Dear MKE SEX,

I was just watching TV and heard my Magic Wand from my bedroom. I guess I always knew my daughter (she’s 13) would probably stumble across it eventually, seeing as how I leave it plugged in all the time behind my bed. (Is it always that loud, or was it against the wall or floor? Because Jesus, that thing is loud from downstairs.) I walked upstairs and she came out of my room. I looked at her and just said, “That’s mine, and it’s private, and it’s not something people share.” She nodded a little and said “Ok.” Then, I said, “I know you are embarrassed, but if you want something of your own, we can talk about it tomorrow.” She didn’t say anything else, just kind of went off to bed. Is there anything else I should have said? How long before she can look me in the eye again?

Also, while I love my wand, at her age I could come lots of different ways, but now I am a one trick pony, for the most part. I don’t necessarily want to get her something so powerful, but I don’t know how to say that to her.

Thanks,
Magic Wanderer

Dear Wanderer,

Wow! You handled that situation really well. In another household, a 13-year-old girl might have been scolded, shamed, or even punished if they were discovered masturbating. Instead, you acknowledged her feelings, clearly stated your boundary (not sharing your vibrator), and then immediately told her that she could have her own if she’s ready. I’m assuming you’ve already told her that masturbation is healthy and normal. If that’s the case, I can’t think of anything else you should have said to her in that moment. If you haven’t had that conversation yet, now is probably the best possible time to have it.

If you’d like some additional resources for your daughter as she moves through the teen years, check out S.E.X. The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide To Get You Through Your Teens And Twenties by Heather Corinna. It’s a great sex-positive book full of accurate information about sex, masturbation, gender identity, orientation, consent, and a lot more. It’s written by the founder of Scarleteen, a loud and proud online resource for folks in their teen years. I highly recommend checking out the site, and then sharing it with your daughter, too. Another great book for teens is Changing Bodies, Changing Lives by Ruth Bell (one of the authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves).

Of course, there’s no way to know when your daughter is going to recover from her recent shock and be able to have a conversation about it. Even if she’d like a vibrator (or other sex toy) of her own, it’s likely that she might not bring it up to you. I think the best thing you can do is to mention it casually once or twice so she can feel that it’s not a taboo topic, and then wait a little while. If she is interested having a toy of her own, she should take the lead on picking one out. In general, smaller vibes are best for clitoral stimulation while longer ones do a better job of vaginal stimulation. While it’s true that wand style vibrators are very powerful, they don’t have to be off limits to young people. Many women (of all ages) need an intense vibration to achieve orgasm.

Whatever the two of you decide, I think it’s great that you’re supportive of your daughter and her normal sexual curiosity. The way you handled this situation has certainly shown her that she can depend on you to be there for her, without judgement, as she moves through the next several years. That’s a priceless gift you’ve given her whether she knows it now or not.

P. S. Yes, your Magic Wand is always that loud. But that’s okay. Just close your door and turn up the music. Or tell the kids that you’re vacuuming the rug.

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at mkesex@gmail.com and she’ll get back to you with an answer.