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Doctor: Buy Your Daughter a Toy!

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Sure, we tell our daughters about the birds and the bees ... but teaching them about VIBRATORS is another thing altogether!

Recently on "Oprah," Dr. Laura Berman suggested that introducing the concept of vibrators to our teen daughters might be a good idea. After all, many if not most teens are seeking sexual satisfaction from their classmates and other inexperienced jerks who often love 'em and leave 'em. Why not a vibrator? They can't get pregnant from a vibe. And they can't get an STD from one either!


The moms in our momlogic community are "buzzing" about this topic.

RP Mom says:

Um, no. While I will teach my daughter about SAFE sex, I can't even begin to think about giving her a vibrator. That is her for to explore if she wishes. I won't be crossing that line!

Julie says:

I really don't know if I would BUY it for her, but I would certainly bring up the topic of vibrators and self-pleasure.

Jill says:

I'm a big subscriber to the "if she asks, then I will tell" philosophy. She would absolutely cringe if I went anywhere NEAR this subject with her. But not that there's anything wrong with that.

Jackie says:

Yeah... no. I'm all for being open to the idea that they explore but it's not my job to help her out there, in my opinion. She has plenty of time for that and I'm sure there will be someone to come along and introduce the idea. Talk about getting involved in all areas!

We're not sure if we'd actually BUY one for our daughters (can you say AWKWARD?), but we are intrigued by the idea of at least discussing the topic with our teens.

Pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson tells momlogic: "So much of early sexual behavior in teens has little to do with achieving sexual satisfaction and much more to do with lack of self esteem. So often when teenage girls are having sex, they are doing it to fit in or to win
affection or social acceptance. We shouldn't kid ourselves that by giving our daughters vibrators we are solving the problem of teenage insecurity and immature decision-making."

Do you agree with Gayle that this is "too much information"? Or is it a step in the right direction? Comment in our momlogic community.

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43 comments so far | Post a comment now
mama23 April 15, 2009, 6:18 AM

OMG!!! While in THEORY, she might have a point… but you won’t ever catch me encouraging my teenage daughter to masterbate!! I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was a teen, I figured that stuff out and did have one…and it did not stop me from having sex with my boyfriend(s) (eeek!). I just hope when the time comes (and its coming too fast!)I can talk to my daughter about saving herself and the importance of it.. More than my mother did. I am a very happily married woman, now, but I could have been a bit more “reserved” in that department.

Catherine April 15, 2009, 8:51 AM

Um, why don’t we try teaching our kids SELF-CONTROL instead…

cyndi April 15, 2009, 8:57 AM

And you wonder why the world is like it is today? Articles like this—what are you thinking? Instead of teaching your daughters to masturbate, teach them that they are valuable, beautiful women, and that they are worth waiting for the right man who will love them more than anything else in the world. Teach them that sleeping with the first guy and/or every guy that comes along will leave them scarred, possibly pregnant, possibly diseased, possibly infertile. Waiting is a beautiful, healthy thing. Getting your daughter a vibrator is just gross. Be a real mom!

Absolute April 15, 2009, 9:48 AM

Amazing how worked up some people get about their children touching their own bodies!!

Anonymous April 15, 2009, 11:00 AM

Self control is great, as is waiting for sex, but do you have complete control over your physical and emotional desires? You’ve never eaten a brownie when you were on a diet, or stayed up a bit too late watching TV when you had to go to work the next day?

This isn’t a new idea. I read a book when I was a teen called, “Hot, Sexy, and Safer” which advocates safe expression of needs in the same way. I liked it and agreed with a lot of the author’s thoughts. My friends lost their virginity in high school, and I waited until I was engaged to the man to whom I am now married for the last 8 years. And I don’t feel like I missed a thing by not shopping around for partners. That is the message that popular media sends, that you are missing out by not exploring to find a partner you are physically compatible with, and I feel it’s my job to mitigate that damage.

When my daughter reaches her teens, it’ll be awkward, but I’ll encourage her to explore herself independently, not let someone else lead her somewhere she’s not ready to go.

molly and john April 15, 2009, 12:01 PM

well, i dont think it’s a bad idea - In Theory- like you said. It’s probably just unpleasant to actually hear some of this stuff out loud for many people. We have a 14 year old daughter and I dont want her to think the only way she can deal withher hormones now is to go out and have sex with a lot of boys.

amy April 15, 2009, 12:23 PM

If you saw this episode it was hard to hear but interesting! The idea that these girls know that it’s ok to know their bodies and that it’s not just the boy who gets to enjoy sex. IF you ever had sex as a teenage girl, you probably know the most satisfied partner 9.5 times out of 10 was the man/teenage boy. These girls are so concerned about making these boys want them and like them that they are sending naked pics of themselves, giving blow jobs and even having sex and how many of them do you think are asserting themselves? If they are going to do it you won’t stop them by telling them to masturbate instead, however if these girls get the idea it’s ok to be pleasured and to know your body and be sexually empowered, maybe they will settle less for jerks who love them leave them. Maybe they will realize their happiness in the bedroom when they become adults is important too. That they deserve to have fun with sex as well. (I don’t mean as a teen, I mean as an adult). I just think if girls knew more about their own body and become more sexually empowered, there would be less teenage girls being taken advantage of and have happier sex lives as adults. I can’t say I could say out loud the word dildo or vibrator to my teenage girl, but I can say I would answer any questions she has if she asked and would hope that she had resources for her to find this information out. I suppose if it came down to it, I would maybe suggest not so directly that she should get to know her own body before letting boys dictate in the bedroom. It’s not about self restraint it’s about educating our girls to be empowered woman and that they don’t need a man to make them feel good that they know how to make themselves feel good and when the time comes for them to have sex they are not only knowledgeable about safety, but how their bodies work and what they like. Nothing wrong with that!

Gail Cooke April 15, 2009, 1:52 PM

Not in this lifetime!

molly and john April 15, 2009, 2:03 PM

the only issue I have is that it’s not only about the sexual part, our kids are teenagers and they have hormones and tempers and mood swings and that causes their peers to try to encourage them to get in fights, do drugs, drink alcohol, skip class, lie to their parents about where they go…so the “urges” are not limited to sexual desires. We try and encourage them to discuss things with us and they are involved with sports and leisure exercise to release some energy.

Anonymous April 15, 2009, 2:16 PM

I am the mother of boys (and very glad I only have to keep track of 2 you know whats, not the rest of the worlds!) but I have younger sisters and agree to an extent with this. I think that you should let girls explore their bodies and give them options besides boys. I wouldn’t give them an elaborate one, nor give them directions so to speak, but a little finger vibe wouldn’t do any harm. What about dads that buy their sons porn mags (mine aren’t old enough and don’t have any, but know of this happening) and how come there isn’t any talk of boys masturbating? My boys have never been discouraged to touch themselves, but we explain that it is for when they are in private.

molly and john April 15, 2009, 2:40 PM

Yeah I agree with that. There are objects (ie: vibrators, whatever), that people (adults and kids) use all the time in private and just dont discuss it openly which is fine. With our kids, we want them to feel free to talk to us about whatever they want and not be embarrassed, as they get older, they’ll appreciate it more and respect what is private and know what not to talk about in public. I would definitely pick giving my daughters vibrators over having them be promiscuous at this age.

MondernMom April 15, 2009, 3:20 PM

I can’t help but wonder how many of the individuals who rejected the idea own or have used sex toys themselves? As parents, it is in ones nature to be hypocritical. The good ol’ “do as I say, not as I do” theory. As time goes on society evolves, the knowledge we pass on to our children changes and sometimes it is for good reason. (see to read a magazine article from ‘Housekeeping Monthly’ called “The Good Wife’s Guide” circa May 1955)
Having a daughter (and son) myself, I have become rather fearful of the possibility my children will one day become sexually active. Kissing and contraceptives, sexual assault, rape, sexually transmitted diseases, homosexuality; it’s all too much! As a mom, my instinct is be protective. I feel the best way to do that is to cram their minds with as much knowledge I possible can before its too late. I commend parents who also discuss masturbation and sexual desires with as much diplomacy and tact as they do birth control and abstinence. The reality is their bodies are changing and over run with hormones and teaching an alternative is perfectly healthy, I know I would prefer my daughter learns to love and respect herself and her body and know she does not need to have intercourse to feel satisfied. As much as we would all like to encourage abstinence, we have to be prepared for the chance our children will have other plans.
That said, I would be a bit uncomfortable strolling around a store dildo shopping. So if my daughter asked, I would not disappoint her.

I would simply tell her to go and get a Rabbit and a box of batteries!

Beth in SF April 15, 2009, 3:28 PM

While it’s important to teach kids that masturbation is perfectly normal and ok while in private, I’m not sure I’d be able to buy my daughter a vibrator. It’s nice to think you could have that kind of relationship with your daughter, but c’mon, let’s get real.

SFT April 15, 2009, 3:31 PM

Yeah, great. Let’s get teenage girls used to the buzzing of the vibe so that when they finally do have actual sex with a man, it can’t help but be a letdown. There’s a big difference between the relentless motorized dependability of a vibrator and sex between human beings. I’m all for being comfortable with sex, masturbation and toys, but I think maybe regular sex would be a good place to start. But I’m not going to tell anybody how to live, as long as you have a big post-orgasmic smile, it’s good.

@ Mondern Mom: Possibility your children will become sexually active? For the sake of their hapiness, future and just normal development, you really need to readjust your attitude from “possibilty” to “pretty much a certainty”, lady.

molly and john  April 15, 2009, 3:39 PM

I’d like to think I handle these things better then my mom did with me! She told me that sex was something people did in europe!

Rachel April 15, 2009, 4:10 PM

I’m glad I didn’t find vibrators before having sex…like someone else said, it would’ve been a complete let down! I’ll definitely tell me daughter about those things, but I’m certainly not going to buy her one!

Anonymous April 15, 2009, 4:42 PM

a vibrator and some lube

Jeanne Firestone April 15, 2009, 7:21 PM

Is this is something a mother and daughter could do together?

Anonymous April 15, 2009, 7:33 PM

The last thing our kids need by us is to teach them how to masturbate. Are you kidding me?! this is borderline child abuse. None of us were thought how to pleasure ourselves yet the majority of people do if not all at one point in their lives. This woman makes me sick.

aerialla April 15, 2009, 7:48 PM

I for one will be doing this. My older mom of five told me that self pleasure was all right and natural when I was a teen. Why is it okay for a teenage boy to go through long locked periods in the bathroom yet not for a teenage girl. Talk about double standards. …STF you mentioned that sex is a better place to start than masturbation and toys, that it could be a huge letdown when a young woman finally has sex. I’m sorry but I think that you are terribly wrong. I would rather have my daughter locking herself in her room for hours on end pleasuring herself than risking a teenage pregnancy or STD. Letting a girl know what pleases their bodies can lead them to finding a man who knows what they are doing in the bedroom or can show them how. Personally I’m glad that this subject is becoming less Taboo. It used to be that women had to go into adult video stores to purchase toys now we can have home girly parties. I do believe sexual liberation is finally hitting its peak.

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