For the month of September, Bustle’s Sex TBH package is talking about sex, honestly. We’re delving into how women approach the things they’re taught to be shy or embarrassed about in the bedroom — and, in doing so, we're liberating people to live their best (sex) lives. Let’s do it.
When my mom came to visit me while I was studying abroad in London, she decided to look for headache medicine in the top drawer next to my bed— aka my sex drawer — while I was in class. And that's how the infamous story of how my mom found my vibrator and made an international phone call to my aunt screaming, "It's purple and huge, what the hell is it?!" came to be.
But seriously, having a sex drawer is a totally normal thing. And, even if you don't have any sex-related products in there, the top drawer may still be your private catch-all. It may be meticulously organized, it may be just a random dumping ground, but for some, it's our own little world. Partly for practical reasons (you definitely want condoms, lube, and sex toys within reach when you're in the moment), and partly just because it's nice to have a little area that's totally yours.
While we still have a ways to go before sex products are normalized, having a drawer or table for them is nothing to be embarrassed about. "Having sex toys in our bedside table are a way of saying, 'I'm sexually empowered and confident,'" Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. "It's incredibly sexy to know what gets you off and how to take care of business. Remember, while the in-and-out of sex feels good, it's not how most women climax." So there's absolutely nothing wrong with keeping one or two around.
Even though some of us may use that space to stash a vibrator, condoms, lube, or some other sex-related combination, our drawers are all totally different. You probably don't want to see what's in the bottom of a handbag (hint: mine is coins held together with tissues and old gum), but I'm totally fascinated by what women keep inside their drawer.
Luckily, women were willing to share photos of their beside drawers and tables, so you can see what other people are really using them for. Because who knew that vibrators and cold medicine would be such natural bedfellows, right? Here's what they really look like.
"My sex drawer has a lot of kinky sex toys including duct tape, handcuffs, spank ties, a slut paddle, and a candle with wax specifically designed for dripping on skin. There's also a strap-on dildo hidden in the cartoon strip bag. I like to write openly about my sexual experiences with some of these toys on my blog."
"I don't actually have a bedside table because I'm too cheap to buy one so I put my toys in the underwear drawer of my dresser. I guess it's where I put things I rarely use, like the hair straightener and those lotion socks. Maybe I'd use the toys more if I didn't have to get out of bed to grab them."
"In my bedside drawer you'll find junk, featuring all the best self-care items: Hair vitamins, condoms and lube, and panty liners."
"So, yeah. I wish this was sexier. `Despite having a really sexy lacquered bedside table, the actual drawer consists of sexy things like baby oil and my favorite vibrator, but also things like cold medicine, deodorant, and used contact lens cases. I am aware this does not look like the drawer of someone who has their sh*t together. I do not."
"I'm in a lesbian relationship but we're not huge on toys. But lube is fun from time to time. I can't say I have a sex drawer, but I do keep lube and my most expensive massage lotion and perfume with my sexiest lingerie. It does, also, contain panty liners."
"We love to have a variety of toys in our bedside drawer to keep things fresh and exciting in the bedroom! You never know what your sexual needs for the day or night might be. My favorite vibrators for when I am alone are the ones with the pearls in it and the butterfly kisses! Our drawers contain anything from over 30 vibrators to a vast variety of BDSM toys."
"My drawer isn't usually this *neat* but this pretty much sums it up. I'll occasionally switch up what kinds of condoms or lube I have in there, but my Minna Limon vibrator has earned a permanent spot — it is The Best. I also keep a few couples vibrators in there so I don't have to stop everything to go looking for them when I need them, and I also randomly keep a bottle of ibuprofen in there too. Headaches really spoil the mood."
So, it turns out that not all sex drawers are so sexy. I sort of knew this already, since mine is mostly used tissues at this point. But you can also see the variety of sex products women use — or don't use. Every woman is different, but the top drawer or bedside table is definitely a sacred space. Sorry, Mom.