How Sex Toys are Destabilizing Purity Culture
Slut, Prude, Virgin, Whore...
All terms we have heard before!
But how are we destabilizing the trend of commenting on individuals' sexual choices and putting a value on purity?
First, Let's chat about how "purity" manifested and controls our society.
So purity culture has its roots in you guessed it Christianity. Now the practice of "selling virginity" is seen in many historical contexts. “Purity culture” is the term often used for the evangelical movement that attempts to promote a biblical view of purity (1 Thess. 4:3-8) by discouraging dating and promoting virginity before marriage, often through the use of tools. These tools can be pledges, purity balls, chastity enclosures, and of course public humiliation or execution. The "original" woman to fall from grace was Eve, women were viewed by the Puritans as vulnerable to temptations like desire for material possessions or sexual satisfaction. So Not only are women meant to be sexless they were thought to be of lesser intelligence. Super (sarcasm). The witch trials was a hate fest for women - any individual who fell out of line would be burned alive as they were working with Satan. (We won't get into the history of queerness during this period... yikes).
That purity culture translated into a patriarchal society ruled by murder and intolerance of women, the queer community, people of colour and anyone who spoke beyond the confines of evangelical scripture.
This idea of purity, and puritan also promoted a rape culture that spawned from this arena. If men were to rape a women they can claim she is no longer pure and could be murdered for their existence, and no one was the wiser. It also made it very clear that men were in charge of individuals bodies, of when they had worth, and when they were done they could claim that these women turned to Satan. There is no justice in purity, and you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
So why do dildo's destabilize this insidious ground work evoked by scripture?
Well - an orgasm is a powerful thing. We believe that self-pleasure can support self-actualization, and that actualization prompts for sweeping change. A sex-toy gives the control back to wielder! Purity tools were used to control women and required men, sex toys are a tool that can completely ignore the need for men (except for reproduction, but there are tools for that as well). This is freedom .
When we remove other people from our identity it allows for us to be critical of our surroundings and existence. Have you ever had a friend that disappears the moment they are in a relationship, changes everything about themselves, and then is devastated for eons when that relationship ends? This could be considered emotional shrapnel from purity culture. Only being able to identify who we are based on our relationships is a deep rooted idea that we aren't worth anything without validation. Now I understand that we groom ourselves based on validation, on feedback about what we wear, our style etc. However, this doesn't change who we are, but prunes our understanding and reinforces domains we were already interested in. Only Being self-critical allows for us to look at structures (both societal & environmental) that are confining our capacity for greatness.
Since there is such a shift to self-pleasure. The pleasure community is holding itself accountable (to an extent). We have more representation from women in this 15 Billion dollar industry, we have queer owned brands (Such as Sensuale), and we have women fronted organizations that are on the leading edge of sex technology. Shout our to our Founder who is an employed member of the Women Of Sex Tech. We have brands that are on the same mission such as Cute Little Fuckers, Je Joue, and Handi. The industry is changing because individuals are not afraid to be sexual beings and wield pleasure as a tool of activism.
Your resident Radical Pleasure Activists - Team Sensuale