The New Tupperware 

When we weren't looking, sex toy parties surpassed Pampered Chef gatherings as the new home-based business, and now we can never look at hand-held frothers the same

When we weren't looking, sex toy parties surpassed Pampered Chef gatherings as the new home-based business, and now we can never look at hand-held frothers the same

God help our singles.

Apparently the new rage for young women, particularly those in the twentysomething set, is sex-toy parties. They're sort of like the Tupperware parties our moms went to, only featuring contraptions that would make our matriarchs blush—and not from use. (One newspaper article I read quoted a woman who characterized them as "f_ckerware parties.") These gatherings are being heralded as, of all things, an "empowerment tool." Pardon the expression, but: come again?

If you ask me, there's nothing empowering about doing that yourself. Call me a traditionalist, but I expect my man to mow the yard, fix broken windows, bring home the bacon and—hell, yes—give good lovin'. Should I take it upon myself to do one of those things for him, I'd rev up the WeedEater. I would sooner give up sexual pleasure altogether than rely on a Duracell and a piece of sculpted plastic to pinken my cheeks.

Just what is it about these "aids" that is attractive? Do they whisper in your ear? Do they gently soothe you with a warm washcloth when the heavy breathing's over? Do they know just what to say, and at precisely the right second? Do they start at your feet and nibble their way up? Do the men in these women's lives really welcome supersize replicas of their own "empowerment tools?" I mean, isn't it something of a poke in the...well, never mind. It just seems a little indicting, is all.

I can only conclude that the women who throw these parties, and those who come—er, attend—are either doing something wrong or doing it with the wrong person. When it's good sumpin' sumpin', battery-operated appliances are not required. All these chicks in their 20s need (or any of us, for that matter) are a six-pack, a futon, a Marvin Gaye record and someone for whom they have strong feelings. It should take no more than that to have earth-shaking sex.

Is it possible that I, a married thirtysomething who doesn't know Club 23 from Matchbox 20, may actually know more about hot sex than these hip-hugging, straight-haired, fresh-faced 25-ers who are gathering with friends over brie and white wine to discuss—or, God forbid, sample—vibrating pleasurizers and rectal inserts? (This is easier to swallow—I mean, discuss—when avoiding the common vernacular.) I'm starting to think I do know more, even if these same folks deride me mercilessly for not knowing who Beyoncé is or for going to bed at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. (Hey, youngsters, perhaps this is where you're missing the boat.)

Only recently I was talking with a couple of young colleagues when the conversation steered toward sex, and I had the occasion to mention a theory of mine called the "three-year rule." They furrowed their brows and asked what I meant. "Sex can only carry an otherwise doomed relationship for three years," I explained. They scratched their heads, as if to say three years is an awfully loooooooong time. It was clear to them that my salad years had wilted. It was clear to me that they'd never experienced three years of good sex. Poor lads.

I fear sexual dissatisfaction has reached epidemic proportions. The abundance of sex toy parties seems to confirm the suspicion. Perhaps they should try Pampered Chef and Tupperware parties instead.

The way I see it, there are a bunch of women missing out on the pleasure of discovering the perfect spatula or a piece of Tupperware that keeps freshness in and doesn't bend into all kinds of irregular, cattywompus shapes when it comes out of the dishwasher. While I don't come from the Betty Cocker generation, I still believe that a good meal and candlelight is all it takes to jumpstart a good time in the sack.

The only battery-operated phallus at my house is a hand-held milk frother. That's how it shall stay.

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