This post is half a personal essay, and half a review of one of the vibrators from the Satisfyer Luxury Range. Why? Because unlike many women I know, I was very late to masturbation – and that has made me think a lot about female sexuality, and about how the stigma attached to it creates problems later in life.
Disclaimers and Warnings
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but the occasion presented itself when I was offered to review one of the vibrators in Satisfyer’s Luxury Range and received one as a gift to do so. However, despite the gift, all thoughts (and orgasms) are my own.
Please note that in this post I will briefly touch on some bad sex/ sexual assault stories from my sex history, so if that upsets you skip to the review part.
A History of (Late) Masturbation
So. There is no easy way of saying this. But I started masturbating at 22. Awks right?
Most women I now know, love and chat with had their sexual awakening through masturbation in their teens and were in touch with their body. I wasn’t like them.
I was partly late to the party because I never felt the need to masturbate as a teen: I got in a relationship at 16 and did all the sex discovery stuff with my partner. I was satisfied and thought I didn’t need any extras. When I moved away from Italy and to the UK, I ended up in another relationship and, again, I felt I was satisfied. People would ask me if I masturbated and I, the idiot, wore my “NOOOOO, I have never masturbated” badge with pride. #facepalm
Except that when my relationships ended I was left alone and, well, quite horny and pleasureless. But still, I would do nothing, because I had never masturbated and never wanted to. I guess I viewed it as shameful, as if I should have found someone to please me instead of “wanking off by myself like a loser”. I didn’t even know what I could do to masturbate and was afraid to even search for it – it felt odd, wrong. Again, #facepalm.
Bad Sex and Abusive Relationships
I only realise this now, but I understood way less about myself and what I liked in bed than I thought I did. I just went along with stuff, even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, partly for the sake of experimentation and partly because I wanted to be the cool girl and not a wuss. Maybe, I now think, if I’d spent more time exploring my own pleasure I would have been clearer in understanding my needs and making sure they were respected.
When I became single for the first time here in the UK, I begun dating and had a variety of sexual experiences that I would probably not enjoy now, because I just went along with what my partners would want. I wasn’t satisfied, my love life lacked a connection with the people I was sleeping with, and I started mistaking good sex with intimacy.
I ended up in an abusive relationship where sex was the only thing that connected me to my partner, so I often slept with him for the wrong reasons: for a connection, to avoid making him angry, to feel loved. Up to a point when my sense of self was annihilated and, one night, he raped me.
After the rape, I left him and fled to the US for a three-month Couchsurfing trip, having more sex than I wanted just to prove myself that I still could. Then, when I moved back to London, I went through a LONG period of celibacy until I picked up my courage again, twice: first, to have sex again; secondly, to finally do it with women and follow my bi side that had been there since my teenage years, but that I’d always felt too unworthy to experiment with. [You’d need a whole new post to discuss what initially stopped me from sleeping with women, and today is not that day.]
Wank Awakening and Sex Toys
Except… That I had a vagina and didn’t know how to use it. So how could I even please another woman? Sadly then, my masturbation journey didn’t start because I thought I deserved pleasure, but because I had to learn to please someone else. Luckily, when I decided to experiment for somebody else’s sake I realised how bloody fucking stupid I had been. And I haven’t stopped ever since.
In the years after that, I realised I could please myself in so many ways and became more selective. I decided to have less but better sex, and that when I was particularly horny I didn’t need to sleep with randos who would most likely treat me like shit: I could just do it myself, according to my rules.
I have only just recently graduated to sex toys. I bought my first bullet vibrator last year, at the age of 25. WTF right? And it was a tiny bullet, partly because still, last year giant vibrators scared me, and partly because I didn’t think spending over Â£20 on a vibrator FOR MY OWN PLEASURE was justified. I thought a vibrator was a luxury.
So now we come to the review part. And let me tell you, it was another awakening.
Satisfyer PrÃªt-Ã -Porter Review
I understand that I am not only a product of my own experiences, but also of the time I lived in: I do not think women have ever felt as comfortable as they are now to discuss pleasure and masturbation, and I am grateful because I am now there too. Vibrators before looked menacing, sometimes ugly, but now advancements in both technology and style have made them appealing to me.
I tried Satisfyer’s PrÃªt-Ã -Porter from the Luxury Range and it is, indeed, a luxury. The range – which includes two other toys, High Fashion and Haute Couture – mixes style with pleasure, selling sex toys that look as sleek and stylish as an Apple product.
Because of my anxiety and the way my brain works, I’d like to think masturbation is a way to relax, but really, getting down to it is quite difficult. I am not often aroused when I start touching myself, and trying to empty my brain means that a lot of unpleasant thoughts pop up and prevent me from enjoying it. “Are you sure you sent that email? And how long do we have left before we die for climate change? Is the truth really out there?” So yeah. Sometimes I even stop before any sort of climax.
Well, I can tell you that didn’t happen when I tried Satisfyer’s PrÃªt-Ã -Porter. When I read their “Come like a queen” tagline I was like, LOL. But damn, they are right. Just out of curiosity, I looked at the time when I started and found that I came in less than four minutes – despite the fact that it always takes me ages to come by myself. I had to collect my thoughts for a few minutes after because I don’t think any vibrator I’ve ever tried before ever left me so out of breath.
The toy is available in a variety of colours. I was sent the cream and pink one which, funnily enough, matches the colour of my bedroom and my fluffy slippers.
The Luxe range is super silent and waterproof. The head of the PrÃªt-Ã -Porter is made from silky smooth, medical grade skin-friendly silicone. The silicone head is shaped to snuggle close to the clitoris and enclose it gently. The toy’s intuitive controls allow you to switch up and down between 11 intensity settings and a non-contact clitoral stimulation – and I guess this is the bit that made me come in less than four minutes because that is my one-way ticket to orgasms in general.
The toy comes with a magnetic charger and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Note that the new Satisfyer Luxury range is made from materials such as leather, brushed aluminium and precious metals, so it’s not vegan.
The full Satisfyer Luxury range launched this summer. The High Fashion (Â£135), PrÃªt-Ã -Porter and Haute Couture (Â£120) vibrators can be bought at www.satisfyer.com/uk when you feel like a treat.
The Importance of Masturbation A.K.A. Touching and Loving Yourself
Looking back, I feel sad and sorry for the girl who thought self-pleasure was shameful, and who didn’t want to invest in vibrators because she thought her own pleasure wasn’t worth that luxury.
Now, masturbation and self-love are a key part of this journey I’ve been on since I’ve started healing from that abusive relationship and I started pole dancing. In fact, I have realised that probably because I’ve always found touching myself so taboo for so long, I suck at touching myself when I pole dance – like I’m swatting a fly or something! So the homework for me at the moment is: touch yourself more Carolina, both in pole and in the bedroom. Trying below…
Cause if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gon’ love somebody else?
P.S. The amazing Beth Ashley has started a series about investing time and money in your solo pleasure, so have a read here if you like this type of content.