Welcome back to What's In Your Nightstand? Our monthly interview with our favorite sex-positive folks where we ask them to share their not-so-secrets! This month we interviewed Cindy Gallop, a sextech maven, solo diner extraordinaire and, founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn.
On what’s in her nightstand
“On my literal nightstand, which is the table next to the bed: a pile of books. I love reading, and I love reading in bed. So whenever I go to bed at night, [that’s] the last thing I do (especially because of that whole thing about reduced screen time). It's not really good for you to look at your phone before you go to sleep. So I always have a pile of books by my side.
“I'm currently reading a book by one of my favorite authors Kate Atkinson called Transcription. Which is very gripping. And then what would be in my nightstand, if it had drawers and so on, are the three essentials: vibrator, condoms and lube. And also, by the way, a sleep mask — because one thing about this apartment is the fantastic light.”
On buying the right vibrator
“I tell every woman that every woman needs to know how to make herself come, and every woman needs to buy a vibrator as early as possible. It's one of these things that I want normalized in society. Now unfortunately — and you guys know this all too well — first of all, society has hedged all of this around massive shame, and so there's a real lack of knowledge about vibrators out there. [For] a lot of women, just the idea of buying a vibrator is [waving arms around] ‘ooooooo’.
“And secondly, people don't realize that vibrators are like partners. You want to find the right one. What is somebody else's vibrator, your best friend's favorite vibe or whatever gets raved about in reviews online, may not be the right vibrator for you. And so, it's really important for you to have a sense of how you like to masturbate, and what makes you come.”
On using a vibrator with a partner
“I'm also very big introducing a vibrator into sex life with your partner. And then I talk to women who are very nervous of doing this, because they feel it would make their partner feel inadequate. Bollocks to that. I say to them, ‘have no worries about that.’ Again, I live my own philosophies. I do this all the time. Essentially, as a woman, you would like to have an orgasm. Just get your vibrator out. Say to your partner ‘by the way darling, I'm just going to use my vibrator.’ I just tell them, get it out. I'm straight, so I'm speaking heteronormatively here, but obviously this applies to anybody and everybody.
“The key thing is, the moment your partner has watched you give yourself a mind-blowing orgasm with that vibrator. They're going to be about bringing that vibrator out every time. The men I sleep with will say, ‘do you want to get that vibrator out again’ because your partner loves watching you have a good time. They will absolutely welcome you introducing a vibrator into your sex life when you've demonstrated to them how that works for the both of you.”
On being ashamed of what’s in your nightstand
“Oh there's absolutely no need to be. For a start, people are ashamed of what's in their nightstand because their nightstand is a real mess. I was telling my team at MakeLoveNotPorn yesterday in the office that I was doing this today and people were going ‘oh my god, I'd be really embarrassed for anyone to see my nightstand.’ And they were like ‘I've got all these sort of paper clips, and It's just a complete mess.’ So, first of all, don't worry about that because everybody's ashamed of what's in their nightstand to some degree because it's often a total mess. But then in the context of what we're talking about, there is nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever. I mean — talk about it!”
On finding your sexual values
“Everything in life — and business by the way — starts with you and your values. So I really ask people this question: What are you sexual values? And nobody can ever answer me because we're not taught to think like that. Many of us, if we're lucky, are born into families where our parents have brought us up to have good manners, a work ethic, a sense of responsibility and accountability. Nobody brings us up to behave well in bed. But they should, because there: empathy, sensitivity, generosity, kindness, honesty, are as important as they are in any other area of our lives where we're actively taught to exercise those values.”