The agony of loss – letting go of old sex toys

Own up – how many sex toys do you have sitting in a drawer that have been there for far too long? This week I had to get rid of one of my old favourites…

Here’s a story: a very long time ago, I broke up with a fairly significant boyfriend. I feel like some sad music should kick in here, but I’m totally FINE guys don’t WORRY. Despite being one of the hottest guys I’d ever known, and filthy as hell to boot, it was probably for the best that we split. He’d bought me my first rabbit vibrator, introduced me to the joys of strap-on play, and even once helped me get tied up in rope suspension at a bondage club, but all good things must come to an end.

Now, when we broke up, amidst the heartache and ‘what ifs’ there were lots of more practical questions: who would get custody of our friends? Which books were his and which were mine? And, of course, who gets to keep the sex toys?

By that point we’d built up quite a collection. Lots of different cock rings, an excellent dildo to go with my strap-on harness, rabbits and lubes and restraints. I wanted to keep the buzzy ones: I’d use them on my own, after all, and he had no issues with me keeping most of them. But it struck me as a good time for a clear-out anyway, so I divided the toys into two piles: ones I’d used in the last six months or so, and ones I hadn’t used for ages. Anything that hadn’t been used went into a box, mixed with loads of other rubbish I was throwing out from around the house, and put in the garden for the council to come and pick up.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

When I returned from work the next day, I realised two things:

1. The council is not quite as efficient at rubbish collection as I’d thought.

2. Someone in my neighbourhood will go through your bins if they think there’s something valuable in them.

The box was decimated – the bags it was wrapped in were ripped open, everything had been thrown out in the hunt for valuable items, and as a result my front garden was a veritable market-stall of cock rings, bullet vibrators, and tickling butt plugs.

Umm. Yay.

When should you clear out your sex toys?

More recently, I shed a sad tear when I had to get rid of one of my favourite toys – a vibrating anal wand which is utterly perfect for DP. It buzzes inside me in just the right way, sending shivery vibrations through the wall of my vagina to him. Delicious. Unfortunately, one night when the lights were off, he grabbed the wrong kind of lube and ended up covering it in sticky massage oil instead of water-based lubricant. Having been warned about which lube can be used with which toy, we agreed that it was safest to chuck it and buy a new one. Apparently ‘sentimental value’ doesn’t quite cut it as a reason for keeping something that’s not safe to use any more.

But it occurred to me that, since that big clear out about five or six years ago, I’ve not done a sex toy inventory for a long long while. Things that I used to play with frequently are now hidden at the back of a drawer, having been pushed out in favour of new stuff that I’ve fallen in love with. Like old boyfriends falling by the wayside when you meet someone shiny and new.

So I’m throwing this question open to you lot – how long would you usually keep a sex toy? I figure with something powerful and built to last like the Doxy, there’s no need to go replacing it on a regular basis. But with smaller, cheaper toys (I bloody love a good bargain) I’d rather use something for a year and then replace than keep them stored in a drawer. I’m planning to do a clear-out this week, and as a hoarder I struggle to part with almost anything. So tell me – when do you replace your sex toys? Do you tend to do it at the end of a relationship? Or just when things die or break? And, most importantly – if I want to keep a toy that I no longer use, for sentimental reasons, does that make me a massive weirdo?

I do hope not.

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