Humans need a number of essentials to survive. These essentials go beyond just food, water, and shelter. They also include both physical and non-physical elements and things that people use to answer their physiological needs such as a need for sex. As an intellectual individual, people are capable of inventing things that can satisfy these needs. And one of these inventions includes sex toys. Sex toys are objects or devices used to give or enhance sexual pleasure. Sometimes, they are called auto-erotic pleasure tools, marital aids, or b.o.b.s (battery-operated-boyfriends). Using these can be an exciting way to spice up one’s sexual life, whether using them by themselves or with others. Sex toys are designed to resemble parts of a female and male body.
Some of us think that these devices are just generic sculptures. But it is actually modeled after a real person, usually an actor or actresses from a pornographic movie. Human beings have had a long and illustrious fascination with devices that can add a thrill in his or her sex life. Even though there are surrounding issues regarding the moral, religious and ethical use of sex toys, it seems apparent that the pursuit of sex-enhancing devices is not just an acculturated behavior showing our deep fascination with sexual intercourse, but an evolutionary expression of a hard-wired need to make every sexual encounter count. Sex toys have been long discovered by our ancestors and used for pleasure purposes, although it may not be as good as today.
The first evidence for the existence of sex toys are dated back 30,000 years before Christ. They are even invented first than wheels. Dildos were the first sex toys that ever invented by Greeks. These penis-shaped tools were so integral to day-to-day Grecian life that men and women took them virtually everywhere they go – even into the afterlife.
Penis extenders by Romans, the sex manual Kama Sutra, and Geisha Balls were introduced between the 4th and 6th centuries. Penis extenders were used by men who need a longer penis to satisfy women with large vaginas and also to enable men to please their wives.
Dr. George Taylor invented the first vibrator in 1869. Since during this time, women were not considered sexual, this apparatus were used to treat female hysteria.
Sex toys have changed throughout the years, but they still have the same purpose of enhancing sexual arousal and experience. While sex toys have evolved over the last 30,000 years, popularity has remained high, and its accessibility is much easier because of internet and specialty stores.
With this increasing popularity of sex toys in the world, the issue about the morality and ethics of using these devices is still present in the society. Even though youth’s sexual attitude nowadays are more liberal because of the influences of the media and globalization, sex toys are still regarded as taboo especially in the Philippines.
Philippines has long been under the power of the Catholic Church. The Church always has the say on important aspects of civil life. Even if most of the Filipino population today is clearly Westernized, they are still very conservative when it comes to the public and legal sexual values. This conservativeness has a great connection on the religious faith of Filipinos. A very traditional interpretation of Catholic decrees regarding sexuality and marriage have been inscribed in the minds of the Filipino people and are now very difficult to alter nor delete. Outstanding among these is the condemnation of self-pleasuring or masturbation.
Saying that a certain act is immoral may be based on how a person defines what is right or wrong. How we react on issues regarding sex is basically based on social, religious, and cultural norms that we, Filipinos, have. It is the society and the religion that dictates what and how should we behave in order to fit in and look acceptable in the eyes of other people. Different Christians have different views. Some would say that using sex toys are wrong, others would say it’s fine. However, it doesn’t matter what certain Christians think is right, as morality isn’t just a pick and choose thing for the believer. For the religious, God has set the standards. There are two reasons why most Filipinos disagree with the use of sex toys. Fist is that the Catholic Church teaches that “Masturbation constitutes a grave moral disorder”. Most sex toys are really masturbatory in nature. They help you have an orgasm.
Most religious Filipinos are against it for it is for personal pleasure only, which is regarded as a selfish act. Second is that, the Bible says that the love for our spouse, and respect for the bodies and minds God created, requires us to avoid anything which can cause problems physically, medically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and relationally (Ephesians 5:29 & 33, 1 Corinthians 6:19). We should not harm anyone, which some sex toys seem to do; when you use it alone, who is on your mind, and some other reasons. Also some items may not be safe to use. For example, there are devices known as penis rings which are placed around the base of the penis to improve or maintain an erection. Most of these rings are safe, but a fixed ring that has no release could be very dangerous if it’s too small. It’s also noted by most manufacturers that the rings should not be used for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Vacuum devices (used on the penis, the vulva, the clitoris or the breasts/nipples) and anything used to restrain a person also pose potential problems if they are not properly designed and used. There is nothing wrong with fun; fun is good. If sex toys bring the couple closer, and results in one or both of them enjoying sex more, that is good. But if it results in either person feeling badly, then that is an issue. Philippines is one of the most conservative and religious countries in the world. Basically, there are no problems with sex toys itself. The issue is on the culture of the country, the norms in the society, the way people perceive things, how they define what a deviant act is or not and the religion they are in.