Childrearing

Buying Your Small Child A Sex Toy Is Never The Lesser Of Two Evils

By  | 

shutterstock_78993097I will never understand the way certain people and relatives seem to think the future sexual maturity of our children is the nightmare that keeps us up at night. “Oh no, she’s going to date someday!” and “Oh no, you’re going to have to get a shotgun!” It’s pretty ridiculous, becuase I think we would all like to raise healthy, happy children who will become healthy, happy adults someday. If everything goes absolutely perfectly, our children will grow up, meet other people, fall in love, and have very good, satisfying, healthy sex. (And then give us grandchildren whom we can dress up in cute outfits and play with without being kept up all night.) With that goal in mind, it is a good idea to try to raise our children to not feel fear or shame about their bodies or about sex. But, you know, there are limits. One mom discovered that recently when she found herself in the very awkward position of considering buying her 5-year-old a sex toy.

(Related: Talking To Your Teen About Sex Is One Thing, Using Sex Toys In Front Of Her Is Another)

The mother in question came by the concern honestly, and she wrote into Dan Savage’s advice column because she really thought the sex toy might be the safer option. You see, her 5-year-old had started sticking toys in his butt. Lots of toys. So far she has managed to retrieve all the toy trucks and action figures, but basically she is looking at an emergency room trip waiting to happen.

The mother wrote in saying she was concerned about the health risks–tearing, infection, getting fecal matter all over everything in the house–of what her 5-year-old has been doing. At this point, would it not be safer to just get him a smooth, safe, dedicated toy so he doesn’t seriously injure himself on Thomas the Tank Engine?

The answer is a resounding no. Buying a butt plug for your 5-year-old is a good way to get CPS called on you if he ever mentions it, which he probably will because he is five. Savage himself says he’s half convinced the letter writer is a fake attempt by a conservative Christian troll to trick Dan Savage into telling a woman to get a sex toy for a five-year-old.

A better idea is to talk to the kid and explain that putting random objects inside oneself is dangerous, with the possibility of taking the toys away until he stops doing that. (Even though it’s hard to baby proof things from a 5-year-old, and you’re never going to manage to lock down everything in the house that could conceivably be stuck up there.) But both Savage and childhood sex expert Amy Lang are adamant: No sex toys for small children.

Reading this column is terrifying for those of us whose children are smaller, because these are the things our children make us do! One day you’re sitting by the pool having cocktails and spending too much money on makeup, and the next thing you know you’re emailing advice columnists to ask how to deal with a small human being who won’t stop sticking toys in his butt.

Being a parent means you will never stop saying, “Is this real life?”