Why It’s So Important for Women to Write Sex-Toy Reviews

A woman delves deeper into her relationship with herself when she writes up the results of using a sex toy.

Elle Silver
Mar 10 · 4 min read
Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

This was the early 2000s. Very few women were writing sex-toy reviews for magazines back then if any were.

The first time I ever heard of a woman writer reviewing a sex toy was when Anna David did for Playboy. I remember thinking that was cool for her, but I would never.

Sure, I wrote about sex. But write about my own sexual experiences? No way!

The editor wasn’t pleased with my answer, especially because I was being paid a monthly fee to write. I’m not saying that I should have just gone ahead and done what the editor of this magazine wanted me to do even if it made me uncomfortable. No woman should have to move out of her personal comfort zone to keep her job.

Still, the reason I didn’t want to write this review was the issue. I believed writing a sex-toy review was beneath me.

That was porn. I was a writer. “Real writers” didn’t write about sex from their personal experience.

Writing about human sexuality from an investigative perspective was okay. I just couldn’t write about my own sexual relationships.

Especially not my sexual relationship with myself.

I remained steadfast in this belief. The magazine let me go and chose someone else who would write a review.

Again, I’m not saying it was okay that the editor let me go for this reason. This probably wouldn’t even be possible these days.

However, I still look back now and see how wrong I was in snubbing my nose at writing a sex-toy review. When a woman writes such a review, she’s demonstrating her sexual freedom. She’s showing everyone that she feels comfortable enough with herself to explore her sexuality shamelessly and openly.

When she takes a sex toy or two for a ride, she’s actively figuring out what feels good to her and trying to help other women in the process. If she can give an okay on a toy that tantalizes a woman’s body, this is good for all of us.

Women sex writers who write such sex-toy reviews are breaking the same boundaries that I once let hold me back.

Why I had so many sexual hang-ups.

It’s understandable why I was so sexually backward. My sexual education growing up could be distilled into the following concept: “Don’t have sex but if you do, use condoms and don’t get pregnant.”

No one ever showed me where my clitoris was. My orgasm wasn’t important. All that mattered was not having sex too soon with a man. If I did, he would just use me.

It took me years not only to unlearn everything I learned about sex as a girl but to re-teach myself to have a positive outlook on my sexuality.

It’s no fluke that I ended up writing about sex. I went straight for a subject that I knew so little about, eager to learn more.

But still, because of my childhood, even as I wrote about sexuality, I remained sexually blocked. I could write about sex but I had to separate myself from it, at least on a personal level. I should never permit my reader to believe I actually had sex — no, that would be improper.

Okay, so my reader probably knew I had sex. I wrote about sex. But I should still keep my own sex life cloaked in secrecy. Who would respect me if I wrote about it? I grew up with the belief that to be intelligent meant being chaste — or at least projecting the sense that I wasn’t sexual.

When I look back and see how many hang-ups I had about sex, no wonder I refused to write about using sex toys on myself.

I’m now embarrassed by how close-minded I once was.

I recently spoke with Nadège, a female sex blogger, about how we as women can’t be whole when we repress our female sexual energy. Sexual exploration allows a woman to channel her sexual energy in a positive way. And what better way to channel that energy than through masturbation? And what better way to masturbate than with a sex toy?

When a woman uses a sex toy to get herself off, she attains pleasure without a man’s help. And if she can process what she experienced and write about it… How great is that?

What a pity that I spent so many years feeling that writing sex-toy reviews wasn’t a valid form of writing. It’s been a long process of unteaching and re-learning sexuality from a more positive perspective instead of one that upholds tired social norms about how women are supposed to act if we’re to be considered worthy and smart.

Will I ever write a sex-toy review? I’m not sure. If I don’t, the reason certainly won’t be because of a bunch of backward views on my part.

In Vain Asylum

Stories about the relationships we have with others and ourselves.

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Elle Silver

Written by

Former Playboy writer. Professional over-sharer. L.A.-based. More about me: my.bio/theformerlymrs Support: ko-fi.com/ellesilver

In Vain Asylum

Stories about sexuality, relationships, and motherhood.

Elle Silver

Written by

Former Playboy writer. Professional over-sharer. L.A.-based. More about me: my.bio/theformerlymrs Support: ko-fi.com/ellesilver

In Vain Asylum

Stories about sexuality, relationships, and motherhood.

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