There are some things you share with your mates and there are some things you 100 per cent, really, definitely should not.
Take the kind of things which are perfectly acceptable to share with your bestie, for example: make-up, secrets, in-jokes, food, flirting techniques, the list goes on…
The things you don’t share, though? First and foremost, boyfriends. To quote Gretchen Wieners: ‘That’s just, like, the rules of feminism!’ Second, sex toys.
Now, I never thought I’d have to say this sentence out loud but I really feel as though vibrators just shouldn’t be a thing which are shared with pals.
Apparently though, they are because people are admitting to sharing vibrators with their mates quite openly, which is great for breaking the stigma of female sexuality but not so great for, well, germs.
And it isn’t just ordinary gal pals who are ‘fessing up to doing this; at a press conference in 2011, while promoting her film Hysteria, Golden Globe winner Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed she shares her extensive vibrator collection with friends.
As per Reuters, Gyllenhaal said:
I have this incredible collection, and I actually use like one or two of them. I lend them to my friends, and they’ll take them for six months at a time.
Following on from Maggie’s statement, Erika W. Smith from Refinery29 decided to carry out her own research to see if this is actually a thing that people do.
And apparently it is! Upon asking her followers on social media if they had ever shared a vibrator with a platonic friend (an important distinction to make, obviously), Erika received a couple of ‘affirmative responses’.
One woman, in particular, said she borrowed a vibrator from her male roommate; the two often talked about sex and when she told him she wanted to try the Hitachi Magic Wand, he asked if she wanted to borrow his.
She said yes, she used it, and gave it back after a couple of months – adding that she cleaned it before using it. The woman also said she’d be up for sharing vibrators with other friends too, saying she ‘doesn’t care about vagina juice’.
If you are planning on sharing your sex toys though, there are precautions that you need to take as sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can be transferred this way.
Elise Schuster, MPH, co-founder of sex education company OkaySo, told Refinery29 ‘there is a risk’ any time there are bodily fluids on a sex toy. One thing you can do to lower this risk is buy a sex toy made of a high-quality, non-porous material such as silicone, glass, pyrex, or metal.
Schuster warns that lower-quality toys made out of jelly rubber should be avoided:
People often find these at lower-quality sex toy shops or online, and they’re really porous, so you can never really get them totally disinfected.
And to clean them? It’s easier than you might imagine, with Schuster advising to use a soap that you would normally use on your body with warm water. For toys made out of solid pyrex, solid silicone, or solid stainless steel, you can boil the toy to disinfect it.
And voila! It’s safe to share. I still won’t be doing it, though.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).