The Expert Guide to Pegging: Strap-on Anal Sex for Couples comes out on Valentine’s Day!! Isn’t that just perfect? My latest instructional movie from Vivid-Ed stars Dylan Ryan, Wolf Hudson, Jiz Lee, Mickey Mod, Jada Fire, and Christian. This is not your mama’s pegging video, that’s for sure! The cast is awesome, their interviews and chemistry fantastic, and the scenes are the hottest strap-on anal scenes I’ve ever shot! Plus, there are lots of extras on the DVD. And, as always, if you buy it directly from me, you support your local feminist pornographer!
[Ed. note: For this question, I turned it over to my legal expert, Davis from Sexquire.]
As a fellow New Yorker and former sex shop clerk, I’m hoping you can shed some light on this subject. I’m a clerk at a sex shop in the Finger Lakes of New York, and I love the job – I’ve been a sex educator for seven years and love helping people pick out safe, well-designed sexy things. My boss, however, asks that clerks not give directions as to how to use the products in our store (we actually direct them to the store copy of your Big Book of Sex Toys). But I can’t help myself! Sex ed is in my blood! Sex toys are not intuitive to people who have never seen one before! My boss says this is a legal issue: because the products are “novelties,” we can’t come right out and say what they’re for. In Jessica Valenti’s book, The Purity Myth, she points to a case in Texas about a “Passion Party” saleswoman who faced obscenity charges for explaining how to use a vibrator. That scared the crap out of me. Do you know what the deal is with obscenity laws and sex toys? Is it really a legal risk for a clerk to talk about this stuff? Is it only a risk in certain states? Any response will be very much appreciated!
- Concerned Shopkeep
Let’s start with the technical legal part of your question, and then get to what it means for clerks like you.
The saleswoman Valenti speaks of, Joanne Webb, was initially charged, but once the case received attention, the Johnson County prosecutor dropped the charges, and later, in an unrelated case, the law under which she was charged was struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. (The United States federal court system is divided into 13 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal by geographic location, so when the Fifth Circuit struck down the Texas law, it had the effect of also invalidating a similar law in Mississippi though that law had not yet been directly challenged).
Most legal scholars felt that this case, coupled with the Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (which struck down a Texas law prohibiting sodomy between consenting adults in their own home) signaled the eventual end of laws regulating sex/sex toys and consenting adults. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit later upheld a similar Alabama law that criminalized the sale of sex toys. The court cited the fact that the Alabama law regulated only commercial activity – the sale of sexual aids, and not their use (unlike the more broad-based Texas law) in its justification for reaching a different result than the previous Fifth Circuit decision.
So what does all of this litigation mean to sex shop clerks? First, unless you are in Alabama, you have no reason to fear being arrested on obscenity charges for providing sex education about or selling these products as other than novelties. Second, if it is customer litigation that your boss fears, they should know that although some sex toy manufacturers apply a “FOR NOVELTY USE ONLY” label to sex toys in an attempt to circumvent potential injury claims from consumers, there has never been a reported case of this being a successful defense against such a claim. In fact there has not, to my knowledge, ever been a reported case of a consumer suing for damage caused by a sex toy, likely due not to the lack of such injuries but more to the social stigma and publicity such a case would cause for the potential plaintiff. And finally, and perhaps most importantly for you, know that New York is an at-will employment state, so despite your being technically right, your boss can legally fire you for any or no reason, just not an illegal reason, and sex educators are not a protected class. So, proceed forward with your new knowledge with caution, and feel free to refer any further questions your boss might have to me!
Davis is the founder of Sexquire, a complete sex-positive business services company. Davis is the legal arm of Sexquire, having advised brick and mortar sex toy stores, sex educators, sex workers and other sex positive business folk on all manner of legal issues for over 7 years. In addition to legal matters, Sexquire also provides bookkeeping, accounting, personal assistance and other business services all with a sex-positive spin. You can find them online at their website, as well as Twitter and Facebook.
I know that the Black Friday retail stuff can be maddening, but I also know that people love a good bargain. If, like me, you want to support local, independent businesses this holiday season, then I want to make it even more enticing. So, we’re having a fabulous sale to encourage all of you to do some early holiday shopping at PuckerUp.com:
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Just use the special code FRIDAY at checkout to take advantage of these huge discounts. But do it now, because this deal expires Monday, November 28 at Midnight PDT.
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I am definitely a fan of yours and I have a quick simple question for you. I recently purchased an iVibe by Doc Johnson for my girlfriend. She loves it, but we are a little confused about something. The clerk told us to use cheap batteries, that vibrators are not made to handle batteries like Energizer Batteries. I wanted to find out if this is true or not? After spending some money on something I want to make it last as long as possible.
That’s very strange because when I worked at Babeland, we always recommended Energizer batteries over others. The cheap ones were just that -- cheap, and, for whatever reason, we found through trial and error that Duracell batteries tended to either burn out the motors of vibrators or make them overheat. So stick with the bunny!
I got this info from a reader:
I worked for Duracell for a while and might be able to shed a little light on the subject. The chemicals used in batteries are designed for particular objectives. The Duracell analysis showed that people using Duracell batteries usually used them on and off for short periods, like video games and portable radios. So Duracell optimized the batteries for that kind of use-they last longest when used for twenty minutes than turned off for an hour.
Energizer advertises that their batteries last longer if you turn it on and leave it on, like a flashlight on an all night camping trip. Head to head, Energizer will last longer than Duracell if used constantly. But if used intermittently, Duracell batteries will last longer.
I started doing anal play about 10 years ago. At first, it was somewhat uncomfortable, but I persisted, and my persistence paid off. I am now able to take a 10″ long dildo with a wide circumference. I thoroughly enjoy it, but I wonder: how deep can you go? Once, I tried a longer toy. After about five minutes of working it all the way in, I took it out, and there was some blood on the dildo. I went to the bathroom, but there was no more blood. It shook me up big time, so I didn’t insert anything for a week for fear of hurting myself. After my hiatus, I didn’t feel any pain and went back to playing, and it felt good. But that blood thing scares me — did I reach my limit?
–When Should I Say “When”?
If you’ve ever seen a porn video of someone taking a huge cock, a giant dildo, or even a fist (and beyond the fist!) up her or his ass, then you know that the butt is capable of a lot. The rectum has the ability to expand a great deal, but remember that it is still quite delicate. Even with plenty of lube and warm up, you can still have a minute cut in the lining of the anal canal or rectum. The longer and thicker the thing penetrating you is, the higher your chances of having one of these small tears. It’s only natural that when we see blood, it’s scary.
You did the right thing: you gave your ass a vacation from penetration. As long as there is only a small amount of blood, and it goes away within about a day, then your ass is on the road to healing itself. However, use common sense. If your ass is bleeding, you feel pain or serious discomfort, then you should see a doctor.
The Pin Up Bullet Vibe is a glittery, gorgeous bullet vibrator with three speeds that’s waterproof; it is 3.35” long and has a textured coating. The vibe comes in a sexy case adorned with authentic vintage pin-up art. Inside, you’ll also find Bombshell Orgasm Balm, a minty balm made of natural oils and ingredients. Dab a little on your clitoral hood, and the menthol in it creates a tingling sensation and increases circulation to the area to boost the arousal process. Two ‘N’ batteries are included (the vibrator takes one, so you have an extra). Carry it in your purse or luggage, leave it on the nightstand, and no one will know what’s inside! Choose from three different designs: Betty (a brunette in lingerie with an orange glitter vibe), Gigi (a redhead with a silver glitter vibe) or Ruby (a brunette with a red glitter vibe).
I directed three new sex-ed shorts—on cunnilingus, fellatio, and the G-spot—for the fabulous feminist sex shop and site The Smitten Kitten. They star me, Dylan Ryan, and Danny Wylde and you can watch them for free here. I’m very proud of how they turned out, and can’t wait to hear what all of you think. In addition to some solid information, there is super hot sex—er, demonstrations—by Dylan and Danny. This was the first time these two had ever worked together, which is always a totally mystery going in. As it turns out, they have insane can’t-keep-their-hands-off-each-other chemistry. We shot so much good stuff that we had plenty left over. So, in addition to the sex ed shorts, you can purchase a full sex scene, “Dylan + Danny: Extra Credit,” on demand. Photos above are by Clare from The Smitten Kitten who was on set.
I’m a 19 year old student at the University of Chicago. My not-so-problematic problem is that I’m something of a sexual perfectionist, when it comes to pleasuring my partners. Therefore, worried that I must be missing out on an excellent means for pleasuring, I’ve decided that it would be good to keep a vibrator or dildo handy. The only problem is that I don’t know how to use such a device. It’s not very intuitive for me, and most of the women I’ve slept with have had no experience with them either. So, can you tell me an effective vibrator technique, or where I can find out about it?
Bravo! I wish every guy was as smart and self-confident as you are to have a toy handy to please his female lover! When choosing a vibrator—especially if it’s your first one—I absolutely recommend a trip to the sex toy store. You can see them, turn them on, feel the vibration, listen to the noise they make, and see what might work best for you. Since this isn’t for a specific woman, select one with variable speeds that could appeal to different preferences. Test the waters by exploring all different areas of her pussy with the vibrator first. Remember not to go directly for her clit with a vibe before she’s had some warm up with your hand or mouth first. Vary the speed, pressure, and position of the vibe—she’ll let you know when you’ve struck gold. Once she’s worked up, she may want you to stop wandering around with it and stay in one place for a while, so be prepared to stop dawdling and get down to business. Vibrators can help you be in two places at once when she uses it on herself to add clitoral stimulation to vaginal or anal penetration.
My girlfriend and I have both used Pyrex toys and love them. Our local store has a dildo for strap-ons that is made of blown glass. It sounds awesome but I was concerned about safety. Could it break or even shatter? Which glass toys are safe?
—Crazy but Cautious Over Glass
Dear Crazy but Cautious Over Glass:
Glass sex toys have gotten incredibly popular in the last few years, and it seems like they are everywhere. Glass toys can be easily cleaned and sterilized, since they’re non-porous, and they are compatible with all kinds of lube. Plus, there smooth texture feels amazing! But I agree that it’s difficult to tell if a glass toy is safe or not. “Blown glass” only describes how the toy was made (it was hand blown) not what kind of glass is made of. You should ask your local store or web retailer who made the toy before you purchase it and do some research on the company. Ultimately, you’re looking for a toy made of medical grade borosilicate glass or Pyrex, a brand name which has become synonymous with heat and shock resistant glass. A properly made toy of borosilicate glass can withstand up to 3,000 lbs. of pressure as well as extreme heat and cold. Certain well-established, reputable companies guarantee that their toys are made of Pyrex or borosilicate, including Phallix Glass, XXX Glass, XHale, and PyreXions. Babeland and Good Vibrations, and Glass Fantasy have a good selection of unique glass toys. To protect your glass toys, always clean them promptly and store them in a soft, padded bag to protect them. And if you ever find a nick, stop using the toy immediately.
My girlfriend has an insatiable appetite for sex. We often have it once a day, and, if not, she masturbates. We both enjoy anal stimulation and have a collection of varying size toys. However, my girl uses them daily. Can someone have too much anal sex or anal toy play? Is it okay to do it almost every day?
You’ve got one of those problems that lots of other readers wish for! It is absolutely safe to have anal penetration every day as long as you are doing it safely and responsibly. That means: plenty of warm-up, lots of lube, and stopping if you experience any pain. The key for your girlfriend is to listen to her body. As long as everything feels good, she doesn’t rush the process (which even experienced players can do), and she takes a break if she’s sore, she will be fine. Obviously, if she starts to experience anything significant, like cramping, bleeding, or discomfort, she needs to stop and see a doctor.