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Hey Boys by Mimi

Posted on: May 6, 2005 12:59 PM

I was in Bon Giorno one evening, the restaurant where I used to work, when I overheard a customer talking enthusiastically to his date. He had the look of the masturbator about him, and his words served only to confirm my initial suspicions.

"So, like I patented this design for virtual sex, it's fucking amazing, you have this computer animated suction device for the penis which is directly stimulated by the onscreen images..."

His date looked slightly less enthusiastic, and her longing for the privacy of her own bedroom, Mr Buzzy and a little bit of self-loving was painfully palpable. It got me thinking. What's happened to the good old-fashioned fuck? It seems technology is always hauling out the latest battery-operated device for solo pleasures. I constantly hear my female friends extolling the virtues of 'The Rabbit', or 'The Dolphin' and its infinite superiority to Dave the Guy who works on Wall Street and has absolutely no idea what to do with his tongue. Thank god for the man who invented the vibrator. But what happened before the vibrator? Were women just getting more sex? Has the advent of sexual liberation in a lubed-up rubber Ever-ready cock merely halted the evolution of mankind in their ability to pleasure women?
screenshot_15.jpg g-swirl vibe.jpg screenshot_17.jpg screenshot_12.jpg
It seems that women's sexual frustration has been a concern for centuries - yet it was seen as a 'mental' sickness which could be cured by 'physical', and specifically not sexual means. In 1653, doctors concerned over 'female hysteria' were recommending midwives to:

"...massage the genitalia with one finger inside using oil of lilies, musk root, crocus or [something] similar. And in this way the afflicted woman can be aroused to paroxysm... most especially for widows, those who live chaste lives, and female is less often recommended for very young women, or married women, for whom it is a better remedy to engage in intercourse with their spouses."

Other remedies suggested were rocking chairs, bouncing women rhythmically up and down on their pelvis and using swings. It sounds exhausting. Fortunately an American physician in 1872 came up with the first steam powered massage and vibratory apparatus, which came with a clear warning: 'Patients should be watched to avoid over manipulation of apparatus'. Those hysterical females couldn't get enough of it. And neither could the doctors, who with the new vibrators flooding into the medical market, could complete in minutes what had taken them up to an hour by manual means. In 1903, Dr Samuel Howard Mondell wrote that "pelvic massage (in gynecology) has its brilliant advocates and they report wonderful results." But he noted that many doctors had difficulty treating patients "with their own fingers," (No kidding) and hailed the vibrator as a godsend: "Special applicators (motor driven) give practical value and office convenience to what otherwise is impractical."

The vibrator became the fifth household device to be electrified, after the sewing machine, fan, electric kettle and toaster - and before the vacuum cleaner and the iron.

The Vibrator was a socially acceptable medical device - until the 1920's when its appearance in porn films started the rumor-monging. In short, by the 1960's, the orgasm was not seen as 'medically' necessary for women, but as something shameful that one's husband certainly didn't ask the doctor to do. It became the device Mommy didn't want little Teddy to see her playing with - particularly not if they lived in Alabama.

In 1999, the obscenity statute of Alabama (Ala. Code. ยง 13A-12-200.1) made it "unlawful to produce, distribute or otherwise sell sexual devices that are marketed primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." Alabama put forth that these products were obscene, and also stated that there was "no fundamental right to purchase a product to use in pursuit of having an orgasm."

It was constitutional to own firearms, but not to bond with Mr Buzzy when Bubba was down the the pool hall knockin' back beers with the boys. The ACLU challenged the statute, and a company called Good Vibrations distributed free vibrators to the poor, orgasm-deprived women of Alabama. The statute was eventually overturned in 2002.

It seems as technology advances, as you can buy every and any kind of fake cock, butt plug, orgiastic DVD and kinky crotchless panty you could possibly desire, in certain sections of the States sex, even sex with oneself, is considered a dirty secret that noone wants to admit to. There is a vast difference between a healthy and pleasurable sex life, an interest and appreciation of the female and male form, and perverted sexual deviance, but some don't seem to recognise the distinction. As recently as April 18th 2005 there was a ruling in New York which stated that sex shops and strip joints could only operate in certain zoning areas such as the far West Side of Manhattan. Mayor Bloomberg, hailed the court's decision as a victory for families who don't want porn peddlers next to churches and day care centers.

"New Yorkers won't have to push their strollers past porn shops, have topless bars for neighbors or have to worry about peep booths in the back of their corner magazine store."
screenshot_11.jpg screenshot_16.jpg
Hmm, point taken, but somehow it seems pushing smut together just makes it seem more socially unacceptable - when the reality is that everyone is feeding into the soft-core sex industry, whether it's through their choice of vibrator, watching porn films, drinking in strip joints, buying 'Playboy' magazine, or breaking out and going for the ribbed ultra-horny condoms instead of the regular kind. Everyone is doing it, but noone wants to admit to it, and perhaps this is because there is very little distinction in the eyes of many between a good, healthy sexual appetite, and shameful perversion. The New York ruling means that one strip joint, Scores, may be forced out of its premises on the East Side where it's been operating for over thirty years, well away from day care centers and Churches. You have to actually go into these places to see anything remotely titillating, but it seems the very presence of such a place is anathema to Mayor Bloomberg. At the same time as we congratulate ourselves on protecting our children from the evils of sex, this country allows the State of Texas to forbid the promotion of any kind of sex education, barring that of abstinence. My guess is those sixteen year old girls are sending some pleading letters out to the kind folks at Good Vibrations, in between churning out illegitimate children and wondering how the hell that happened.

I find it hard to comprehend how a country so far advanced economically and technologically, can be, in many ways, incredibly backward. All the money poured into a ridiculous case in Alabama banning vibrators could well have been spent investigating and preventing the 50,000 children brought into this country every year by sex-traffickers. But no. Margery might start preferring a little bit of Duracell-loving rather than Hank's clumsy advances in the sack and we couldn't have that. Priorities, priorities.

Hey guys! Listen up! It was you who first came up with the steam-powered vibrator! Well done you! Now let's move on and catch up with rest of the sexually liberated world! Perhaps the Masturbator from Bon Giorno should get that computer-animated suction device out there alongside the Rabbits, Dolphins and Black Mambas which have come so far from the pedal-powered, steam driven vibrators of the past. And I for one, would be sending it out to every goddamned, sexually repressed Right-Winger in this country.

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The old trifecta: sex, politics and self-righteousness.

Posted by: Craig at May 6, 2005 3:19 PM

thanks for the history lesson. it wasn't really what i expected from the assignment (and i'm not sure if it fits the assignment) but I enjoyed the entry nonetheless.

Posted by: (not contestant) james at May 6, 2005 3:30 PM

totally brilliant. I have only recently learned about the history of the vibrator, and I am glad to see it being spread far and wide. SO WEIRD. Great entry.

Posted by: ritchey at May 6, 2005 3:45 PM

We just learned something last night: circumcision was popularized by anti-masturbation advocates, including Sylvester Graham (as in graham crackers) and John Harvey Kellogg (as in Kellogg's cereals). Both of them believed that masturbation was unhealthy and led to mental and physical degeneration. They advocated for sexual moderation or abstinence, circumcision, exercise, and a bland diet (hence the crackers and cereal), all with an aim to reduce any kind of desire.

For example, Kellogg wrote about the signs someone is a combulsive "self-abuser": #7. Sleeplessnes, #11. Love of solitude, #12. Bashfulness and #13. Unnatural boldness, #14. Confusion of ideas, #24. Capricious appetite, #28. Use of tobacco, #30. Acne.

Interesting article about it here.

Posted by: freddy at May 6, 2005 4:03 PM

craig, youre an asshole. wheres your article sweetie? o sorry, more time to raid the thesaurus for clever words...

Posted by: unemployed at May 6, 2005 4:16 PM

Bashfulness and unnatural boldness? This sounds like a witch hunt. Only, instead of accusing someone of supernatural powers, it's jerking off (unless perhaps they believed that jerking off gives you supernatural powers!).

Oh, and there has to be some kind of joke where we call Kellogg and Graham a "dick". HA HA HA! (C'mon, that is like following a vein of comedy gold to the mother-load, we're talking 24K comedy here!)

I am looking forward to seeing if Mimi is capable of turning each and every challenge into a sex-related entry.

Posted by: Mikey at May 6, 2005 4:18 PM

this is a fine and effective entry.
you're a great writer.

i don't think this is off topic at all. steam-powered vibrators? technology of yesterday? i think it's more germane than zubaz pants...but that's just me.

Posted by: hoppock at May 6, 2005 4:36 PM

Asshole,eh? I guess. 2 for 2 now: two contest articles, both of them about sex. I guess I'm just not attuned to the majesty that is Mimi's vagina.

But it's the politics that gets me. No, it's not that. I agree with Mimi politically. I am left, I vote left, I can't stand the Christian right and think they're a sinister and malicious influence on the governance of this country. It's the presentation that does it, and what is so frustrating about the left in general. I'm of the opinion that politically, most people line up with the left on social issues in this country. The majority of the people here are live-and-let-live - not all, but well more than half. The far left doesn't give a shit though, and they look with disdain upon all those people in middle America who are dying to line up with them but are so turned off by their condescending attitude. Their mores about sexual and social behavior are treated as an object of scorn by the far left and it drives them to elect people who at least pretend to understand and sympathize with them.

Anyway, label me a troll, call me an asshole, do whatever you want. It frustrates me when a gifted writer (which Mimi truly is) wastes her talents with quasi-provocative sexual babble and condescending leftist political rants. And for the record, I thought your previous (non-contest) post was quite good.

Posted by: Craig at May 6, 2005 5:47 PM

you know, men can talk about sex and penises all the time and it's generally considered acceptable

I don't see why you consider it unacceptable when a woman decides to do the same

Posted by: karina at May 6, 2005 10:35 PM

I never said it was "unacceptable". I just think it's lame and uninteresting. There's nothing wrong with writing about sex but, Christ, there ARE other things in this world. And don't give me that double standard boilerplate - if this was a man writing about...whatever sex-obsessed men write about, it would be at least twice as horrendous.

Posted by: Craig at May 6, 2005 10:50 PM

Mimi's entry is about something really interesting that very few people (that I know, anyway), are aware of. It didn't seem like she was just writing about her vagina. She was writing about a really fascinating and intense piece of sexual history. I know what you're saying, Craig, about the condescending Left, but I didn't feel that with Mimi's entry. I thought it was fascinating, and important.

Posted by: ritchey at May 6, 2005 11:29 PM

I find it interesting noone has given Lyova shit for talking about sex. I am not dissing Lyova - I'm far too drunk for that. But it's a point you guys need to take into consideration. Now bed.

Posted by: mimi at May 7, 2005 1:27 AM

Craig if thats your point -

(there's nothing wrong with writing about sex but, Christ, there ARE other things in this world)

-then you're contradicting yourself. You said yourself Mimi can write about more than sex, and in a great way. Why is she not allowed to do both without receiving shit from men like you? Her post was way more original than the majority of the feeble 'memory' laments....and for that it stood out....and i can't say many of them did.

Posted by: unemployed at May 7, 2005 4:00 AM

i learned a lot of interesting things. also, i am very curious about that toy in the middle that looks like three electric shavers stuck together. i can't imagine what its for...

also... my roommates all want the rabbit after we saw it on 'sex and the city'. so, i had to go shopping for them. i saw at least a hundred copy cat vibrators, but none of them were the genuine article. do you suppose those are just as good, or is there something genuinely special about the rabbit that cannot be reproduced.

Posted by: james at May 7, 2005 5:50 AM

i learned a lot of interesting things. also, i am very curious about that toy in the middle that looks like three electric shavers stuck together. i can't imagine what its for...

also... my roommates all want the rabbit after we saw it on 'sex and the city'. so, i had to go shopping for them. i saw at least a hundred copy cat vibrators, but none of them were the genuine article. do you suppose those are just as good, or is there something genuinely special about the rabbit that cannot be reproduced

Posted by: james at May 7, 2005 6:32 AM

Hey James

It's some kind of dildo - enlarge the image and it has a description underneath. Terrifying. That's not going anywhere near my nether regions.

Is this contestant james or other? If it's contestant James, congrats, and please don't vote for me, I won't vote for you!


Posted by: mimi at May 7, 2005 12:46 PM

No, the one James is asking about is not a dildo. It's three different color versions of the same vibrator displayed together.

I really liked your post Mimi. I understand Craig's point that talking about sex can be boring and a cliched way to 'shock' people, but I'm just not getting that from Mimi's writing. She talks about sex in a thoughtful, intelligent, political way. And she's upfront and nasty at the same time- I love it!

Posted by: Sarah at May 7, 2005 10:33 PM

oh mimi! i wouldn't dream of voting you off! just keep up the great posts and you'll never receive a vote from me, regardless of what any kind of 'alliance' does.


Posted by: james at May 8, 2005 12:15 AM