Girl Talk: I Stopped Masturbating

I was one of those girls who bought a vibrator in high school. She — yes, she’s a she — was leopard print and I hid her deep inside my closet where even the nosiest parent would not find her. She lasted all throughout college, a trip to Europe and back, and even withstood a minor, battery-related fire. (Be careful, everyone!) When she retired to the great sex shop in the sky, I replaced her with a new vibrator — a slick, slim, glittery blue little rocket — which I never quite felt was “me.” A few years ago I got myself one of Toys in Babeland’s bestselling vibes, the Laya Spot. It’s a darling shade of green and shaped like a cute little critter, curled up to sleep in its nest. She and I have enjoyed some good times indeed.

But these days, my vibrator is quite literally gathering dust, tossed off to the side of the bed. I suppose I should be pleased that something with a pulse is now tussling the bed sheets. But to be completely blunt, I miss masturbating sometimes.There’s a Liz Lemon-ish stereotype — “third wave feminist,” “overworked and undersexed” — that the most significant sexual relationship for some modern women is with their sex toy. I’m not the least bit ashamed to admit that was me. I really, really, really liked giving myself orgasms. I could go for stretches where I did it every night. And, hey, I was having a lot of sex! I was just having it with myself. (Insert obligatory Woody Allen quote here: “Don’t knock masturbation — it’s sex with someone I love.”)

Introduce a real, live human being and now I’m having what sex educators call “partner sex” on the regular. Now, the amount that I write about sex here on The Frisky probably makes it sound like I’m fastening myself into the f**k swing the moment I walk through the front door. The reality is, though, there’s only so much sex I can take. After he takes care of my libido and I take care of his, there’s not much need for — or energy for — the solo sex I used to so enjoy.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I don’t just masturbate alone when my boyfriend’s not around — or, hell, when he is around. I guess I just feel like that would be weird. Despite the fact that I know my sexuality and my sex life don’t belong to him, I think that if I gave myself an orgasm without him, I’d feel like he was missing out on the fun. And while I think he could intellectually understand why I’d want to take the vibe for a spin, I also doubt that a red-blooded American male could know his ladyfriend was pleasuring herself in the next room and not want to pounce on the action. So why even go there?

Of course, I can’t have it both ways. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t trade the amazing orgasms and other sensations I’ve had during partner sex, nor the love, affection and security that comes from curling up to sleep every night with a warm body. But sometimes I do feel wistful for that old lover from days of yore. It just so happens that old lover is me.

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