There’s an episode of Sex and the City called “A Woman’s Right to Shoes” in which Carrie Bradshaw has a pair of $450 Manolo Blahniks stolen at a friend’s baby shower. When the friend won’t reimburse her, she informs her that she’s decided to marry herself, and has registered for one thing – the stolen shoes. The whole point of the episode is that when you marry and have babies, you’re allowed to register for all the things you want, but nobody’s going to shower you with material goods for staying single and childless. You have to treat yourself, and those little indulgences can be very important, even if they seem frivolous to others.
This describes my relationship with my sex toys pretty well. I like nice shoes, but I’ll pass on Carrie’s beloved designer stilettos (they just make my feet hurt). As a single lady, my ultimate weakness is a luxury dildo or a designer vibrator. Not only do I feel like I’m treating myself to something nice, I’m also making up for the lack of regular orgasms I’d be getting if I had a steady boyfriend.
The other day, flopped over in a post-orgasmic bliss, I realized I had used almost $500 in sex toys to get myself off. If you’re curious, I used the Liberator Wedge ($85), the NJoy Eleven ($300), and the Lelo Nea ($90). Factor in the $20 shipping for the Liberator, and you’re at $495 in booty – for my booty! For the record, I really don’t have some high maintenance vagina that requires $500 worth of toys to have an orgasm. For many years I made do with a simple $10 silver bullet vibrator, and that was good enough for me. Was my $500 orgasm 50 times better than the $10 one? No, but it was probably ten times better!
I still have my $10 silver bullet, and it packs about the same amount of power as my Nea. But the Nea is rechargeable, cordless, sleekly ergonomic, and embossed with pretty cherry blossoms. I almost feel guilty for dumping the old reliable bullet that I favored for ten years for a younger, prettier vibrator from Sweden! But who am I kidding? I had to replace those damn silver bullets every three months, anyway. In the long run, the Lelo vibe is probably cheaper, especially considering all the money I save on batteries.
LELO Nea]This brings up the eternal debate: are the expensive toys really worth more? The answer in my case is both yes and no.
I love rechargeable vibrators that keep purring for hours without fussy battery packs and cords. The Liberator Wedge really does work a lot better than trying to prop yourself up on half a dozen regular pillows. I love that you can sterilize a silicone dildo by throwing it in the dishwasher, unlike the cheaper jelly models. I adore pretty, hand blown glass treasures, and enduring stainless steel toys like the Njoy Eleven that will most likely outlive my great grandchildren.
But you always have to consider what exactly it is you’re paying for. I don’t really need a toy with five vibration patterns that I’ll never use. On the other hand, the $165 Minna Ola convinced me that programming my own vibration patterns could be a lot of fun. It’s cool that I can use my Jimmyjane Form 4 underwater, but a bit pointless when you consider that it’s not compatible with silicone lubes, which are the only lubes I’ve found that stay wet underwater! And as much as I love my little Nea, her big sister Siri left me cold. I felt like I’d wasted $100 on a gorgeous toy that would never give me an orgasm. Many of the fancy boxes and instruction manuals feel like clutter to me, and I almost never use the storage pouches either. How am I supposed to tell apart my toys if they’re all in little black satin pouches? So, expensive toys can definitely be hit or miss.
And let’s face it: a lot of what we are paying for when we buy high-end toys is a glamorous image, and that indescribable feeling of “luxury.” Lelo’s stainless steel Olga g-spot dildo retails for $351. That’s almost 9 times more expensive than Ella, the silicone version of the same toy. But what’s kind of weird is that’s also over 3 times more expensive than NJoy’s Pure Wand, a dildo that’s similar in quality but much larger. One comes to the conclusion that the Olga is expensive for the sake of being expensive. Especially when you consider there’s also a gold plated version of the toy for a mere $1790, which would pay the rent on my apartment for over 2 months!
I blame Kate Moss for this phenomenon. When she famously purchased Jimmyjane’s “little gold vibrator” for $350 in 2006 (the price has gone up to $450 in the subsequent 6 years), she sent a message to women of the world that vibrators are glamorous and cool, instead of a semi-embarrassing thing you hide under the bed because you’re not getting any. And what’s more glamorous than a prohibitively expensive vibrator crafted from precious metal?
My friend recently joked about an engagement ring serving to “put a dollar value on pussy,” as if one were purchasing exclusive rights (in theory) to their betrothed’s vagina with a very expensive piece of jewelry. I’m not planning on getting engaged any time soon, but in the mean time, maybe I’m using my expensive sex toys to validate my priceless, single-lady vagina! I may not have a big, shiny rock on my finger, but I do have a couple of boxes filled to the brim with big, shiny sex toys, and that’s good enough for me!