One fine day, a friend of mine sat across from me at lunch, and said, “I can’t believe I’m gonna talk about this, but can minors buy dildos?” I was taken aback. Clearly my friend wasn’t too happy with the idea. Before I could say anything, he went on to explain his shock and why he thought it was wrong for minors to buy dildos.

My initial instinct was to point out that it wasn’t necessarily immoral to purchase a dildo, and it also wasn’t against the law. But after giving my friend’s worries some thought, I realized that he was right: it would be inappropriate for minors to shop for dildos.

No matter what way you slice it, minors just wouldn’t be ready to understand the full implications of this purchase—not to mention the fact that it could be a bit embarrassing for them to even enter such a shop, let alone make the purchase.

Then there’s also the issue of maturity: minors simply wouldn’t have the capacity to understand and make responsible decisions regarding such an intimate item. Also, for teens whose bodies and hormones are still developing, it’s imperative they remain mindful of the physical risks involved in using a dildo.

Naturally, these arguments didn’t go without a pushback from my friend. He argued that if adults are legally allowed to not only purchase but use dildos, then why couldn’t minors? Why is it acceptable for adults to explore their sexuality in such a way, yet it is discouraged for teenagers?

At this point I began to comprehend the true gravity of the topic—not just the legality, but the social and moral implications surrounding it. After a few minutes of contemplation, I carefully formulated my response.

I said that as minors, teenagers shouldn’t be using dildos or any other sort of intimate sexual device, as they’re not yet equipped to handle such grown-up activities. But that doesn’t necessarily mean teens aren’t curious or capable of understanding sex. As society evolves, so does young people’s understanding of sexual responsibilities.

The solution, I argued, is not to discount minors’ ability to understand the underlying implications of using a dildo, but rather to guide them in the right direction—providing them with proper education and guidance.

For instance, sex education should inform minors about the risks of having unprotected sex, regardless of their sexual preferences or stance on abstinence. Such conversations should be had so that minors can make conscious and informed decisions about their decisions—dildo or not.

We then engaged in a discussion about how to best provide minors with the safest and most effective sexual education—should parents take the lead, or do schools have a responsibility to do the job? We couldn’t come to a conclusion but it was interesting to hear each other’s opinions.

As far as the question of minors buying dildos goes, I concluded by saying that, really, it all comes down to personal responsibility. Parents, teachers, and other guardians must foster the right environment for minors to explore their sexuality without taking any risks—no matter what choice they make ultimately.

Furthermore, it’s also on us adults to create a society where minors, regardless of age, race, economic background, gender, or sexuality, will feel comfortable going to a store and knowing exactly what they’re looking for, and have no qualms purchasing it.

This can be achieved by offering proper education and making sure moral codes don’t become an obstacle for minors to make their best decisions. Additionally, it’s important to recognize that teenagers shouldn’t be prevented from exploring their sex drives in a responsible manner.

We also discussed how adults have always been more liberal when it comes to matters of sex than in the past, and this should also apply to minors—especially considering they should have equal rights to explore their sexuality with safety and security.

This is especially relevant for the LGBT+ community, where minors often face unwarranted prejudice and discrimination even when trying to purchase age-appropriate items, maybe even more so when it comes to purchasing sex toys.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, I concluded that it’s important to create an open dialogue between the industry that sells adult products, retailers, minor activists, parents, and educators. That way, we can make sure the industry creates an environment where minors can shop without judgment or fear.

Moreover, it’s critical to educate minors on the social, economic, and public health risks of certain activities and products, help them understand what to expect from sex dolls toys, and make sure they’re well informed on the implications of using them—all without imposing a sense of guilt or moral superiority.

Furthermore, if minors do buy dildos, they should be able to do so in a respectful and responsible manner with proper guidance—they should never feel like their actions are shameful or wrong.

Finally, it should be made absolutely clear to minors that their sexual expression and experimentation should never override their safety and well-being. This can be best achieved by providing minors with access to the right education, sources of support, and advice from professionals.