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I’ve just come out of a year-long relationship (about a month ago) where I got my first spare parts harness and lots and lots of toys and dildos. I LOVE this harness. And I love one of the dildos that is double-sided. The end of the dildo that I’m wearing is much, much smaller, of course, as I prefer, but it also gives me a bit more control when I’m having sex because I can get a sense of feeling of what I’m doing. And I’m just really really comfortable with it.
So I’ve met someone new. And I’m wondering about my toys. I’ve heard it’s taboo to use the same toys on a new partner. Would it be so wrong to go to and buy the exact same harness and dildo that I prefer?
The short answer: nope, not wrong at all!
But let’s unpack this a bit in the long answer, shall we? Come sit down in my grey armchair, have a cup of tea, because I’m about to argue that we have all been duped by a very weird societal expectation. That’s not always easy to hear. It goes down easier with tea. And this time we’re going to invite a bevy of Autostraddle family into my figurative living room with us, because when I shared your question with your loving, chattering Agony Aunties over here, we had a lot of things to say. So come on in, fellow advice-givers, and take some seats on my red couch and my dining room chairs! Here are just a few of our thoughts, edited for length and flow.
KaeLyn: what would your answer be, ali? like…my response is talk to your partner about it (duh). it might not be an issue at all. if it is, that’s fine and definitely get the harness and dildo you prefer? why would you not get something that you prefer?
I want to go back to something KaeLyn said because I think it’s really worth repeating: “weird relationship rules that don’t exist.” We’ve ALL been told these rules over and over again — that every relationship is a unique, special snowflake and your partner doesn’t love you enough if they don’t do crazy rom-com things and the relationship wasn’t valid if you don’t feel the need to burn every love letter and teddy bear and everything that reminds you of a person. Those things all make for great, silly movies but we are humans. And humans love story. And humans love to make their lives look like the narratives we see and hear over and over again. In this case, our human love for story is not serving us well here — life is not like the relationship rules we see in movies and magazines. What I’m saying is, as long as your toys are medical grade silicone or another sterilizable material and haven’t been damaged (like this one that Laura M wrecked for science), there is no scientific reason that you need to throw out your sex toys. Think about it — you do not throw out your genitalia when you get into a new relationship, and that’s not even something you can sterilize! Keeping your old sex toys is infinitely safer! But! Some people feel weird about it, so that brings me to the next part of the answer.
If you’re worried that keeping your sex toys from partner to partner is weird, talk to your partner. If they think it’s strange, okay. What do they need to not feel strange? A shopping trip where you pick some new ones out together? Barrier methods on the ones you’re keeping? Talk it out! This is not a weird topic for conversation. There’s also the chance that they don’t see anything wrong with it at all, and this worry was for naught. So sit them down in your own grey armchair with a cup of tea and have a chat. Speaking of tea, do you need a refill? It’s cold today!
And lastly, if you’ve already ditched your toys (and it sounds like you might’ve, but might not’ve?), there is nothing wrong with purchasing the same sex toys over again, especially if you really love them! There’s no rule that states you have to only have one type of toy or one type of sex with one partner, and then totally change it up when you wind up partnering with someone different. If we applied that flawed logic to everything, square dances would become very difficult. Finding a strap-on situation that’s ideal is like finding buried sex treasure in a sex negative world — don’t re-bury that treasure just because you’ve got a new first mate!