Breaking news from the New York Times: women really like their vibrators. I had to dig through a lot of pseudoscientific talkyspeak, but the article boiled down to the fact that over 50% of American women have vibrators AND use them.
(My first thought upon seeing the article? I wonder if the inventor of the vibrator ever had a ‘If you build it, they will will come‘ moment. Because of course it was.)
The next time you go to Walgreens to pick up your prescription for Lipitor (and one of those irresistable plush stuffed animals), take a gander at the condom aisle. It’s only a matter of time before the religious right starts picketing outside next the Redbox machine, because wouldn’t ya know it, your neighborhood drugstore has become a purveyor of smut.
Variable speed smut powered by two AA batteries, that is.
As the article points out, vibrators have grown legs and walked themselves out of seedy XXX stores and onto the shelves of places you don’t have to embarrassed to go into. Ever since that fateful episode of Sex in the City*** where Charlotte becomes addicted to her Rabbit vibrator, women in this country have realized that there’s no shame in owning and using battery operated boyfriends. (Bonus: they don’t beg to cuddle after sex.)
I’m (ahem) a member of that 50% of women who will cop to having a BOB. Even though it doesn’t get much of a workout these days–because Red is digitally gifted–it’s still a nice option to have for special occasions. It’s not the first one I ever bought. By far. That one has long since gone to the cushy, pink lady-toybox in the sky. But I’ll never forget it.
I bought it my first year in college. I went to a relatively liberal school in a relatively liberal part of a very red state. Besides all the usual bars and head shops that college towns are resplendent with, we had a discrete little sex toy shop tucked away in a strip mall on the main drag.
It was sort of a rite of passage for freshman girls to visit the store to laugh at the exhaustive collection of anatomically exaggerated dongs and ball gags and racy greeting cards. The first time I ever set foot in the store was in the dead of winter, but I was sweating like a whore in church. I was pretty sure my priest was lurking around the back shelves somewhere, just waiting to jump out at me, clucking his tongue and waving a finger in the air while spouting threats of hellfire and brimstone.
As grown up as I thought I was, I wasn’t prepared to actually admit that I wanted to buy a vibrator for myself. I spent about five minutes standing in front of a rack of multicolored pleasure aids wondering what exactly one would do with a miniature vibrating Hello Kitty. When I thought I could feel a pair of beady little eyes drilling twin holes in my back, I grabbed the least offensive vibrator I could find (a nonchalant pink leopard print number) and practically threw it at the heavily pierced girl manning the front counter.
“I’m going to a bachelorette party,” I said with a nervous laugh. “The bride is a friend from high school.”
The pierced girl raised her eyebrow. “Uh huh.” She took the vibrator out of the package and put two batteries in. “I have to make sure it actually vibrates. All sales are final, so you can’t return it.” She twisted the base and it buzzed to life. “Works,” she said. “That’s $21.99.”
I paid in cash because I didn’t want the name of the store to show up on my bank statement, which was still sent to my parents house. The clerk put my new toy in an opaque red bag and told me to have fun at my party, a note of irony creeping into her voice.
My then-boyfriend was waiting for me in the car outside. When I got in, he jerked his head in the direction of the bag. “Well?”
“It’s done,” I said. “Now take me home. I’ve got a test to study for.”
He laughed. “I’m sure you do.”
So now that I’ve aired the contents of my nightstand in a public forum, it’s your turn. In the spirit of this new age of sexual empowerment, I want you to be honest with me: if you’re a woman, do you have a BOB? And if you’re a man, does your wife or significant other have one? Do you use them with each other, or is it more of solo pursuit?
As always, please refrain from using language that rhymes with punt’, ‘hussy’, or ‘rock.’ I’m squeamish and those kinds of words make me want to run to the nearest church confessional. Use your head–the one on your shoulders. If your comment is too profane, I’ll delete it.
***I’ve never actually seen Sex and the City. Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a horse and she makes me nervous. I had to Google that shit.
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