Buy Yourself A Goddamn Vibrator For Valentine’s Day

Illustration by Getty Images and Lindsay Hattrick.

Or, like, just because

My childhood friends and I bought our first vibrators together at 18. We were sexually curious but also sexually frustrated and probably watching too much Sex and the City at the time. More than a decade later, I've cycled through a handful of versions. Portable ones, medium-sized ones, the kind that would make my grandma blush. I'd co-existed with mine for so long, I guess I'd forgotten that some people… hadn't. When the topic of vibrators came up with my two 20-something roommates, I quickly texted a handful of college friends, inquiring as to just what they do behind closed doors, and found out that the majority have never used or owned one. What do you do at night after a long day? I thought. Scroll through Instagram? Go to the gym? Read? There are better options.

For anyone who doesn't yet know, your first time masturbating on your own feels a little like this:

But, your first time masturbating with a toy is an entirely different experience. You still feel powerful, and there's a sense of pride, but you also still have the energy to do it again (… and again… and again). There's no hand cramping to worry about, no stamina to contend with. Technology is meant to make your life easier, and it does the job well in this case.

It can be hard to convince first-timers of this though, especially with the stigma surrounding sex toys. My first introduction to vibrators was by way of, again, Sex and the City. While the infamous Rabbit episode is memorable, there's also another episode, in which Miranda's housekeeper Magda reorganizes Miranda's nightstand "goody drawer," and replaces her toy with a statue of the Virgin Mary. Miranda being Miranda (and one of the more progressive and vocal and best characters on the show), confronts Magda about the swap, telling her: "Magda, what I don't need is another mother… I need a housekeeper who will stop judging me because I'm a 34-year-old single woman living in New York. I drink coffee and have sex and buy pies and enjoy battery-operated devices." By the end of the episode, Magda leaves an array of nicely organized condoms in the drawer.

If you don't have the strong will of Miranda though (and not many women do), there can still be a cloud of embarrassment surrounding sex toys, as Babeland sex educator and brand manager Lisa Finn tells us. And it's not just stemming from cultural shame, but many women also have the idea that there's something wrong with our bodies or sex lives. "While we definitely hold space for those feelings, we want to reframe it as this: Seeking pleasure is something we do in our everyday lives, and framing sexual pleasure in that same mindset can really help out with normalizing it," Finn says. "Now, think of sex toys as tools for this—simply things that make reaching that goal of pleasure easier, more accessible, or that give you a new and exciting way to do so." She likes to say that vibrators and sex toys, in general, can be like the toppings on an already delicious sex life. "It doesn't mean you're not enjoying what you already have, you're just adding in a little extra flavor."

The number of vibrators on the market right now is welcome, but it can also be overwhelming. Vibrators don't just vibrate anymore, and they don't all look like back massagers. They pulsate, they gyrate, they suck, and they can be placed on top of your dresser instead of in the drawer, thanks to the many new aesthetically pleasing designs.

So, where to begin? "The first bit of advice I have for anyone looking to get a sex toy is to take time to figure out what your body likes overall," Finn recommends. "When you masturbate, how do you touch yourself? Do you keep your touch external—like on a clit—and if so, how hard do you touch? Do you like penetration? If so, how deep? What motions or moves turn you on or get you off? Take this information and go from there."

She also recommends taking advantage of sales members if you're buying IRL from a store. They're literally hired for their expertise and are more than willing to help you out. "Don't be shy to tell them that it's your first time shopping, and talk through your likes, dislikes, wants, and needs. As someone that works in a sex shop, I can guarantee you that it's not embarrassing at all," Finn says. Places like Babeland will also often have displays of toys. "Take time to turn them on and/or feel them—in your hands! Does it feel too small or too big? Too heavy? Too strong or not strong enough? Do you like the color and the design? Yes, this matters, you don't want to take something home you'll want to hide away and not ever look at!"

It's also important to know what your vibrator is made of. "Buying from an authorized retailer, and not a third party or reseller, is a good way to guarantee that the body-safe materials you want your toys to be made of—medical-grade silicone, stainless steel, ABS plastic, and so forth—are actually what they say they are," Finn says. That will also determine how to store it, clean it, and what lube to use. "Pro-tip: Silicone lubricant does not play well with silicone toys!"

But the most important thing to do is prioritize your needs. "You want to be leaving with something that feels right for YOU," Finn says. "And that might not be the 'best seller' or the 'most popular' toy, because bodies and tastes are different!" Don't overthink it too much or rush yourself either. Taking your time to get in touch with the kind of touch you prefer is the best kind of self-love.

Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.


Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

Asset 7
Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

He'd previously said he wanted to punch Jackson's 'Leaving Neverland' accusers in the face

Aaron Carter has been one of Michael Jackson's fiercest celebrity advocates in the aftermath of the Leaving Neverland documentary in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, alleged that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In a new clip from People, however, he seems to walk back his defense.

People reveals that Carter will be joining the upcoming season of reality TV show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition with his mother. It's noted that he will be revealing more thoughts regarding Jackson following the documentary and the sneak peek specifically sees him alluding to a negative experience with the singer.

Carter, who has previously said that Jackson was never inappropriate toward him, says that Jackson "was a really good guy," though he does note that this is only true "as far as I know." "He never did anything that was inappropriate," he continues before stopping himself, as though remembering something. "Except for one time. There was one thing that he did that was a little bit inappropriate."

Carter does not provide any more detail after this statement. He has previously said that he would stay at Jackson's Neverland estate and sleep in the same bed as the much older star when he was 15 years old, though he hasn't seemed to understand then just how creepy that is. He also said earlier this year, in a clip from TMZ, that he would be telling a story of something that happened between them in an upcoming book about his life.