I remember the days when Amazon was so stait-laced that they pulled "Harry Potter's Magic Vibrating Broomstick" off their shelves, for propriety's sake.The customer comments on the broomstick's buzz value were priceless, but they're all locked away now. I imagine Jeff Bezos' banned-materials vault is as voluminous as the Vatican's.
These days, however, Amazon sells sex toys without apology: dildos, slings, bondage gear. I discovered the treasure trove when I was making some links for my "Associate Program," and realized that I could just as easily recommend a condom as a camera. I'd love to know the story of how this new tolerance came to pass. I guess they're not worried about Rush Limbaugh boycotting them. What does he care... he can't get oxy from them, anyhow.
The secret to this new "Product Category" is that it is listed under their "Health & Personal Care" section, in the sub-group of "Sex and Sensuality." You're never going to see the "soft floggers" on your Welcome Page— you have to seek them out. But I think that's just fine. It's like finding the vibrator section at the drug store, next to the Dr. Scholl's foot remedies.
Why order sex toys from Amazon? You wouldn't want to miss a chance at a real-life trip to Toys in Babeland in Soho. And no one is going to advise you like the sexperts at Blowfish. I started the Good Vibrations erotic rental library in the 80s, and that catalog alone is Smithsonian.
But Amazon shopping has some unique pleasures, the ones we've come to know and love. The customer comments are a sheer blast. They may keep it G-rated in Amazon, but that only inspires the cleverest writers.
Some comments are emminently practical, like this serious-minded woman writing about her Hitachi Magic Wand purchase:
works like a charm, August 20, 2004
Reviewer: curious (Iowa) - See all my reviews
I take an antidespressant and one of the side effects is anorgasmia. My husband and I have tried a few toys in the past without a lot of success. I bought this one because of the 5 star review and it deserves it! Well worth the $.
Now don't you just want to see this woman's other reviews? I did. She did a hell of a review of a DVD called "Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution."
Plus, we learn that people "who bought the Magic Want also bought these items":
- Astroglide Personal Lubricant
- K-Y Ultra Gel Personal Lubricant, Pump
- California Exotic Novelties Remote Control Vibrating Panty
You have to click on that darn panty! You have to find out if that woman in Iowa bought one, or the maybe it's the lady from the Virgin Islands, or Pinkie in North Carolina. Maybe they all got one.
This is the spell of Amazon.com, that can fritter away several hours in a unique sociological trance.
Allow me to be your guide as you surf the flood of "sensual" products. The secret is, you do not want most of this crap. The majority, like sex novelties everywhere, are gimmicks. That vibrating panty doesn't do shit. I toiled in the sex toy mine fields for years, before they became ubiquitous, and I will not let you get lost in the ben wa ball aisle.
First of all, there are two exceptional "third party sellers" in the sex section: Toys in Babeland and Libida. (It looks like all of Amazon's sex stuff are being handled by third parties). Don't buy that "Doc Johnson" crud. Type either Babeland or Libida in the search box, and you will see hundreds of products to choose from.... whose quality is likely to be better than most. Both these stores were started by feminist women who know their stuff.
There are two must-have vibrators that you can buy from anyone, pick your price. Those are the Hitachi Magic Wand, and the Wahl coil-operated vibrator. They're both electric vibes, mad little orgasm machines, and they will LAST YOU THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
The "attachments" for these two vibrators, that retailers are so keen to sell you, are a total bore. I sold hundreds of those "G-spotters," penetration dealies, and textured widgits, and I never had a repeat customer.
Believe me, I'd try to dissuade people: "Just put the darn thing on your clit, and that's IT." "If you want to have something inside you too, get something serious."
A dildo, a penis, a carrot, would be worthy. Not these dumb attachments. But my pleas were ignored.
The "attachments" represent an insecurity buy, but there's not reason to dwell there. Be proud of your clit. Would a guy buy a vibrator for his balls, when he knew that his penis was where it was at? 'Nuf said.
There are many more toys worth a special mention. I will post regular toy reports in the coming weeks, until I've completed the dissertation!