I Found My Housemate’s Sex Toys In The Living Room – What Do I Do?
The following question came to my attention recently. It takes a little deconstruction.
I just moved into a new shared house on a six-month contract with another girl. On my first day, there was a sex toy on the coffee table in the living room. I don’t know her very well yet, but if I’m going to be here for six months, I’d like to feel comfortable and hygienic. What do I do?
We are a strange species, aren’t we? No other mammal has to deal with this kind of thing. There’s never going to be a moment when one rabbit has to call a house meeting to say something like ‘dude you HAVE TO stop leaving your butt plugs on the coffee table.’
There’s a few things to consider here. First, the new tenant doesn’t mention what kind of sex toy the offending article was. If it was a little clitoral vibe, like LELO’s MIA 2, then it seems somehow less offensive than if it was a one-foot tall anal plug in the shape of a garden gnome covered. (That exists.) it’s a strange double standard when you boil it down to its fundaments, but it exists nonetheless and I have to acknowledge that.
For something like that, on the fringes of what we might deem ‘extreme,’ it’s probably best to confront the issue right out… but, sympathetically.
If it’s something more innocent, then perhaps you don’t necessarily need to raise it with your housemate straight away. It’s likely that it was just an oversight: she may have left it out purely by accident and when she realises, she’s likely to be extra diligent about stowing her sex toys in future, in an effort to prevent embarrassment to both of you. She probably isn’t used to having someone in her space, and it might take her a little while to adjust and censor herself more effectively.
Having both found a housemate’s sex toys and left sex toys out myself, I’ve found a discretionary strike system is effective. If it happens once, there’s no real harm done. Twice is unusual, and three times necessitates an intervention.
As someone who has spent their entire adult life in the sex toy industry, I’d very much like to see a world in which we embrace our personal pleasure and are supportive of each other’s’. I’d like us all to be more open about masturbation and sex toys, but I live in the real world, and recognise that we have a long way to go before the taboo of solo pleasure is washed away.
But right now, we all have boundaries as individuals, and those boundaries vary from person to person. While it’s important to respect your housemate’s freedom to use sex toys, she also has to respect the fact that it might make you uncomfortable if she’s doing it in communal areas of the house.
I’d let it slide, the first time. The truth is, if your housemate is masturbating in communal areas, then they’re probably confident enough to talk about it once you get to know each other a little bit. My advice, then, is to relax into it, until you’re sure it’s a habitual problem that’s affecting your happiness. After all, the other option is to move out and find an Airbnb, and do you realize how many people have had sex on those sofas? That’s what an Airbnb is for!
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With 16 years in the adult industry, including many years at LELO, it’s fair to say Stu has been around the sex toy block a few times. As LELO’s resident sex geek, he’s been featured in the Independent, the Guardian, HuffPost, Vice, Cosmopolitan, and anywhere people talk about sex. Here on Volonte, he turns his spotlight onto the important events affecting sex right now in a regular op-ed. Views are his own.