The summer I turned 19, my three best friends and I went shopping together — for vibrators. We marched into Good Vibrations, a giggling mismatch (two of us virgins, two of us considering ourselves quite experienced lovers), and inched around the store in a titillated knot, unable to separate from one another. After ten minutes of deliberation, we bought matching wand-like vibrators that came in the same color as the newly-minted Apple desktops our parents had bought us for school. There is something comforting in familiarity, after all.
I rolled mine in a sock and stuffed it in a drawer. I only took it out to stare at it on occasion, when I was alone. I never even used it.
As proud as we’d been the day we acquired those magic wands — Here we are, taking charge of our sexuality and pleasure! — We never spoke of that trip again. It wasn't until I started working for O'actually, a company aimed to disrupt conventional thinking about female pleasure, that I asked myself why.
Even in my line of work, sex toys are often discussed in whispered tones, with a subtext of embarrassment. Many women are afraid to admit they use one. Very few of those women would ever even consider admitting they enjoyed it.