Hosting A Sex Toy Party With My Friends Taught Me These 7 Valuable Lessons

Amanda Chatel

I get a lot of sex toys thanks to the fact that, well, I write about sex for a living. Companies will send them to me to try, and sometimes even send multiples. Some are fantastic, some are terrible, and some are straight up confusing, but I ultimately end up with way more sex toys than one human needs. That's how I ended up with so many sex toys that I had to host a sex toy party.

On both occasions, I held them at my friend's apartment in Brooklyn. Unlike my tiny apartment in the East Village, my friend's place is a large two-bedroom with a very long, antique dining table: perfect for displaying my goods. The first time I did it, I invited six friends on a late Sunday afternoon. Everyone brought a bottle of wine and my friend, whose apartment it was, made Japanese snacks. (Pro tip: If you're going to host a sex toy party, do it at the apartment of a friend who also happens to be a chef.) When I realized that this was way easier than giving everyone a sex toy for their birthday, I did it again on a Friday night and invited 11 friends. Again, Mieko made snacks, my friends brought wine, and I displayed my goods.

Although my friends knew there would be sex toys to choose from, when I sent out the invites I put the emphasis on the fact that I was moving, wanted to see them, and, basically, needed them to take some "stuff" off my hands. Naturally, my friends were more than happy to oblige.

Here’s what I learned from hosting sex toy parties for my friends.


We All Have Stories Of Shame

Hannah Burton for Bustle

Every single one of my female friends has a story of shame regarding masturbation. In some cases, that shame was pushed on them from their parents, usually after they got caught touching themselves when they were very young. But in most cases, it was the lack of female masturbation in movies and magazines that caused these women to feel bad about their desire. In a few instances, masturbation shame came from male partners in high school — partners who clearly had zero idea that female masturbation isn't just normal, but great for your sex life too.


Women Want To Learn From Each Other

Hannah Burton for Bustle

One of the best things that I’ve witnessed in these parties is that women really, really want to learn from each other. I had one friend who was completely against any and all anal play — she wouldn’t even dare try it — but she was convinced by another friend to give it a whirl. I had a package of four butt plugs I was trying to give away and the two of them split the pack, with my hesitant friend taking the smaller two. Needless to say, although my friend with the two smaller butt plugs didn’t become a huge fan of anal play, it did open her mind to a new sensation that she still dabbles in occasionally.


Women Want To Share Their Experiences

Hannah Burton for Bustle

Whether it’s a story about the first time they squirted or that time they were masturbating on the couch and their roommate came home early, I've found that women want to share the good, the bad, and the awkward. They want to make each other feel less alone and, in turn, feel less alone themselves.

In the right setting with the right group of women, it’s amazing the stories that are unveiled. From funny, to sad, to weird, to totally humiliating, to mind-blowing revelations, the topic of masturbation has it all and it’s that all that women want to share with each other.


Women Prefer A Safe Space While Talking About Masturbation

Ashley Batz for Bustle

Growing up, I found that guys will talk about masturbation anywhere and with anyone — we can thank society for giving them the comfort to do so. But with women, it's different. Although I have talked about female masturbation more than a few times over brunch with friends, it's always done in a hushed manner, with the word "masturbation" just barely above a whisper.

However, when I hosted these two gatherings, that wasn't the case. Not only was the word "masturbation" said at a normal and very audible level, but the details just started pouring out of everyone. I realized this was because we were in a space void of men and society's judgements. There's unbelievable feeling of empowerment and safety when it's just women.


Women Still Don't Know What's Out There For Sex Toys

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

While I write the words "sex toys" together probably hundreds of times a week, and many of my friends read my articles, it was only when I had a bunch of sex toys laid out on the table that I realized some women still have no idea just how far sex toy innovation has come. Even last year I had friends whose minds were being blown by the existence of Womanizer and Satisfyer, and I've been writing about these two brands for years.

Double dildos, nipple clamps, male masturbators, the gigantic range in shapes of vibrators, and sex toys that double as jewelry were all things that some of my friends were completely surprised by. Which made me wonder if these women were actually reading all my carefully curated lists of sex toys! I briefly considered printing every list I've written since 2015 and handing it out to every woman I know as a handy-dandy guide.


Women Love To Talk About Masturbation

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Although I do have a couple friends who have told me that the reason they talk about masturbation so openly with me is only because I write about it (and give them free toys), I’ve found, for the most part, that women want to talk about masturbation. They want to discuss it seriously, as in talking about why female masturbation is so taboo. They also want to include it in conversations nonchalantly, the way one would mention hopping in the shower, as a means to normalizing the topic.

I remember my friend Amber telling me at one of these gatherings that she wished she could just admit to her boss that she was running late because she was masturbating, pointing out that it definitely counted as self-care and any boss would be supportive of an employee who practices self-care regularly.


Most Women Masturbate

Ashley Batz for Bustle

No matter where you look, statistically, the majority of women masturbate. Although percentages vary from study to study, based on demographics or the honesty of the study's participants, the fact remains that more women are having solo sex than those who are not.

What I learned the two times I hosted sex toy parties was that every one of my friends masturbates. While their comfort level with the topic and the act differs from person to person, they all do it. Granted, I can't say this is deeply shocking at this point in my life and in my career, but for those who still wrestle with being able to masturbate at complete ease, this is something definitely worth noting — if only to make you realize just how healthy and normal masturbation truly is.


Not to belabor the point, but sex toys are a $24 billion business for a reason. Even if you're not comfortable enough to talk about masturbation or ask questions about sex toys, thanks to all the online resources out there, you can easily have a sex toy delivered to your house. Basically, you have no reason to go without a toy of your own, so you might as well join in on the fun.