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Ladies, Sex Toys Are Still Banned, Broken and Burned!

Ladies, sex toys have been a contentious matter in African countries for years. This women’s day, we’re checking in on how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go!

Let’s take a moment this week to appreciate how positive sexual exploration and expression has been for South African women, and the role sex toys have played in this awakening.

Being a woman in South Africa comes with a number of perks.

One of them, is the tolerant and ever-expanding attitude our society has for sex toys – and the empowerment, and sexual freedom they offer women. Here, women are able to enjoy their adult toys without much persecution.

But there are still places in the world, and especially on the African continent, where sex toys for women are banned, seized on discovery and destroyed. Because of political and religious interests, women are denied something as basic as the ability to enhance and explore their sexuality.

Image source: www.allwomanproject.com

Today’s post pays homage to the true story of ladies sex toys and how they have helped encourage, empower and free South African women from the bonds of repression and sexual ignorance.

Mind-Blowing Ideas on Female Sexuality That Were Once ‘Facts’

Throughout human history, the idea of female sexuality has changed consistently with the times. As you can imagine, this didn’t prevent the creation and use of sex toys – but rather kept them neatly hidden away, or extremely difficult to find and buy.

Ladies sex toys were especially problematic to understand because of the confusion surrounding female sexuality. Here are some incredible things people used to believe about women!

  • Female sexual desire was once considered dangerous, and a thing that needed to be controlled. In the 19th century, it was proclaimed a medical issue with symptoms that included vaginal lubrication, arousal and sexual fantasy. Women would go to their doctor with ‘Hysteria’ – which could only be treated with paroxysm, a sneaky word for orgasm.

Image source: www.allwomanproject.com

Fact: Hysteria advanced the creation of new types of dildo, and even led to the creation of the world’s first battery powered vibrator. Doctors, apparently, needed the help!

  • Chastity belts, often believed to be tools of control back in the medieval days – probably didn’t even exist. The only accounts of them were made in good humour, and academics highly doubt any women would survive the health implications of wearing one back then.

Fact: Myths like the widespread use of the female chastity belt were popular because of the way people viewed female sexuality back then – as something that could not be controlled and had to be guarded. Interestingly now, ladies sex toys like chastity devices are used in fetish play by the BDSM community.

  • Fast forward to more modern examples of how women have fought for the right to express themselves sexually, with sex toys. In a 2010 survey conducted by the University of Otago in New Zealand, it was found that the majority of sex shops around the world still catered to men only, with 17 of the 117 using women’s bodies to sell products. Representation for women has been slow.

Fact: In Africa, there is still a hostile attitude towards female sexuality and the use of sex toys among women. Most often, it’s chalked up to moral decay and greed. Most recently sex toys were seized and burned in Kenya for these exact reasons.

Pioneers & Sex Toys for SA Women

Progress has been made thanks to inspiring pioneers of the sex toy industry championing women’s rights to buy and use ladies sex toys for pleasure, and to improve intimate relationships.

Dell Williams was a sex-positive pioneer who started a sex shop for women in New York back in 1974. She was prompted to do so after trying to buy a Hitachi Wand Massager, and being openly humiliated in-store by a teen store attendant.

Having a safe space where women can discreetly and comfortably explore their sexualities became her mission, and it did a lot for the progression of both toys and sex shops in the world.

Ladies sex toys in South Africa directly benefitted from these pioneering women, drawing attention to the fact that women also have libidos, and sexual interests. While a powerful stigma remains, here in South Africa women are able to discreetly do what others in the past could not.

Did you know in Section 18A of the Sexual Offenses Act, created in 1957 under Apartheid rule, some sex toys intended to be used for ‘unnatural acts’ were illegal? This law was only repealed in 2007!

It’s 10 years later, and South African women are benefitting from the rise in sex toy use. Recent studies have shown that SA women are among the least sexually satisfied in the world by their partners. Sex toys are an essential element of increasing and enhancing couple’s intimacy. We need to fix this problem!

Image source: www.allwomanproject.com

With so many women that have fought for the right to be sexually open and expressive, it’s important that we remember how lucky we are to have access to these items.

Sex is intimate, not illicit. For women it’s about closeness and connection, not objectification and promiscuity. We still have a long way to go until the average South African couple feels comfortable buying and using sex toys. Until we can replace fear with trust, and evolve as loving couples.

The old myths and forms of control are extremely pervasive! It’s our job to understand and dispel them.

What You Can Do to Create Awareness

Awareness means understanding that ladies sex toys should not cause guilt or shame.

Women’s day means different things to different people. To us, it casts a long spotlight on the struggles of the sex toy industry and how every day we try to dispel the stigmas that are contributing to unhappy, unhealthy and limited intimate relationships.

For you, it may mean overcoming your fear of buying your very first vibrator, or having that conversation with your partner that will lead to a stronger bond between the two of you!

In the meantime, seize the opportunity this women’s day to spread a positive message about female sexuality and exploration. We’ve come a long way, but we still have mountains to climb before couple’s can truly experience loving, authentic intimacy together.

And don’t forget that education is key!

We’re living in such an exciting age – new studies are being released all the time on female sexuality! Embrace yourself, love who you are and never apologise for wanting to know yourself, and your lover, better.

If you’re ever asked ‘where can I buy sex toys for women in South Africa’ – feel free to direct your friends to us. We take great care in selecting our adult toys, and they are the best of the best.

Ladies, sex toys are empowering, healthy and fun!
Enjoy them, it’s taken us a long time to get here.

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About Geraldine

Being a part of Désir has had such a great impact on me. Every day brings about something new and exciting- I don’t only get to meet new people but I am able to have a positive influence on their lives whether it be helping a couple rediscover each other again or educating the next person and guiding them through buying their first toy. I am privileged to be a part of this journey and I look forward to educating people and helping them honour themselves.

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