It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m sat at my office indoors typing away. Such lovely weather it is that I keep my garden door open, so as to welcome in the breeze and the sound of birdsong outside.
Suddenly the sparrows chirps and seagull guffaws are met with another noise. The incredibly distinct meowing of a cat wanting attention.
I look to my open-space kitchen and see the neighbours cat, Nala browsing around, meowing as she goes. This is not uncommon – Nala is an inquisitive (and vocal) feline and loved to explore my garden and, on occasion, my home. I welcome her with strokes for a moment before hearing her pre-teen little owner coming in to my garden in search of her furry runaway.
The young lady picks Nala up and I attempt a little small talk to break the awkwardness of the situation for her – she seems nervous. A few brief words are exchanged and she makes a swift excuse to leave and speedily departs. With a little shrug I chalk it down to the whole ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ thing and turn tail to get on with my day. Then I spot it.
Right behind me, the entire time we were talking, resided a giant rainbow coloured pride dildo and an entire shelf of sex-based literature.
Yeah…That makes more sense now.
For days after this occurence I felt a bit awkward and I couldn’t really figure out why.
On principle I believe that young adults should be exposed to and know about sex in all its many aspects.
I think a healthy normalizing of sex toys can only be a beneficial thing to society.
I also fiercely believe that we should be able to display whatever we wish in our homes and to live however we see fit as long as it doesn’t negatively impact those in immediate proximity to us.
Yet although I agree on principle with all of these things in the moment that my neighbours young daughter was in my home, shocked by the rainbow cock sat on my shelf, it all seemed a bit irrelevant.
Ethics had met reality and reality had a harsh confrontation to present me with.
Now, it could be that the moment of seeing my adult object on display goes on to be a positive impact in that girls life. I will never know. It’s not exactly a talking point after all (at least not to your neighour’s pre-teen daughter). But, on thinking of what had happened in my head my mind couldn’t help but stray to another scenario.
What if someone entered my home who had been the victim of extreme sexual trauma and saw the same giant rainbow cock?
What is a queer individual with current gender struggles did?
What if a very religiously conservative individual who may, themselves, fall in to the above two categories did?
I really don’t know.
To some degree my house is my own space and, as such, I feel the right to mediate and curate it as I wish. For example, I don’t allow any non-vegan food in my home and I do not cook nor orffer non-vegan meals in it. That’s my choice and I believe that it’s only right to hold my ethics in my home.
I also proudly display a lot of canine imagery and would not, for a moment, consider not doing so on the off chance that someone might fiercely dislike or have a fear of dogs.
But sex objects, especially anatomically realistic ones, feel kind of like an outlier in this situation.
Perhaps it’s because my mind wanders to unsolicited adult imagery or those who used to flash people in public. Adult imagery and flashing one’s wobbly bits are, as actions, not wrong, but when they’re not engaged in with full enthusiastic consent then they are basically a form of sexual violation.
What, in that case, is the difference between if I were to send an unsolicited dick pic and if I were to just have a realistic looking dick in my home for anyone to lay eyes upon?
In both of those situations it seems like the trauma comes from being presented with adult content or representations when not expecting or wanting them, so am I not, in some way, potentially presenting sexual trauma or dismay by displaying my products? Both a picture and a sculpture are a representation, after all, and some dildos are modelled directly off of people’s anatomy, so where is the difference?
I suppose I could always give a warning to people but how even would that work in some cases? ‘Hey, before you consider bringing your kiddies round, I have a lot of sex toys on display. That okay with you?’
What if they say no?
What if they say yes?
Do I constantly pack and unpack cocks and cunts to curtail calamity? Cripes, I’ve got no idea.
Ultimately I’m far too sex toy blind to even have the forethought to do this most times, and almost everyone I know knows what I does and is amicable about it On the few rare occasions that newcomers have entered my home and been shocked by cocks I explain what I do and they tend to shrug it off Usually this is followed by ‘Oh my [so and so] used to host Ann Summers parties’ and all is forgotten.
But sometimes, just sometimes, I have to consider that I may be met with moments like the one with Nala and my pre-teen neighbour’s mad dash out of my home.
What do I do and how do I feel about this? I think only time will tell.