Within a one week span in the fall of 1993, two life changing events occurred: I lost my virginity and I purchased my first vibrator. Some people went to college to study Proust or become fluent in French. I went to grow up. To be honest, I think I ended up better off than most of those academically driven girls. Suck it, you mensa bitches.
My first toy was bought on a late night road trip to a seedy suburb of Hartford. Yes, I crossed state lines to buy a vibrator. I went with three girls and one of them found the shop advertised in a local newspaper. The store was a small and narrow space with a glass case counter at one end and display shelves lining the sides. The saleswoman donned a boa and suggested I consider buying a crotchless fishnet onsie. Having been deflowered a mere five days prior, I was unquestionably in over my head. So I left all decision making up to my galpals. On the way back to campus we stopped to purchase the requisite C batteries and as soon as we returned to our dorm we dispersed the way roaches do when the lights are flipped on. What? Like you never had the urge to immediately debut a new purchase?
I loved that toy. Not because of the shape or the styling. Please, the shaft looked like Barbara Bush bedecked in a pearl choker and the clitoral stimulator was either an aardvark or an anteater. Either way, it was the polar opposite of sexy. A long red wire connected the energy pack to the actual mechanism and more often than not I got all tangled up in the chord. It took four large batteries to turn the thing on and if I was lucky it provided a whopping thirty minutes of use. I’m sure the Store 24 down on King Street was suspicious about what I planned on doing with all those C batteries typically reserved for flashlights. Whatever the flaws, that toy singlehandedly converted me from a virginal prude fearful of intimacy to a sexually liberated woman.
Around two years after buying my first toy, it fell apart. The wire started to disconnect from the shaft, causing it to randomly cut out. And if I used it while on the phone with a beau, cradling the handset with my shoulder, a shock repeatedly pinged my ear. Fearful I’d electrocute myself and be found naked, spread eagle clutching a toy, I ditched the vibrator for a newer model and resumed my usual schedule.
As I evolved orgasmicly speaking, my collection expanded. The first addition came when I dated J in New York.
“I got you something,” he said with a smirky glimmer in his eyes.
“Uh huh,” I curiously answered with a nod.
“It’s been written up everywhere. Something about unique contours designed by a woman for a woman,” he explained as he presented the gift.
“Gee, thanks,” I muttered as I pulled the item out of the box and examined the toy.
Later that night, back in Philadelphia and alone in my bed, I tried the new contraption. It was like rubbing up against a telephone handset. It was always cold, inhumanly hard and barely climax inducing. Whatever woman designed this thing clearly had a phone fetish and never properly experienced an orgasm. Trust me, anyone with a functioning clitoris would have killed this design at the first prototype. Feeling guilty, however, I kept it around, using it only when in dire straits.
A few years later I bought a silver bullet. Because of the shape, the only way to keep it in place was to hold it. And because of the design, you were left holding a jackhammering nub. Though more successful than the plastic piece of crap from J, it always left my hand numb. You know how when you live on a boat for a few days and then step on land and can still feel the ocean swells? Yeah, it was like that.
This past fall, I ducked into a shop in New York to replace my current favorite toy, the fifth reincarnation of my original. I perused the options, I tested the speeds and I eventually exchanged $100 for a similar design made by a different company. I liked the pretty aqua color. I thought the controls looked more advanced. I was admittedly lured by the packaging. When I got home, I plugged in some batteries and took the puppy out for a test drive. Maybe the motor was defective but I swear it sounded and moved like a sputtering and coughing car engine about to stall. Similar to the Gucci loafers I bought but never wear because they pinch my Achilles tendon, I tucked the new toy deep in my closet and let it sit.
In the meantime, I continued to use the one on its last leg. The prongs that connect the batteries are all loose and oftentimes need to be rigged. The power source that now acts as the handle is currently attached by one little stretch of glue, thinner than a rubber band. And with each passing day, the toy more frequently dies mid use. While there are unquestionably a lot worse things to experience in life, being on the brink of an orgasm only to have all stimulation unexpectedly halt is pretty fucking crummy.
So I guess the moral of the story is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if it is broke, fix it with the same damn thing. Talk about a hard way to learn an important lesson. Now excuse me while I go hunt down some duct tape to McGuyver the shit out of my toy.