Community//

I can do better than this!

Why I'm chucking my 12-year-old vibrator in the trash.

Photo by Mary Santistevan
Photo by Mary Santistevan

I’m sitting in a glossy black, and white subway tiled wine bar with Joanna Gaines inspired decor and floor to ceiling windows. Its a perfect afternoon in October and the pacific northwest gives up the goods with her orgasmic beauty. I’ve got a glass of Pino, and it’s the happiest of happy hours because I am surrounded by my beautiful friends who have bright and shiny hearts of gold. We become rosy-cheeked with wine and conversation as we kill time before dinner. Our feet are a little tired from wandering the streets of this beautiful little hippy town.

I’m in my element with people who get me. These women match my excitement and enthusiasm about all things personal development, entrepreneurship, and exploration of the human psyche. Most people can tolerate about 30 minutes of self-improvement contemplation but not these women. They can pace me all day and night for multiple days on end!

We sit, sip and chat. It’s not too long before our host points out that there is a sexy time shop across the street. We dive right into the joys, pitfalls, insecurities, and discomfort that sex and eroticism can bring. We all agree that it’s been close to forever since we dared to venture into a sex toy shop because they are always so sleazy. I mention that I purchased my last sex toy online at Dame because I appreciated how female oriented the website and toys are. They offer great blog posts about intimacy that are focused on education, respect, and empowerment.

My friend is slow to admit that her sex toy shop, the one with the great display and flashing “open” neon sign that’s right across the street, isn’t like that at all. She explains that the owner is always there and she is very helpful, respectful and approachable. No awkward dude staring at your tits the second you walk in the door? You don’t say?! All our ears perk up. She goes on to disclose that after walking by this store a few times she realized that her vibrator was considerably dated. She wandered into this quaint little shop and had a delightful experience leading her to feel more open about coming back to make a purchase.

We quickly realized that there was a theme. ALL of us at the table had avoided updating our vibrators because it was easier to ignore all the things that got drudged up by intimacy, sex, changing bodies, issues in partnerships or lack of a partner. More than that we didn’t want to subject ourselves to the dreaded interaction with the salesperson.

Having our sexual needs met is an essential part of self-care. An orgasm has as many benefits as a clitoris has nerve endings. I won’t take the time to list out all 8,000 of those benefits but you get the point, there are a lot of them! Speaking up about preferences in the bedroom or meeting our own needs requires quite a bit of vulnerability and like all other areas of self-care women shy away from feelings of deserving, shame, past hurt, or a sense of selfishness.

We collectively agreed “we can do better than this” and made a promise to chuck all those outdated vibrators in the trash as soon as we could! An upgrade was in order and the time was upon us, but only if the store was still open when our wine was gone…….and we had time to take a gander before our dinner reservation. The stars aligned. My friend was right. The owner was terrific.

The selection was robust. There were books, clothing, oils, games, straps, masks and all the vibrating goodness one would expect. I had questions given my curious nature. There was no weirdness. Many of us honored our desires and upgraded. Some even took selfies with our treasure to entice our partners with a look of “don’t you wish I were there with you right now”?

Our foray into the shop turned out to be a wonderfully bonding experience. With our discreetly ribboned bags, we arrived precisely on time to dinner with devilish grins. Over apps and entres, we continued to explore how we were neglecting our needs, wants and desires. As the weekend unfolded, we kept examining how we could better restructure the care of ourselves to ensure that our daily lives offered the sustenance we require. We found that a few things were in order: better orgasms, cleaner food, clearer boundaries, requests for support, new requirements, firmer statements, more rest, and a hell of a lot more NO’s.

Self-care does not have to disappoint you like a worn out vibrator! May you take a moment to stake your claim, opt for a new vibrator and anything else that’s due for an upgrade.

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