14
May
10

used toys

Reader I. F. asks:

I was in a long-term relationship for almost a decade with a partner who shared all of my favorite kinks and fetishes. When he left, I got to keep most of the toys, like harnesses, vibrators, dildos, etc. I’ve started seeing somebody new who’s into the same kink as me, but I’m not sure if I should bring out the old toys or not. What should I do?

Dear I. F.:

It sounds like you built up quite a repertoire with your last partner, and I’m sorry you two had to go your separate ways. That can be a very special sort of relationship, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. But it sounds like you’ve found someone new to play with, which is fantastic, too! So congrats!

Regarding the toy use: You’re going to have to search your feelings and those of your partner. Obviously, there can be a certain “ick” factor to using intimate items that, while they may have been sterilized, have been used for, well, intimate events. Also, there are a lot of memories that go into those toys — not just when you used them with your last partner, but how you got them. This is especially true if you were in a monogamous relationship. Are you really ready to try and have fun with a new partner while using your old partner’s toys?

Your new partner may have absolutely no problem using the same harness you shared with a lover for ten years. Or he may associate it with your ex. It’s important to take his feelings into account, even if you’re okay with recycling.

My gut says that you should consider getting a new boudoir going with your new lover, especially if you mean it to be a long-term, monogamous situation. A casual encounter with a vibrator that a hook-up has is no biggie, but using the strap on that you used with only one partner for almost a decade on a new partner can seem a bit… callous is the first word that comes to mind, and I don’t want to say weird, but it’s somewhere between those two.

If you use your toys with any one who comes to bed with you, by all means, feel free to continue sharing. (Make sure you’re safe about it! Clean clean clean and condoms condoms condoms!) But if these are emotionally-meaningful items for you, it’s somewhat disingenuous to use them with a new lover, even if he shares the same kink. It’d be like using the same wedding dress for your second wedding. Or your third. While functionally okay and probably really economically sound, it’s just emotionally awkward.

I do know toys are not cheap! Which is why I would advocate selling the really expensive, reusable ones. There’s got to be a market on eBay or Craigslist for slightly used leather, whips, chains, etc. You’re probably going to have to recycle the dildos and vibrators, no matter how clean you get them. Keep things you had before you met your ex, but anything that reminds you of him should probably go away.

I’d also like to point out that our love and sex lives tend not to care about how much money they cost us. What I mean is, yes, you’re probably going to have to reinvest in a lot of new toys over time with this new person. Sometimes money cannot be an object. Sigh as you give up the money you may have spent on these items, but be glad about the memories you had with them and the joy of having someone new to share upcoming excitement with.

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2 Responses to “used toys”


  1. 1 VMM
    May 14, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I ❤ the wedding dress analogy.

  2. 2 jayem
    May 15, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I have been in this exact situation. I left the toys behind, as well as the boy. It was a bad break up though. I felt that if I kept them and even continued to use them on my own, that they would remind me of sex with him, which I didn’t want to think of. The experience did teach me which items I enjoy though, so I was able to buy more like them for future endeavors.


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