50 Thoughts That Run Through Your Mind When Buying Your First Strap-On

The other day, my friend Layla* sent me a text message out of the blue.

"Zara, I'm about to buy my first ever strap-on with my new girlfriend! I'm terrified!" she wrote. I could feel her urgency penetrate my cell phone.

"Amazing! Congrats!" I responded, trying to emulate pure sweetness through the staleness of airwaves. I knew she needed my support, and I was going to give it to her.

"ZARA, I'm freaking out! I'm too nervous to buy a bra, let alone a dildo," she responded back at the speed of wild fire.

"It's a rite of passage! You'll be fine, plus they're super sweet at the sex shop," I typed back.

"Ugh, what if I pick out the Lilly Pulitzer print one?"

"DON'T PICK OUT THE LILLY PULITZER ONE!" I wrote, hoping she would understand how dire the situation really was. Wait a minute: They don't even make Lilly Pulitzer printed dildos, do they? Southern ladies would lose their minds (but probably secretly order one when their sexless husbands went to sleep).

However, I felt bad for my dear, newly out friend Layla. Because Layla was in the middle of a total WASP crisis. She was having an Ivy League, former sorority girl meltdown. She had to go into a sex shop (gasp) with her girlfriend ("You're a lesbian, too" my inner WASP was taunting her) and buy a dildo and a strap-on (enough to send my inner WASP into a frenzy of Valium and martinis).

If I could've held Layla's hand and walked her through the sex shop and guided her through the process of buying her first strap-on, I promise you, girl, I would have. But, I couldn't. That's because a) her girlfriend wouldn't have appreciated it, and b) it's something every lez must do by her lonesome, without the help of her lesbian big sister/tour guide.

You know that old proverb, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime?" It's the same thing when buying a strap-on. Buy a girl a strap-on, and she'll have a strap-on for one relationship. Let a girl buy her own strap-on, and she'll have strap-ons for a lifetime.

Wow, that was beautiful, if I do say so myself. Wildly poetic. It's poetic Wednesday, just in case you didn't know, sweet kittens. And what's more poetic than a dildo strapped inside an Italian leather harness? Nothing.

However, I'll confess, I've been right where Layla is. In fact, one of my dearest friends was with me when I purchased my first strap-on, and I was a hot mess. A chic European lady sold it to me and loudly informed me (and the room) "it could be packed in" my pants. That way, I could "keep it on throughout the day and have sex with [my] girlfriend whenever." I nearly died from embarrassment.

But once I ripped that Band-Aid off, it became as easy as buying shoes, only better. Because while I love shoes as much as the next mascara lesbian, shoes don't give you orgasms. Sex toys do.

Here is the emotional roller coaster all girls go through when buying their first strap-on with their partners:

  1. Is this even the right store? It looks too pretty to be the right store. Are sex stores supposed to be this civilized-looking?
  2. Well, there is a leather harness in the window, and a neon sign that says "XXX." This must be the right store.
  3. I can do this. I can go in. I'm a sex-positive feminist.
  4. I'm taking ownership of my sex life, like the strong woman my mother raised me to be.
  5. Ew. Why am I thinking about my mother when I'm buying a strap-on? I need therapy.
  6. OK, is my girlfriend OK?
  7. And we're walking in.
  8. She's totally done this before.
  9. Ugh, she's totally going to know this is my first time buying a strap-on. WHY AM I BEHIND ON EVERYTHING IN LIFE?
  10. Oh shit, she looks nervous. She's looking at me to ask the salesgirl to lead us to the strap-on section. She's acting submissive.
  11. Wait, am I going to be wearing it?
  12. Am I TOP?
  13. I'm totally a TOP!
  14. OK, this is a lot of pressure, but I think I can handle it.
  15. My mother always told me I was a natural-born leader.
  16. WHY AM I THINKING ABOUT MY MOTHER AGAIN? I need a hotline or something.
  17. Oh, and the salesgirl is coming up to us, and she's smiling a little too big.
  18. She can totally tell this is my first time.
  19. If the salesgirl can tell this is my first time, my girlfriend can tell this is my first time and I'm supposed to be a power top, then what the hell do I do?
  20. Just breathe. OK, she's leading us to the harnesses and asking if we want leather.
  21. Of course we want leather. What does she think I am, a savage? Do I look like the kind of girl who would wear pleather?
  22. Oh, this leather is buttery.
  23. Oh, this isn't so bad. It's sort of like buying really nice leather boots, except...
  24. I'll use it to have sex with my girlfriend.
  25. "We'll take one of those. The finest Italian leather you have, honey."
  26. On to the dildo... We got the harness part down, so the rest should be a breeze.
  27. OH MY GOD, THESE DILDOS LOOK TOO REAL. WHY DO THEY HAVE VEINS?
  28. I might have thrown up in my mouth a little bit.
  29. Is my girlfriend into the realistic-looking dildo?
  30. Is my girlfriend straight? Does she wish I had a dick?
  31. Do I wish I had a dick?
  32. OK, breathe. She's showing us some pink ones. I can get down with a pink dildo.
  33. My girlfriend wants a purple one. I hate purple, but at least she doesn't want a flesh one.
  34. OK, lez walk to the register.
  35. I'm such a badass. I'm a real lesbian now, baby. I'm buying my first strap-on.
  36. Wow, this is really a moment with my girlfriend. This is so romantic.
  37. Should I tell her I love her?
  38. I know it's only been three dates, but I think I might love her.
  39. Oh, it's time to pay.
  40. It costs $550?! What the hell? I could buy, like, six pairs of Dr. Martens boots for that.
  41. Screw the fine Italian leather. I'll take the pleather.
  42. Oh, but my girlfriend looks so happy... She doesn't deserve pleather.
  43. Shouldn't we split this?
  44. Is it rude for me to ask her to split the strap-on with me?
  45. Shit. Do I have time to transfer funds, at least? I can't ask her to split the strap-on because I just realized I LOVE her.
  46. Maybe I should ask her to move in with me? This is a big step.
  47. OK, let's pray my credit card goes through.
  48. God, I promise I will start believing in you if my credit card goes through.
  49. HOLY SHIT, I JUST BOUGHT A STRAP-ON.
  50. HOLY SHIT, NOW I HAVE TO ACT LIKE I KNOW HOW TO USE IT?

*Name has been changed.