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Jean-Coutu is now officially vending female-oriented sex toys.

When waiting in line to fill a persciption earlier today, I happened to be standing in the contraceptive section, next to the corner of the aisle dedicated to the new "Elexa" product-line from Trojan. Now, personally, I find myself rolling my eyes at what I'll term the "namby-pambiness" of the "Elexa" campaign. For those who are not familiar with it, the Elexa campaign targets women, and packages contraception and basic sexual hygene products in a form that is meant to appeal to (presumably young) women.

Well enough as it goes, but when I see the colourful fonts referring to the various products as "intimacy gel", and "freshening cloths" my eyes spin in their sockets. In my day, we called 'em lubricant & Kleenex(tm), and we didn't get so uptight about the semantics - 'least that was what I though. When faced with the reality of marketing terminology, it really made me think about the focus groups that were employed prior to marketing these packages. Really, the idea that there are modern, sexually-active women in the world who are uncomfortable with publicly calling lube "lube", makes me emit a heartfelt "Oi"...

That said, this time about, beside the boxes of condoms - complete with a "gift" of a faux-leather carrying pouch - I did notice a new addition to the Elexa-line, a vibrator. More specifically, a vibrating-ring.*

Now, those of use who are in the know are well aware that pharmacies around Canada have been selling feminine sex-toys on the sly for many a moon. Many variants of the classic "Hitachi Magic Wand" design have graced the shelves of the local "Pharmaprix" and "Uniprix" over the years, and likely no-one with half-a-gram of imagination has ever imagined the devices to be meant solely for massaging shoulders. Honestly, if it were, the "Magic Wand" wouldn't be designed like a Sherman tank, and composed of bullet-proof plastics; it is clearly designed to withstand more rigorous activities than simply working-off a charlie-horse.

This was clearly different however. This was a vibrator that was clearly called a vibrator. A sex toy that was proclaimed to be a sex toy. This was not the $24.99 Nexxstep "massager" from RadioShack, trying to pass itself off as a "respectable" member of society; this ring was clearly meant to be slid onto another type of member altogether, and didn't claim otherwise. All that, and it only requires a watch battery for operation - a step-up from the AC-adapters and D-cell batteries required by the "Hitachi"-class of sexual devices.

But here lies the heart of the breakthrough: the local pharmacies of the Great White North now sell vibrators. Openly. And they even sell the watch batteries. For less than the cost of a decent bottle of rye whiskey, any young woman can now visit her local pharmacy, and pick-up a vibe and enough replacement batteries to last her through a good twenty-four hour extravaganza.

Seriously, if this knowledge becomes widespread, it could put further downward pressure on teenage pregnancy; it's an awful lot easier to hide a ring-vibe under your pillow than an "Hitachi", or a sixteen-year old boy.

* If you haven't the foggiest idea of what a "vibrating ring" is, or how to use it, I suggest pointing your browser at Comeasyouare.com for examples from a local shop.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC)
i don't know, I've always found it pretty easy to hide sixteen year old boys under my pillow...

Dec. 1st, 2005 02:45 am (UTC)
'Really, you and your midget concubines...
Dec. 3rd, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC)
Wholeheartedly agree: a lube should be called a lube! That is one of the things we should seriously rethink in our day and age: the language we use around sexuality. The hegemonic (in this case, religious) discourse has produced numerous cramps and obstacles to prevent us using HONEST WORDS to talk about our sexuality. Sexuality language in our society belongs to TWO strict categories: it is either obscene or medical. Dressing words like 'lubricant' in flowery 'intimacy gel' phrasing is NOT solving the problem, it is accepting the hegemonic categorization which is harmful and presents harm to our identity.

We have to accept that honest words only become obscene when we conform to non-sense institutions.

eager and willing to ramble about it for hours more, but someone the boyfriend has just arrived with a bottle of wine, so I'm leaving to get it on

just one more thing: Dear Church, if God was the one who created humans, there is no possible way that He intended sex to be evil. Why would we be the only species on Earth who are gifted with SEXUALITY and not just with mere sexual instinct to pleasure our flesh?

Dec. 4th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)

...eager and willing to ramble about it for hours more, but someone the boyfriend has just arrived with a bottle of wine, so I'm leaving to get it on...

'Better not forget the "freshening cloths", Zosja darling! ;-)

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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