Hello Dolly

Monday, June 20, 2011


I’m a 27-year-old single young man who is in the early stages of his career as an engineer. As a recent engineering grad, I currently work full-time for a telecom company while living at home, saving to buy a place of my own. 

After taking some time off from the dating scene, I’ve decided to get back out there to try to find love again. However, for most of my young adult life I’ve had relatively sour experiences with women when it comes to love. I dated quite a bit in the past, but the relationships I’ve been in haven’t lasted long enough to mean anything.

Over the past few years, I’ve been struggling with this, but I remain a virgin. I find myself acting out quite a bit and, due to my high sex drive (and built up unreleased sexual energy from all these years), I’m looking into ways to help calm myself down sexually.  

As a guy, I don’t feel its right to go out there and sleep around with a bunch of women to satisfy my sexual needs (especially since I’m still a virgin), and refuse to do it.  

Before I started dating again recently, I looked into adult toys and invested in one of those high-end adult mannequins/dolls to help sat-isfy my sexual urges. I guess it’s also for practice as well. At times I find myself second-guessing my decision to purchase one of these toys because of how weird it may seem to some. In my mind, I see them as just another adult toy, like a vibrator. I plan on sell-ing it off once things get more serious with whomever I eventually meet, but as an expert, do you see anything wrong with this? Is it normal for men and women out there to use toys for personal relief?

As mentioned before, I started dating again, going to singles speed dating events, etc. However, I would also like to know when is a good time to reveal to a potential partner that I play with adult toys. Is there ever a good time, and have you encountered cases where people play with toys to relieve sexual tension?


I wouldn’t call them “cases I’ve encountered,” Devon, as that implies there is something intrinsically sinister about people who use sex toys. The truth is I couldn’t even begin to list the purchased and jerry-rigged “delightems” people have shared with me, anecdotally, personally and by diagram or photo.

Under the category of personally purchased, there are about 20 in a box under my bed. I also recently had to have the video chip in my laptop replaced.

“How does this happen?” I wailed, pressed by a deadline and having lost an interview I’d transcribed.

“It’s a very common problem” is all the IT guy would say. Anxious that he’d discover ass porn for days as soon as he opened it up, and, feeling that his arch discretion was suggest-ing this was the cause, I blurted out, “I guess it’s all the porn I watch.” 

That’s right, Mr. IT guy. I’m a lady who watches porn, and I’m going to tell you about it so you don’t think I’m ashamed when you find it on my laptop. 

As you see, we all have our own ways of addressing our discomfort about revealing our self-pleasuring tools, techniques and habits. In the case of potential lovers, you will undoubtedly encounter people who find it threatening that you use sex toys, and for a lot of people, sex dolls fall into a uniquely intimidating category. 

If a partner using toys (I’ll include pornography in that) causes a fear of being “replaced,” imagine how this sensitivity is magnified by an actual facsimile of a human being. 

(And on that note, if you’re using a sex doll for practice, may I just say that you may find the real thing, well, a little different. I exclude from this statement myself between the ages of 16 and 18, when my goal was to lie as rigid as possible for fear of revealing the fact that I was incredibly turned on.) 

Standing up in support of one’s self-pleasure requires courage. Still, you should not have to feel like this is some sort of wretched confession. You are a person who has chosen to embrace and explore your sexuality in a way that has worked with your needs and concept of self-worth.

I assume that just about everyone masturbates and because of the stigma that lingers around it, a person may have cobbled together a proce-dure that seems a little peculiar. But this is something to be commended, not sneered at. Think about it: despite the crushing odds against so many of us (mom sleeping 3 inches away with hacksaw, alarm bells attached to hands at night, tales of hellfire thrust in face weekly), we still want to comfort ourselves with sexual pleasure. 

As you go out into the world looking for a partner, please try to be proud that you had the guts to do something nice for yourself. I am sorry that you will meet people who will find your choice distasteful and that you may not always have the where-withal to defend yourself against groundless, exhausting sex-negative attitudes. 

Remember that many people have been raised in the same climate of shame and suspicion as you, and be generous about their own fears. 

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