Vibrators and dildos

Some time ago a teenager at the church where I worked approached me and asked if I would take her shopping for a vibrator. (Although she didn’t know the word for a vibrator, she alluded to it with a bright red face…) I thought it was great, and so took her (with her mother’s explicit permission and money) to a local store to buy a vibrator. These stores are now legal in the state of Texas. That is to say, in addition to being able to sell educational aids, they are also able to sell sex toys.

I’m sure some of you are somewhat horrified at my openness in helping a teenager obtain a vibrator. However, with her mother’s permission, I think it turned out positive for everyone. This young woman was particularly sexual. She wanted desperately to engage more sexually. But she didn’t have a boyfriend, she didn’t have any prospects for one, and she acknowledged that even if she did, she wasn’t sure she was emotionally ready for sex.

So what’s a sexually aroused teenager to do? Well, masturbate. And I am all for encouraging safe masturbation among teenagers. It keeps them off the streets and off each other.

However, it can be hard for a teenager to obtain a vibrator. Teenagers generally feel far too awkward to ask mom or dad, and who else can a teenager ask, really? There just aren’t many adult/teen relationships where sex is talked about enough and openly enough to encourage a teenager to reach out and ask for help at obtaining sexual satisfaction. (This, of course, leads to lots of household items being used for masturbation instead, including the old standbys, the hairbrush handle and the cucumber.)

So what to do? Well, broach the subject. Let your teenager know that you’re happy to help them buy (or help them find someone else to help them buy) a vibrator, a dildo, lube, whatever. This offer will not turn your child into a sexual deviant, it will help them become sexually happy so they don’t feel the need to go searching for sexual happiness.

If you need more convincing, come back for tomorrow’s post…

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.


  1. Awesome.

    Masturbation is awesome, open teen-adult conversations about sex are awesome, encouraging teens to express themselves sexually while not doing anything they aren’t emotionally ready for is awesome.

    Just awesome all around. I don’t need convincing!

  2. Ditto what Alice said. I’m sure most parents accept the fact that their teens masturbate but go into shock when a sex aid is mentioned. I’m all for providing anything to my girls that will enhance their pleasure. I’ve never seen it as a big deal. Great post as always.

  3. That’s a smart teenager.

  4. Everything’s been said here about your post! Awesome. Of the highest order. Bravo to your teen friend and to you! Wow! Masturbation is about the safest sex a girl can have. I wish we did more to promote it (although a recent read of a sexuality educator who went up against Bill O’Reilly on TV and couldn’t even get him to accept that teaching grade school kids the proper names for human genitals leaves me a bit hopeless about that).

    I’m encouraged by Barrack Obama’s stand on LGBT rights and sexuality education and hope, when next January rolls around, we’ll be seeing the awful policies from the Bush administration laid to rest.

  5. I wish I would have had a dildo when I was a teenager, or someone to ask to get me one. Or, heck, even the knowledge of one. I put all sorts of relatively safe and unsafe things in my vagina to try to get off. (In the end, I found the end of one of those expanding lightsabers was the best. It was long, hard, easy to clean, and could be used in the bathtub.)

    I remember my mother finding the round hairbrush I used, the one with the lower bristles pulled out. She said “If you’re using that for what I think you’re using that for, that’s just sick!” I had no way of saying or even the knowledge to say “Yeah, well, if I had a dildo, I wouldn’t have to go looking for things to stick in my cooter!”

  6. I think it is extremely important for young ladies to have access to information about masturbation and to vibrators. I spent my high school years feeling very unsatisfied. There should be much more promotion of masturbation, as an alternative to sex before marriage.

  7. […] So what’s gotten me back writing today?  That would be the quote from Huffington Post, it would.  Pretty exciting, eh?  Huff Po has an article today called “Sex Toys for Tweens” where they quote an old post of mine called Vibratos and Dildos. […]

  8. I’m a 23 year old college student and I have been masturbating since I was 12 or 13. When it came to my parents talking to me about sex they discussed nearly everything with me from who are babies made, birth control and so on. The one thing they never discussed with me is masturbation. So when i started doing it I had no idea what I was doing all i knew is that it felt good. I had no idea that it was normal and that almost everyone does it. Part of me wishes they had told me about it, said it was fine to do it. I some how new that it was a private thing. For along time i felt semi guilty about doing it because no explained to me that it is fine. Once I got to high school I learned what masturbation was and I realized that I was doing it. It was not tell my second year of college in my health class that I was told masturbation is normal and everyone does. I have never felt so happy. For the first time I felt that masturbation was a good thing. I wish my parents had talk to me about I can totally understand why they did not. It is very embarrassing topic to talk about. I assumed that they taught that I did not masturbate or even if they did think I was they just did not want to embarrass me by talking about it. I was not having sex and I am still not I’m waiting for that very very special person. I often wonder they think I don’t have any sexual desires and no sex hormones. which could not be further from the truth. In high school and today I am a walking hormone with needs and desires. Don’t they realize that I have sexual tension that needs to be released and since I’m not having sex then how am I releasing it. One day when I have kids I’m going to explain to them that masturbation is normal and should be done is private. As far as buying a vibrator I have highly considered it for my self. I’m not sure if I would by my future daughter one someday but I would highly consider it. It is cheaper than raising grandchild. Part of me wishes my mother would have bought me a vibrator when I was in high school. Tell this day I’ m not sure how I would have reacted. I’m not sure if I would have felt embarrassed or so happy that I could not express my joy with words. I just wish my parents had told me that there is nothing wrong with masturbating. Something I will do with my kids.

  9. Well I decided to buy my first vibrator. After 10 years of unsatisfied masturbation and no sex. I received it in the mail a week ago. So far I have used it twice and I LOVED it. I have never been so sexually satisfied since I started masturbating. When the packaged arrived at my house my mom was home at the time. She asked what it was my face nearly turned red. I told her I was too embarrassed to tell her and to my surprise my mom smiled and said she understood that it was a private thing and that I was not obligated to tell her. I think the only reason she said that is because I over eighteen and in college. If I was 16 I probably would have had to tell her. I think that teenagers should be able to by vibrators it prevents pregnancy,STD’s and broken hearts. Teens are able to satisfy themselves before they are emotionally ready for sex.

  10. Kristin, I’m so happy for you! So glad you took that tremendous step for your own health and self-care. You know, orgasms are physically good for you … they release the sexual tension, as you know, but they also contribute to the “feel good” hormones that keep you in a good mood, and emotionally balanced. Good for you!

  11. hi im debbie i have a 14 yo son… when he turned 13 i started to be open and talk about sex. we have had long talks about it all(boys are so worried about penis size) …my son asked for a fleshlight, i didnt know what it was, he showed me vidoes( cation very graphic) but i did buy him one because i feel masturbation is normal good thing

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