Sex Toys for Tweens

Is is appropriate for tweens to receive sexually related toys?
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Sex Toys for Tweens

Would you (or should you?) buy your daughter a vibrator?

-Romi Lassally


Recent studies have revealed that women who use vibrators are healthier – and sexually happier – than women who don’t. Finally, the stigma of the sinful sex toy is fading, and women can hold their Rabbits and Pocket Rockets proud. So if good vibrations are good and good for us sexually evolved women, are they good for our daughters too?

This question came up recently on my Web site, truuconfessions – when a mom shared the following:

My tween daughter and I got into one of our sex/sexuality discussions today and she brought up that a friend’s mother had gotten the friend her first vibrator. DD (dear daughter) says “isn’t masturbating safer then having sex?”

Don’t know how to handle this one ladies!!!! While I have no problems with masturbation ( go for it!) I think 12 is a little young to buy them vibrators. Input please!!!

Like this mom, I’ve had a pretty open and ongoing dialogue with my two girls about sex. We’ve covered the nuts-and-bolts basics, and just last week I blushed my way through masturbation (clean hands, privacy is good), oral sex (this is not casual!) and the mechanics of bi-sexuality and two men “hooking up.” (Thankfully my daughter got it before I had to explain).

But sex toys? This was a new one for me so, I asked our online community to chime in along with sexperts, experts and friends.

Needless to say, the topic struck a nerve and provoked a lively and at a times contentious debate. Many moms were as stumped as the confessor, fessing up to having NO idea what to do in this situation. But the majority of moms came out swinging on both sides. Some were encouraging but cautious:

“It’s great she’s exploring her sexuality, but maybe she should start with her hands first”

Some believed this was clearly a sign of an over-involved, indulgent parenting style:

“Do we have to do everything for our kids? Get out of the helicopter and let your daughter explore her sexuality on her own!”

And some were clearly in the abstinence-only camp:

“That’s sick to me. I think it’ (buying a vibrator) s more encouraging her daughter to have sex than anything else. I mean, how many people who experiment with sex toys are virgins? It won’t be long now for that 12 year old…”

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17 thoughts on “Sex Toys for Tweens

  1. OMG, I have been “exploring my own” sexuality since I was probably 10 (pool jets, stuffed animals, shower heads). And I remember STEALING my mother’s vibrator and using it. OMG! So initially I was thinking NO WAY do you buy your daughter one. But I used to STEAL my mother’s so maybe it would have been nice to have one for myself! My boyfriend back then, now husband, bought me my first vibrator for my 22nd birthday. This is a really great topic. I think open dialogue will lead to the answers with your children. And like someone in the article said, just use your hands.

    Great article Romi! I love the Truconfessions site!

  2. As a teen parent who is now the parent of an almost 13 year old girl, i can’t see myself buying my daughter a vibrator, however i certainly think masturbation should be encouraged. Lets face it, all kids start masturbating around 13 is not sooner, and it’s better to be open about ALL aspects of sexuality then limiting certain things taboo and certain things as being appropriate. I do feel for the parents in the situation, and i can see how a vibrator might be a good idea, as was stated, for an older girl. No one wants to think about their child having sex with themselves or anyone else, but it’s better to know your daughter is safe and happy and not needing “assistance” then it to be thinking about her sneaking out to have sex with some boy.

  3. Hehe I don’t know about buying a vibrator with my mom hehe, but I was no more than 8, maybe even younger, when I discovered masturbation (rope-climbing in gym hehe) although I was at least 10 when I discovered what I was actually doing…and 13 when I found out that this was normal… I knew other people did it, but I figured they were weirdos like me…
    The closest thing my mom ever got to a sex talk when I was little, was buying a book about the female body (which had a small section about sex which showed sex positions and explained masturbation a bit) but she never encouraged me to read it (although that was indeed the point) so it might as well have been a nudy magazine, I was so embarrassed to read it (my mom has since apologized, she told me later she was way too mortified to even try).
    Like someone else above me, my boyfriend bought me my first vibrator when I was 19 or 20 and my second one too hahaha…

    Its easy enough to say this now since my daughter is only 2.5.. but I will NOT make the same “mistake” my mom did, I dont even intend to bring the topic up because children always start asking questions at a very young age and it’s my belief that if we just tell the truth right from the start, we open a gateway to later, more meaningful questions.

  4. HA! I don’t know about little boys, but little girls like to flick the bean as early as TWO. Both mine did! I would redirect them to something else, and let them know that it’s OK to touch yourself and make it feel good like that, but you need to do that when you’re alone in your bedroom. As they get older, I added that yes it DOES feel good, and no other person is supposed to do that to you and try to make you feel good. My seven year old knows that there are grown ups out there who like to touch kids that way, and that they are not supposed to do that because they can hurt children very badly if they do, and she should come tell me if anyone ever tries. I don’t know about a vibrator, though. I can intellectually see the point of one, but the Old Skool mom in me thinks she needs to start out humping pillows like the rest of us. As a teen, if she came to me and gave me the ultimatum of “Vibrator or I’m gonna experiment with people” I would be down at the adult bookstore faster than anything!

  5. Hmmm…I don’t know. My mom never had the masturbation talk with me and I managed just fine! i can’t imagine talking with her about it NOW let alone then and if she ever gave me a vibrator? i think i’d still be blushing around her.

  6. I’m with yogapantz on this one. Be open about masturbation. Let them own their own sexuality so they don’t feel pressured to let a boy own it for them. Use the vibrator as a last resort if you sense them going in a direction that’s not suitable.

  7. I am all for encouraging young people, particularly girls, to explore their sexuality – from personal experience and discussions with friends, it was the girls who knew more about their bodies and had been touching themselves for a long time that were comfortable communicating with their boyfriends about sex and what made them feel good.
    As for sex toys, however, I’ve also read (on this site and from other sources) that women can become too dependent on their sex toys, to the point where sex is no longer satisfying – do we really want to start girls out on them before they’re even teenagers?

  8. As a mom of 2 girls and one boy this topic cought my eye. I have a 16 year old girl and a 2 year old girl.
    I for one have no issues with some one 16 using a vibrator. How ever in some areas the law disagrees! I know a woman who got her teen a sex toy when her teen asked for one. they were very open about talking about sex. Then the teen made a mistake of talking about it with a family member on her dad’s side. Child protective services was called and the Mom had to lie and say she did no such thing. So Ladies….How I do think its ok to get your teen one You need to be careful and know the laws. In this world where the “religious right” try to control every thing and the Fear of Pedophiles! We need to be careful! My friend would have been convicted as a Pedophile if she had told the truth!!! People Jump at the chance to label someone as a sexual deviant and pedophile these days! Its the New Witch trials! So be careful ladys!

  9. One of my facebook friends linked to this expecting shock and disgust. I think it’s great. I started masturbating that I remember at age 11, and I know I’d at least tried things well before that. If I’d had a vibrator things would have been much more simple – my mum told me that masturbation was wrong and it was the same thing as having sex out of marriage (which at that age I believed was wrong, because of my upbringing). Unhealthy, sexually restricted upbringings are much more harmful and ‘sick’ than a sex toy could ever be. I am childfree, but if I had a daughter you bet I’d be bringing her up in an open minded way, and getting her anything she wanted to explore her sexuality.

  10. As a young sexually experimental woman, I can honestly say I would be so incredibly embarrassed if my mother had bought be a vibrator at 16. I wouldn’t even buy one for myself at that age, even though I knew I could at certain stores. Then again, maybe that’s just because my mother was never very open about sex or masturbation. I found out everything pretty much on my own and in health class. I guess if you have that type of relationship with your daughters, go for it. Address it the same way you address the other aspects of her sexuality.

  11. I agree with encouraging masturbation but buying a vibrator is too much. There’s something to be said about waiting to actually be penetrated, even if it’s by a toy. I like to keep things natural so I would def be an advocate for using fingers and explaining that there’s toys out there but I wouldn’t actually buy one for my kids.

  12. I am a 42 year old mother of four children and have been married for 22 years. My oldest child is a 19 year old daughter. I had always had open discussions with her about sex at a young age and why it is important to wait, luckily she didnt have her first experience with sex until almost 18. I was raised in a conservative family where puberty or sex were never talked about, as a matter of fact my own mother was not a sexual being and always proclaimed to hate it. I to be honest never found any reason to like it myself and was very unfamiliar with my own body and how things worked and why. I did not discover until this year how sex could be pleasurable and had my first O. I do not like to discuss this but however I would hate for anyone to be denied this very important thing in life. I had a conversation with my daughter after she had gotten into my dresser and found my stash by accident. I discussed with our OBGYN this very important topic and she said it is a healthy thing for a girl to do and encouraged me to take her as long as I felt comportable in doing so. I took her to a very classy adult toy store, so many of them can be very sleezy and I didnt want her to associate this with anything negative. I gave her my imput and she made her first purchase of one and had thanked me ever since. She explained to me that none of her friends mothers would have never done this and nor would they have had this conversation with their moms, but frankly I am proud that my daughter and I can discuss these very important issues and maybe she wont be denied the discovery of how much pleasure sex can be. It is not a topic that yiu need to be ashamed to discuss with a mature daughter. I always want to be the one she asks about anything. My own mother just handed me a set of books on puberty and that was it. I want to break that cycle of silence about the many changes women go through and always have my daughter feel comfortabe no ashamed or embarassed. I hope this is a big help and hope it answers some questions you moms have.

  13. I would be way too embarrassed to talk to my mom about a vibrator. I mean, we’ve talked about sex and all, but I don’t think she even knows that I know what a vibrator is. I’m 15 and have only been experimenting with masturbation for a few weeks. I’ve thought about a vibrator, but I’m way to embarrassed to ask my mom about it or actually buy one myself. I think I’d die of mortification if I went into an Adult Toy shop. -Phoebe

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