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Carole Radziwell's Guide To The Ultimate Sex Drawer

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The Violet Files

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With a candid look at her sex life, the journalist and Real Housewife puts it all on display—toys, accessories, and other essential instruments for ecstasy.

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A month into quarantine, and if you are anything like me, a NASA contamination control engineer couldn’t find a speck of smegma anywhere in your home. Forget about eating off my floors. I could lick my kitchen tile before French-kissing my boyfriend, and he’d still want to marry me. 

Now that you have likely cleaned out your closets, organized your cutlery trays, and color-coded your canned vegetables, it’s time to re-think your top drawer. You know the one I mean. As a little girl, I was fascinated with my parents’ top dresser drawer, the one that housed all the secrets of adulthood. 

It was after all, the 1970s, and my parents had married young. My dad, handsome and lanky, always with a cigarette dangling from his lips, had a quiet James Dean kind of cool. My mother was pretty and brainy, and by the time she was 23, had five small toddlers. We lived in upstate New York, arguably the epicenter of key parties, sexual experimentation, and weed. The sexual revolution was in full swing, everyone was getting it on, and I wasn’t about to be left out. Except for one thing: I had no idea what an orgasm was or how a girl could get one. But I had read a lot of Nancy Drew books, so I knew how to solve a mystery. And I knew the answer lay in my parents’ top drawer.

After they went to work, I’d sneak into their room, open the top drawer, and stare, wide-eyed, at its contents. One side held books with funny names. I read Our Bodies, Ourselves, front to back. I thumbed through The Joy of Sex, stopping to examine the illustrations on each page. Then there were things partially (and, obviously, not very effectively) obscured by a stack of tube socks: old issues of Playboy, funny-looking cigs, K-Y jelly, and a long penis-shaped thing with an on/off switch. 

I eventually grew up, stopped sneaking into my parents’ room, kissed a few boys, learned to masturbate, graduated from high school, went off to college, and lost my virginity. (Pretty much in that order.) But I never forgot about my parents’ top drawer, and I vowed to create one for myself. 

In every home I’ve made since college, whether I was single or married, I have always had a meticulous, up-to-date, well-stocked top drawer. Every woman should have the same. If you are in between relationships, you can pleasure yourself. If you are married and want to jump-start a routine sex life, what’s in your top drawer can do the trick! 

Whether you already have one, or are ready to finally create one, here are the things I highly recommend you have in your top drawer. Your own list may vary, of course; what sends shivers up my spine may do absolutely nothing for you. But that’s the genius of eroticism. Each of us finds a thrill in something different, and even that evolves. So if you find yourself with an excess of free time, I encourage you to clean a little less and get in touch with your “dirty” side. Stock your top drawer with only the best accoutrements. And since we’re all staying at home, I share sincere wishes that you will spend many, many pleasurable hours staying in bed.

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