Lisa Hughes, a co-founder of Love Being Woman, the company which produces the Be Be, noted: “What’s with all the tacky imagery and packaging? Why can’t normal women walk into a normal shop and buy a vibrator like it’s a totally normal thing to do?”
The answer is twofold. One is because places which sell vibrators are, pretty universally, either kind of creepy and humiliating, tacky, or not particularly conducive to women feeling comfortable. The other is because, for women, buying something sexy in public is still a pretty brave thing to do.
How do we deal with the first one? Most consumers, and particularly women, respond to shopping environments which are clean, calm and well-designed. So where are the pretty, charming sex toy shops? Lingerie boutiques such as Agent Provocateur do the best job they can, but they rarely stock specialist wares or many things of high quality.
Historically, of course, sex shops were exclusively male domains. Hell, they only really started to believe in the female orgasm less than a century ago. Unfortunately, this feeling hasn’t really faded, and women can feel very marginalised.
New online stores catering exclusively to women have been one of the biggest trends of the past few years. Hapsari, Honey Birdette – if you want a woman-friendly online space to do your intimate shopping, you have more choices than ever. However, it’s not the same as having an actual space: ‘a normal shop’ where you can do totally normal things, like buy a vibrator.
So what about the second problem? Rihanna talks about buying sex toys in interviews because she knows it will shock people. A woman being brazen about her sexuality in public? Where are my smelling salts?!
If you find buying a sex toy in public uncomfortable, ask yourself why. Do you not like people knowing what you do in your private bedroom life? Do you feel that way about lingerie, or just about more intimate things? Do you worry about what people will think of you and your morals? Do you think you’ll be slut-shamed?
All women deserve to have boundaries and privacy. However, many people have an underlying sense (and this can be due to education, media messages, religion or whatever else) that sex is ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’, rather than healthy and fulfilling. If this is what’s preventing you from getting yourself a vibrator in public, recognise it, and confront it.
After all, that’s what Lady Friday is all about – giving you control over your sexuality, and making you proud of it.
Lady Friday xx
Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…