Tag Archives: sex toys

Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?”

Today’s question is brief. Here’s what the reader asks:

Is it okay to use sex toys or would that [go] against God??

You know, when I first started writing about sex, I wasn’t interested in sex toys, but I didn’t really have a strong opinion about them. Early posts on this subject include:

Is It Playtime? Sex Toys

Why I Don’t Use Sex Toys

But the more I’ve researched, heard from people, and studied what the Bible has to say about sex generally, the more I’ve come to believe that what really matters is how and why you’re using the sex toy.

Sex toys as marital aids.

Some sex toys are helpful aids to deal with challenges in the marriage bed. For instance, a man who has difficulty achieving or maintaining a strong erection could benefit from the use of a penis ring. Or a woman whose physiology makes it extremely difficult to orgasm could benefit from adding a clitoral vibrator.

Sex toys used in this way are essentially the same as any other treatment we might advise someone to use, like taking testosterone to address low male sex drive. And frankly I’m grateful there are options available for those who struggle with a physical challenge and need some help. These marriage beds are likely blessed by the inclusion of certain sex toys.

Sex toys as periodic spice.

Others use sex toys as an occasional activity to experience different sensations. This I totally understand as well. It’s perhaps in the realm of changing your location or position to add a little spice now and then, just like I talk about in Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

Such couples are selective about what they use, making sure it adds to their marriage bed rather than taking away. They view it as a treat, like pulling out the flavored lube instead of the regular lube. And both spouses feel pleasure and respect in how the sex toys are used.

Sex toys as a substitute.

Here’s where things shift. God’s ideal for sex in marriage is that we can bring one another to pleasure and peaks — physiological obstacles not withstanding — using our bodies. Although you can make a case of locations and positions being mentioned in the Bible, you can’t find any place that suggests the use of a sex toy to fulfill one another sexually. Fulfillment comes through engaging with one another’s bodies, yet plenty of sex toys mimic body parts.

Not only are there toys that resemble or simulate vaginas and penises, they improve on them. That is, those toys can do things that no vagina or penis can do. Moreover, if you incorporate sex toys regularly into your lovemaking, you might find that you lose some of the pleasure you could and should get with your spouse. Just read this post: Q&A with J: “I’m Desensitized to My Husband’s Touch!”

Are such sex toys a sin? I can’t say that, but they’re unlikely to take you in the direction God wants married couples to go with sexual intimacy. Thus, their use is unwise.

Sex toys as “chasing a high.”

Finally, I’m concerned that too many Christian couples are chasing a high. Because of the varied sensations sex toys can produce, it’s tempting to find anything that gives you new and/or better pleasure. Toy choices can become kinkier and kinkier.

But it isn’t the kink that matters so much as the sheer selfishness of this approach. God created sex to help us become one flesh (see Genesis 2:24). But when it’s just about the physical high you can get, your sexual encounters can become more like parallel play. Perhaps you’re both feeling a lot of pleasure, but it’s not from each other; you’re just in the same space while you use the toys.

We have to really think about how and why we’re using sex toys, to make sure that we’re not just chasing a selfish sexual high. Rather, again, it’s about intimacy.

For more discussion of sex toys and whether they’re good or bad for a marriage, listen to our podcast episode on that very subject by clicking the image below:

Sex Toys - Is it Okay for Christians to Use Them?

Why I Don’t Use Sex Toys

Despite my willingness to try new things and experiment in the bedroom, I’ve been reluctant to include sex toys in our marital intimacy.

I don’t have a moral or emotional aversion to them. I believe it’s fine to include sex toys in your marital lovemaking as long as it is mutually agreed upon and enjoyed and they don’t become a crutch. So why don’t I use sex toys?

The names. When I look at what these things are called, they don’t invite me to use them. “Nipple clamps”? “Cock ring”? “Penis pump”? “Butt plug”? Even the word “vibrator” isn’t the least bit appealing. I think these products need some serious relabeling. Perhaps the makers of sex toys need to consult the teams who name amusement park rides. Perhaps that vibrator should be renamed the Thunderbolt Express or El Toro. Personally, I suggest “The Pleasurator.”

Oddly-shaped vibrator

Don’t know what this is, but at least it’s called…
The UFO Masturbator
Pic by Morderska, via Wikimedia Commons

The stores that sell them. Most of the stores that sell sex toys also sell porn. The most popular sex-products store near me has lingerie, sexual aids, novelty items, and then a back room full of pornography. I would be incredibly uncomfortable doing business with a store that promotes and profits from porn. Thankfully, these days there are Christian retailers online who sell “marital aids” or “intimacy products” for married couples. While I haven’t purchased sex toys from them, I have bought other sexy items through such retailers.

The scary stuff alongside the sexy stuff. Enter the store I mentioned above, and you’ll see a range of products. Sure, there are the racks of lacy nighties, displays of romance and sex coupons, and the wall of vibrators (seriously, a whole wall), but there are also items that remind me less of sex and more of medieval torture. Life is painful enough without introducing pain into the bedroom. Once I see such things, I can’t get them out of my mind. My cringe-radar goes off, and I find it hard to focus on the sexy stuff.

“Designer Vibrators”
Pic by Eva K., via Wikimedia Commons

The machinery. Technology is awesome in many ways. I love my car, my cell phone, this laptop, the Internet that allows me to blog, etc. Getting a new gadget can put a smile on my face for a week. But I guess reading science fiction novels and watching The Terminator more times than I can count has also caused me a little trepidation about using machines for everything. Do I really want to invite “the rise of the machines” into my marriage bed? You know, it never ends well in science fiction when the machines take over.

The lack of flesh. One of my favorite things about sex with my husband is the skin-to-skin contact. I confess that I have never liked using condoms for that very reason. So the notion that I’d give up the feeling of my husband’s hand or penis in exchange for a synthetic substance touching me — no matter how “talented” it is — doesn’t appeal to me. Perhaps even more than having an orgasm, I like being touched.

The cost. Okay, I admit it. I’m a cheap date for my husband. He doesn’t have to buy me dinner or bring home flowers or toss jewelry in my direction to get me in bed. (Although if you’re reading this, Spock, dinner out would be lovely.) Sex may be the least expensive and most fun thing we do. For the cost of a small bottle of lubricant, a nightie or two, and a candle, we can create hours and hours of mutual enjoyment. But sex toys cost money. I’ve yet to look at a sex toy and think, “I want that so much that I’m willing to shell out $___ for it.” Maybe I’m still waiting for a marital-aid company to send me free samples . . . you know, given my Christian sex blog and all. But for now, I’d rather use my money on a dinner out . . . or even better, a dinner in.

The contentment. This is the number one reason we don’t use sex toys. We really like our sex life the way it is. My husband and I are able to get aroused, pleasure one another, reach orgasm consistently, and feel satisfied with our sexual encounters. We’re not really feeling the need for more in that area. If I’m going to invest in a toy that would improve our marriage, it would probably be something more like a self-vacuum cleaner or a universal remote — both of which would save us time and allow us more time to make love.

So what are your reasons for using or not using sex toys? Do you think they enhance marital intimacy or detract from it?

See also Is It Playtime? Sex Toys.

Is It Playtime? Sex Toys

My husband and I recently popped into a lingerie/sex paraphernalia shop and looked around.  I have never in my life seen so many breast representations and phallic symbols in one place.  Some of the items were indeed clever — although when I would actually serve penis-shaped pasta is a mystery to me.  (And does that go best with marinara or pesto?)

Looking around the store, I realized that for all my interest in sex, I know almost nothing about sex toys.  I have never been into that area of sexual pleasure.

Maybe it’s because it took me so long to warm up to the idea of a tampon as a teenager and then a penis entering my vagina, that I just don’t know if I’m prepared to invite more objects into the party.  Not to mention that some of us wives have a hard time getting our husbands to wear a wedding ring, much less a penis ring.  And handcuffs, fuzzy though they are, remind me of COPS episodes with “Bad Boys, Bad Boys” playing in the background.

Even the word “toy” conjures up misgivings for me.  I know toys are supposed to be fun, but after several Christmases with children, “toy” starts to connect all too easily with phrases like Some Assembly Required, Batteries Not Included, May Contain Parts Not Safe for Children under 3 (and sometimes over 13).  The purchase of toys in my home makes me think about how often I will have to bark directions for them to be put away and how many more plastic boxes Wal-Mart can possibly stock to keep up with our storage needs.

Okay, I have some hangs-ups!  But thus far, neither my husband nor I have been pursued this theme.

However, I’m not opposed to the notion of sex toys, and I know some husbands and wives are having a great time with them!  There are Christian-based websites that sell sexual aids so that you don’t have to visit or support a secular business which also promotes pornography.  I strongly suggest purchasing from them rather than exposing yourself to images that may be difficult to forget.

Here are only a few that I quickly Googled:

Book 22

Covenant Spice

My Beloved’s Garden

The Pure Bed

Spice Up Marriage (added 9/2/11)

(I did not thoroughly investigate these sites but accepted their representation as Christian-based companies presenting sexual tools appropriate for a godly marital relationship. There are Christian retailers beyond these, of course.)

Since I think the subject should be addressed, but I have no experience in this area, I defer to another blogger whom I respect a great deal.  If you’re interested in sex toys, see Julie Sibert’s great post on her Intimacy in Marriage blog called Batteries Included:  Sex Toy Use.

Meanwhile, let me know why you do or do not use sex toys.  What do you like about them?  What do you dislike about them?  Does your spouse wish to use them but you are reluctant?  Would you like to try something but feel hesitant?