eSex toys have a long history. Even our stone-age ancestors whittled down sex toys to spice up their love lives. Yet, sex toys remain shrouded in weird and bewildering myths designed to make us feel guilty or embarrassed about using them. And it works. Today, sex toys are banned from shops in Alabama and in Texas it’s illegal to own more than six dildos. Crazy, right?

It’s time to have a candid conversation about sex toys. Let’s bust the myths and misconceptions that surround these nifty little tools of pleasure.

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1. Sex toys are only for all the single ladies …and men.

We’ve all heard this one: sex toys are for lonely people who can’t find a partner. Sound familiar? Well, not only is this myth completely wrong, it’s also super damaging. Sure, sex toys are a great tool for masturbation. They elevate solo sex sessions and leave us vibrating with pleasure. There’s nothing better than dimming the lights, putting on some sexy tunes and having some good ol’ fashioned “me-time” with your favorite toy, right? But let’s get one thing crystal clear — masturbation is not the act of lonely people trying to fill the proverbial “hole” in their lives with self-pleasure. Far from it! Masturbation is a completely natural, healthy and fun activity. Being lonely has nothing to do with it.

Did you know that regular masturbation helps fight stress and depression, lower the risk of a whole load of cancers in men and women, and even cures common colds? It turns out masturbation is actually pretty good for us, and we should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about doing it. Whether you’re in a relationship, playing the field, or resolutely single, masturbation is something we can all enjoy.

Also, sex toys are great for couples. In fact, in a relationship. Many women find it easier to orgasm through clitoral stimulation, so adding a vibrator during penetrative sex is bound to heat things up. Remember, sex toys don’t care about your relationship status — they’re all about free love!

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2. Couples only use sex toys because the flame has gone out and they’re desperate.

The flip side of the lonely, single myth is the idea that “sad couples use sex toys because they can’t get each other off any more.” Again, not true at all. This one really makes no sense to us. It suggests that experimenting with toys and pushing the boundaries of your sexual relationship with your partner is the result of having a boring sex life. How does that work? Sex toys are a great addition to the bedroom and keep things interesting.

Experimentation and variety are the keys to a spicy sex life. Couples who stick to the standard three-pumps-and-out approach to sex are sure to get bored of sex in no time. Couples who are willing to experiment with each other and mix things up, well, open themselves up to a whole sexual universe that is exciting and tantalizing. A little look at the numbers also tells a very different story about sex toys for couples. Did you know that 76% of women want their partners to use sex toys on them during sex and a staggering 89% of men are completely stoked to do it? It’s clear that sex toys enhance sex lives — and most of us want in on the action.

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3. Sex toys wear you down and desensitize your nether-regions.

Here’s one for the ladies. Have you ever been told that your sex toys numb your sensitivity? Yeah, thought so. One of the biggest misconceptions about sex toys is that somehow using them will desensitize you… down there. This myth suggests that those awesomely intense vibrations that make your toes curl with pleasure ultimately damage your nerve cells and decrease your sensitivity. Well, we’re calling it. Ever heard of basic biology? That’s not how the body works. You can’t wear out your genitals as if they were an old car battery.

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Thankfully, the opposite is actually true. Studies have found that women who use vibrators experience higher levels of desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm. Thank you science! It’s a sad fact that many women have a hard time orgasming during sex. One study found that a whopping 75% of women can’t orgasm from sex alone without the help from a handy toy. That’s why sex toys serve a particularly important role for women.

Check out the Original Magic Wand for intense vibrations.

Sex toys can help to enhance sensitivity by increasing your blood flow directly to those sweet spots. So, if you want better sex with a higher chance of hitting the big O, introduce some toys to the bedroom.

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4. The end is near! Sex toys are replacing human connection.

Remember the scene in Sex and the City, where the girls stage a “rabbit intervention” for Charlotte because of her obsessive use of the rabbit? Good friends that they are, they’re worried that Charlotte is replacing the love of a man with the electronic pulses of her new sex toy. We love Sex and the City, and the episode with the rabbit certainly opened a lot of women up to the world of sex toys. But, come on girls, you know better!

Charlotte would have loved this rabbit from Lovehoney.

Sex toys are not designed to replace human-to-human connection. If you use sex toys regularly, you aren’t going to develop an unsavory obsession with silicone that makes having a relationship with another person impossible. Sex toys are for sex — to improve, enhance, and mix it up. That’s it. They won’t call the next morning, or make you breakfast or snuggle in for a Netflix binge. They’re not people, and anyone who uses them knows that.

You can’t get addicted to sex toys — even if you are addicted to the pleasure they bring. If your partner is jealous of how much time you spend with your favorite toy, why not try incorporating it into your sex life? Sex toys are an addition, not a substitution.

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5. Sex toys are cisgendered.

Again, we repeat, sex toys are not people. Sex toys don’t have genders. We know that for too long the sex toy industry marketed sex toys based on gender. Sadly, this often meant that many toys were presented for heteronormative couples and occluded everyone else. But today, things are different and the industry is changing, slowly but surely. Not only are there more and more toys for same-sex couples, but the majority of sex toys on the market can be used by any gender. You know, there’s more to sex toys than vibrators and dildos, right?

The Double Silicone Waterproof Vibrator by Adrien Lastic is pleasurable and far from heteronormative.

Anal plugs, anal beads, whips, paddles, clamps, vibrators, electro-stimulation toys, and many others are all gender neutral toys that you and your partner can enjoy. So, get creative. Experiment on each other and try out new ways of using the same sex toy. You’ll be surprised with how many intoxicating variations there are.

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6. Buying sex toys is embarrassing/dirty/shameful.

Buying sex toys used to be an undercover mission. Big hats or sunglasses to hide your face, eye contact avoidance with anyone walking past, clutching your unbranded bag; a trip to a sex shop took a degree of bravery. Now, there’s obviously nothing shameful or dirty about sex toys — they’re great. But, even for the most sexually liberated among us, a trip to a sex shop can be intimidating.

Today, there’s thousands of online retailers that sell your favorite toys. Delivered directly to your door in discreet packaging, you’ll never have to worry about bumping into an old teacher whilst carrying a bunch of dildos again. Just remember though, there is nothing shameful about purchasing sex toys. Heck, it’s a $15 billion industry. Clearly, you’re not the only one out there!

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Sex toys are the perfect addition to your sex life. So, screen out all of the myths and misconceptions that you’ve heard, and go out and experiment. Remember, if it feels good, it is good.

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