If you’ve ever wondered exactly what to do when your kid finds your sex toy, don’t fear! Our resident expert and founder weighs in below.
Mommy, What’s THIS?!?
I’m sure we have all heard a funny story of a vibrator being discovered by a little one and parents being absolutely mortified. We have a good laugh and think in the back of our minds: God, I hope that doesn’t happen to me!
As you might be able to imagine, after starting Vibrant I’ve had a few internal discussions in my own mind about how to explain to my nine-year-old daughter what her mom does for work every day. After all, we review a good portion of our products before giving the seal of approval, and I have acquired quite the collection!
Now before you jump to conclusions, no, I don’t have hundreds of sex toys haphazardly strewn throughout my house. I live in what I affectionately refer to as “suburbia”; I do laundry, homework, and cook dinner every night just like most of you. I just also happen to be a founder of one of the most innovative social enterprises that sells sex toys.
But Let’s Back Up; How Did I Get Here?
The concept of sex and relationships is not new to my family or me as I worked at Planned Parenthood (aka PP) for 15 years. I still remember the day I had “the talk” with our now 23-year-old daughter. Yes, she has been raised in the PP family, and I had always been open about what I do for work, but there was still a part of me that was nervous to discuss sex one-on-one. I gave her a fabulous book by Robie Harris – It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health and spoke to a PP educator about how to start the conversation. We read the book together, and I answered her questions. All of my anxieties melted away, and I realized at that point that I was the one who had control over normalizing the conversation around sex and sexuality, and on the flip-side, I was also the one in control of making it into something awkward, embarrassing, or potentially shameful.
My advice to parents struggling with “the talk” is to always start with correct terminology. You would never refer to someone’s legs as “tater tots” or some other random term, so why would you call a vagina by any other name? If you still feel uncomfortable, I always recommend contacting your local PP for information about discussing sex and sexuality with your kids. They have plenty of age-appropriate resources, and this is their expertise. My last tip is to talk to your children early and often. I know this conversation is hard, but so is drug abuse, death, divorce, etc. Parenting is sometimes hard!
Back to What to Do When Your Kid Finds Your Sex Toy!
What you might be thinking is, “Ok, Angela, but what I really need to know is what to do when my darling daughter finds my favorite vibrator.”
I can only tell you what worked for me, and I am quite certain that if we had another child, it would be totally different.
Here’s how the conversation came up: I had been working on the Vibrant concept for months, and the day finally came that my family was going to come to the office for a work event. At that time we had an open-concept office with the warehouse and communal spaces together. You know – conference table, shelves with dildos, vibrators, and harnesses all within five feet of each other. My daughter is an inquisitive little one who isn’t afraid to ask questions. Not wanting to put my coworkers in an uncomfortable position, I had to think of something that seemed normal to her in her short nine year old life.
I thought about this for what seemed like 100 years and found what I considered to be the perfect explanation. My daughter is an avid swimmer and is hoping to be on a swim team in the future. A few months prior she insisted on getting a new pair of goggles that fit her perfectly. These magic goggles were somehow going to make her swim faster, which I am sure they do (or at least she has convinced her dad and me of this). So I thought, if her goggles make her swim faster and enjoy swimming more, couldn’t a vibrator make me orgasm faster and enjoy sex more. Why, yes it can!
With this analogy ready to go in my bag of tricks, we had the talk. I explained what mom’s new business was, and I could see the wheels turning in her developing brain. Of course, I used age-appropriate language, correct terms, and I kept the conversation casual. The day came, and we all went to the office. She cruised past the harnesses and dildos at least five times and her only question that day was: “Mom, where are the crackers?”
I am not saying that every conversation is going to be this easy, but what I am saying is that we as parents and trusted adults have the power to normalize the conversation regarding sex, sexuality, and pleasure. As humans, we have sex because it feels good – sometimes with a partner and sometimes with ourselves, sometimes to have a child and sometimes not.
Education is the key, and it isn’t just a one and done conversation. The brightest future we can give our young people is through education based on facts. Knowledge builds confidence; confidence builds empowered people. People who are able to say what feels good and what doesn’t, what is a healthy relationship for them and what isn’t, what is a safe behavior for their body and what isn’t – these are the people who will have a more confident future.
If your child finds your sex toy, the key to navigating this awkward situation is communication and education. Talk to them about sex and pleasure, and explain that it’s normal! As with most parenting conversations, the way you set the tone of the conversation can make a big difference in something being normal versus something being taboo. It’s all about the delivery!
Originally published in 2017; updated February 21, 2019.
Now That You Know What to Do When Your Kid Finds Your Sex Toy, Find Your Perfect Sex Toy at Vibrant!
Vibrant has an array of body-safe sex toys for every body. Check out our curated collection of toys and books, too! Or, chat with us, and we can help recommend the product that’s perfect for you. We’re available 9am-9pm EST daily on our website chat (just push the purple button at the bottom right!) or call us at 866-316-VIBE(8423).