4 Tips On How To Talk To Your Teenager About Vibrators
Did someone say orgasm? gulp.
I grew up in a household where talking about anything that had to do with sex was weird and uncomfortable. Not that my parents were bad or anything (they were otherwise loving and supportive of me), but I knew they were as uncomfortable with the idea of me as a sexual being as I was uncomfortable with the idea of them knowing that I was a sexual being.
Despite that, I ended up discovering my body through masturbation, just like most young girls do. However, a lot of my adolescence sexuality was marked with shame. I wish one of the trusted adults in my life told me it didn't have to be.
But times are changing. And now, not only are most mothers starting to encourage dialogue surrounding sexuality and masturbation, many are empowering their daughters to take control of their bodies and sexual satisfaction for themselves — with the help of vibrators.
So if you're reading this because you want to facilitate an open dialogue about sex with your daughter, thank you. You're already setting the stage for her to have a healthy relationship with her sexuality.
From someone who was once a young girl who needed to hear this, here are the best tips for talking to your daughter about vibrators.
Be Sex Positive
It's normal for young girls to start wanting to explore their bodies. Having safe outlets for sexual identity and expression are always important, but it's even more so early on in life. It paves the way for healthy sexual development as they grow up. Tell her that masturbation in private is normal, healthy, and a great way for her to get to know her own, unique body.
As she gets older, she may find that sometimes, fingers just don't cut it. If you're reading this, chances are she may have already discovered this. Tell her it's okay to experiment with different (but safe) tools during masturbation, such as vibrators.
This may go without saying, but watch how you phrase things or the tone of voice you use when talking about sex. Sex isn't shameful. Neither are women's bodies. You don't want her to associate her sexuality with shame. Instead, encourage her to celebrate her body and what it's capable of!
Be Easy Going
Masturbation can be a touchy topic for parents. Nobody ever really knows when it's the right time to start talking about it with their children (pro tip: It's always the right time, especially once they start reaching their pre-teens). Kids don't really want to talk to their parents about these things either. Realize that it might be a little awkward for everyone in the beginning, and that's okay! But continue to demonstrate that sexuality and self exploration are healthy and not something to be ashamed of.
Being open encourages healthy dialogue between you and your daughter. You want her to feel comfortable telling you about these things normally. That way, there's a higher likelihood that she'll feel safe asking you for help when it really matters — like in cases of sexual abuse or assault, or contraction of an STI.
Besides, there's no reason openly talking about sexual health, love, and relationships shouldn't be as crucial to good parenting as things like teaching them to be kind to others, staying away from dangerous situations, or cleaning up after themselves.
Answer Her Questions
In fact, encourage her to ask them. Remember that knowledge and a good education leads to wise decision making. This is important, especially in terms of sexual education. The teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. is one of the highest in the Western world, and it's because sex ed here isn't comprehensive and promotes "abstinence only" policies that, clearly, aren't working. It's important to convey that sex, when informed and done with proper protections, doesn't automatically mean danger.
So don't be intimidated when your daughter asks you questions. Welcome it. Be honest, straightforward, and forthcoming with your answers.
Should I Buy My Daughter A Vibrator?
Help Her Choose The Right Vibrator For Her
Given full rein, a beginner probably wouldn't even know where to start when trying to choose a vibrator for herself. At first, something like a small bullet vibrator would probably be her best bet. They're easy to use, discreet, and perfect for external stimulation.
Luckily, this type of vibrator comes in a lot of different forms. There's disposable ones, ones that you can wear on your fingertips, and some that are even disguised as tubes of lipstick. Despite these differences, the biggest concern with finding the right vibrator is probably making sure it's made of body safe materials. Toys made of 100% silicone, ABS hard plastic, or SEBS (a water, acid, and base resistant rubber-like material used in things like children's toys, teethers, toothbrushes, handlebars, etc) are good choices.
Once you teach her the basics, there's a few ways you can go about how to buy the vibrator. You can briefly let her borrow your credit card to choose the vibrator she wants herself, online. Obviously, lay some ground rules down if you go this route (ie not too expensive, make sure it's a secured site, etc). You can take her to a local sex shop and help her choose one (bigger shops might not allow her inside, but smaller, mom and pop shops might. Especially if you explain why you're in and if you stay with her the entire time). Or, you can pick one yourself and leave it in her room for her.
Whatever you do, what matters is that you allow your daughter to feel empowered to be whoever she wants to be. If she ends up liking the vibrator, great. If not, that's fine too. If whatever she's doing works for her and she feels safe, then that's all that matters.
Masturbation is a skill, and it's powerful. It means that she doesn't have to rely on a partner for pleasure or sexual satisfaction if she chooses not to. You can even take this chance to remind her that her body is hers and hers alone. No one but herself is entitled to it.
She may not realize the extent of the good you're doing now, but one day, your grown up, mature, sexually confident, healthy, and informed daughter will thank you.
Written by Samantha Joson