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Fatherly Advice: A Vibrator Isn’t a Threat, It’s Another Power Tool to Master

Fatherly's resident family and parenting expert answers questions about sex toys and Kindergarten readiness.

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“Fatherly Advice” is a weekly parenting advice column by the experts at Fatherly. Need hard-won insights and scientific facts to resolve a parenting dilemma or family dispute? Email advice@fatherly.com. Need justifications for parenting decisions you’ve already made? Ask someone else. We’re far too busy for that nonsense.

 

Fatherly,

My wife is about to have our first baby. I’m feeling pretty solid about the breath coaching and stuff. The house is baby proofed and all the furniture is built. But I’m having trouble figuring out what I really need in our go-bag. What should I bring to the hospital anyway?

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Gino,
Aurora, Colorado

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When you say your wife is about to have a baby are we talking hours? Days? Weeks? I mean, I need to know how brief you need me to be here, Gino. Because if the kid is coming as you read this, then you’ll just have to make do, my friend.

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That’s an important point, actually. There’s nothing in the rules that says you need to bring a go-bag. It’s nice to have prepared, of course. But if you’re out at the movies and your wife is going into labor, there’s no need to run home for the go-bag first. But, I’m going to go ahead and assume your wife’s water hasn’t broken yet, which means you actually have time to get your bag packed. Seriously. It really doesn’t take that much time.

Of course, most people assume the first thing you need is a bag. Not really. It’s is a bit tricky to find the right sized bag if you don’t know what exactly you’re putting into it. So gather the materials first, then get a bag that fits.

The first thing you’ll want to make sure you pack are materials that are crucial to your wife having the birth experience she wants. So, if she wants your child to be born to the soulful strains of Guns N’ Roses classic Paradise City, you’ll want to make sure you have a device to play the tunes and a speaker to amplify them over her cries of effort. You’ll also need the cords to keep those devices charged because labor can go on for a while. And, depending on your wife, you may also need to bring comfort items. These might include a special blanket or pillow from home, or essential oils, or a calming item. Notably, if you’re going to the hospital, the rooms aren’t always the most charming. So you may want to bring electric candles to set a more meditative and relaxing mood.

Speaking of comfort, you’ll want to bring comfy clothes. For you, specifically. Your wife will likely have on some kind of hospital gown and tear away undies. But you’ll need to be comfortable too. After all, there’s a good chance you may need to take a disco nap as labor drags on. Also, you’ll want to make sure you bring hygiene supplies for the same reason. You’re not going to want to great you new baby sporting bad breath and armpits that smell like onion rings.

Once you’ve gathered all of these supplies, you can find a bag that they fit in. Just stuff that sucker and put it somewhere by the door. Hopefully, you’ll feel more prepared, unless you’re already at the hospital. In which case, good luck! Hit up the gift shop for a toothbrush.

 

Fatherly,

I always thought my wife and I had a really good sex life, but lately, she’s been saying she wants to spice stuff up by buying sex toys like vibrators and stuff. It kind of makes me feel like I’m not doing it for her or something. Should I be worried about this?

Garrett
Baltimore, Maryland

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Here’s the short answer, Garrett: Nope, you shouldn’t be worried. My answer would be different if your wife wanted to bring a 25-year-old starting quarterback from the local university into the bedroom. Then, you might want to be worried. But what she’s requesting is, essentially, a new sensation. That’s a good thing.  Also, the vibrator you’re going to eventually wind up using is going to make your life easier. Again, this is a good.

Look, you could walk ten miles if you wanted to. But a bicycle is going to get you over those miles faster and you’re probably going to have a better time. The same thing applies here. Except your partner’s goal is to have an orgasm. Sure, she could use her fingers to get there, or she could use you. But if she believes a sex toy, maybe one that stimulates her clitoris, will help her get there faster, more efficiently, and have fun doing it, then you should be totally on board.

The fact is that there is a serious orgasm gap in the bedroom. I’m not saying that’s your reality. But it is a reality. As men, we should be totally into our partner receiving as much pleasure as we do. It should be a priority. And as a priority, we should be ready to do whatever we need to do to get the person we love off. Luckily for you, all that means is letting a buzzing machine between the sheets.

My advice to you would be to consider a sex toy like any other tool that makes a task easier and more enjoyable. Learn how to use it to drive your partner crazy. Get really really good at it. Find out how she wants you to use it and practice whenever she’s ready. This will ultimately make you closer.

The fact is, man, you’re not going to be replaced by a toy. Because a toy cannot respond to your wife. It can’t smile at her or say sexy things. It can’t bring her a warm washcloth and a glass of water after she’s spent from a session of sweet, sweet lovin’. Only you can do that because you’re her husband. Now be a husband and go shopping with her. It’ll be fun.

 

Hi Fatherly,

My 5-year-old daughter will be going into Kindergarten this year. She went to preschool for a couple of years, but I want the transition to Kindergarten to go as smooth as possible. Any tips for making it as easy as possible for her?

Charlie
San Diego, California

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Parents all over the country are asking this same question right now, Charlie, and the good news is that it probably won’t take much to get your kid excited about Kindergarten. Why? One word: backpack.

So one thing kindergartners get that preschoolers don’t is a badass backpack to carry their school supplies in. The backpack acts as a kind of totem. It’s a symbol of increasing maturity. It’s also a vector of self-expression. This is your key to helping your kid transition.

Essentially, you’ll want to take your daughter shopping for her backpack. You may not want to do this as your gathering all of the other school supplies. That can be tedious work. Instead, make it a special occasion. As you’re driving to the store, talk about Kindergarten. Talk about what she can expect. Make it sound like an exciting adventure. Answer her questions.

When you do get the other school supplies, have her load up the backpack at home. Let her walk around with it on her shoulders so she can feel the weight. Tell her she looks like a big girl. Tell her you’re proud of her. All of this will help her start to normalize the idea of the transition and see it as an important step in growing up.

Of course, this doesn’t mean there won’t be tears as she steps on the bus, or as you drop her off. There might be. After all, this is a big new experience. And frankly, you might tear up a bit too. But that’s okay. Your girl is growing up and Kindergarten is an important milestone.

Aside from the backpack, make sure you take advantage of any preparation your school or district provides. Some school might offer picnics or orientation days. Make these a priority. Both you and your daughter will feel more secure the more you know what to expect. To that end, drive her past the school a couple times. Also, make sure she’s on her school schedule at least a week before class starts. It’s a practical measure that will help her find her school groove.

And when she comes home that first day. Celebrate. You’ve all earned it.