Raised in a smotheringly conservative family, intent on imparting the damning powers of masturbation, I was relatively sheltered when it came to the arena of sex toys. Although I’d like to claim the title of a somewhat self-proclaimed feminist with a keen focus on taking matters into her own hands, I’m ashamed to say that there isn’t a B.O.B. (battery operated boyfriend) in my bedside table.
So I set about doing a little research. Thankfully, Sex in the City taught me a thing or two about vibrators — that, and how to be pathetically self deprecating and emotionally dependent on positive reinforcement from the opposite sex. Needing a little more than the information Charlotte had to offer, my Google history soon became embarrassingly littered with searches ranging from “vibrator” to “cock ring.” My computer screen sprang to life in my 20-person stats section with an Internet window displaying hundreds of options for my sexual self-help. The freshman boys behind me loved that one.
Sure, some of the models were mildly shocking in their inventiveness, but, to be honest, I was more surprised with the price tag than the product. $150 for a plastic pleasure stick is a little too rich for my blood, and, I’ll assume, the majority of the collegiate market. For that kind of cash, I’d think I’d rather get all shaky on coffee and use these free things called: my fingers. Personal preference.
When the World Wide Web proved relatively fruitless (with my information-seeking limited to sites that didn’t make me blush) I opened the lines the communication to my closest girlfriends. Much to my surprise, my seemingly demure and chaste comrades turned out to be a wealth of sex toy knowledge — undercover vibrator vixens, if you will. I heard rave reviews of bullets, accounts of the dual stimulation thrills of rabbits and the convenient travel-size perks of pocket rockets.
But a picture is worth a thousand words. A demonstration might have been a little much, but a friend in-the-know had just the ticket to put my vibrator naïveté to bed. Her toy, a pink plastic model with a face (an adorable little “something extra” if you ask me) came with an instructional video for all those rookies out there. She graciously loaned me her copy of “Toys for Better Sex” with a brief warning of some mature content and a wink (a facial expression she copied from her vibrator). Committed to my column, I popped open a Diet Coke and sat down for a solid hour and a half of good, clean vibrator research.
And that’s how I got tricked into watching porn.
Along with never having put anything not made of flesh into my vag, I’d also never tuned in to watch a sexual throw-down. Turns out, this “instructional video” was thinly veiled hardcore erotica. The quotes I was feverishly jotting down began as educational tips and tricks and gradually transitioned to the likes of: “vibrators can be used to fulfill Jill’s fantasy of two sex partners.” Get it, Jill. Granted, I did learn a whole lot about sex toys, so it’s not too far off the mark there. Who knew that “ecstasy balls” existed? Not this girl, but I sure as hell know how to use them now.
According to the experts who guided the viewer through a detailed synopsis and graphic demo of a variety of pleasure-packing devices, we’ve come a long way from “corncobs and bedposts” in the sex toy department. Apparently people weren’t too picky a couple hundred years ago. In the Victorian Era, women with a high sex drive were treated for Hysteria, a manageable, but not curable disease. Doctors would spend hours giving manual pelvic massages (the only known treatment for such an ailment) in order to reach hysterical paroxysm — also known as an orgasm. Unless I happened to be a patient of Dr. Jack Shephard (the dreamy doctor of Lost) I’ll continue to count my lucky stars that I wasn’t born in the 1800’s. Leave my Hysteria alone, please.
For sexual satisfaction nowadays (thankfully) we have our choice of a plethora of penis proxies. There are a few styles cleverly disguised as necklaces, for those girls who never know when or where the mood might strike them, or who just want a pretty new motorized pendent. And if you’ve ever wished there was a way to combine your favorite shade of lipstick and clitoral orgasm, there’s a vibrator for that too. Last, but not least, for the girl who has everything, why not buy her an $8000 diamond and pearl encrusted vibrating dildo (complete with matching earrings and necklace)? Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, after all.
I’m leaning towards the necklace vibrator, personally. I figure I might as well put my newfound database of masturbatory knowledge to good use and pick up one of these devices (probably on Amazon to avoid the cashier interaction). After all, it’s probably about time I get this Hysteria in check.
The Preacher’s Daughter is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent Exposure appears alternate Thursdays this semester.