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Grown-up toys & Katie’s woes



Q: I like to jack off with something up my ass. Unfortunately, I can’t order a butt plug on the Web because my college roommate is a Christian. He would go into a preaching marathon if a package from a sex shop arrived. Can household items do double-duty as butt plugs? —Ass Lover Oppressed By Religion

A: “Have you ever thought of getting a post office box?” says Ellen Barnard, owner of A Woman’s Touch, a sex toy shop in Madison, Wis., where she often sells sex toys to college students. If you’re too chicken to do even that, Ellen says your kitchen is a good source of double-duty plugs. “You can carve a sweet potato into a plug — but don’t forget to carve a flared base and be sure to put a condom over it. Or use the handle of a potato masher, a knife sharpener or anything else that has a flange or flared base so that you don’t lose it inside yourself and wind up in the emergency room.”

Q: I surprised my wife with a vibrator and now she thinks I’m a pervert. Aren’t sex toys a normal part of many relationships? —Looking To Sell A Vibrator

A: “Trying to pleasure your wife with a vibrator does not qualify you as a pervert!” says Searah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed, a sex toy shop in Chicago. “However, I usually recommend talking to your partner before you whip out a new sex toy because the element of surprise can work against you. Perhaps if your wife knew what was coming, she wouldn’t have freaked out.”

Q: I bought a vibrator to use with my now ex-girlfriend. Can I use it with my next girlfriend, or do I have to buy a new vibrator every time I get a new girlfriend? —Electro

A: “If your toy is made of a nonabsorbent material such as silicone, acrylic, glass or hard plastic,” says Shelley Taylor of Venus Envy, a sex toy store in Halifax, Nova Scotia, “then a thorough washing with hot, soapy water should suffice. I would discard any toy made of latex, jelly or cyberskin as they’re not meant for sharing.”

Q: Is it possible to have a vibrator and a penis in your cunt at the same time? —Love Vibrating Cock

A: “There is no vibrator designed to fit over a penis and into a woman,” says Claire Cavanah of Toys in Babeland, a sex toy store with locations in Seattle and New York City. “But a new breed of vibrating cock ring can buzz the clitoris during intercourse.” But if what you want is a vibrator and a cock inside you at the same time, Claire suggests you find a very slim vibrator. “Then ask him to hold the vibrator and his penis together like a little bundle of sticks, and put both of them inside you — but go slow and use plenty of lube.”

Q: I have sex toys that I’ve only used once or twice. I can’t return them, but I can’t bring myself to throw them away. Is there a secondhand market? —Waste Not, Want Orgasm

A: “Sadly, there is no official sex toy exchange,” said Dr. Carol Queen, staff sexologist at Good Vibrations in San Francisco. “Many people wouldn’t patronize it even if there were. Only a few sex toy materials (the most notable being silicone) can be cleaned thoroughly enough to pass on to a stranger. I’d think nothing of accepting a silicone dildo a lover had used, so if you have partners, maybe there’s swap potential — but sex toys made of more porous materials like jelly and vinyl might best be recycled as doorstops.”

Q: It has come to my attention, Mr. Savage, that you promised to give Katie a Hitachi Magic Wand. You owe her the wand, Mr. Savage. It is conduct unbecoming an advice columnist to promise prizes to your readers and then not to give them. —Do The Right Thing

A: Alert readers have probably noticed that every answer in this week’s column is given by a woman who sells sex toys for a living. This is not a coincidence. It’s my way of introducing the Supreme Court of Sex Toy Retailers, aka Carol, Ellen, Searah, Shelley and Claire. I’ve called this court into session to settle a dispute about a sex toy. While I would normally handle sex toy disputes myself, my personal involvement in this dispute makes it impossible for me to be impartial.

Katie is a Savage Love reader who believes — erroneously, in my opinion — that I owe her a Hitachi Magic Wand, a sort of industrial-strength vibrator. Katie has created a Web site (, and has been encouraging people like DTRT to e-mail me. As you can read on Katie’s Web site, I did once promise her a Magic Wand. Such a promise is not out of character for me; I have taken select Savage Love readers on trips, and given others gift certificates and steak knives. Why do I do this? Because I have a warm feeling inside for my readers. And every once in a while out of the goodness of my heart — and out of my own pocket — I like to give a reader a present.

So I told Katie that I would bring her present to a reading in New York City. Tragically, I spaced and forgot to bring the vibrator. Katie was extremely unpleasant, rude, and obnoxious about my oversight. In short her conduct was unbecoming of a woman who was being given a gift, however belatedly. After meeting Katie, I no longer had warm feelings for her. On her Web site, she insists that we have a contract and that I must give her a Magic Wand. I disagree — we never had a contract. Even if we did, I would argue that our “contract” was rendered null and void by Katie’s behavior at our first and only meeting. Insofar as my promises were grounded in my warm feelings for Katie, and insofar as my warm feelings for Katie were grounded in her apparent “niceness,” I think that I am relieved and discharged from our supposed “contract,” as Katie’s boorish behavior constituted an anticipatory repudiation of her solemn binding contractual obligations to me, ipso facto relieving me from all obligations to Katie. Or so my lawyer says.

But since it’s impossible for me to be impartial on this matter, I’ve gone to the trouble of assembling the Supreme Court of Sex Toy Retailers. The five justices will visit Katie’s Web site this week, confer, and then issue a verdict. Their decision will be final — and I pledge to abide by it. So do I owe Katie the Magic Wand? Or should Katie fuck off? The Supreme Court ruling is expected next week.

Contact Dan Savage at [email protected]

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