Sunday, January 08, 2006

Buzz Kill: Or, Does "Ugly is as Ugly Does" Also Apply to Vibrators?

Let me begin with a story. A while back, I suggested to this guy I was seeing that he buy me a vibrator. Based on the conversation we'd been having that preceded this request, I thought it would make his day (or night?) to pick one out for me.

He presented it to me all wrapped up. And when I opened the box, it was...

...The ugliest f'ing thing I'd ever seen in my life.

I so wanted to be able to show you a photo of the exact model of this disaster of design, but I just spent a half an hour scouring sex toy sites trying to track it down and I can't find it anywhere. I don't know the brand name anymore because I have since gotten rid of it. The closest idea I can give you of what it looked like is a caucasian-flesh-toned version of this:

Yes, that's right. He gave me what looked suspiciously like a penis covered in genital warts. It's kind of like you suggesting your boyfriend buy you something sexy that he'd like to see you wearing and he comes back with one of those yellow bio-hazard suits. Talk about a mood kill.

Now, TECHNICALLY, the thing was perfectly functional. It could achieve its intended purpose. But in all honesty, it always took me way longer to get to that intended purpose with that ugly-ass thing, because just looking at it always grossed me out. But it was a gift, and you don't want to be mean spirited and look a gift vibe in the...okay, well, I can't really think of a good pun here.

But in any case, it got me thinking about form and function in the vibe category. And let's face it, while we all of us, men and women alike, probably appreciate the function just fine on many, many different types of these handy gadgets, you've got to wonder what vibe manufacturers are thinking about in terms of form.

[And by the way, I want to meet the girl/guy who gets to say "I am a vibrator designer" when people ask her/him what she/he does for a living.]

I mean, who is behind some of these ideas? Let's have a look, shall we? (Note: links are NOT safe for work)

  • First we have the "vibe that I'm too embarrassed to admit IS a vibe" vibe (VTITETAIAVV).
    For instance, a vibrator that looks like a tube of lipstick. No offense to whomever designed this, but honestly, ladies: When was the last time you looked at a REAL tube of lipstick and said, "That is so damn HOT; I NEED that in my hoo-hoo right NOW?" And along with that, I know this scenario has got to have happened more than a few times: someone gets a little drunk, the hotel room is dark...fumbling and overcome with desire, she grabs the wrong tube from her suitcase and...messy, messy situation, people.


  • Next, we have a close cousin to the VTITETAIAVV, the "I secretly want to do an animal" vibe.
    In this category, designers apparently assume we're going to get turned on by dolphins, majorly freaky-lookin' letch penguins, and poisonous cobras. Okay, so aside from the one exception who probably works for the Jim Rose Sideshow, I'm pretty damn sure I know the reaction that any man would have if I were to say, "Hey, how would you feel about sitting there while I aim a cobra at your unprotected penis?" I'm predicting you're NOT going to get an uplifting response, if you catch my drift; which I know you do.


  • Lest we forget, there is also the the frighteningly realistic-looking "serial killer amputated body part" vibe! Woo hoo!
    These little (and not so little) beauties would give any aspiring Jeff of Josephine Dahmer plenty of hot times!


  • And we'd be remiss not to mention the "wtf?!?" category before we conclude.
    Because everyone wants a vibe that looks like a Maglite flashlight, a radioactive penis, or a...um...wierd sea-anemone-crossed-with-cactus-thingie inside them, right?


Okay, so I'm poking a little fun. If a lecherous penguin gets you off, more power to you. And yes, I know different styles of vibrators are meant to stimulate in different ways AND that sex doesn't always have to be dead serious, some people want some humor mixed in. But really, you've got to wonder why great function can't meet great design in this arena. It is a SEX toy. Let's make them SEXY. Couldn't the people who design Macs or...I don't know...the Guggenheim...design your sex toys instead of what seems to be the people who design Beanie Babies or artificial limbs? Sooo not sexy.

In my estimation, it's all about the shame. People are afraid to stand out in the open and say, hey, I use a vibrator. Please, let's get over it. Why not just admit you're using the damn thing just like EVERYONE ELSE on earth (all of whom are also covering it up) and then we'll be able to start getting less libido-squelching designs. Maybe you'll start to get more things that are all sleek and sophisticated and mod, like this.

Not a sermon, just a thought.

2 Comments:

Blogger Anastasia said...

LMAO!

I know what you mean about ugly vibrators, makes you wonder doesn't it?

As a result of Sexpo here in Sydney a little while back, me buying a sample bag of adult goodies, I became the proud owner of a fluoro green (no joke) vibrator, a 'handbag' sized, you know, in case I decided to take it to work with me during that boring spell?

It seriously reminds me of a Star Wars Saber, a 'Yoda' (cos it's green) vibe.

One word:

EW! (even though it's not a word).

My housemate teases me and always tells me they're going to buy batteries for it (cos I haven't) and I'm like, 'no you fucking don't!'

and I always forget to toss it out, well no I don't, but disposing of anything adult related when you have kids, transforms into one of those high security type of engagements.

1/23/2006 9:23 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

l'etranger: Yes, I felt weird throwing mind away, too, even though I had no kids to worry about. I wonder why that is? I keep thinking of it, laying there in a landfill somewhere, poking it's ugly head out of the pile of trash...

Maybe we should invent a "vibe shredder" or some other device that makes it easy to deconstruct so that it becomes less obvious what you're throwing away. Bet we'd make millions.

2/05/2006 4:12 PM  

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