Back when the world was younger, my wife and I cohabited in a group house in the Bay Area. The woman who had lived there the longest — I’ll call her M — was what I can only describe as a sex enthusiast. She loved sex, in all its many permutations and combinations. Not just doing It, but talking about doing It. In exquisite detail. Over breakfast. (I exaggerate, she usually waited until lunchtime.)
If her exploits had a common theme, it was “sensuality.” Without sensuality, sex was an empty shell for her. It was all about playing, experimenting, touching, caressing. Except, and she was firm on this point, at some point, orgasms were essential. Her personal focus was, unsurprisingly, female orgasms. “When a woman doesn’t cum regularly, she’s a bitch,” she claimed. (Victorians used to call the condition of sexually frustrated females “hysteria.”) “Regularly” in her book was daily. At least. Multiply, too, if possible.
For guys, no problem, of course, god having seen fit to locate men’s most sensitive and pleasurable nerve endings right at the point of maximum friction during intercourse (don’t get me started about the ritual practice of cutting off the most sensitive part of an infant boy’s body). While, in a cruel trick, he put a woman’s super-sensitive, ten-thousand-nerve-ending clitoris (the homologue of a man’s prepuce and foreskin) several inches away from the action.
(As an aside, I like to think we’re in an era far removed from the early 1900s, when Freud — father of psychoanalysis — decried clitoral orgasms as signs of psychological immaturity, thus pathologizing the 70 percent or so of women who masturbate by stimulating their clitorises. Sounds like clit-envy.)
Anyway, M took this anatomical mistake as a challenge. She and her 3.5 billion sisters worldwide would be best served by coming to orgasm using whatever means were available and/or necessary: fingers, tongue, dildo, vibrator, vibrating dildo, machines, man, woman, men, women. Whatever it took, and the more the better. The female orgasm was the key to women’s health, hence men’s health, hence world peace. I think she may have been on to something.
Not everyone agrees, apparently. Take the 1973 Texas dildo law, still on the books. The Lone Star State prohibits the sale or promotion of “obscene devices” which include dildos and artificial vaginas “designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.”
Think calling a dildo “obscene” is some quaint notion from another era? Entrepreneur Lora Haddock enlisted the help of a team of engineers from Oregon State University to design a hands-free device to simultaneously stimulate the clitoris and nerve endings within the vagina (“G-Spot” if you believe in such a focal point) — to achieve a “blended orgasm.”
Last year, Ms. Haddock was thrilled when she learned her device, named Osé, had won a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Innovation Award — only to have the award revoked a month later because the show had a policy disqualifying products deemed “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image.” (CTA is the organization behind the annual CES, a show that attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees to Las Vegas every January.) This, despite the fact that last year’s CES featured the “world’s first sex robot.”
Take your pick: Immoral? Obscene? Indecent? Profane? This is a sex toy, for crissake. (BTW, I cringe every time I type that word “toy” with its implications of frivolity. What’s frivolous about women enjoying orgasms?)
Every cloud, silver lining and all: Ms. Haddock astutely shared CTA’s rejection email with the New York Times, and the story went viral. You can’t buy publicity like that. Her device (NOT a toy) will be available for purchase this fall. At $250 a pop, it might sound a tad pricey, but we’re talking world peace here! Could be a bargain for us all.
I await your reviews.