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Well, Christmas is all about toys, I guess.

Every Christmas, without fail, I have a medical emergency. This year, it’s an infected wisdom tooth, which is sort of my own fault, for not having them removed when I had the chance, but, well, I’m a wimp.

So Flea and I were in Boots today picking up industrial quantities of codeine and antibiotics when Flea asked, “Can I have this?”

There, among the electric razors and vibrating toothbrushes was an altogether different sort of vibrating appliance. The Philips Sensual Massager, which is apparently contoured especially to pleasure both male and female intimate areas, is currently on special offer at Boots. Just £49.99, apparently.

Flea thought it was a video games console.

I told her it was a massager for grown-ups and moved on, thanking my lucky stars she didn’t notice that the Durex vibrating cock rings were on a two for one special offer. (Just as an aside, why do you need two? In case you find yourself having a festive threesome? Or in case one of them is in the wash?)

Maybe it's me, but sex toys seem to be everywhere this year. When I was a kid, we giggled and blushed and dared each other to go into Virgin to buy a packet of Mates. Which we then obviously blew into balloons and filling with bits of mayonnaise and left on other girls’ desks. I suspect by the time Flea’s a teenager, the stakes will be considerably higher.   

I’m a liberal person, really I am. I am fully supportive of an individual’s right to use whatever electronic device they choose in whatever way they choose, so long as they remember to give it a good wash afterwards. And I feel that my feminist principles should, on some level, be pleased by Boots deciding to sell vibrators.

Regardless, I don’t want to hear about it. I almost died this year when I invited a (now former) client to dinner and she proceeded to tell me all about her preferred brand of vibrator. Eewww.

And I may never recover from seeing that middle-aged couple looking at the Philips Intimate Massager in Boots today. I’m telling myself they thought it was a video games console. The alternative is just too horrific to think about. 

What do you think? Should we welcome the widespread availability of sex toys, or should such things still  be purchased on the Internet and shipped in brown paper?


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

About The Author


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.


  1. april

    i have never thought about it – hmm…to go away and ponder…

  2. Nat

    When I was living in Sydney Australia, I zipped around to the local $2 to buy something it’s very misleading that $2 as most things are about $15 anyway… The use to sell ladies massagers for $5 bargain.
    I just can’t imagine having the courage to slap it on the counter!!

  3. Nat

    I really should add I didn’t go to buy that, but it was tempting for such a snip.

  4. Liz (LivingwithKids)

    Well one of my uni summer jobs was packing various items at a health food factory – and these included ‘performance enhancers’ for men. So I guess I’m pretty unshockable – but everything we packed was indeed shipped in brown jiffy bags. I don’t think kids should be confronted with sex aids in Boots or anywhere else. I don’t even think porn mags should be on sale in newsagents. And that client with the bad case of TMI clearly had issues.

  5. Wife of bold

    Very funny, poor Flea though, maybe you could purchase it and put it away for her 18th haha! Not that i’ve given the subject much thought, but i think we definitely should return to the days of the jiffy bags….no pun intended 🙂

  6. Siren

    I feel a bit sad that you were put off by middle-aged couples looking at sex toys. Sex isn’t just for the under 30s. You wouldn’t be too happy if someone was being that judgemental about you when you’re their age, would you? You don’t seem very liberal at all.
    (Although I agree kids shouldn’t be confronted by such things in high st stores.)

  7. Laura

    I’ve known my hairdresser who works from home for 4 years, both as her client and socially.
    The last time I went for a cut and blow dry I wasn’t expecting her to whip out several models of sex toy at the end and ask if I wanted to buy any. But she did and I politely declined.
    Recently we were out and she told me exactly which of our friends had bought what from her and when.
    So glad I declined.

  8. Sally

    @Nat – I’d worry whether cheap items like that had been adequately tested. You wouldn’t want an electric shock, would you?
    @Liz – performance enhancers? I’m unsure as to whether to Google that or just use my imagination.
    @WifeofBold – well, at that price who wouldn’t be tempted?
    @Siren – God, I hope sex isn’t for the under 30s, or I’m stuffed. Or not, as the case may be 😉 Look, I’ve no issue with people of any age, shape, colour or creed having sex, and I’ve no issue with anyone using any device of their choosing to pep things up. Seriously. I’m one of those mothers who probably would buy my teenage daughter a vibrator.
    I just don’t want to imagine people having sex. Having a mental image of people in their late 60s having sex with sex toys is just TOO close to imagining my parents having sex and that’s just a horrifying prospect, frankly. Similarly, I don’t want to be sitting in a meeting with a client and suddenly have the thought pop into my head: “I wonder why she switched from the cone to the bullet?” Basically, unless I find someone sexually attractive, I don’t want to imagine them having sex. Ever. At all.
    @Laura – that’s hysterical.

  9. Siren

    But there’s a huge difference between spotting someone looking at sex toys and actually imagining them at it. I never think about other people having sex, or how they have it, whether they’re buying toys or not. But I’m assuming they *are* having sex.

  10. Sally

    @Siren – I’m probably just a perv.

  11. Vic

    The likes of Ann Summers are a great idea of bringing such things into the mainstream high street. I guess we should also be congratulating boots for starting to do the same. However, not taking your children into Ann Summers is an easy choice, not taking them into Boots is a much more difficult one. While you have to applaud Boots for the move, you have to question whether they were really looking at their customer base and their needs when introducing the product line.

  12. Mummy Mania

    Oh I’m with you… lashings of libaral…. with a tad tinge of conservative proprity thrown in for good measure! Yes to sex toys (whatever gets you through the night, I say) but preferably on a top shelf! There are enough awkward questions this time of year – (“why are there so many Santas around when he’s in the North Pole making our presents?”) without that!
    Anyway, have a wonderful Christmas (whatever you get in your stocking??!!) and a happy happy year ahead.

  13. Rosie Scribble

    They sell those things in Boots? Yikes! I think I am an old-fashioned prude when it comes to things like this. I think they should remain on sale in places like Ann Summers, not that I have ventured in there of course, oh dear, this is all sounding wrong. I have heard they sell them there and on the internet, apparently, possible, maybe, anyway…

  14. Sally

    @Vic – I think that’s the issue. It’s a very easy option to NOT take my four year old into Ann Summers, not so much Boots, where we go all the time. I don’t think it’s prudish to say I don’t want to explain cock rings to her just yet.
    @Mummy Mania – Santa knows how to delegate certain duties to the taller elves.
    @Natalie – Oh, I remember seeing those tongues. SO, so so disturbing. And I never want to have that sort of conversation with my parents. I remember my Mum once using the phrase ‘sexual intercourse’ with me in some context or other, and something inside me curled up and died.
    @Rosie – hahaha.


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