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My boyfriend thinks sex toys make romantic gifts

The Question

My boyfriend began bombarding me with gifts 12 days ahead of Christmas. He thinks it's some kind of romantic gesture, I guess, but his packages have been getting smuttier by the day. Day 1 it was raunchy videos. Day 2, lingerie. Day three, lube. I'm mortified about where all this is headed and want him to take it all back. It's a massive turnoff, and frankly a little creepy for the holiday season. I've tried to pretend I'm thrilled by the gesture, but my face has begun to tell the real tale. I think he knows he's kind of creeping me out, but he's keeping on with it. Can I stop this madness before he gives me something totally disgusting? Help!

The Answer

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Call me old-fashioned. But the mainstream-ification of sex toys and aids has been an ongoing source of cranium-scratching puzzlement to me.

I was at a charity function recently and one of the prizes on offer for the "silent auction" was a basket full of condoms, a sex video, sex-manual-type book, vibrator and lube.

I don't want to pooh-pooh on anyone's charity parade, but my reaction to the gift basket could be summed up in one word: Ew.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm becoming a prude/fuddy-duddy in my dotage. But can we not all agree that sex toys and lubes and so forth are, at the very least, not exactly romantic as Christmas presents?

Or that a present like lingerie is more a present for him than for you - just as surely as if he'd bought you an electric shaver? (Though that may not be what's buzzing in your stocking this year when it gets accidentally set off, I fear.)

I think you can use this as a jumping-off point for a discussion of his peculiar, porny take on the 12 Days of Xmas.

Thank him, first, for his ardour and thoughtfulness. But point out that the whole notion of giving is predicated on the recipient actually benefiting more than the donor from the present.

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And that you, as his girlfriend, are entitled to presents that show he cares about you as a person, not just a set of protuberances, appendages and orifices.

He should get the point. If not, if you think he needs a message somewhat less subtle, maybe you could go to the same sex shop he gets his stuff from and buy a blow-up doll, then give it to him with a card that reads: "Keep up the raunchy presents, dude, and this is going to be your new and only girlfriend."

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