I was deeply disappointed to see that Tennessee’s nascent anti-sex-toy law—which I call the Dildon’t Bill—was withdrawn last week. Apparently, the bill’s sponsors, state Sen. Charlotte Burks and Rep. Eric Swafford, decided that they couldn’t push their hot, urgent bill all the way through to completion.
When our legislators get busy trying to outlaw penis simulators and genital stimulators, it’s a bountiful harvest for a man in the column-writing business. I was hoping for entertaining public hearings, rules and regulations, and better yet, arrests, raids and public sales of the goods seized in raids. Now dang it, I’ve got to make do with Burks and Swafford’s abortive attempt to keep the dildos down.
When I learned about the Dildon’t Bill (see “Down With Dildos,” March 2), my first thought was, “I want to know more about the fine state legislators who woke up one morning with an overpowering urge to rid Tennessee of sex toys.” So, I went to the Legislature’s website and read the biographies of Burks and Swafford. Best I can tell, they have two things in common: rural roots and membership in churches that don’t allow any piano playing in the church house (Burks) or that encourage speaking in tongues (Swafford). Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As far as I’m concerned, there is more than enough piano playing already, and you just can’t have enough people speaking in tongues.
Maybe Burks and Swafford believe they’re heeding the wishes of their constituents, who likely are more restrained in their deportment than the hedonistic city folk who patronize the Hustler Hollywood store here in Nashville. Or it could be that the kindly folk in Burks’ and Swafford’s districts are Internet-porn-surfing, foaming-at-every-orifice horndogs up to their eyeballs in pheromones, and their legislators are doing their best to keep the citizens on the farms and off the vibrators.
It’s probably true that a sudden outbreak of fancy sex toys in the Tennessee countryside could change the local folkways in a hurry. If women out in the bucolic counties start spending $1,300 on a Sybian (not to mention the consumables, like lube), that could foul up family finances quicker than the state lottery. Worse yet, women could lose all track of time and supper might not be ready when Pa comes in from the field.
There’s also the possibility that Burks and Swafford are supporting time-tested local “remedies.” Why should folks in the country have to ride to town to buy a $96 silicone Bandit when they can grow a whole field full of perfectly good cucumbers for next to nothing? Why buy a $90 Jupiter Wand G-spotter when a good crookneck squash—which has a better handle than the Jupiter Wand—will get the job done?
Law or no law, people who want to get a tingle down there will always find a way. Even if the Dildon’t Bill had eliminated each and every “three-dimensional device…primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs,” there would still be plenty of sewing machines, orbital sanders, clothes dryers, motorcycles and other rumbling, tumbling, tingling machines that could meet the citizens’ needs.
Besides that, marketers figured out a long time ago that they could make sex toys, call them something else and get away with it. Anybody can walk into a Brookstone store with an urge for some funky friction, and walk out with a garden cart full of things that will ring their bells and blow their whistles, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. For example, The Brookstone uZap oscillating massage belt and their Maximum Performance Massager could probably comfort two people at the same time, if those two people got lined up just right.
Brookstone’s AcuVibe massager, with its powerful vibrating head that “pivots to contour to your body” could be used for sore shoulders, but that contour gives it away as a high-powered, bite-the-pillow-and-curl-your-toes orgasm machine. The Brookstone Twin Sensations massager couldn’t be much more obvious. Each end of the thing has its own sweet specialty. Clearly, anybody who wants a dildo or a vibrator can get one any day of the week and put it to use within seconds.
All that said, I keep coming back to wondering: why in the world would politicians want to get in the way of their constituents’ orgasms anyhow? And why should politicians care how people get their orgasms, as long as they’re not having them on every street corner? How did we get to a place where we don’t arrest people for adultery anymore, but we’re hot to arrest somebody who goes to the mall and buys an AcuVibe for a little solo action back at the house?
You politicians, listen to me: concentrate on arresting dangerous criminals, putting out fires, picking up litter and pulling over tailgating truckers. Put the sex toys out of your mind. If you wake up one morning thinking about other people’s orgasms, dildos and vibrators and you believe that you’re the instrument of karmic justice that’ll put an end to naughty human urges, you’re a whole lot sicker than any compulsive all-day masturbator. Go to the nervous hospital and turn yourself in.