Last edited: March 06, 2005

Lawmakers Should Pull Out of Sex Lives

The Daily Texan, March 3, 2005
University of Texas, Austin

By Kevin Jones

Many of us want something other than four awkward minutes in the missionary position under someone of the opposite sex. In arguing to overturn an Alabama law banning sex toys, plaintiff’s argued (uncontested) that 20 percent of women own some type of dildo or vibrator.

Social conservatives predicted just such a sexual Armageddon when the Supreme Court awarded sexual privacy to homosexuals in the Lawrence v. Texas decisions of 2003. If the chips continue to fall against them, the states may find themselves unable to outlaw any type of orgasm in consensual adult situations. At this rate, nobody will be left with any sexual shame, an idea utterly unacceptable in dark-red America.

Moralists did receive a small reprieve last week. The 1998 Alabama law survived at the appellate level, and, last week, the Supreme Court opted to ignore the issue.

But the reprieve could be short lived. Another case stemming from the arrest of a Texas woman last year could work its way to the high court. Joanne Webb from Johnson County, Texas, was turned in to local police by prominent members of her community who did not approve of her Tupperware-style parties that offered various pleasure devices. Posing as a libidinously challenged married couple, two under cover officers arrested Webb for explaining how they might use one of her products during intercourse.

Texas, Alabama and Georgia ban the sale of “obscene devices.” Here in the Lone Star State, that means “a device including a dildo or artificial vagina, designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.”

Stores such as Austin’s Forbidden Fruit avoid the problems facing Mrs. Webb by marketing their items as “novelties” or “educational models.”

According to the clerk at Forbidden Fruit, they protect themselves legally by requiring customers to sign release forms promising the items will be used for educational purposes instead of for sexual gratification. Items such as butt plugs, anal beads, and vibrators do not require a release because officially they are “novelty” items. The only novelty here would be someone having the courage to buy these items in person not rewarding themselves with a little action from their new battery-operated boyfriend.

If pleasure is your goal, you better keep that intention to yourself. Any mention that you will be using an item for sexual gratification or stimulation of the human genital organs, and Forbidden Fruit will refuse the sale.

But what if I want to ask the sales person about the product I am buying? The last time I bought shoes, I asked the salesman about how well they might work for certain activities, and they only go on my feet. Then again, the religious right does not care what I put on my feet, only what I put up my ass.

Those of us that touch ourselves (and others) in dark places without guilt are legislated into carrying the sexual shame of others.

This same shame has led certain friends of mine, who requested anonymity, to turn to the produce section of their local grocery store. But if that checkout girl knew the real reason I was buying that extra cucumber, would they face the same penalty as a store like Forbidden Fruit for selling it to me? If so, maybe the affidavit system that our local “novelty store” uses will catch on. I shudder to think how many items might end up on that list: cucumbers, broomsticks, vibrating cell phones, hamsters, turkey basters, traffic cones, cigars (thank you Mr. Clinton), beer bottles, or even those “novelty” foam fingers they sell at Longhorn games.

  • Jones is a government senior

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