by Tristan Taormino
Dallas Dildo Defiance
February 17th, 2002 2:00 PM
DALLAS—I've been on 16 planes since September, from Ohio to Oregon, and my carry-on luggage has been searched nearly every time I've walked through the metal detector. There were the nail clippers at JFK, a shiny knife pendant at LAX, and a silver lock dangling from the ring of a leather collar in Chicago. In Columbus, after my personal belongings took their trip down the conveyor belt, a security guard asked me to step out of line for a bag check. Since all three of the aforementioned items were safely packed in my checked suitcase, I wondered what could have possibly triggered suspicion. He led me to a long table off to the side, where the bags of two other passengers were being checked. He rooted around in my backpack until he found what had alerted the person at the X ray machine: my portable and innocuous-looking vibrator. Known to many as the "pocket rocket," this little buzzer is barely bigger than a lipstick and wouldn't intimidate even preppie Charlotte from Sex and the City.
"What's this?" he asked.
"It's a vibrator," I said. Sure, I could have gone the easy route, claiming my right to carry a personal shoulder massager on board, but what about the next girl who's got a glow-in-the-dark cock, circumcised head and all? I wanted the security folks to get hip to how some of us relax on a long flight.
"What do you mean?" he said.
"What do you mean 'What do I mean?' " I replied. "Would you like me to show you how it works?"
The guys on either side of me blushed and chortled respectively, then the man repacked my bag and let me go on my way.
Each time I travel, I continue to put as many whips, riding crops, and sharp objects as I can in my checked luggage, but I was especially nervous when I recently booked a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. I'd heard that it's illegal to sell dildos in the state of Texas. Worse yet, rumor had it that having more than six dildos constitutes the intent to distribute them, so zealous dong ownership alone is against the law.
In case my luggage was x-rayed and I was plucked from the boarding line once again, I wanted to be prepared. I decided that honesty was my best defense: I would have only two dildos with me—the other 15 would actually be vibrators and butt plugs. (You may think it's overkill to pack so many, but a girl's gotta be prepared.) Well, after doing a little homework, I learned that it's not just dildos that are illegal, but all things "obscene," which Texas law defines as dildos, artificial vaginas, or any device "designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." In my house, we call that sexual pleasure, and in the land of the free, some states regulate how you get yours.
Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders who want to play bury the bone are not alone: There are similar laws on the books in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Colorado, and Alabama. Since the majority of people who use dildos, vibrators, and other insertable sex toys are women, making them contraband is another institutionalized form of controlling female sexuality. There's also an insidious double standard at play: A much higher percentage of men than women can masturbate to orgasm with their own hands.
Vibrators deliver consistent, powerful stimulation unparalleled by any human being. The first time I ever used a vibrator, all I could think was, Wow, now I know what all the fuss is about! Actually, I couldn't really think at first, since I was too busy reeling from the amazing orgasm. Vibes aren't just for solo missions anymore. Let's face it: Even the most ambitious lover can get a stiff neck, repetitive stress injury, or just plain exhaustion from going that extra mile to make you squeal. A person who whips out a vibrator in the bedroom says to me, "I am sexually confident, adventurous, and dedicated to your pleasure." And I don't want any state legislature telling me how I can or cannot come.
Though I wasn't in Dallas for a silicone-sausage shopping spree, I wondered, What do Texans do when they want to fill a hungry hole, stuff a slippery slit? What if a girl wants to celebrate Masturbation Month (which is May, by the way) in the Lone Star State? Could Debbie do Dallas without any dildo diddling?
Some stores, like Austin's women-owned Forbidden Fruit (www.forbiddenfruit.com), require customers to sign a release form declaring that they are purchasing toys for educational purposes only. While there isn't a Commission to Crack Down on Dildo Distribution (well, none that we know of), Forbidden Fruit's diligence is a result of being raided and shut down in the '90s. Incidentally, Forbidden Fruit carries copies of a new amateur, authentic lesbian porn flick called Home Cookin', which was filmed in Texas (www.passionfruitvideo.com). Trust me, if the hotties in this vid were performing for educational purposes, then remind me to apply to the University of Texas pronto.
Other shops don't openly display plastic phalluses, but if you ask and they know you're not a cop, they might show you something on the QT. Once again, sexuality is shrouded in mystery, hidden behind the counter, relegated to the back room, available only to those who know the secret password. Ironically, s/m gear is perfectly acceptable (signs posted say it's sold for costume only), so I could buy all the leather chastity belts, bondage gear, and ball gags I wanted at local fetish shops Leather by Boots (www.leathernetwork.com/lbbpage/) and Shades of Gray. Plus, there are plastic penis swizzler sticks aplenty at novelty shops. Just those pesky jerk-off tools are off-limits.
This from the same state where guns are not only legal and easily available, but concealed firearms are A-OK as long as you have a license. Hey, I'm all for a sex-toy licensing program if it makes motorized muff-movers lawful. Imagine what the test would be like to carry a concealed dildo? I can see it now: Lea Delaria as the hard-nosed instructor and Drew Barrymore, with a strap-on beneath her silk dress, as the nervous first-time driver. Excuse me while I grab my pocket rocket and whack off to that image. After all, it's my right under New York State law.
Visit my Web site at www.puckerup.com.
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