Strangers almost always take a second look at the ornament dangling delicately between my boobs. There’s something mildly suspicious about it. Like the undercover Russian spies living next door, you get a hunch this necklace is leading a double life. And you’re right. I’ve been wearing a vibrator around my neck.
When people discover the truth, I still never know how they’re going to react. Reactions range wildly, from disbelief and disgust to delight and admiration. Seeing people’s responses was the entire reason I took on this social experiment.
But now I know there are so many better, braver reasons to put this sex toy on display. I could’ve demonstrated pride in female pleasure. I could’ve brought a stigmatized topic to the forefront of every conversation. I could’ve become a poster child for female masturbation.
That’s what Ti Chang, the designer of my vibrator necklace, is doing. Chang’s creation is called the Vesper, and the first moment I ever saw one, it was adorning her neck. I complimented her pretty pendant, then she pressed a hidden button and put the powerfully vibrating necklace in my palm. I was dumbfounded. I never once suspected her jewelry could be used to fast-track a female orgasm.
“Why??” I instantly asked her. “Why wear a sex toy??”
“For me, it is making a statement of openly embracing female pleasure. Much of what we wear in fashion or the brands we support is very much an expression of our identity and what we believe in,” Chang says.
She’s been wearing her Vesper for four years, using it as a piece of self-expression that’s simultaneously bold and discreet. The aesthetic appeal is an essential element to wearing this thing, after all. Chang’s not suggesting we all wear rainbow rubber dildos around our neck.
“We are tired of the childish and ridiculous novelty items that have long been associated with female pleasure,” she says. “To have a sophisticated product that is also a statement jewelry is refreshing. It taps into our deep cultural desire for better conversations around pleasure.”
Most of the conversations surrounding my sex toy necklace weren’t entirely profound. If someone asked about my Vesper, I would tell them it’s a vibrator. I would ask if they want to feel it vibrate, and they would usually cringe in discomfort, assuming I’d shoved the thing 2 feet up my vagina, failed to clean it off, and then hung it around my neck smelling of ripe pussy. I’d assure them I hadn’t actually used the necklace as anything but a piece of jewelry, although I wished this part of the conversation wasn’t always necessary.
Some women exclusively wear their Vespers as jewelry. Some exclusively use it to orgasm. But we should be able to do both (assuming we’re washing our toys and not transmitting pussy juice to unconsenting parties).
“The best reactions I’ll get are usually a surprise expression, followed by ‘I must have one! Where can I buy this?!,’” Chang says. “The worst … is someone just turning away from me in mid-conversation at a party and didn't want to further engage. Okay. Rude, but okay.”
Chang doesn’t model her vibrator necklace on a daily basis. “I am actually an introvert, so when I don't feel like engaging in conversation I won’t wear the Vesper. It is such a conversation starter that it just hijacks social events and becomes the talk of the event, which is generally good, but when I'm feeling less than talkative, I won’t wear it."
The same reasoning brought an end to my weeks of wearing an adult toy. All that potential to become an activist for closing the orgasm gap — wasted, because I sometimes get tired of talking about my vagina. I leave the torch for other women to pick up (and pleasure themselves with).