Many, many people’s lives are enriched every day by sex toys. But at the same time, many people have complicated feelings about sex toys – and, in particular, about their partner using sex toys – ranging from resentment to fear to jealousy.
While of course it isn’t rational to be jealous of an inanimate object, emotions aren’t always rational. However, you can do some self-interrogation to figure out what exactly is triggering your jealousy and how to manage it. Here are some common concerns from those who resent their partner’s toy collection, and how to address them…
“What if they like their sex toy better than they like me?”
Think hard about your relationship and what you bring to the table within it. I am almost certain that your genitals are not the only asset for which your partner loves you. They also love your personality, your sense of humor, your kisses, your cuddles, your warm words of reassurance. They love your smell, your taste, your heat, your closeness. They love your adventurousness or intelligence or integrity. They do not – and cannot – love a sex toy in the same way, on all those different dimensions, because sex toys are not people. As one commenter in a Reddit thread on sex toy jealousy put it, “Here’s a secret the vibrator told me: it’s jealous of your love and romance.”
If you really feel that your sexual prowess is the main (or only) factor in your partner being with you, and that they will leave you or like you less if they find a mechanical object that can satisfy them better, then it sounds like you are suffering from low self-worth. It’s understandable that you would have absorbed harmful cultural messages about your value as a person being predicated on your sexual abilities – but those messages just aren’t true. Consider seeking help for your self-esteem concerns, whether that be through therapy, cognitive-behavioral techniques, affirmations, or any other therapeutic strategy that works for you.
“What if their sex toy gives them orgasms more consistently than I can?”
That’s great news! Your partner has a way they can regularly feel the pleasure of orgasm. That’s awesome!
The thing to remember here is that a sex toy is not your sexual competitor; it’s a tool you can use to make your partner feel good. If you painted your entire house, that would be impressive – not because of what the paintbrush did, but because of what YOU did. Sex toys are, likewise, just objects you and your partner can use to achieve certain goals – and it’s still you who’s achieving them.
Try asking your partner to use their toy while you’re kissing them, massaging them, or penetrating them. Or have them use it as foreplay while you watch. If you’re interested in trying a sex toy of your own, the two of you could even use them side-by-side!
“What if their sex toy is bigger than my dick/tighter than my vagina/etc.?”
Sex toys are intentionally designed to be highly stimulating, because – unlike a human being – providing stimulation is their entire function. It makes perfect sense that no flesh-and-blood penis is as hard as a stainless steel dildo and no human vagina is as tight as a suction-based stroker, just as it makes sense that pretty much no one can run as fast as a car or do math as quickly as a calculator. Humans aren’t machines designed to fulfill specific purposes, and that’s actually a good thing – it makes us more versatile and adaptable in various different situations, including sex.
Think of sex toys as another shade of paint on your palette. You can use them when that intensity of sensation is what you’re going for, but it’s not always what you’re going for.
Have you ever experienced sex toy jealousy? What helped alleviate it?