"I'm gonna tell you what my friend told me-- never expect a man to be able to do this for you," my friend says as she hold up a model that gyrates, as pearls spin inside, and a koi fish flicks its tail-- talk about bells and whistles. She says this is rule number one for battery-driven self lovin'. "Got it?" she asks. I got it. She's managing my expectations as we vibrator shop. (This would be my first.) We're at the grand opening party for the Los Angeles store Babeland (formerly known in NYC as Toys in Babeland) and the place was packed with lesbians of every variety, a few hetero men, a smattering of gay men, a gaggle of lycra-loving pregnant women, there just to prove this shit works, and a few unsavory characters, myself among them.
There was an open bar and passed hors d'hoeuvres. I was starving but the last thing I felt like doing was eating while perusing items like "Boy Butter" a cream developed for "fisting" and diagrams for locating a prostate gland should you be interested in diving the man cave.
There were rows and rows of dildos and vibrators ranging from cutesy caterpillars, rubber duckies, and discrete faux plastic lipsticks to full on replicas of family jewels of impressive girth and rigidity, some of which if you squeezed and closed your eyes, would have you completely fooled. (I fell in love with one, and told him that I'd be back, I imagine him now curled up in the dark, like Juliette Binoche in The English Patient.)
We sipped wine while leaning against a wall full of strap on harnesses and collars and leashes, and flipped through books with all kinds of hints and tips, one called "The Women's Guide to Anal Sex" clocked in at 140 pages... We suggested summing it up in one- a shot of something strong, a deep breath and try to relax. We slapped each other with rubber-stranded whips, and riding crops, we fondled phallus after phallus, sniffed scented "personal lubricants" and to top it all off there was a burlesque show, so every 15 minutes another beauty would shimmy out of a sparkly outfit, flash the pasties and disappear.
But the best thing about the night was the frankness of the staff, and the feeling you got from them that that there really is nothing wrong with polishing the door knob, petting the kitty, or stuffing the box (solo or with company). They're required to show up for in-store sex-ed and biology classes and are taught to make people feel totally comfortable asking, while pointing to a thingamajig hanging off a rubber dick, "what the hell does this do?" And just as comfortable when the response is "it may tickle your asshole, it may not." To punctuate the feeling that "we're all alright, we're all alright," is the fact that there were children present. Lily (photo below) told me later she liked "the ladies dancing."
I didn't ask her what she thought about the maids a milking... this one brought the "suicide girls" concept to a new level...
I left empty handed except for a fairly large goody bag, and we all agreed that there really was only one place to go to assuage our hunger after our appetites had been worked into such a frenzy...
Pink's, of course, for a foot long.
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Here's us with the remains of the day...
Posted by Linda Immediato