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Call & Response
July 15, 1999
"We can't card over the phone, that's true," says Carol Queen, Director of Continuing Education at San Francisco's world famous sex shop, Good Vibrations. "But we do require people who order stuff from our catalogue or website (www.goodvibes.com) to indicate that they are over 21." Catalogue shoppers have to sign a statement that they're over 21, web shoppers have to click on a banner that says, "Yes, I am at least 21." Which, gosh, seems a pretty effective way to prevent 15-year-olds with credit cards from ordering sex toys online, doesn't it?But, hey, wait a minute! What's to stop 15-year-olds from clicking on the "Yes, I'm at least 21" button or signing a statement that they're over 21? "Only their own sense of truthfulness," says Queen. "We ask people to assure us that they're 21, but there isn't any further enforcement that we can feasibly do." Has the store ever gotten into trouble after selling vibrators to some scheming 15-year-old liar? "I don't think we've ever had to deal with that situation."
Other than committing fraud, what does Good Vibrations recommend youngsters in need of vibrators do? "If this young woman has a comfortable enough relationship with an older person," Queen said, "they could ask that person to do the shopping. We have women come in and buy vibrators with their daughters all the time. It's really kind of moving and sweet. I mean, our mothers didn't buy us vibrators!"
Shame on you, Dan Savage! How could you have overlooked the Hitachi Magic Wand in your response to Wanna Get Off Before We're Legal?! Hitachi makes a "household" personal massager that's legendary among women. In the housewife underground, these "personal massagers" are known as secret vibrators. They're totally legit and legal for any 15-year-old to buy. WGOBWL just needs to trek on down to her local Wal-Mart and pick out one she likes.Jennifer M.
It just so happens that I own a Hitachi Magic Wand--which looks like a baseball bat with a vibrating softball on top--so I'm living proof that this "personal massager" has a following among men, too. I purchased mine at a sex shop, but mostly I use my Hitachi Magic Wand as a deck sander--the thing is powerful! While vibrating "personal massage" units are available in some department stores, none of the three I called--a Walgreens in Chicago, a Wal-Mart in Seattle, and a Sears in Dallas--carried Hitachi Magic Wands.But if these girls wanna get their hands on good, cheap, reliable vibrators, I recommend they drive right past Wal-Mart and head to the nearest Toys "R" Us. There they will find numerous vibrating plush toys--the most famous being Tickle Me Elmo--that they can legally purchase, take home, and dismember. Inside each of these dolls are little white plastic vibrators that give off strong sensations when squeezed. Unfortunately, the Tickle Me Elmo doll's vibrator has a little speaker that says "Ha, ha, ha! Oh, boy! Oh, boy!" whenever it's set off, which could spoil the mood, but an Elmo vibrator is better than no vibrator at all.
Please note: Tickle Me Elmo dolls are for external use only. As they say at Good Vibrations, Elmo is not an insertion toy.
You dropped the ball, Dan, in your answer to Possibly Paranoid, whose girlfriend didn't appear to be using birth control and didn't want him to use condoms. Protection is a MUST for any new couple for at least six months, regardless of their desire for offspring. As a family physician, I advise all of my sexually active patients to get tested with their new partner, use protection for six months, then repeat the test. If they can be sure that both are not having unprotected sex elsewhere, and the tests are negative, then they can celebrate with a condom-burning party. It's a dangerous world, and it pays to be careful.Dogged Doc
Yes, DD, it pays to be careful, and it never hurts to remind people that it's a dangerous world. So, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages: You really oughtta be using protection with sex partners whose STD history and reproductive intentions you aren't certain about. I could remind people of this in every column--week in, week out--but you know what, DD? Constant reminders would bore smart people who do use protection (when called for), and would not change the behavior of dumb people who don't.Also, I believe adults have a right to assess risk and make their own decisions about what level of risk they're comfortable with. So while I'm happy to remind folks every once in a while that, hey, in certain circumstances they oughtta use protection--and they shouldn't drive drunk, swim right after they eat, or run with scissors--I don't view nagging as my primary responsibility. That's your job, Doc.
My sister tricked not one, but TWO men into becoming unwilling daddies. Evidently she was taking Pez instead of the Pill. I have to say it was "a low-down, shitty, cuntoriffic thing to do." Also, is Possibly Paranoid dumb as a bowl of hair? His girlfriend is 39, childless, and won't let him use a condom? Does she have a calendar next to her bed to track her temperature? Fertility drugs in the bathroom? A nursery in her spare bedroom? If I were PP, I'd be using at least two condoms!Suzette
As would I, Suzette, as would I.
In response to Ms. Orally Fixated, the woman having trouble finding men who would go down on her: There are plenty of men out here who are enthusiastic about cunnilingus. I'm a prime example. In fact, I'd rather give cunnilingus than receive fellatio. It might be because I haven't found a woman who is A. enthusiastic about fellatio; B. willing to go the distance; C. good at it; or D. all of the above. Personally, I love cunnilingus, and I think a lot of men feel the same way.Big Eater
You may think a lot of men love cunnilingus, but I know it. I have a stack of letters on my desk from men desperate to eat Ms. OF's pussy. One guy, an actor in Florida, sent his headshot! I would happily forward your letters, fellas, but... it seems that Ms. OF's original letter was misplaced when my office was moved to a newer, more secure building on the Savage Love campus. If you wanna get in touch with hundreds of guys who've offered to eat your pussy--sight unseen, crotch unsniffed--send me a note with your address, Ms. OF, and I'll forward their letters to you.
Confidential to Queers:Check out gay journalist Rex Wockner's online column at http://sandiego.sidewalk.com/wockner. It's the brightest writing out there about homo-in-the-news stuff. Rex was the only person, for example, with anything intelligent to say about the fracas over that John Updike book review in The New Yorker that gave Larry Kramer cramps. Read Rex's column, I dare you.