Sex toy parties take off

Sex toys invade suburbia

For years, companies like Mary Kay, Tupperware, and more recently, The Pampered Chef have been using "start your own business!" jargon to entice desperate housewives into peddling their wares. Deftly playing off rampant mommy guilt and perceptions of an impenetrable glass ceiling, these companies manage to recruit thousands of wannabe consultants each month. (I infiltrated a Mary Kay convention in 2000 and was startled to hear higher-ups urging women to quit college and/or careers to hawk lipstick full time. "I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but I was wrong!" one recent convert gushed. "God first, family second, career third,"  was a common refrain among the rhinestone-pinned faithful, though they seemed to praise a certain paraffin hand treatment above all else.)

In most scenarios, though, becoming a home sales consultant can be a relatively harmless way to earn extra money, alienate one's friends or amass a shit-ton of candles.  Wholesome, too: what could be more American than Aunt Bettina selling plastic Jell-O molds to a trusting klatch of church-basement hens?

Well, how about Aunt Bettina selling anal beads to the same crowd?

Sex toy parties have experienced an ultrasonic boom in recent years, popping up with increasing frequency in unexpected neighborhoods. These lubes and vibrators aren't intended for sex-positive, porn-devouring libertines; rather, this good-natured naughtiness is directed squarely at your mom, your grandma, and anyone who might ordinarily blanch at the thought of Booty Eaze. My own (relatively sheltered) mother was recently invited to one of these parties, and while she deemed the prospect "too goofy," she wasn't particularly scandalized by the idea. "Everyone's having those," she shrugged coolly.

You hear that? Everyone. Suddenly, three-pronged jelly dongs are democratic. But are any of these sex toy consultants actually making the promised $50K a year for a twenty-hour workweek? More importantly, do the participating stay-at-home moms hide their inventory from the kids, or is it a common occurence to stumble across a box of these before Boy Scouts?

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