The 11 Emotional Stages of Buying a Sex Toy

There's a first time for everything.
by Mark Shrayber
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Here's the truth: Sex toys are fun. No matter how corny the ads for them are or how much you giggled the first time you saw a "personal massager" at The Pleasure Place, you have to admit that a vibrating egg or a Hitachi Magic Wand can make a sexual encounter with yourself (and others) mind-blowing.

Less mind blowing? Actually venturing out to get your own glass dildo or personal set of anal beads. Sure you can buy those online, but what if you have to return them? What if nothing's the right size? What if, like your last date, the item you get is nothing what it looks like in the picture? No, you've got to go to the store, and besides the toll a Lelo vibrator will take on your wallet, shopping at a sex emporium will also take an emotional toll. Here's a timeline of the emotional roller coaster you'll go on when visiting the sex market for a marital aid to call your own.

1. Excitement
Sex toys! F*ck yeah! Let's do this!

2. Planning
Thank God I price-shopped online first! Deals, you are mine. (Pro-tip: If what you're buying plugs in, make sure your bedroom can accommodate it. You don't want to have to plug into the same outlet you use for the blender and run an extension cord.)

3. Concern
Will this be a palace of creepiness such as I have seen in horror movies and pornographic films of the seventies? Perhaps a store that touts a supportive environment, burns candles, and fills the air with Kenny G will be better? This is much worse.

4. Confusion
Nothing makes sense. Why should I really care if the clitoral stimulator is 100% biodegradable and cruelty-free? What exactly does that pinwheel thing with the eyes on it do? Is that a rubber mouth with vampire fangs? It is! It is a rubber mouth with fangs! And there's an alien one next to it. And a dick made to look like a zombie's. Is that also 100% cruelty free?

5. Ambivalence
There's an employee wandering around and he looks like he wants to answer my questions. He's also rocking cat-eye glasses, a leather vest, and a tri-color Mohawk. I think he has a tattoo with the words "I know more about sex and am much cooler about it than you" somewhere on his body in cursive, but there's no telling for sure. I'll just look busy with this water-based lubricant. No eye contact. Nooooo eye contact.

6. Shame
NO I DON'T NEED HELP THANK YOU. Or a lecture on sex-positivity (which sounds awesome in theory but something I'd prefer to be positive about in private, not in front of strangers.) I just wanted to know how much this sparkle whip cost, not its diameter! Why must we do this in the middle of the store, at speaking volume? I just realized I'm speaking all stilted as if I'm in an Elizabethan drama. "Pray tell, where might the wands of magic be? The ones manufactured by the company Hitachi?"

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7. Resolve
F*ck it, I'm here to buy a sex toy, and so is everyone else. No one wandered in here by accident! You know what? I do want to know the diameter and square area of that sparkle whip! And then I want to know exactly how a prostate simulator works! And then, just for kicks, I'm going to try a sample of that vanilla flavored lube everyone on the other side of the room keeps raving about. Lock up your children of legal age, there's a sex monster out loose. And it's hungry! (For sex!) (Just in case that wasn't obvious.)

8. Shame again
OK, I think I've settled on this one. "Is this what you want?" "Yes." "Will there be anything else?" "No." I feel like I'm at a fancy restaurant and have just ordered the wrong wine. Should there be anything else? This vibrator costs P4,000! It's not a toy, it's an accoutrement! What more do you want from me? Is the cashier thinking of me going home and using my new purchase? Wait, are they going to talk about me after I leave?

9. Vindication
I bought the damn thing and now I'm going to take it home and get it on! I have brought The One (pink, neon, vibrating pleasure) Ring to Mordor!

10. Apprehension
Shit! Why do they give you a giant black bag that screams, "There's 10 inches in here"? Why can't the store provide you with a Duane Reade bag, or at least some nondescript plastic sack that says, "Thank you" in 10 languages? What if you run into someone as you're leaving? What if they want to see what you bought? How long will you stand here by the door finding the perfect moment to blend into the crowd?

11. Exultation/disappointment
Whew. No one accosted me on the street to ask what I bought. And now, to engage in some me/us time. What, this doesn't come with batteries?!

Well, at least they do sell those at Mercury.

This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.comMinor changes have been implemented by Cosmo.ph editors.

Jico Joson
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