Cindy - Column for 2/22

A guy walks into a dildo store...

So back in college this friend of mine spent a summer working in a sex shop.

Nice girl. Named Jessica. My next door neighbor in the dorms freshman year. She had her septum pierced with a round, stainless steel ring like a bull's back when that sort of fashion statement really meant something. She also had a pair of gargoyles tattooed to her inner thighs. No, I never got to see them, but the idea of gargoyles guarding her own personal "cathedral" was a fairly intimidating image.

Last I ran into her, she was working as an elementary school teacher. She wore classic schoolmarm attire to hide the tattoos and cut her hair so she could flop it forward for a mousy effect and pull it back for a classic punk rock look. She could transform from freak to Ms. Hampton (my second grade teacher) in about twenty seconds. Which makes me wonder whether Ms. Hampton had a few secrets of her own back in the late 70's.

Anyhow, Jessica spent the summer working in this sex shop in Seattle.

I've always had tremendously mixed feelings about sex shops. I want to like them. I really do. They conjure images of lovely young temptresses giving come-hither looks, unabashedly welcoming you to join them. Inside, there will be sex. Forbidden sex. And it can all be yours for a reasonable price.

Then you walk in, and find walls and walls of videotape covers designed by decrepit porn hounds, for decrepit porn hounds. Ten thousand different women and five different men performing every sexual act imaginable except looking like they're having a good time. You can find videos of 18 year olds in schoolgirl outfits, midgets in leather, amateur grannies -- but for some reason no one has ever considered "Enjoying Themselves!" and "Not Obviously Bored!" to be categories worthy of their own section. I guess that's a fetish too rare to bother catering to.

But of course, adult bookstores offer more than just videos. They offer handcuffs, cock rings, vibrators, inflatable dolls, port-a-pussies, and any variety of penis-shaped plastic goods. They don't actually sell Adult Books anymore, but who's counting?

Getting back to our story, Jessica's working at the counter, and a man walks in. He proudly proclaims that he would like the Jeff Stryker dildo.

Jeff Stryker, for those of you who weren't following gay porn trends in the 1980's, was a legend in the industry. For the same reason John Holmes was a legend in the straight porn industry in the 1970's. Except Jeff Stryker had more of a clean-cut, GQ look, rather than a bad white-man perm and a moustache the size and shape of a push broom.

But it wasn't Jeff's good looks that came through in the Jeff Stryker dildo. No, that particular item was the world's first "celebrity" dildo, molded after Jeff's own cock and mass marketed to sex shops around the world. Talk about something to stroke your ego.

So this gentleman demands to see the Jeff Stryker dildo, and my good friend Jessica is there to help him. Of course, as a dutiful employee, she feels compelled to show him the other toys the shop has available for sale.

Is he sure he doesn't want the double-dong? This pleasure wand? Perhaps a nice butt plug? They have dozens of dildos available, in any variety of colors and sizes...

"No!" proclaims the man. "I want the Jeff Stryker! All those other dildos are for girls!"

Columns by Cindy