A few weeks back, undercover narcotics officers in Burleson, Texas, arrested Joanne Webb, mother of three and a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Was she selling dope? Nope. She was selling vibrating dildos. “They charged me with 'promoting an obscene device,’ ” says Webb.
For the last several months, Webb has been hosting “passion parties” for women 18 and older. At these parties, women get some sex education, then choose from Webb’s wares. Passion-partying women can buy sexy books, lingerie, vibrators and even some light S&M gear, including fake-leopard-fur handcuffs and a little rubber flogger, which “tickles and caresses, but never hurts.” Heck, for $145, a woman can go home with her very own “love swing.”
Webb says her top seller is a fruit-flavored “enhancement gel,” which is supposed to make tingly parts even tinglier and feels good when you blow on it.
Webb says her passion-party enterprise was doing fine until the young narcotics-officer couple walked into her husband’s business, where she works as office manager. Once inside, the cops made sure that she was the Joanne Webb who was in the adult-toy business, then asked to see some of her brochures. “I’ve got them divided into mild and wild,” she said. “Of course, they went straight to wild.”
“What in the world did you sell those people?” I asked.
“I recommended the Nubby G,” Webb replied. “They bought that, and then went for the weirdest-looking thing in the catalog, which is the 'Double Hot.’ That’s what they arrested me for.”
If you must know, a Double Hot is a two-headed red jelly vibe, which would be useful for women only. It has a slightly miniaturized representation of the male organ on the top and a stack of graduated beads on the bottom. (Think six-ball snowman on that bottom part.) It costs 33 bucks, which is probably a great deal if you’ve been craving, well, something like a Double Hot.
While I’m on the subject, I might as well explain that a Nubby G is a battery-powered G-spot stimulator. If you don’t know what a G-spot is, you probably ought to book a passion party. The Nubby G costs 20 bucks. (If you want to see the contraband units for yourself, go to www.partiesbyjoanne.com, click on Shop Online, then Online Catalog, then Vibrators.)
As soon as I heard about this vibrator hubbub, I wanted to know how a woman could get hauled to the jailhouse for selling another woman a vibrating dildo, which she asked for and then paid for with government money. So I called Nashville attorney Jean Harrison and asked for her insight.
“It could only happen in Texas,” she groaned. “I’ve told you before, Walter, I’m in favor of swapping Texas for Israel: take every Texan, every Texas creature, every grain of Texas sand, and move it all to what is now Israel. Then bring Israel over here. That would put an end to these frivolous vibrator prosecutions, and it might bring peace to the Mideast.”
“What about Austin?” I asked.
“Keep Austin,” Jean replied. “But everything else in Texas goes, except maybe San Antonio and the Spurs. Nothing against Texas or Texans, you understand. This would benefit all of mankind.”
“Seriously,” I asked, “what good is this anti-vibrator law, and what would it take to get this woman off, so to speak?”
“I knew you were going to ask that,” Jean sighed. “The simple answer is, I don’t know. I don’t do criminal law. Anybody who hired me to beat a criminal charge would definitely get the chair.”
Lacking scholarly legal guidance, I just asked myself: What’s the worst thing that could happen if every grown woman in Texas got a Double Hot in the mail tomorrow, the way we men get trial razors? The way I see it, the only use for a double-dipping vibrating dildo is to produce orgasms in women. As far as I know, there’s not a woman alive who doesn’t enjoy a good orgasm, or better yet, a whole bunch of orgasms close together. I’ve never met a woman who got mad about having an orgasm.
Even so, the Burleson authorities have their reasons for protecting their citizens from sex toys. “Besides being obscene devices,” Webb said, “[the local prosecutors] say they can spread disease.”
I say that’s lame. Doorknobs spread disease, but nobody’s getting arrested for selling doorknobs, even in Texas. Besides, Webb sells Passion Parties Toy Cleaner right there on her Web site. One 8.9-oz. bottle makes 60 quarts of cleanser. That ought to be enough to clean up anybody’s toy collection. Then there’s this: People who share sex toys are like people who run over their own feet with lawn mowerssooner or later, something bad is going to happen to them, no matter what.
Webb says that if the case goes to trial, she’s going to ask for DNA samples from the Double Hot and the Nubby G, just to see who, if anybody, might have put them to use while they were in police custody.