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February 14, 2008
My boyfriend and I have been dating for four months and we're crazy about each other. He's been slowly introducing me to butt play. Last night, we were verbally playing out an anal scenario. He asked if I'd be okay using a strap-on with him, to which I replied, "Of course!" Then he said that he had a harness and dildo in the closet. I balked. This brought up two specific issues for me.
(1) What is good sex-toy etiquette? Can you use sex toys in one relationship and then in the next one? Also, when I've been with women, it was NOT okay to reuse sex toys. They died with the relationship. Is it different with heteros?
(2) Can you recycle sex toys with your recycling like you would other plastic products?
He said he'd be happy to buy new sex toys if it bothers me so much. But we're both ecofriendly and don't want to cause a lot of waste.Willing To Bend Over Boyfriend
"Lesbian sex-toy etiquette is pretty clear," says Claire Cavanah. "Dildos and harnesses don't survive the breakup."
Claire is the cofounder of Babeland (www.babeland.com), a woman-owned, totally righteous, continent-spanning sex-toy colossus, and a lesbian herself, and I typically defer to her on matters of lesbian sex-toy etiquette. But when asked why sex toys have to be discarded after a lesbian breakup, Claire could only offer this dyke-ass mumbo jumbo: "A lesbian couple's dildos become suffused with the energy of the sex in the relationship, and end up symbolizing the sexual connection the poor doomed couple had. They belong to the relationship."
Like I said, I'm going to defer to Claire. But it's interesting that lesbian dildos become fatally suffused with the energy of failed lesbian relationships, and therefore must be discarded, but lesbian hairstyles do not. Moving on...
"In the straight world," Claire continues, "there's a whole lot less attachment to specific toys, so reusing a dildo and harness is probably more common and acceptable."
So should you suck it up and use your boyfriend's dirty ol' sex toys? Of course not—says the owner of a sex-toy shop. "WTBOB, trained in the lesbian tradition, needs to speak up and get new toys," says Claire. "You love this guy, and you want to give him every inch of YOUR love," not the love someone else banged his ass with, "so go get a new rig."
How best to dispose of the old rig?
"Treehugger.com says that silicone and latex are recyclable," says Claire, "but that doesn't mean you can toss your old dildos into your plastics bin and expect them to live again in the form of a park bench. You'd have to summon all your courage and take them to a special facility." Most people won't do that, says Claire, "so most toys end up as landfill."
If you can't bring yourself to hand over those old dildos at a special silicone-and-latex recycling facility, WTBOB, perhaps you should mail them to Kandiss Crone at WLBT 3 News in Jackson, Mississippi.
Crone is a teeveenewz reporter in a state where it's against the law to sell sex toys. Twice last year the Jackson Police Department busted a local sex shop, Adult Video and Books, for the crime of selling "three-dimensional devices." But those busts didn't put a stop to Jackson's three-dimensional-device crime wave, it seems, because recently Ms. Crone got a hot tip: Adult Video and Books was back in the three- dimensional-device business!
To protect the citizens of Jackson from the imminent threat of three-dimensional devices, Crone went undercover for a very special "3 on Your Side" investigative report. Crone slipped into Adult Video and Books—in disguise—and purchased a purple vibrator. Then Crone went back in with a camera crew and confronted the store's owner. And since no teeveenewz report about crime is complete without a statement from the authorities, Crone asked the Jackson Police Department for a comment. "The adult store is not a priority for our vice and narcotics officers," the Jackson Police Department said in a statement. "Citizens would rather see us using our resources to get drugs and prostitutes off our streets and work to decrease violent crime."
Police negligence! The books are full of deeply silly, sex-phobic laws that are rarely enforced because cops have better things to do than bust people for the "crime" of selling vibrators to teeveenewz reporters. But when an enterprising teeveenewz reporter goes to all the trouble of conducting an undercover operation to get a dangerous purple vibrator off the streets, why, the least the police can do is arrest the culprits! And provide that enterprising teeveenewz reporter with some B-roll footage of the cops hauling the store's owner away in handcuffs!
Now, cynical readers might assume that Ms. Crone, like so many other teeveenewz reporters, was using sex to attract viewers and then exonerating herself and her viewers for their salaciousness by persecuting the owner of the sex-toy shop. Some cynical readers might argue that Ms. Crone is only pretending to be scandalized because she's a sophisticated, modern woman, and like many sophisticated, modern women, Ms. Crone is likely to have owned and operated a sex toy or two. And if Ms. Crone hasn't, then certainly other folks at WLBT—management, other reporters, cameramen, sound techs—have used three-dimensional devices. They're all grown-ups, right? Some will want to believe all that about Ms. Crone and WLBT because that would prove that Ms. Crone and everyone at WLBT are hypocrites for going on the teevee and playing to the prejudices of small-minded, sex-negative assholes while making folks who do use sex toys—or sell them—feel ashamed of themselves.
But I don't like to think ill of people. I'm certain Ms. Crone and the whole gang at WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi, sincerely believe that sex toys are a threat to the health, safety, and morals of the general public. As that's the case, I'm certain Ms. Crone would only be too delighted to receive your boyfriend's old sex toys in the mail, WTBOB, and used sex toys belonging to other Savage Love readers. Ms. Crone would, no doubt, take great satisfaction in personally disposing of all the dangerous three- dimensional devices she could get her hands on. So ship those old sex toys to: Kandiss Crone, c/o WLBT 3 News, 715 South Jefferson Street, Jackson, Mississippi, 39201. Don't have a sex toy to dispose of? E-mail Kandiss at email@example.com and let her know what a great job she's doing for the community.
Where's the web extra you promised in your January 10 column? I'm dying to find out more about tranny scrotums, female pastors, selective semen allergies, clit Tabasco, lesbian tongue size, and gay boobs!WTF
Oh, it's coming. Soon. Problem is... there are so many of you, dear readers, and so few of me.
Download Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.
Savage Love Extra
Letters to Kandiss Crone
Tuesday 26, 2008
Dear Ms. Crone:
I understand from your reporting that, in the state of Mississippi, it is illegal to own a "three-dimensional device" for the purpose of sexual pleasure, but owning a "three-dimensional device" for the purpose of killing another human being (a handgun) is okey-dokey and much encouraged by your politicians down there.
All I can say to that is, you sure live in one screwed-up state in one screwed-up country. Count me as one American living in Canada who is glad to have escaped!
I applaud your diligence in your attempts at exposing the perverted demons who buy and use sex toys. This unholy carnage must be stopped! Why should one need to use such devices for masturbatory purposes when there are so many prostitutes out there in need of work?
I suggest that you start a positive campaign for the turning away of our youth from such horrendous devices you spoke out against on your TV show, and toward the God's honest real thing for hire!
Keep up the good work,
Dear Ms. Crone,
I've just read your story describing the sting operation you and your crew performed on an area adult store (http://wlbt.net/Global/story.asp?s=7803180).
It's an interesting coincidence, because just yesterday I went with two of my girlfriends—both recently divorced after abusive marriages—to our local sex-toy shop to buy vibrators. Not only did we have a great time picking them out, my friends were clearly thrilled to be taking what they felt was a significant step toward reasserting their strength and independence. One of them told me today that she became very anxious last night about sleeping in an empty house, but that using her new vibrator calmed her down enough for her to get to sleep. For my part, I was glad we'd made the shopping trip for another reason: I would much rather see my friends using their toys in the privacy and safety of their own homes than hitting the bars and having one-night stands with unknown men out of an unfulfilled need for sexual intimacy.
My point? Only that it is despicable to actively harass a local business for selling these products. In targeting Adult Video and Books, you implicitly condemn the physically and emotionally healthy activities that the store and its products facilitate. As a media outlet, you have a responsibility to your viewers not to cast shame upon the safe fulfillment of natural sexual urges and needs.
Dear Ms. Crone,
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your journalistic integrity and your commitment to protecting the community. I'm sure Jackson, Mississippi, will be much safer now that you have rid the streets of three-dimensional adult-pleasure devices.
Although there is primary data proving that orgasms boost the immune system, elevate mood, relieve stress, and, between you and me, Kandiss, are just plain fun. Let's never forget that all of the above contribute to the degeneration of consenting adults everywhere.
So, once again, from the bottom of my cervix, I want to thank you for making it more difficult for the adults of Jackson, Mississippi, to find inexpensive, low-fat, aerobic, self-image-enhancing ways to feel good.
The world is truly a better place without vibrators. Now if we could only get rid of douchebags like you.
Dear Ms. Crone,
I am an historian of human sexuality and a proud owner of three vibrators. Actually four, if you count the antique one I inherited from an 88-year-old relative who died and whose children (who are in their 60s) found her 1950s-era vibrator and realized I would appreciate it. (She had been married for over 60 years, to a lovely man, when she died.) I haven't used hers, and don't plan to (the cord is kind of frayed), but I think it should let you know that nice women (like naughty women) have, for generations and generations, used vibrators to feel good, and there is nothing wrong with that. Vibrators often help women like me, in their 40s, get orgasms something like those we used to get when we were young, and they help our partners give us pleasure, which is good, good, good for long-lasting marriages, straight or gay.
Madam, do get a life, or at least get yourself a nice vibrator. I can recommend some if you like.
Alice D., PhD
I just wanted to write and offer my heartfelt congratulations at your obvious intellect, professionalism, and journalistic integrity in doing your small part in clearing up the scourge of sex toys. I am sure your viewers appreciate the job you are doing in highlighting this important topic.
By important, I mean in relation to other trivialities, such as genocide in Darfur, an over $500,000,000,000 annual military budget this year (the biggest since WWII), the historical primary race, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the many, many tragic deaths caused by madmen (and women) who use lawfully purchased guns to massacre their innocent classmates around America. Keep up the GOOD WORK!
It is difficult to strike the right tone in addressing this letter to you. I think I should be straightforward.
I think your story about Adult Video and Books, the sex shop that you discovered to be selling sex toys, was not quality reporting. It is easy to point a finger and proclaim, "Look at the naughty, dirty sex," and I'm sure that stories like this boost ratings: Everyone likes a scandal that doesn't carry any moral obligation to act. You were, in my opinion, firing at a wide target, and one which might titillate your viewers without asking them to think about or improve life in Jackson.
More challenging work for a reporter is to outline the difficulties the homeless face, or perhaps take a careful look at whether money spent by lobbyists cause our representatives in Congress to vote against our interests. I think you're in a position to consider many important issues in the world today and to bring them to light in a way that challenges your viewers to actively do something to improve those issues. This, I think, is better than taking cheap jabs at people who use "three-dimensional devices." As in countries where ethnic cleansing causes people to live in fear, you might be surprised at how many of your colleagues and coworkers are users of these devices, but live in secret to avoid persecution.
Dear Ms Crone,
Gee, I feel so bad that I don't have any sex toys to send to you for proper disposal. I'm going to do my best to help you in your noble crusade! Will you accept bananas and cucumbers?
Just wanted to drop a note thanking you for making us all aware that some stores out there sell "three-dimensional devices" designed to be used in sexual ways. Keep up the good work and maybe law enforcement will finally act to rid us of these vile places.
I, for one, am glad you're doing this. I'd much prefer my young daughter explores her sexuality with whatever she can find around the house. There are always bottles, bananas, and I can't even think what all that she can use instead.
There's no health risk involved in using a banana instead though, right?
I can believe that a town in Mississippi still criminalizes the sale of sex toys, and I can believe that a spotlight-hog TV reporter staged a ratings grab about the sale of sex toys, and I can even believe that the local law enforcement ruined her day by saying they had bigger crimes to prosecute. And I can completely understand why anyone opposed to this cheap theatrical stunt would protest by sending their used sex toys to Kandiss Crone, c/o WLBT 3 News, 715 South Jefferson Street, Jackson, Mississippi, 39201. But I cannot believe that the reporter works for a station whose call letters shout out to lesbians, bisexuals, and trannies. That part, Dan, you must have made up. Right?
I mean, come on, the truth doesn't write itself like that.
Couple of comments on the Crone piece: First, she's been a reporter there since June 2007, so she probably doesn't have a great deal of say in her assignments. Not that this excuses her for being a good little soldier, but her fucktard of an editor could probably use some surplus three-dimensional devices of his own. Also, the greatest irony about the whole situation from this (relatively) humble attorney's perspective is that by showing it afterward to the store owner, the cops, and untold numbers of Concerned Viewers, Crone was herself in apparent violation of the statute, which declares that a "person commits the offense of distributing unlawful sexual devices when he knowingly sells, advertises, publishes, or EXHIBITS to any person any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs, or offers to do so, or possesses such devices with the intent to do so."
Although the following statute provides an exemption for teeveenewz reporters, that only applies "where the signal transmitting the material or performance originates outside of the state of Mississippi." As WLBT-3's antenna is located outside of Raymond in Hinds County, Mississippi, Ms. Crone could be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a $5,000 fine and six months in the can for displaying some slick purple head. Luckily for her, I happen to know a damn good attorney.
The Latex Lawyer