Become a FLURT Patron

8 Questions About Masturbation Answered by a Sex Store Owner

by June 5, 2014
filed under Sex & Dating

Come_As_You_Are_(sex_shop)May has come to a close, but Masturbation Month is all year long. The increasing normalization of porn and sex toys through the advent of the internet has made for a culture which is slowly more accepting of self-pleasure…as long as you wash your hands after. To continue the celebration, I encourage you to support local businesses like Come As You Are, a wonderful sex shop and co-op in Toronto and online. I spoke to Annanda to ask a few questions about how to overcome the stigma of masturbation and treat your body right.

1. Sophie: What are some of the typical questions/concerns that people come to you regarding masturbation?
Annanda: We love our customers’ questions, and there are a lot about masturbation! Lots of folks want to know exactly how to locate pleasure zones in their bodies – for example, their g-spots, prostates and perineums. Other questions come next, like: Ok, now that I’ve found it, what do I do with it? How can I make this part of me do this? How can I keep this sensation lasting longer? How can I reduce the irritation that sometimes comes from doing action A to body part B? (Sometimes the answer to that last one is ‘lube!’)

2. Sophie: What are some of your most popular types of toys?

Annanda: This is also one of the most common questions we get every day. It’s hard to give a specific answer to this one because our bodies and preferences are all so different! Honestly, we sell so many different vibrating toys, butt plugs, lubricants, restraints, harnesses and erotica every single day – it’s pretty much as varied as the wonderful folks who shop here.

3. Sophie: Have you seen any trends in the way toys are/aren’t marketed for solo vs. partnered play?

Annanda: I think now there are so many toys coming out that are designed specifically for partnered play (like many of the We-Vibe products) because of an underlying assumption that most vibrating toys are for “solo” play. It’s interesting because our way of looking at toys is that any of them could be used for solo or partnered play, it just takes some communication and a little creativity.

4. Sophie: What’s some of your most popular of porn?

Annanda: One thing that’s great about porn is that the kinds of porn people are watching doesn’t really hinge that much on the kinds of sex they’re actually having. It’s all about the fantasy – one person might come in and rent a couple things from the Queer and Trans section, an educational title about dirty talk or a copy of a classic like Debbie Does Dallas. It’s really a mixed bag.

5. Sophie: Do you feel like there’s still stigma about masturbation?

Annanda: Unfortunately, yes. Along with a lot of other shame-based assumptions about sex in general, something that often crops up is the assumption that masturbation is something people do when they don’t have access to ‘real’ sex for whatever reason. To us, solo sex is one of the many kinds of real sex people have every day, and we know that pleasuring your own body can be really liberating, a great way to learn about what makes you hot, and honestly a totally productive way to spend an afternoon!

6. Sophie: Do you feel like the stigma varies depending on gender/sexuality/race/age/ability?

Annanda: Absolutely. Access to information about sexuality definitely varies hugely depending on our identities; a lot of racialized stereotypes, ableist assumptions and gendered norms come up in many conversations about sex, which can make it hard not to feel exoticized or completely invisible when who you are isn’t reflected in any of pop culture’s images of sexuality.

7. Sophie: What are some ways to reduce this stigma? Do you think that Masturbation Month plays a role in empowering masturbators?
Annanda: One of the things we do to change some of this messaging is removing images of models’ bodies from the packaging of toys we sell. So many packages feature a specific kind of body type (most frequently cisgendered, white, thin, able-bodied, airbrushed females) – which of course speaks to some of us but doesn’t represent a whole lot of us! Using language that acknowledges solo sex as a valid and sexy form of play is integral to reducing stigma, and even though we talk about masturbation every month, we think that having a month named Masturbation Month can serve to get folks talking about it, which is a huge part of dispelling myths and assumptions!

8. Sophie: What are some of your tips for people who want to get more out of their masturbatory experience?

Annanda: Changing up your masturbatory routine every now and again can be exciting. Changing the pace, angle or even temperature or texture can be little ways to make the sensations you know and love feel new. Check out erotica or porn that piques your interest to get some new fodder for your fantasies. Even your favourite TV shows and classic novels can be perfectly pervertable! And of course, lubricant – it makes everything slipperier and can make bouts of play last longer because it reduces irritation that can come from friction.

If there’s one thing I always say: Don’t forget the lube! Thanks so much to Annanda for answering my questions about masturbation. If you want to find out more about Come As You Are, visit them in person at 493 Queen St. West in Toronto or online at ComeAsYouAre.com. If you live in Canada you can even meet them when they come to your town in their 89’ Volkswagen Vanagon, Bessie, as part of their summer sex toy tour.

And don’t forget that you can masturbate all year round!


Support FLURT with Spreadshirt