The Sex Issue

Forget unemployment, the deficit, environmental degradation: President Bush recently said that one of the biggest challenges America faces today is trying to improve the military's morale. So this month, knowing that any one of us could soon be drafted to fight in Iraq, we've decided that instead of using our hard-earned advertising dollars to set up funds for war widows, we could better save the world by lifting our own spirits. In other words, we blew all our cash on vibrators, cock rings, butt plugs, strawberry lube, vaginal sleeves, naughty board games, and s&m gear for our staff.

Well, not just for our staff. After asking for a little "research" help from our friends, we were suddenly overwhelmed with volunteers--straight and gay, male and female, single and attached, slutty and hard up--who wanted to show their patriotism by creating a consumer guide to sex toys. And so we assembled the recruits who would test devices and write the accompanying seventh-grade jokes: Among the group are a waitress, a toy-store clerk, a library archivist, two musicians, an Internet developer, and a City Pages writer--some of us first-time users, some of us more experienced, all of us willing guinea pigs. (Many of the toys we tried are available in sex-toy shops around town--but if you're afraid you'll run into your mom at one of them, you can also purchase them on a wide variety of sex-positive websites.)

Since no one here is a certified sexpert, the following evaluations are not meant to be taken as gospel--they're simply average people's opinions. The text below is, however, intended to encourage you to try this at home. Regular use of the following items is guaranteed to lift every voice in song.
Praise be to sex toys.

And God bless America.


Toy Story
How to vibrate, lubricate, and plug your way to true happiness

Rabbit Pearl

Welcome to the three-second orgasm. If you've ever wanted to perform like a 13-year-old boy--with a speedy, shameless whoops! signaling that your foreplay just turned into a postcoital cigarette--this is the toy for you. Don't worry if the five inches in length and one-and-a-half inches in diameter don't quite make it the Dirk Diggler of vibrating dildos: Gratification, like God, is in the details. Tumbling silver pearls rotate around the transparent midsection. The fluorescent-pink, true-to-anatomical-shape head spins around like it's orbiting its own personal sun. And a small plastic rhinoceros lies near the base of the looming pink tower--like the arm of a bong--patiently flicking your trigger from the front with its horn. A baby bird rests upon its back. (Don't blame us if you get aroused the next time you watch Animal Kingdom.) What's more, there are eight (!) different speeds each for external (rhino) and internal (orbiting head) vibration, ranging from powder puff to powder keg, so that you can choose the rate at which to supersize your petite mort.

Keep in mind, this particular toy wasn't exactly created for those schooled in the tantric arts. (How do you say "quickie" in Sanskrit?) And its audacious shape prevents it from being very discreet. But if those airport security folks find it, just use the Time-Tested Vibrator Excuse--claim it's a muscle massager. After all, at the end of a long, hard day, who doesn't rub her shoulders with a fluorescent-pink, multi-speed, vigorously rotating, synthetic rhino-faced cock?



Candy Coated Kit

Any six-year-old can tell you that food is fun to play with. Ever stick Froot Loops on each fingertip and proceed to eat them off? Well, appetizers are even tastier when placed on lower extremities. Still, even if whipped cream has the power to transform a simple fuck into a Herb Alpert album cover, it can also cause some nasty infections--which is why the Candy Coated Kit may be a safer, if less satisfying, bet. With Sizzling Body Candy, flavored Shunga Aphrodisiac Oil, and two pairs of Edible Undies (along with one inedible iCandy Smoothie vibrator), the Kit is like having a three-course meal served on someone else's platter. The strawberry Body Candy--a pile of semi-explosive sugar shards that lie on top of the skin--might be the smoothest going down. When licked, it snaps, crackles, and pops like private Pop Rocks. Don't use too much at once, though, or you'll feel as if America's War on Terror is raging in your pants.

Even greater risk of disaster lurks in the Edible Undies. The supposedly gender-specific male briefs don't differ substantially from the female bikini, meaning that a guy's main course is shoved uncomfortably outside the confines of his makeshift Fruit of the Looms. If you can still bring yourself to put your tongue on the sticky fabric, you'll find that you've probably tasted better Saran Wrap. But like your mama always told you, think about all the starving children in China...



Remote Butterfly

This one's for the nature lovers. Of course, you can't find a purple butterfly stapled to a thong flitting around in the natural world. Yet this vibrator-cum-G-string feels so much like one of God's creations, you'll be ready to believe that a giant monarch just soared in from a Walt Disney movie to nuzzle your nether regions. The string-bikini-like harness joins together at the front, where the perfectly positioned rubber insect rests, its motor-powered abdomen lightly tapping out Morse code. But the pleasure in this toy isn't just for its wearer: Since the vibe's surge is controlled by remote (with a range of up to 25 feet), you can hand off the reins to your channel surfer of choice. Once you discover that you can slip the slim, compact Butterfly under your jeans and no one will be any the wiser, you'll want to wear it everywhere you go, letting your button pusher surprise you wherever necessary--at the grocery store, at the laundromat, at work.

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