Wednesday, 31 March 2004

Virtues of Vibrators

With the onset of spring London pigeons (manky specimens with club, or indeed, missing feet) have been engaging in mating rituals. This involves the male of the species puffing his chest up, spreading his tail feathers widely and dragging it on the ground as he chases young females round. Since our mutual friend, complaining of being jealous of said pigeons, was having a birthday Bails and I decided that rather than find her a mate of any sort (difficult to fulfill) we would invest in a vibrator for her to stave off the desperation.

We popped into Harmony, top of Charing Cross Road, and found ourselves faced with an array of adult toys that hadn't seemed to progress in style or design for some years. Vibrators still continue to largely look like big flesh tone willies, or alternatively large shiny black numbers. Often complete with veins. For some reason it seems odd that most designers of these things have not thought about the aesthetics of these toys beyond realism (and hyper- or extreme-realism - where it looks realistic but MUCH TOO LARGE). Willies aren't that lovely to look at (unless its someone's you really like), and can be downright scary in some of the proportions used here.

Eventually we went for a newer model from the german company Fun Factory. Yes its willy-shaped in that its long and conical like the gherkin building but it was made of baby blue silicone with defined ridges. Others were designed to be zodiac signs, or dolphin shaped, in a huge variety of colours and not a single one had pearlescent beading or shiny black ribs or veins of any description. Nicely styled with wit. Williesque but no realism.

The only other one I can think of is Tom Dixon's Bone thats on sale in places like Purves & Purves and Selfridges.

So we wrapped it up and on giving it got a little bit nervous in case mutual friend was incensed. Fortunately she wasn't.

And in the following discussion we got to pondering the willy vs the non-willy aesthetic. Her analogy was that it is like making non-meat beefburgers for vegetarians that look and taste like meat. Its frequently done but for the true vegetarian theres really no point since the meat was given up on purpose. If we are going to have a substitute why does it have to look like a willy when it isn't really anything like the real thing?

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