Savage Love: No Place for Old Dildos

Dear Dan,

I am no longer sexually active, but I have a significant collection of sex toys from earlier years. I'm thinking of getting rid of most of them, and it seems such a waste for them to end up in the landfill. What's an environmentally responsible way to dispose of dildos? I wish there was a place I could donate the dildos where they could be used again. Many of them are quality silicone types, they've never been used on a person without a condom, and they've been thoroughly cleaned. I'd be happy to donate them to impoverished dildo users in need, if only I knew where to send them.

— Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Your question comes up frequently, RRR, and there really isn't a satisfactory answer.

In Seattle, where I live, a community tool bank recently opened in my neighborhood — but they don't collect and lend the kind of tools you're looking to donate. I've heard about dildo graveyards in other cities (spots in parks where people bury their used sex toys), but burying sex toys isn't environmentally responsible. And while high-quality dildos can be cleaned and safely reused, most people are pretty squeamish about the idea. Which is odd, considering that we routinely reuse actual cocks that have been enjoyed by others — so why not the fake ones?

But even if I can't tell you what to do with your dildos, RRR, I can tell you what not to do with them: Do not ship your used dildos to the anti-government militia currently occupying a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon. After militia members asked supporters to send them supplies — via the U.S. Postal Service — their spokesperson complained bitterly about all the dildos they were getting in the mail. So if you decide to put your used dildos in a box and send them somewhere, RRR, please make sure the address on the box doesn't read: Bundy Militia, c/o Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 36391 Sodhouse Lane, Princeton, OR, 97721.

Dear Dan,

I understand that monogamy is not something people are good at — and that's fine. In fact, most of the people I know are in healthy poly or monogamish relationships. Here's the thing: I'm monogamous. Not the "I'm attracted to other people but won't act on it because it makes me uncomfortable or believe it's wrong" kind of monogamous, but the "I genuinely have ZERO desire to fuck anyone but my partner" kind of monogamous. Fantasizing about others is fun, so is looking, so is porn and role-play. There's a world of deliciously kinky, weird, and wonderful sex stuff I'd LOVE to explore until my sexy bits fall off. But I want to do those things with one partner and one partner only in a monogamous, intimate relationship. Here's the kicker: I'd like my partner to feel the same way. I don't want someone to enter into a monogamous relationship with me if in their heart/groin they'd genuinely like to fuck other people. Am I a lost cause? Surely I can't be the only genuinely monogamous person there is? I'm 31 and still turn heads, but I worry my quest for a partner who feels as I do is impossible and a waste of my time.

— One 4 One

You value monogamy, you want a monogamous commitment, and you want someone who feels the same. That great, O4O, and you have my full support. But you do acknowledge that fantasies about others can be fun, as can looking, as can porn (watching others) and role-play (pretending to be others). So while you may wanna fuck other people — hence the looking and fantasizing and role-playing — you have no desire to actually fuck other people.

If you're having a hard time finding partners who want what you want — a monogamous commitment without the stress of maintaining the monogamous pretense/facade/fraud, i.e., pretending they don't at least think about fucking other people — either you're living in some sort of poly parallel universe where nonmonogamy is the default setting or you're not giving others the same benefit of the doubt. You wanna fuck other people and you don't seem to think that disqualifies you from making, honoring, and genuinely wanting both a monogamous commitment and a monogamous sex life.

If you're breaking up with people for admitting to the same things you've admitted to in your question — you might think about fucking other people, but you don't want to actually fuck other people — then you're the reason your quest to find a partner has been so frustrating.

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.
Scroll to read more Savage Love articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.