Last edited: March 06, 2005

Sweet Home, Alabama Dildos

Yet another state gets to outlaw “genital stimulating devices,” as God just rolls her eyes

SF Gate, March 4, 2005

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

I cannot imagine not being able to walk into a nice clean well-lit store staffed by friendly funky well-informed employees with interesting haircuts and walk out with an armful of friendly dildos.

I cannot imagine not being able to walk right in on any given Christian Sunday to Good Vibrations here in the City (or Toys in Babeland in Seattle or the Hustler store in LA or any number of other such clean ‘n’ decent ‘n’ prurient storefronts around the land) and stock up on sex lotions and potions and gadgets and gizmos on a whim, on a second date, on a weekend, before Valentine’s Day, on Easter, on Christmas, just for the hell of it or because the SO winkingly suggested it or the giddy carnal urges demanded it or because I needed to buy sexy birthday gifts or just because my supplies were running low and I have yet to install that in-bedroom three-gallon Astroglide wall pump.

I cannot, in other words, imagine living in Alabama. Or Texas. Or Louisiana. Or Georgia. Or Tennessee. Or in any of the handful of terrified and morally convulsive states where they prohibit such activities, where the selling of “genital stimulating devices” is outright illegal and deeply dreaded.

And stores that sell such nightmare devices are declared a threat to the community and a hazard to the soul and a sure sign of the devil and if you are caught selling a vibrator or using a dildo you could get 10 years in prison and/or be condemned to live in Alabama for the rest of your life.

Alabama. Illegal dildos. In the spotlight recently, as the U.S. Supreme Court just declined to review the constitutionality of the state’s law banning the sale of such naughty and phallically radiant toys. Did you see the story? Did it make you cringe and sigh and reach for the Hitachi Magic Wand? Aren’t we just a proud and deeply misguided nation?

Oh, it is fun to laugh. It is fun to mock and point and say, aww, how cute, those lost and weird and backass Southern states where most people are just trying to live noble upstanding honest lives but where they still insist on putting stickers on biology textbooks to warn of the “dangers” of the theory of evolution.

Places where raw honest sexuality is a foreign language and homosexuality is considered a disease and where they lovingly allow sales of Viagra and Cialis and where they inject vats of Prozac and Xanax into their bodies alongside truckloads of deep-fried obesity-happy everything, but the thought of someone using a sex toy to please herself or her lover and to add to the overall positive orgasmic vibe of the planet is considered on par, legally speaking, with pedophilia, or burglary, or being from France.

And it’s nice to think that, with the exception of a handful of sexless lawmakers and deeply repressed religious leaders who apparently possess genitalia so shriveled and sad not even their favorite Thai prostitutes can revive it, the vast majority of Americans scoff at this sort of law, sigh and shake their heads and move on. Yes, even those who live in Alabama, or in Texas (certainly in Austin, which mostly sort of pretends it’s just visiting Texas and doesn’t actually live there).

And sure, furthermore, you might argue that this is what makes America great, yes? Diversity. Diversity of opinion and diversity of education and diversity of sexual understanding, one educated progressive open-minded sexually open side understanding that sex is the divine nectar that makes the human flower moan and smile and bloom, and the other sneering and scoffing side merely shuddering and convulsing at the very sight of the naked human form, and not in a good way.

Call it dramatic tension, healthy debate, a fascinating slice of human drama. Always good for America, right?

Wrong. This isn’t what makes America great. Alabama’s isn’t the type of tremulous sexual dread and religious puling that makes us a stronger and more unique and exciting and fascinating country in which to live and loathe and pilot our SUVs through the mud puddles and over the playgrounds and into other cars.

This dildo thing, and the mind-set it represents, it is the type of thing that makes us small, keeps us lost, confused, torn; it’s emblematic of what holds us back from true progress and heat and joy. It is, in short, what makes us silly and actually quite pathetic in the eyes of a wild and deeply sensual and body-glittered ambisexual God.

And moreover, as the last deeply disturbing election proved, we on the dildo-happy side of the fence must be very, very wary, on alert, keenly observant of these rigid and dangerous little laws and of these genital-free religious leaders, as Alabama’s is the mind-set that put Bush in office and these are the voting blocs that keep noxious abstinence programs alive in public schools and this is the viewpoint that buys 20 million copies of the Left Behind series of silly apocalyptica, all hoping for the End of the World real soon now so why not abuse the planet as we damn well please and wait for the Rapture, uptight and righteous and dildo free.

I know, I know. Relax. It’s just dildos. It’s just some silly sex toys and some silly laws in some silly small-minded states no one of any salacious awareness or cosmic curiosity really pays any attention to. Let them have their sad little mind-set. After all, it keeps them occupied, keeps them from getting into any serious trouble. The rest of us will merely have to double our orgasmic output to compensate for the black goo they insist on pumping into the universe. Yes. I know this.

But then again, we are still in a world where brutal, undeclared war is considered noble and the human female nipple is considered traumatizing to children, and the pope, mustering one of his last wheezing, homophobic breaths, declares gay marriage to be part of the “ideology of evil,” and millions believe him, especially the BushCo Right, especially those evangelicals who, for some sad reason, now hold the reins.

So then. They’re not just dildos, baby. They’re a flag of righteousness. They’re an emblem of all that is right and good and delicious and that must be defended to the death. Dildos are, in short, a beacon of hope. Wave yours high, won’t you? And then point it in the general direction of Alabama, and laugh.

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