Tag Archives: sex toys

Would You Buy Your Daughter A Vibrator? By F. N.

So ladies, last year a friend WhatsApped me in a panic. She had just broken up with a woman she had been dating for about a year. The woman had children. Though her relationship with their mother was over, my friend adored the children. She enquired about them frequently and got updates on their lives. Her ex-partner’s daughter was six, and the day I got the panicked WhatsApp her ex had called her in a fit. What happened? Well, the ex had caught her six-year-old daughter masturbating. She had blown a gasket, yelled at the child, told her to never dare do that again and then grounded her.

My friend, upon hearing the story, was uncomfortable with her ex’s actions. But part of the reason why the woman was an ex in the first place was that she did not have the most receptive personality. As she listened to her ex rant, my friend just said the requisite “Oh wow! … Is that so? … Oh so she’s grounded, my poor baby …”  Then she signed off. She couldn’t stop feeling some typa way. Yet, she didn’t think she would be able to be diplomatic enough to not set her ex off if she called to discuss her reservations. So she called me.

Well, I don’t have kids. But I know a thing or two about sexuality and shame. As far as I was concerned her ex’s response had been a little problematic. Children do sexual things all the time, without thinking of them in sexual ways. They may not understand the mechanisms and motivations of sex but they know when something feels good. And if they figure out how to reproduce that good feeling they will. They don’t have context of what that good feeling could mean. They don’t experience a sexual desire; they just experience a pleasurable sensation —and who doesn’t like pleasurable sensations? This is one of the reasons why some child sexual abuse victims feel so much shame. This in no way encapsulates everyone’s experiences. But I’ve heard from some friends — particularly ones who weren’t being penetrated or made to perform sexual acts on the adult — that the physical sensations the abuse evoked weren’t entirely unpleasant. Sensing that what was happening was wrong was destabilizing. Engaging in something furtive and secret was unsettling. Being cajoled and or threatened was scary. Being mentally diminished and manipulated was terrible. Feeling alone and unprotected was debilitating. Realizing the full implication of what it meant to be exploited by someone who was supposed to be protecting you; that was all a source of severe psychic damage. But the touching itself felt… sorta kinda good.

Children, like all humans, welcome pleasure. It is how, when, by whom, and under what circumstances this pleasure is dispensed that is the issue.

Her ex’s daughter just liked feeling good; she wasn’t thinking about sex.

My friend thought I had a point. However, she didn’t think this was a good enough explanation for her ex. I asked her what she thought her ex’s specific fear was, concerning her six-year-old masturbating. Because all anger comes from fear. My friend said her ex was probably horrified that it meant her daughter was a bad girl. That is a common thing, not just where I’m from, but among black people in general. “Fast” “Loose” “Easy” “Spoilt” “Too-grown” These are all labels we give little girls when they express their sexuality in ways that make adults feel uncomfortable. For my friend’s ex, raising a bad girl was the worst failing she could have as a mother. I mean, if the child was touching herself at SIX! then what kind of debauchery would she engage in as an adult?

I told my friend’s that her ex’s fear was probably two-fold. One, she felt like her daughter had been doing something behind her back. If she didn’t know this, then what else didn’t she know? Like who or what was making her child do this. Knowing you have been unaware of something you consider serious is terrifying. Second, my friend’s ex feared that once her daughter had discovered that touching herself down there caused pleasurable sensations, she would be addicted to these pleasurable sensations. She would seek them out wherever she could find them. She would become a target for pedophiles and an easy mark for horny boys. I could understand how a mother could have that fear. That was a justified fear, I told my friend, and any discussion she had with her ex needed to be rooted in that sensitivity. The woman wasn’t just being regressive or a drama queen. She was a mother who loved her child and was trying to protect her. However, I told my friend, the way her ex was reacting was a pathway to shame.

I know about sexuality and shame because I started masturbating as a child. I was a precocious child, so I kind of knew what sex was. However, I was also informed enough to know that it was something that didn’t usually work out well for women and girls. I knew it was something I shouldn’t be doing as a child. So I never sought physical pleasure outside of grinding on my pillow. Still, I knew sexual stuff was bad somehow and that people would disapprove. So I hid it. I didn’t admit to my mother that I was touching myself till I was about fifteen. She wasn’t thrilled because she felt it was too sexually mature. Looking back, I can see that she was scared it was a sign I was sex-crazed and would be promiscuous. Still, she didn’t shame me for it or forbid me from doing it. By the time I was eighteen it was something she was fine with (probably because I had turned out to be the opposite of promiscuous). When I bought my first vibrator at nineteen, after I left for college, she was the first person I called. I was still a virgin, and her advice was “Don’t get too used to it because the real ones don’t vibrate.” By that point all she was worried about was that I might have unrealistic expectations and set myself up for disappointment when I finally knocked boots with someone else.

More importantly, I knew what pleasure felt like. I evaluated everybody who wanted to sleep with me under this criteria: Would I enjoy it or were they the kind of person who, either due to inconsiderateness, immaturity or inexperience, would not be able to pleasure me? Nobody seemed like a sure bet until I was twenty-three. The first time I had sex it was entirely on my terms and pretty damn excellent. I had found someone who was invested in making me feel good and I was able to guide them because I knew what I liked.

Before you think it, I’m not saying the two things are exactly the same. My starting to masturbate at ten with a hazy awareness of sex isn’t necessarily equivalent to a six-year-old touching themselves. Mine was kinda sexualized, the kids isn’t. But at the end of the day, I told my friend, it was still about pleasure. Shaming a child for pleasure would just give them all sorts of baggage.

My suggestion: Her ex needed to ask her child why she was doing it? That was important. How had she discovered that touching herself down there felt good? If she had just figured it out by herself that was okay. If someone had told her to do it or she had seen someone like an adult or sibling doing it and was copying them, then that was a red flag. If another child had taught her to do it, then that was a problem too. It meant her six-year-old was being sexually abused, or being groomed, or not being supervised and seeing adult stuff. Or it meant that her kid was spending time around sexually precocious children (who would only be acting that way because something inappropriate was going on in their homes). If any of these things were happening, I told my friend, her ex should be rightfully alarmed and put a stop to them. If that was the case it would help to try to think of catching her child was masturbating as a sort of silver lining. It revealed a sinister situation that she could now put a stop to.

If her child was touching herself, not because of any of the reasons above, but just because it felt nice, my humble opinion would be that her ex should explain a couple of things to the kid:

  1. It was okay to want to feel nice.
  2. There was nothing shameful about what she was doing and she wasn’t bad or dirty for doing it.
  3. But there were other nice things in the world like playing with friends, and games, and books, and ice cream and playgrounds, and learning new things. And those things could also make a person feel good, inside and out. So touching her body wasn’t the only fun thing to do. She should make sure it wasn’t the only thing she was doing and she should make sure she was not doing it all the time.
  4. Though there was nothing shameful about what she was doing, there was this thing called “privacy” and it was veeeeeerrrrrry important. It meant that she should only touch her body when she was absolutely alone.
  5. Doing it in front of other children or siblings or adults was wrong because of privacy. Teaching what she was doing to other children was also wrong because their Mummies and Daddies might not want them to know about it. Every Mummy and Daddy got to decide what they wanted their kids to know, not her.
  6. Touching her own body when she was absolutely alone was okay but touching other people in their private areas was wrong. Letting other people touch her in her private areas was absolutely wrong, and if anything like that happened she had to tell Mummy immediately.

My friend said my advice sounded reasonable, wrote it down and sent her ex an email. Her ex didn’t respond, lol.

Now, I’m not a parent but I want a daughter and intend to have one someday soon. I hope that if I found out she was masturbating as a child; the response I gave my friend is exactly what I would tell myself.

Now, I’ve been told there is something about the child being yours that makes the situation far less theoretical. That if I were in my friend’s ex’s place I would just see red and not be able to access this reasoning from whichever corner of my mind it was stored in. All I would feel was cold, icy fear that my child was doing something that I couldn’t protect her from. I concede that that might be true. That’s why I pray about it all the time.

I pray that as a parent I can answer every question my child asks about pleasure honestly, without judgment. I pray that if my child was interacting with her body I would let her. I pray that I will always be open with her about sex, and give age-appropriate, accurate answers when she asks questions. I pray that my child feels close enough to me to not want to harbor any secrets. I pray that she thinks of me as her safe place; that though she knows unequivocally that I am her parent and not her playmate, she still considers me as a trusted confidante. I pray that she will tell me when she starts thinking about sex and when she starts having it — secure in the knowledge that I will guide her but not police her, and I will not internalize her choices as some reflection of a persona that I am trying to protect or maintain. I pray that she loves the way the flesh falls on her bones, whether it is a little or a lot; and feels at home in her skin; and knows that she is everyyythanggg. I pray that if/when she was feeling sexual as a teenager, and for some reason became curious about vibrators, she would discuss it with me. True, she is not yet here and I can speak with the certainty that comes from detachment, because I haven’t yet felt that all-consuming wave of love, and that all-encompassing terror of loss, which dictates why so many parents are the way they are about sex. But I pray that I will still be the person I am today, and if she did her research and decided a vibrator was something she wanted I would buy it for her. I haven’t talked to my friend over WhatsApp in a minute so I haven’t followed up on what is going on with her ex’s daughter. But I think of that little girl every once in a while and pray that I will have the courage to do things differently.

Where do you stand on this issue and what do you pray for about your children?

F.N. is a thirty something Ghanaian free-lance writer who alternates between living in Accra and Washington, DC.

Bzzz… Here Comes Heaven

You thought all you needed in your pleasure chest was rubbers and ITunes? Naaah, chile. This is a journey. Pleasure is about you, first and foremost, so an essential part of the pleasure chest is something that can add value even when you’re the only one in the room. When you don’t want to cuddle, you don’t want to get up to put the condom in the trash or to get a washcloth to wipe cum off your thighs, you don’t want to be asked if you came, you don’t want to have to think about, hear from, or feel up anyone else. You just want to be Beyoncé circa 2003: “It’s Just Me, Myself & I.” An essential part of the pleasure chest is the relationship you have with yourself.

A lot of women who don’t orgasm simply don’t know how to get there. They have an idea from movies and books so they know that someone touching their clitoris is sorta kinda the way to get the big boom but they haven’t figured out exactly how they want their clit touched. So they try to guide a partner but they are a little lost themselves. That won’t do for us here at Suzyknew. We’re going to have so much self-pleasure this 2017 we’ll get carpal tunnel. We’re going to have a “come-to-Jesus moment” where we come in Jesus’s name because our orgasms will be holy and anointed and sent from heaven.

So we’re going to start with touching ourselves. Not just our vaginas. We’re going to take our clothes off and touch every inch of our bodies, slowly. We’re going to caress our nipples; does that feel good? Is rubbing them with my thumb where the magic happens? Do I like it more when I pinch them between my fingers? Does tugging on them gently get me wetter? Does caressing the inside of my thighs feel good? Is rubbing my feet against the sheet making me lightheaded? We’re going to figure out where all our spots are. Then we’re going to head to the promised land. We’re going to touch every inch of that honeypot. Inner lips, outer lips, clitoris, vagina… not one inch of that coochie is going to escape. We’re going to touch ourselves in every different kind of way we can imagine and pay attention to what feels good. Once we hit a spot we’ll rinse repeat till the magic happens. Some of us don’t like the feeling right before an orgasm because it feels like we are going to pee or fart but believe me when I say it’s not that kind of party. We just have to keep going when that feeling hits. Paradise is close. We just need to let go of some of the control.

Some people like masturbating with their hands, some like a battery-operated-boyfriend. If a vibrator feels good to you I can’t recommend them enough. I would suggest though, that before you get a vibe you do lots of touching to figure out what you like. Unless of course you can afford to just get a bunch of vibes and try them out until you find a favorite. But if you ain’t ballin’ like that and you want to get the right one it helps to know which vibrator replicates the stuff that gets you off.

My journey to the perfect vibrator was not so smooth. I got a standard slim vibrator the first time. It was okay but then I realized something: I had my best orgasms when I had both penetration and clitoral stimulation at the same time. The clitoral stimulation needed to be targeted so it couldn’t just be from the length of the vibrator. I discovered that a rabbit vibrator, which has a shaft that goes inside and then an extended nub that massages the clitoris at the same time, was probably my best bet. Eight years and $500 later I have my current soul mate the Lelo Ina II. Isn’t she pretty?

Vibrators come in all kinds and what you choose really depends on what you’re into. In addition to rabbit vibrators like the Lelo Ina there are clitoral massagers which focus entirely on the clit. Clitoral massagers can use batteries, or be plugged into an outlet. A popular one is the Hitachi Magic Wand which is supposed to pack one hell of a punch.

There are also egg or bullet vibrators which are small and usually discreet. They focus entirely on the clit as well. Some of them are shaped like everyday things: a tube of lipstick, a rubber ducky, EOS lip balm etc. They usually come with batteries and there are fancy ones which come with remote controls so a partner can use it on you. Egg and bullet vibrators are usually a little less powerful than massagers.

A variation of the egg or bullet vibrator is a pocket rocket, which instead of being smooth has bulges, nubs and ridges on one end.

There are also dual-pronged clitoral vibes which straddle your clit on either side:

Dildo-shaped vibrators are also a popular choice. Some of them are double-ended so they can be used for both vaginal and anal insertion at the same time.  They look like the real thing and can even come in flesh-colored tones.

Some people swear by G-spot vibrators, which have a long shaft with a distinct curve and a soft jelly-like coating. They are designed to hit your G-spot when they are inserted.

For people who like butt play there are anal vibrators. Some of them look like butt plugs that vibrate and others look like a traditional vibe with a flared bass or bent handle so they don’t get lost in the rectum.

There are also butterfly vibrators, which strap around your waist for hands-free clitoral stimulation.

For couples, there are vibrating cockrings, which are jelly-like rings with small vibrators at the front. The man wears the ring around his penis and it buzzes on your clit when he is inside you.

There are also couples toys, which are designed to be used when the penis is inside you. One side is inserted and vibrates against the roof of the vagina and on top of the man’s penis while the other side sits on top of the vagina and vibrates against it.The thing that makes a good vibe or a good finger technique such an important part of the pleasure chest is that it doesn’t only have to be done alone. You can use a vibrator on your clit while you’re getting it from behind. You can finger yourself while someone sucks on your nipples. Same sex female couples who use vibes find that the possibilities are endless, and contrary to popular belief there are guys who don’t mind incorporating them into the action with you. Though cockrings and couple’s vibes specifically cater to two people at the same time, you can incorporate any type of vibe into sex. Guys like sensations too and holding your vibrator underneath their balls while you give them head has proven to be a very good strategy in 98% of households surveyed.

My quest to pleasure myself has led me to places and taught me things that are beyond my wildest imagination. I’ve discovered I like things I didn’t ever think I would like. I would probably never have figured out that I liked those things if it was just up to me and a partner because my stated dislike for them would have left him reluctant to try them. But just sitting up in my room like Brandy, lovingly touching my junk gave me some important epiphanies about whether I liked a finger up my butt. My quest to find the perfect rabbit vibe even taught me I wasn’t quite as up-to-snatch on my vagina-ology as I thought. Though I knew everything about all the coochie parts, and was aware that every vagina was a special and unique flower, something I would never have found out if I wasn’t a masturbator was that for every woman the distance between the vaginal opening and the clitoris is different. Same for the vaginal hole and the anus. Before that, I spent over $200 dollars on a rabbit vibe that did nothing for me because the distance between the shaft and the rabbit part didn’t match my anatomy. So the rabbit kept overshooting the most sensitive part of my clit and could never sit right or vibrate in a way that I liked. I went on some message boards and found women with the same problem and eureka, it dawned on me. Masturbation gave me scientific knowledge, y’all. Masturbation made me smarter. Won’t He do it, if you let him? I tell you, masturbation makes the world a better place. So it’s kinda sad that there is no “I” in “pleasure.” There really should be. Cos if you allow yourself to explore and discover, there will be.

F.N. is a thirty something Ghanaian free-lance writer who alternates between living in Accra and Washington, DC.


Two SuzyKnew Readers. One Free Trojan Vibrator

Who knew that the free vibrator samples I picked up at the recent BlogHer ’12 conference would cause such a stir among readers.  I actually managed to snare two Trojan Tri-phoria vibrators which retail around $40.  By the way, Trojan research puts its annual revenue for its new pleasure devices in the United States at around $1 billion, or 2.5 times that of condoms.  Apparently, ensuring ladies’ pleasure is quite profitable.

So, I decided to give one of these goodies away free to the first reader who contacted me. But, you ladies were too shy to email me. So, I went out to hunt you down.

The first SuzyKnew reader I talked to was very interested in getting her hands on a Trojan pleasure machine. She’s an avid Adam and Eve fan.  But, she had been disappointed with her recent purchase. During her last raid on the store, she was expecting to find the latest and greatest in vibrator technology. But, the local chain had run out of the good stuff, and she settled on a vibrator that seemed second rate to her. I know this because I was with her on this late night spending spree and helped her select her new toy after 3 hours of looking at every single item the store offered.

“It didn’t do what it said would do, ” was what she told me the next day.  She was very disappointed. So, the Trojan vibrations product arrived just in time. But, after inspecting the packaging and reading the claims, she didn’t look as thrilled as she sounded when I first told her about the possibility of actually owning one. The Triphoria comes with 2 attachments that can fit on the head, which I didn’t think added much value. I think Trojan would be better off providing a basic vibrator and maybe one additional attachment and lowering the price to be more competitive.

Then later on in the week, I brought the free sample to a second reader’s house. It was her daughter’s 5th birthday.  Surprised to see that she was getting a “personal massager” – as Trojan calls its vibrators in order to mainstream them and get them on TV advertising – she shrieked with joy. She grabbed the vibrator out of my hand and held it up for all the parents to admire.  Her husband was quite pleased and gave me a wink.  Right then and there I knew that this reader was the woman who most deserved to own a new Trojan.

I haven’t checked in yet to find out if the product has lived up to all its claims.

I am pretty impressed though with how Trojan has seemed to effortlessly slide into the women’s pleasure market – even getting ads on TV –  after years of  focusing solely on making condoms more pleasurable for men. It’s a decent product. Just a little on the expensive side when compared to products of similar quality.

If you have tried the Trojan vibrations product and have any comments you’d like to share, please let us know.



I’m A Single, Black Christian Woman. Will I Ever Get Married? If Not, Should I Plan A Life Without Sex? ASK JANICE

Black woman with Bible

Dear Janice,

I’m a professional, single Black Christian woman who was raised to believe that sexual relations should only take place within the confines of marriage.  But more than a decade after getting my Master’s, I’m still single – and we all know statistics say that the chances of Black women getting married are slim. So, while I want to enjoy a sexual relationship with a man, I just don’t feel comfortable doing so. But, the chances of my getting married are slim. Should I plan to live my entire life without sex?

Also, Janice, I just want to let you know that recently I received and accepted an exciting offer to become a part-time representative of a tasteful, online sex toy business started by a widely respected female entertainer. How do I share my news and excitement with my family and church?


Charlotte, NC



Dear Sierra,

I’m going to deal with the second question first.  Congratulations!  And can a sistah get a hook-up … a discount … a good deal?  Just kidding!

Seriously though, given your upbringing, it might not be a good idea to share all the details of your new part-time gig with everyone.  I’m not saying you should lie, mind you.  And I’m so glad you’re excited about what you’re doing!  I’m just saying that everybody doesn’t need to know all your business.  Maybe just say that you’ve accepted a part-time, online sales position and leave it at that.  These days everyone is selling something online, so making a little extra cheddar on the internet isn’t unusual and shouldn’t raise too many questions.  And trust me … I’d give you the exact same advice even if you weren’t involved in the church.  Our world is still too threatened by the idea of women owning and controlling their own sexual pleasure, and many will make assumptions about your character based on the products you represent.  I’m not saying it’s right … but it happens.

Now to the question of whether you should plan to live your entire life without sex.  My answer is a loud and resounding NO!  First of all, don’t give up on the idea of getting married!  I know so many women who have multiple degrees and are well-established in their careers who are finding life partners despite the depressing statistics.  Your future hubby may not have his Master’s like you do, and he may not even make as much money as you.  But, if he loves and respects you, shares your values and has the same goals in life as you, then he’s the one!

I’ll admit that finding Mr. Right ain’t easy these days.  I’m just saying don’t give up.  Keep your mind and your options open.  Consider thinking outside the box and try online dating or even a professional match-maker.  Just be proactive and open … and don’t buy into all the hype about there being no one for educated, Black women to marry.

In the meantime, I am not going to tell you to set aside your beliefs about sex outside of marriage.  However, from the tone of your question, I suspect you may be ready to do just that.  I would urge you to remember that one reason for keeping sex within marriage has historically been mostly about children.  I personally believe that if sex was only meant for procreation it wouldn’t feel so damned good!  But, that’s my opinion.  If you do decide to embark on a sexual relationship before you get married, I only hope you choose someone worthy of you.  He should respect you, honor you, care about you and be genuinely concerned with your pleasure.  Anyone who doesn’t do all of the above just isn’t worth your time.

Anyway, with the products you represent in your new part-time job, this may be a moot point anyway!  Yes, having a human sex partner is preferred … as long as he’s good and meets the above-mentioned qualifications.  But trust me when I say, ain’t nothing wrong with playing with toys!  They don’t talk back, fart in bed, hog the blankets, stain your sheets, snore or turn on Sports Center when you’re done.  And they never make promises they have no intention of keeping.

Now … about that discount?




You can ASK JANICE all your intimate love questions at ASKJANICE@suzyknew.com