I’m always a little amused by the attempts to make sex toys illegal. I recall a woman telling me over two decades ago about using a hairbrush to self-stimulate. I wonder if the people who think it necessary to propose laws to make sex toys illegal would consider making hairbrushes illegal? And a zucchini worked just fine for me (for vaginal penetration while I used a vibrator on my clitoris) to masturbate with at Betty Dodson’s nude masturbation workshop in 1992.
What is just as useful as any handheld device is what happens in our minds. If they could, I suppose, the people who think it necessary to propose laws to make sex toys illegal would try to control what happens in our minds too. It is the disconnect between our minds and our bodies that all of us should be upset about and not a vibrator, dildo, cucumber, or anything else one could use to facilitate a self-pleasure moment.
I want to live in a world where pleasure in all of its forms is appreciated. Self-pleasure, genital pleasure, or masturbation is just one form. What about the pleasure of moving our bodies, or feeling the warm sun on our bodies, or relaxation while sitting in a sauna, or the flow of the water on our bodies when swimming or bathing? What about the pleasure of food or someone’s touch? These forms of pleasure are just as valuable as sexual or genital pleasure, and sexual or genital pleasure is just as valuable as all these other forms of pleasure. There is no hierarchy when it comes to being present.
In a society where many of us work too many hours, it makes sense that the thought that we might experience pleasure would make some uncomfortable. After all, it is not abiding by the work ethic to just enjoy the moment. In a society that focuses on sick care rather than health care, it makes sense that they would try to take away all things preventive – even relaxation, pleasure, and time off to experience the relaxation and pleasure.
So sex toys are not just what we might use in the genital area. And what could facilitate pleasure for any one of us could be much more complex than any tangible object or even another person. It is not surprising to me that sex toys would be threatening in a society where alternative forms of sexuality are still not fully accepted. We still live in a world that leans towards more acceptance for sexual practices that fall within the context of male and female married to each other, involving only penis in vagina, for the purpose of having a child. I want to live in a society where we work less and enjoy living and breathing more. And I want to live in a world where we all learn to understand pleasure is much broader than what could be experienced genitally.
Copyright 2008 by Susan Miranda. All rights reserved. No part of this writing may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder. For reprint permission, email firstname.lastname@example.org.