. I spend a large amount of time at school (I live 2 hours away from campus, so I live on campus), and the problem with a lack of storage comes up again. I would love to have some eventually, as my libido is absolutely ridiculous with how high it is, and my hands are not enough to get me there.
    I’ve tried a handheld shower before, but I ran into a major problem: I dry up when water hits me. I don’t know why, probably because of pH levels of water and such, but I do. Which sucks to me as I have a major love of bathrooms.
    I have a strong feeling when I’m eventually able to move in with my intersex boyfriend (he don’t have a dick), I’d have opportunities to actually own and use them. One thing I’m definitely staying away from are dildos that are anatomically accurate, as the only thing for/from sex actively repulsive are dicks. If I ever get any, they’d probably be from Bad Dragon. Cause I love dragons. And tentacles. And most other fantasy creatures.

  7. Anon says:

    non-binary person with vulva/vagina/clitoris here. I started masturbating when I was around 19, there weren’t really any previous attempts and I do think that my asexuality played a big part in that.
    So for a year or so I couldn’t achieve orgasm but it felt relatively good anyways, but also because I was scared of never having one b/c there were articles about cis (non-intersex I presume?) women who couldn’t ever achieve one because they didn’t have one when they were young (which is not true btw don’t believe it). So I started watching porn when masturbating and finally got an O just around my 20th birthday. I soon learned that masturbating for a longer period of time with my fingers on my clit made me feel very sore, so I informed myself via google (don’t ask me why I didn’t do that before, I really don’t know). I finally learned about the blessing of lube and bought one. No more sore genitalia!
    Almost a year later around age 21 I finally got the courage and bought myself a small vibrator which I’ve been using for 3.5 years now and I’m still happy with. Sometime after I bought a “travel-sized” vibrator but since that one needs batteries and also the surface area doesn’t fit my anatomy so well I kind of abandoned it.
    infos on the one I’m happy with: Liberté (Sensual Massager) by Extase
    Phthalates-Free ABS Plastic, Rechargeable LI-ION Battery, Splash Proof

  8. Hey Nonny Nonny says:

    Personally, I really like sex toys. I think to an extent that it has something to do with the fact that I didn’t learn about asexuality until I was a decade or so past puberty, and so I’d had a fair amount of partnered sex before identifying as ace. Because of that, there are sensations I got from partnered sex which I know that I like, even if I don’t want to involve another person to feel them anymore. Sex toys are a good way to achieve that, since many of them are made to simulate partnered sex acts. They give me the ability to feel basically any sensation I want while still flying solo. (Sure, my arm can get sore because it’s complicated to do penetration and external stimulation on oneself at the same time. But if I’m in the mood for it, thanks to sex toys it’s an option I have.) I have a couple vibrators and a dildo, none of them are very high-end but they work well enough for me. I’m not sure how I would feel about them if I’d known I was ace from the beginning and never had sex with anyone else, though.

  9. Pingback: Linkspam: September 23rd, 2016 | The Asexual Agenda

  10. anonymous says:

    I’m a cis ace woman, and I didn’t actually figure out how to masturbate until I was 20 and in the context of a writing project I was doing where I was asking people “How did you know you were straight?” I actually asked another woman basically “How did the idea to masturbate even occur to you?” and she was like “I knew guys could do it so I decided to try stuff and see what worked.” Oh. Okay.
    It wasn’t until I had spent some time “trying stuff” and feeling what it felt like that I realized I even could feel “horny.” But I seem to mostly feel that way either if I’m drunk or if I’ve been reading explicit slash fanfic. Usually not something that comes up much in my day to day life.
    But like the other anon above, when I do masturbate, I usually find it kind of unfulfilling, but I keep trying it because it’s not un-fun and I keep thinking maybe I’ll find the right way to do it next time. But I always feel like by the time I get to the point where things start to feel different I’m bored/my hand’s tired/something’s cramping/etc. Like if I could just go a little bit further something cool would happen, but I’m just not invested enough to figure out what to do to make that happen. I’ve definitely thought about whether a toy of some kind would help give me that more extreme experience, but I probably masturbate once a month, if even, so it doesn’t seem worth the expense. Plus I always feel awkward afterwards, like “why was I doing that?” especially because it tends to be something I do when drunk.

    I think if I did invest in a sex toy I would want something cute and friendly looking that doesn’t look like a sex toy at all. But I wonder if that kind of thing actually does anything? Anything shaped even kind of penis-like is a huge turn off for me. I’ve also heard that the “rabbit ear” shaped things are really good but they just look kind of unpleasant to me?

    Also wondering if there are any other horny-drunk aces out there?

    I find stuff like masturbation hard to talk about, and since the people I would feel close enough to that masturbation and sex toys would be a safe topic are also people who know I’m ace, I think other people find it harder to talk about with me than they do with other people. It’s one of those topics that I’ve walked into conversations about before and then heard stop as soon as I walk in the room. Or suddenly friends will make oblique comments about how great vibrators are and I’ll be smiling and nodding while in the back of my mind going “when and how did everyone learn this?!” but being too afraid to ask.

    • Anon says:

      definitely also horny when I drink, but I only do that once or twice a year while I masturbate way more often. Some weeks I masturbate almost daily and other times I completely forget masturbation exists (lol) and I don’t do it for months.

    • Anonymous says:

      In terms of toys that are cute and don’t look like sex toys, I’d highly recommend the Tenga Iroha/Midori/Sakura line (though they tend to be pricey at ~$60 on Amazon). They are external vibrators with three speeds and as a cis female ace whose hands don’t quite do the job – I experience that same “if I continued something interesting might happen but I’m bored/tired/cramped already so I guess I’ll never know” feeling – I find that the Iroha and Midori (the only two I have tested) are sufficient to power past that, without feeling numbing.

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