Thursday, 31 May 2007
I wonder if Sex and the City has done more for the humble vibrator than any advertising campaign. Who remembers Charlotte pulling a sickie on a girls' night out to spend some quality time with her Rampant Rabbit, and Carrie having to march down to her apartment and snatch it from her? Was I the only one who wanted to yell, "Don't you know where that's been?" And then there was the episode in which Samantha's favourite "back massager" breaks from overuse and she brazenly demands an exchange, refusing to adopt the pretence that women buy them for their backs.
Apparently, a woman can only achieve an orgasm with the help of a vibrating phallic neon piece of jelly-like plastic with prongs. Quite apart from the fact that many of these devices look quite frankly terrifying or just plain baffling, I take issue with the implication that I need mechanical assistance getting myself off.
Vibrators are seen as symbols of modern emancipation. Women are being told what they should enjoy physically by much the same sort of pop-feminists who told them they were not supposed to enjoy penetrative sex in the 70s. They are being encouraged to be utterly obsessed with their own orgasms, told to collect more and more bits of phallic silicone in order to achieve extreme ecstasy the likes of which one could never experience with a mere man. We are being sold these devices on the back of a post-feminist bandwagon which states that we must assert our independence from men. Simply masturbating is not enough. We must own a vibrator in order to make a statement that we masturbate. Yes, I am a woman, I have sexual urges, I'm going to buy this piece of mass-produced latex crap and as God is my witness, I will go home and have a wank!
Masturbation is not proof that you don't need a man. Try becoming financially independent, emotionally stable, genuinely happy to be single - that's proof that you don't need a man.
I'd much rather it was like this than a hundred years ago, when women weren't even expected to enjoy sex and the thought of a woman masturbating was completely abhorrent. I just can't help feeling that we're all taking it a bit too seriously. You're not having a romantic evening for one. You're having a wank. Get over it.