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Mythbusting Sex Part 4: Sex Toys, Butt Stuff, and Kink


Parts 1, 2 and 3 of our Mythbusting Sex series covered a wide range of commonly believed myths about our bodies, STIs, pregnancy, desire and masturbation. In the final post in our Mythbusting Sex series, we’re taking on some misconceptions about sex toys, butt stuff and kink. There’s a multitude of misunderstandings and misinformation out there around these topics, which can make people feel ashamed of their desires or afraid to explore sexually - so let’s set a few things straight.



Sex toys


Several sex toys on a pink background
Image Credit: Klaudia Rak


Myth: My partner won’t want to have sex with me anymore if they start using a sex toy

Fact: Sex toys are not competition and can enhance your sex life together


Most people who use sex toys are not using them to replace their partners - there simply isn’t a replacement for the kind of connection and intimacy you can experience with another person, or for the sensations of their body against yours. 


Sex toys can actually enhance your sex life because they allow you to explore and play in whole new ways. Try popping in a butt plug before intercourse, or holding a vibrator to your throat while you give oral to your partner and you’ll see what we mean! Plus, some people need the extra stimulation of a vibrator to orgasm - and there’s nothing wrong with using toys to lend a helping hand.



Myth: If you use a toy that’s too big, you’ll ruin your body and won’t be satisfied by a human penis/hand/finger anymore

Fact: Toys won’t ‘stretch out’ your holes permanently 


We already debunked the myth that vaginas get ‘stretched out’ and ruined by having sex with multiple penises in part 1. So it’s hopefully unsurprising that sex toys also don’t permanently stretch you out! Yes - even extra large ones. After all, the vagina is designed to allow a baby to pass through it and recover afterwards - a testament to how flexible and adaptable this organ is. 


What about butt holes? Well, the anus has two sets of sphincter muscles that can relax and dilate, allowing you to insert objects. As long as you are not experiencing pain during anal play (which could be a sign of a tear or strain), then much like the vagina the anal sphincter muscles will contract again fully afterwards. 


The bottom line: while people may have different size preferences for toys, there’s little danger that you’ll permanently stretch anything out. Many people use large toys and still get great pleasure from smaller toys or body parts too!



Myth: Silicone sex toys can’t be stored together or they’ll melt together

Fact: Real silicone is inert (unreactive) and won’t melt or warp


This myth comes from an era when most sex toys were made of toxic and unsafe materials such as jelly rubber and PVC. These toys absolutely could react and ‘melt’ together - gross. While these materials are still out there, body-safe silicone is much more commonly used. Silicone is unreactive and so it is safe to store silicone toys together. 


Another contributor to this myth is the fact that silicone toys can react negatively to silicone lubricants (although it’s unpredictable and depends on the exact type of silicone present in the toy and in the lube). So we recommend not using lubes that contain silicone on your nice silicone toys - stick to water or oil based lubes instead.



Myth: You only have to worry about toxic toy materials for insertable toys

Fact: You should always avoid toxic materials and ingredients


It’s a really really good idea to avoid putting something toxic in your body. However, we have heard the myth that you don’t have to worry about the materials in toys made for external play, such as wand vibrators or penis strokers.  Unfortunately, you do still need to pay attention to these. 


The biggest risk toxic toys pose is when they come in contact with our delicate mucus membranes - these are moist body parts that are especially good at absorbing things. Mucus membranes are present internally - in our vaginas, rectums and mouths - but the external vulva and the head of the penis are also covered in mucus membranes, so you can still absorb nasty chemicals through these areas. 


It’s best to stick with body-safe materials such as silicone, stainless steel, ABS plastic or glass for all your toys, regardless of how you’re going to use them!



Butt Stuff


A peach on a yellow background
Image Credit: Deon Black

Myth: Anal sex is ‘dirty’ 

Fact: Many people enjoy anal play with little to no mess


Look. We're not going to claim that there's never mess when it comes to anal - accidents happen. But they happen a lot less than some people expect. This is because the rectum - the part that you penetrate during anal play - is empty most of the time. It only fills with feces right before you need to go to the toilet. Many people find that if they are having regular bowel movements, eating a diet high in fiber and don't have a digestive health condition then most of the time there is little to no 'mess' to deal with.


Some people like to use an enema bulb to douche the rectum before anal sex to remove any lingering bits of fecal matter and feel squeaky clean. This is generally safe, but avoid doing it more than a couple of times a week to avoid washing away the protective rectal mucus and causing irritation or tearing.



Myth: Anal sex hurts

Fact: Anal sex can feel great - if you’re relaxed, lubed and ready for it


A lot of people expect anal to hurt. There are even numbing sprays designed for anal sex because this is such a common concern! However it doesn't have to be that way. Typically, pain during anal penetration is due to not using enough lube, not being relaxed enough, or both. See our guide to getting started with anal play for more information.



Myth: Liking anal means you’re gay

Fact: Enjoying anal sex (giving or receiving) has no bearing on your sexuality or who you’re attracted to


Everyone has a butt hole, and all butt holes have nerve endings that can feel pleasure. This means that people of all genders, body types and sexualities may enjoy anal. (Although it's not for everyone - and that's totally fine!) Experiencing pleasure in this part of your body does not have any bearing on who you're attracted to, your sexuality or gender identity, nor does it mean you can't enjoy other kinds of sexual activity.




Kink


A hand holding a flogger against a red background
Image Credit: Anna Shvets

Myth: Kink is inherently abusive and harmful 

Fact: Many people enjoy kink in a healthy, non-abusive way - and consent is critical to this


There is a lot of stigma around kink and many people feel ashamed of their kinky desires. Myths like this one contribute to this stigma. The truth is that many people find kink play to be empowering, healing, pleasurable and often incredibly erotic.


Some kinks involve inflicting physical pain or injury, or power exchanges where one person allows another to control them. There is one key difference between kinky activities like these and abuse though - and that's consent. In the kink community, consent is seen as integral to healthy play. Everyone involved should be informed of the risks, clearly communicate what they want and don't want to do and have done to them, and have a safe word or signal to indicate when they need something to stop. Additionally, aftercare is encouraged - this involves checking in with your partner(s) after the kink scene, spending time reconnecting and attending to each other's physical needs. This may look like getting them some water or food, taking a bath, cuddling, or any of a multitude of caring actions.



Myth: Having a kink means there’s something wrong with you or is an unhealthy response to trauma

Fact: Kinks are a normal, healthy part of human sexuality


Many people are kinky - and there's no correlation between being kinky and being mentally ill, experiencing traumatic events or past abuse. A lot of people are simply wired that way, and many kinksters are aware of their kinks from early in childhood.



Myth: All kink play is sexual

Fact: There are many people who enjoy kink without it being sexual, and many asexual people enjoy kink


For many people, kink isn't about sex - it can be about power, sensory experiences (such as the feeling of being tightly bound), building skills (such as learning to tie beautiful rope patterns), or connecting with other people in new ways. Many people - asexual and allosexual - enjoy these aspects of kink.



Myth: Kink and BDSM are the same thing

Fact: All BDSM is kink, but not all kink is BDSM


While many people use the terms kink and BDSM interchangeably, they aren't actually the same thing. Kink is an umbrella term that encompasses all 'non-conventional' sexual practices and fantasies. What is considered non-conventional is of course subjective and changes over time - for example, some folks would consider anal play to be kinky whereas many wouldn't.


BDSM stands for 'bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism' and is a subset of kinks that involve power exchange in some form or another. But many kinks don't involve power exchanges - for example, a rubber kink or an exhibitionist kink.



Myths: BUSTED!


The world of sex abouds with myths and misinformation which can cause real physical and emotional harm. While we've tackled some common myths in this blog series, there are many more out there that we don't have time to cover. The best way to protect yourself against misinformation is to educate yourself and your loved ones about sex and sexuality. You can find some of our favorite resources for learning more on our Resources page.

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