I Tried To DIY A Sex Toy

compactible megan miao sex workshop

compactible (drawing), 2018, charcoal and pastel on paper by Megan Miao

I don’t own a sex toy, save for a particularly veiny glow-in-the-dark dildo the size of a radish. It was a gag gift from a friend when I turned 21, and several years later it’s still sitting in a box in the back of my closet. So when I saw that there was actually a DIY sex toy workshop being held here in Singapore, I was like, eh, why not?

A little bit of context first: the “DIY Sex Toy Workshop” is part of the ongoing ‘tell me how they kiss you, tell me how you kiss’ exhibition at Telok Ayer Arts Club. Besides showing artworks surrounding the themes of intimacy, sexuality and sensuality, there are also talks and live music events.

compactible (object), 2018, clay sculptures by Megan Miao.

The workshop is led by Megan Miao, a multidisciplinary artist. The main aim of this endeavour, according to the artist, is to start an open discussion and dialogue on sexuality and sex toys. It’s open to everyone, but coincidentally, the session that I attended was made up of a small group of women who looked like they were in their 20s.

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Sex toy or cat toy?

We first started with a little ice breaker game called “Sex toy or cat toy”, which was tougher than I expected—and this is coming from someone who wrote an article about sex toys. And I actually learnt about a couple of sex toys that I wasn’t aware of previously.

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Guess you’ll have to attend the workshop yourself to find out if this is a sex toy or a cat toy.

There were also a few exercises on crafting sex toys, including one where we get to fashion a dildo out of toothbrushes and sponges. Obviously, some of these sex toys are not for actual usage, but as Megan pointed out to us several times as we were crafting these, the whole point is to think about what our preferences are and make something that addresses our personal pleasure.

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Apparently, women in prison made dildos out of maxi pads and toothbrushes, and this—made of sponges—was fashioned after one of those.

It was actually tougher than expected, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I like when it comes to between-the-sheets activities. That train of thought then brought me to a weird headspace where I wondered why I haven’t thought about this properly before; am I actually a little skittish around the topic of sex even though I seem quite liberal on the surface, and ohmygod is this the reason why I have disappointing sex most of the time, etc.

Never expected to face a personal crisis whilst trying to craft a prison-style dildo on a rainy Saturday afternoon, but life is full of surprises, I guess.

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What makes something a sex toy anyway?

Jokes aside, the workshop achieved what the artist wanted—which is to get me thinking about how I approach my sexuality. It got personal, it got provocative, and the best part is that everyone in the group felt safe to share honestly and openly, which was refreshing.

“People are usually not comfortable talking about sex, but I’m heartened to see the women attending my workshop talk about their sexuality openly as we go through the different activities,” Megan shares with me after the workshop. “I’m also surprised at the depth of the conversation during these sessions.”

Sex toy singapore

When my friend texted me that Saturday night asking me what I was doing, my answer was, “Trying to finish knotting my flogger, it’s a thing, don’t ask.”

An hour and a half later, I emerged from Telok Ayer Arts Club, clutching a worksheet that I had just completed on a sex toy of my own design—which I’m currently trying to patent in hopes of becoming the next Kylie Jenner of sex toys—a poorly-crafted DIY flogger that won’t be any fun in the bedroom, and the aforementioned toothbrush-sponge dildo. But the best thing I took away from this workshop was, perhaps, that question of why I shoved the sex toy my friend had given me to the back of my closet, and how much of my own sexuality I am subconsciously suppressing.

So if you want ~something~ to think and talk about, this workshop is quite a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Some of the women in my group even stayed behind to continue the conversation. Also, if you’re interested in attending, there might be another “DIY Sex Toy Workshop” with Megan Miao in January next year. Slots fill up quite fast, so follow Telok Ayer Arts Club on Instagram for updates!

Telok Ayer Arts Club is at 2 McCallum Street.

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