The sex toy double standard: why it's okay for women to use sex toys, but not men

The sex toy double standard: why it's okay for women to use sex toys, but not men

SexOctober 29, 2015 By Abby Scott

In the never-ending battle between the genders, men usually come out on top in most regards. They get paid more, have arguably more rights and don’t bleed out of their dicks once a month. However, one area which women absolutely cream men in is in the world of sex toys.

In our culture, a massive double standard about sex toy usage prevails. Whereas it’s culturally acceptable for a woman to own a nine-inch, veiny dildo, it’s somehow disgusting when a guy fucks a silicon mold of Bree Olsen’s ass.

Women can, without any flack, throw “Passion Parties” where they discuss and test vibrators, dildos, feathery clit ticklers and the like. It’s become commonplace for gal pals to go sex toy shopping, talk about masturbation amongst each other, and even keep a secret dildo stash in the not-so-secret nightstand drawer. 

For guys, it’s perfectly normal to know about their girlfriend’s Vibratex Rabbit Habit Vibrator and to even acquiesce when she occasionally asks to bring it into the bedroom. However, the second she finds your pocket pussy, she’s freaking out that you’re some perverted serial killer, silently humping a fake vagina in the corner of your basement while watching furry porn.

What is this shit? Why is women’s need to masturbate with anything other than their own hands encouraged and embraced, while men’s need to do the same is somehow perverted? Well, we did a little investigation to find out, and here’s what we found.

Male sex toys look insane

One reason why the sex toy double standard exists is that male sex toys look fucking crazy. Go ahead and Google Fleshlight, Autoblow 2, Soloflesh, or the discreetly named Fuck Me Silly 2 Mega (pictured) and see what comes up. You’ll find mostly grotesque, fleshy imitations of some orifice or another, advertised with WordArt hot button words like “BEST BJ EVER” or “LAST LONGER IN BED.” If the over-the-top advertisements for male sex toys weren’t outlandish enough, the descriptions that pair with each ‘toy’ are fucking hilarious to read. Collapsible silicone vaginas that fit easily in a carry on!? We’ll take five!

Additionally, male sex toys like the Fleshlight and the Soloflesh urge their users to cum inside the product. This container full of post-orgasm love juice doesn’t exactly scream sexy, and there’s no doubt that’s harder to clean up than simply rising off a vibrator.  Maybe if male sex toys didn’t look SO lifelike, they wouldn’t be as creepy?

Female sex toys, on the other hand, are softer and friendlier looking than their male counterparts. A purple, sparkly five inch rod is way less intimidating than a disembodied pussy and in some cases, is downright cute. As far as female sex toys are concerned, the norm tends to be average length, semi-lifelike, vibrators that have such a culturally ubiquitous image that we’re comfortable gazing upon them with ease. 

Female objectification makes female sexuality and sex toy use "okay"

We’re not going to get all preachy about changing gender roles and female empowerment here, but we can all agree that throughout history, the female form has been considered alluring, sensuous, and mysterious. The male form, however, is usually hairy with some odd lumpy, organ affixed to the front. Primitively speaking, there’s a reason each gender is shaped like this – men spread their seed to whoever will accept it and women attract these men to them. That’s basically what Darwin said right?

This viewer – viewed relationship is perpetuated by all sorts of media,  including but not limited to the porn industry, Hollywood, high fashion, and Victorian literature.

We just like looking at women more than we like looking at men and it’s because we aren’t ‘supposed’ to. Women are a weird secret, held to standards of privacy and sexual secrecy only allowed to giggle with each other behind dirty martinis waiting for the attractive male across the bar to approach. “Ashleyyy, you have to play it cool! Let him come to you! Duh!”

As a result, when women want to express their sexuality, it’s considered beautiful. They’re offering a special little part of themselves up to pleasure. Meanwhile, our aesthetic opinion of men causes us to see their sexuality as brutish and primitive. The concept of a man coming hard into a blow-up doll doesn’t paint as pretty a picture as the concept of a woman vibrating her clit to orgasm with a little pink egg-shaped thing.

Women have been using sex toys since before time

Much like the famed wizard behind the curtain, the female orgasm is shrouded in mystery, but can really be broken down fairly simply now that we’re willing to say the word clitoris out loud. Conversation and research about female pleasure wasn’t encouraged until recently, so historically, women had to DIY more often than not after their husbands/boyfriends/lovers left them blue-balled and sticky.

There was no saying, “Excuse me, it’s my turn.” or “Get down there and give it a good college try.” In 1653, a good ole case of “Hysteria,” which we are inclined to believe translates into “Haven’t gotten any since forever,” was treated by doctors, with pelvic massages. We know where we’d be spending our mid-century afternoons.

This aversion to female pleasure during intercouse has made ladie’s masturbatory tools a necessity. Since Paleolithic times, fake dicks were made from stone, wood and vegetables shaped like penises (who woulda thought), the likes of which were used in religious ceremonies, or with a friend for fun. The Romans and Greeks took it to another level adding leather coverings and giving dildos to soldier’s wives as going-away gifts. So clearly, there’s a strong historical precedent for female sex toy use.

In the past, it’s been up to a lady and her own dick-shaped devices to make herself feel good. Perhaps we’ve just had more time to get used to fake cocks and not enough time to accept the blow job simulator.

We have weird expectations of men

Men are expected to go out, chop wood, grow a beard, and fuck pussy, while women are expected to remain ‘relatively’ chaste, hairless, and take care of their business in the bedroom or with a consistent sexual partner. We tend to view men who have to fuck a fake vagina to get off as pathetic, sad, or perverted. Can’t you just go find a girl at a bar to relieve yourself for the night, you miserable man?

At the same time, women judge men who do this. We consider it slutty, fuckboy behavior when a man sleeps with a ton of people, but we also don’t give guys other options besides their own dry, rough hands or a random woman’s vagina.

We think it’s time to let go of these standards and encourage guys to fuck how they like it.

Male sexuality is "dangerous"

Oftentimes, we label male arousal and masturbation as gross, not only because its aesthetic is 'less appealing' but also because it's no secret that a few perverted, fucked up men have given the male gender a bad name. With rape, sexual assault, incest and pedophilia (and other fetishes that harm the partner without their consent), the culprits are overwhelmingly male. Because of this, we've been conditioned to see male arousal as a thing of fear or intimidation, not a beautiful, soft, sweet thing like female arousal. Therefore, when we think about a dude pounding away at a silicon mold of a butthole, we're taught to see this as reprehensible and "gross" because there's an inherent danger to it. Aversion is survival. This a huge generalization, but it's a prominent societal script that contributes to the way we view men's sex toy usage.

The self-control conundrum

Male sexuality is seen as uncontrollable. Control is one of the sexiest things in the world, and we know this because oftentimes, we are most attracted to people who demonstrate self-control in their own lives (in terms of their physical figure, their jobs, and their relationships).  Control = independence = confidence = hot.

In the media, men are portrayed as sex-hungry animals who will do anything for sex because they're so out of control of their own arousal. Women, on the other hand, are stereotypically less horny and have been imbued with the gift of 'sexual control' over the male gender. Women can choose when and where to get horny, so the concept of them having a wide selection of acceptable tools to do that is more appealing than the idea of a man needing a Fleshlight right this fucking second because he's popped a boner at the bus driver's boobs.

Men don't even need sex toys

Men "don't" need sex toys to come. Women "do" (although that's a huge generalization). This makes women's use of them far more acceptable. Male sex toys are seen as an unnecessary flourish to increase their own sexual deviance. Women's sex toys are almost like a medical necessity, so it's fine to have truckloads of them stocking up every store in sight. It's exactly the same situation as with pharmaceuticals. Society doesn't see people who pop eight Vicodin a day as unusual or bad if they have a prescription. A prescription means there's a medical necessity for abuse. However, someone that eats the same about of drugs every day without a prescription is an addict and is seen as having impulse control issues.

On a more superficial level, there just aren't as many male sex toys in existence because there's not as big a demand for them. We don't see them in porn all that often because you also don't see them in real life all that often. Therefore, their low prevalence makes them seem more deviant than they actually are.


Is that a tiny alien they just removed from that black tube??

We think it’s time for the double standard to change but we also think it’s time for someone to improve the quality, look, and feel of male sex toys. Make them less creepy, less lifelike, and they will become less taboo. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to feel loved/get off, even if it’s with the help of a multi-orifice blow up doll.