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Q. My boyfriend and I have been dating for four months, and we're crazy about each other. He's been slowly introducing me to butt play. Last night, we were verbally playing out an anal scenario. He asked if I'd be OK using a strap-on with him, to which I replied, "Of course!" Then he said that he had a harness and dildo in the closet. I balked. This brought up two specific issues for me.
(1) What is good sex-toy etiquette? Can you use sex toys in one relationship and then in the next one? Also, when I've been with women, it was NOT OK to reuse sex toys. They died with the relationship. Is it different with heteros?
(2) Can you recycle sex toys with your recycling like you would other plastic products?
He said he'd be happy to buy new sex toys if it bothers me so much. But we're both eco-friendly and don't want to cause a lot of waste. Willing To Bend Over Boyfriend
A. "Lesbian sex-toy etiquette is pretty clear," says Claire Cavanah. "Dildos and harnesses don't survive the breakup."
Cavanah is the co-founder of Babeland (babeland.com), a woman-owned, totally righteous, continent-spanning sex-toy colossus, and a lesbian herself, and I typically defer to her on matters of lesbian sex-toy etiquette. But when asked why sex toys have to be discarded after a lesbian breakup, Claire could only offer this dyke-ass mumbo-jumbo: "A lesbian couple's dildos become suffused with the energy of the sex in the relationship and end up symbolizing the sexual connection the poor doomed couple had. They belong to the relationship."
Like I said, I'm going to defer to Claire. But it's interesting that lesbian dildos become fatally suffused with the energy of failed lesbian relationships and therefore must be discarded, but lesbian hairstyles do not. Moving on . . .
"In the straight world," Claire continues, "there's a whole lot less attachment to specific toys, so reusing a dildo and harness is probably more common and acceptable."
So, should you suck it up and use your boyfriend's dirty ol' sex toys? Of course not, says the owner of a sex-toy shop.
"WTBOB, trained in the lesbian tradition, needs to speak up and get new toys," says Claire. "You love this guy, and you want to give him every inch of YOUR love," not the love someone else banged his ass with, "so go get a new rig."
How best to dispose of the old rig?
"Treehugger.com says that silicone and latex are recyclable," says Claire, "but that doesn't mean you can toss your old dildos into your plastics bin and expect them to live again in the form of a park bench. You'd have to summon all your courage and take them to a special facility." Most people won't do that, says Claire, "so most toys end up as landfill."
If you can't bring yourself to hand over those old dildos at a special silicone- and-latex recycling facility, WTBOB, and the thought of your boyfriend's used sex toys clogging your local landfill upsets you, perhaps you should mail them to Kandiss Crone at WLBT 3 News in Jackson, Mississippi.
Crone is a teeveenewz reporter in a state where it's against the law to sell sex toys. Twice last year, the Jackson Police Department busted a local sex shop, Adult Video and Books, for the crime of selling "three-dimensional devices." But those busts didn't put a stop to Jackson's three-dimensional-device crime wave, it seems, because recently Ms. Crone got a hot tip: Adult Video and Books was back in the three-dimensional-device business!
To protect the citizens of Jackson from the imminent threat of three-dimensional devices (we wouldn't want the smoking gun to take the form of a mushroom-headed dildo), Crone went undercover for a very special "3 on Your Side" investigative report. Crone slipped into Adult Video and Booksin disguise, lest she be recognizedand purchased a purple vibrator. Then Crone went back in with a camera crew and confronted the store's owner. And since no teeveenewz report about crime is complete without a statement from the authorities, Crone asked the Jackson Police Department for a comment. "The adult store is not a priority for our vice and narcotics officers," the Jackson Police Department said in a statement. "Citizens would rather see us using our resources to get drugs and prostitutes off our streets and work to decrease violent crime." (No word from the JPD on why it used to be a priority.)
Police negligence! The books are full of deeply silly, sex-phobic laws that are rarely enforced, of course, because cops have better things to do than bust people for the "crime" of selling vibrators to teeveenewz reporters. But when an enterprising teeveenewz reporter goes to all the trouble of conducting an undercover operation to get a dangerous purple vibrator off the streets, why, the least the police can do is arrest the culprits! And provide that enterprising teeveenewz reporter with some B-roll footage of the cops hauling the store's owner away in handcuffs!
Now, cynical readers might assume that Ms. Crone, like so many other teeveenewz reporters, was using sex to attract viewers and then exonerating herself and her viewers for their salaciousness by persecuting the owner of the sex-toy shop. And some cynical readers might argue that Ms. Crone is only pretending to be scandalized because she's a sophisticated, professional, modern woman, and like many sophisticated, professional, modern women, Ms. Crone is likely to have owned and operated a sex toy or two. And if Ms. Crone hasn't, then certainly other folks at WLBTmanagement, anchors, other reporters, editors, cameramen, sound techshave used three-dimensional devices. They're all grownups, right?
Some will want to believe all that about Ms. Crone and WLBT because that would prove that Ms. Crone and everyone else at WLBT are hypocrites for going on the teevee and playing to the prejudices of small-minded, sex-negative assholes while at the same time making folks who do use sex toysor sell them, or work in places that dofeel ashamed of themselves.
But I don't like to think ill of people. I'm certain that Ms. Crone and the whole gang at WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi, sincerely believe that sex toys are a threat to the health, safety, and morals of the general public. As that's the case, I'm certain Ms. Crone would be only too delighted to receive your boyfriend's old sex toys in the mail, WTBOB, and used sex toys belonging to other Savage Love readers. Ms. Crone would, no doubt, take great satisfaction in personally disposing of all the dangerous three-dimensional devices she could get her hands on. So, ship those old sex toys to: Kandiss Crone, c/o WLBT 3 News, 715 South Jefferson Street, Jackson, Mississippi, 39201. Don't have a sex toy to dispose of? E-mail Kandiss at email@example.com and let her know what a great job she's doing for the community.