Thursday, 31 May 2007

Buzz off!



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.

4 comments:

elle said...

Couldn't agree with you more -- now we're expected to buy stuff even to validate our own private experiences. Sex/love/arousal is about flesh on flesh, skin on skin -- the textures and aromas of the human body. Hurrah for lovers who are good with their hands, I say!

Vibrators ultimately dehumanise and thus de-eroticise sexual pleasure, reducing us to little more than dissatisfied consumers, as in every other aspect of our lives. And are the majority of women really incapable of giving themselves a respectable orgasm without batteries? Are we THAT incompetent and helpless?

The Urban Feminist said...

What you say about "validation" made me think of another point that I should have made. The fact that these things exist gives us "permission" to masturbate.

Kat said...

Plus a lot of the 'jelly' vibrators are full of pthalates, which are potentially hazardous to the health of those involved in their production, as well as being something most of us wouldn't knowingly put anywhere near our lady parts...

Oliver said...

I think we're all treated as incompetent and in need of help by the media and marketeers, men and women.

I'm constantly told by email and the occasional pop-up that I need extra inches added to a part of my physiology...

I feel like meeting these bozo's with my erect manhood in hand and present it to them asking them, face to face (or penis to face!) if they honestly think it is in any way inadequate! For one happy moment that would shut them up :D