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Pleasure Seekers

Just last week, my sister invited me to one of those home parties. You know the kind I mean - a bunch of woman gathered around in someone's living room gossiping about neighbors, drinking wine and spending money they don't have on things they don't need. Tupperware, gourmet food, candles, you name it, there's a party for it. The one my sister so graciously invited me to happened to be for a company called For Your Pleasure or something like that. Basically, it's a sex toy party.

So I had to laugh when I received an email this morning from ASV reader Allison, who started her own blog. Her most recent post is titled Of Soccer Moms, Sex Toys, and Swingers [link safe for work] and contains this gem, from an email Allison received about a sex toys party she was invited to:
And for the bashful ones, they have items that aren't completely sex related. You can use the lotion as just lotion and your kids can use the swing as a play toy or at least that is what you can tell everyone you are doing with it.......purchases are made behind closed doors so no one knows what you bought.

Listen. I'm not uncomfortable with the idea of the women on my block having sex. I'm not even uncomfortable with the idea of them having kinky sex. I mean, we're not exactly Desperate Housewives, but we're no prudes, either. We have needs and desires and I am in no way uncomfortable with the fact that those needs and desires sometimes make a hardcore porn film look tame. What I am uncomfortable with is the idea that sex swings can perform dual use as a child's plaything.

There are two types of women who come to these home parties. One shows up at your door with a bottle of Vodka, her nipples made hard by the thought of five free hours without kids or husband. She'll be drunk before the order sheets are even handed out. She'll loudly ask the hostess if the strap-ons are ribbed for his pleasure. The other one shows up with a fruit/jell-O mold, wearing a house dress and smelling like broccoli casserole. She'll spend the night alternating between nervously glancing at her watch, talking about her kid's science project and avoiding direct eye contact with the hostess, especially when she demonstrates the nipple clamps. She'll be home long before the drunk women start giggling about the edible underwear.

When you're in a neighborhood - say somewhere in the Midwest - where the number of women of the jello mold nature far outweigh the women of Vodka, I suppose going with the dual-use sex toys angle is your only hope of making a decent living with the home party business. In fact, I can almost see how it would work; how otherwise demure and saintly women could be coerced into buying something meant for anal stimulation. For instance:

  • A 12 inch rubber dildos packaged together with some plastic handcuffs = a ring toss game.
  • Edible underwear? No...it's fruit roll ups! Put that in your kid's lunch box tomorrow.
  • That imitation vagina? It's a pretty in pink toothbrush holder!
  • Anal beads? Not! It's party wear for your little princess! Buy now and receive two cock rings/pretty princess rings free!
  • That's not a vibrator, it's a magic wand. Locomotor Mortis!

So while the vodka ladies are exchanging tips on which double action arouser is the best bang for their buck, the jell-O mold ladies can discreetly go into the kitchen, where the hostess will take their order for one ring toss game and one Pretty Princess jewelry kit. It's a win/win situation. Little Tommy will have enough fruit roll-up to share with the whole class tomorrow and Sheila from across the street will finally have that multiple orgasm. And, having reached the magic $200 sales mark, you will get that leather bondage set at half price!

Of course, it won't work out that way. Mrs. Housedress, offended beyond reason, goes home and calls the cops. A raid ensues, complete with blaring sirens, a paddy wagon and local press asking questions like "What's a backdoor rotator? I don't get it." No one is convinced that the sex swing is really for kids.

Which is why I'm happy to be living in a place that is closer to Desperate Housewives than Little House on the Prairie. No one's really uptight about sex. I hear sex talk on line in the supermarket that would make people in less evolved cities turn to stone.

I get invited to at least one sex toy party a month. I rarely go. Not because I'm uncomfortable with the party itself, I'm just uncomfortable with watching the PTA president vomit a bottle of vodka all over the bondage display. I always order something, though. And if this town should ever turn puritan and a police raid ensues, I will hold steadfast to my claim that what they found was nothing more than a ring toss game and a few magic wands. We just love Harry Potter, officer. Engorgio!


Funny you should call it a magic wand. When my little sister was in kindergarten (I'm 9 years older), her best friend across the street practically lived at our house. One day they were out playing in the yard and came in for a drink, and he was carrying his mom's (huge) vibrator -- turned on and buzzing away. Apparently they had been playing in a pretend castle outside, and when my mom asked him what he had, he called it his "dragon slayer" and waved it at her like a magic wand.

My mom asked him if his mom knew he had it and he told her "no, she's asleep". My mom quickly and quietly escorted him across the street to his house and told him to sneak in and put it back where he got it without waking his mom up. We still laugh about the magic dragon slayer to this day -- the "ear cleaner" scene in Parenthood darn-near puts us in hysterics!

This is like a prose version of "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee".

So now we can add "sex snobs" to the lexicon right behind "rock snobs"

So, let me see if I get this straight. The nieghborhood where the PTA president can't hold her liquor and vomits all over the bondage display is more "evolved"? Ok if you insist. Speaking as a midwestern husband, may I suggest that you get out of your east coast cocoon and learn a little bit about the rest of the country? We manage to have plenty of fun, but still value discretion and gave up vomiting liquor after our college days.

While I don't live in the south, all I can say is that in few times I've visited, it seems those folks have a sex toy store on every major highway. Somebody must be buying that stuff!

I give up.

Michele, from a long time lurker and reader of your site...

Please don't give up. While I may not agree with everything you say (who the heck would?) your site is a pure delight to read, day in and day out. I've learned more about Little League, rock and roll, Long Island life and so much else... so please keep it up!


Nill illigitimi carborundum

All best,

BD from N.E.

I am glad that we can count ASV for tasteful, refined, suburban posting.

I read the photo caption on the "raid" article before I read the content, and could stop laughing:

Selling sex and satisfaction: At a Passion Party outside Johnson County, Joanne Webb passes around her wares. Only 10 percent of her sales are for vibrators.

That second sentence has to be the funniest non sequitur I've seen in a while.

I think you're all burying the lede - they used to make gasoline-powered vibrators? Talk about "I could've had a V-8"!


Don't give up. You expressed yourself - who cares if so-and-so disagrees? I happen to agree with you, but that doesn't matter. I love it how you express an opinion that someone disagrees with, and so that must mean that you are in a "cocoon". Ha.

Don't give up!

JFH - You're right! I didn't notice that. That's so funny.

Pursuit - exactly. There's a Condoms to Go and a Condom Sense within easy driving distance of our neighborhood. But by going there and skipping the Passion Parties, women miss out on the camaraderie, the sister-bonding, the gossip and the snacks that are multi-level marketing parties.

What about all the experimental lesbian sex? I thought that was what those parties were all about. Damnit. Another fantasy crushed by harsh reality. Thanks a lot Michele.


Give up? Why on earth would you do that? I'm a big fan, as I believe my past comments would indicate. However, if you're going to say an entire region of the country is more Jello Moldy than yours, then surely you have to expect some mild push back. Appologies if I offended.

Now on to other things.

I missed the gas powered info too. Imagine what that must have been like:

"Is Johnson out mowing the lawn at 7a.m. again"?

"No dear, he is aerating Mrs. Johnson's trim"

I wrote about these parties a while back... r2dohohoh.

and yes, I immediately think of that scene from parenthood whenever these things get mentioned...

"it suuuure is...."

It's not a lost cause, Michele. Not even close.

There's only a certain percentage of people who are going to get it. I have no doubt that thousands of folks watch Arrested Development and cluck to themselves "I wish those people would be nicer to each other". It's just that they don't have an easy way to communicate their befuddlement to the creators of the show. You get immediate feedback, which is often a good thing, but when you're dealing with the general public there are bound to be some of these moments...

A co-worker said his wife went to one of those parties. She reported that the host, while talking about the benefits and effectiveness of "Anal-Ease Lubrication", mentioned that the nerve deadening agent in the lotion was so effective and the lotion was so safe, it could be used to rub on an infant's gums for teething pain relief.

And that is just WRONG WRONG WRONG on SO MANY levels

When you're in a neighborhood - say somewhere in the Midwest - where the number of women of the jello mold nature far outweigh the women of Vodka

Actually many midwestern women I've known have a healthy supply of both.

Damnit marc.. ya beat me to it..

sneer as much as you like you suburban whore - my GI Joe loved his commando sling.

sex party? i'm a suburban wife and live on long island and I NEVER get asked to sex parties. No Fair! Though I have gone to my first ever tupperware type party last week. it was kinda cool. i felt all growen up!

Next invite I get, I'll email you :)

I seriously don't think we live on the same planet.

You made this up, didn't you?

Didn't you?????

speaking of cocoons..

Hey, I'll take my cocoon...;-)

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Most have been a fun party wish I could have went. Great article sounds like you had a awsome time.

I agree with you the way you view the issue. I remember Jack London once said everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has positive side. It is also interesting to see different viewpoints & learn useful things in the discussion.