Deep Inside Sex Toy Porn

Once again I’ve been hitting the fast forward button hard, scrolling through porno to find clips to screen in my upcoming, Good Vibes-sponsored show at the Roxie Theater (www.roxie.com), Sex Toys in Porn. I actually used many of my favorite sex toy scenes in my last show, which celebrated National Masturbation Month, so I’ve been looking at new stuff, zooming through movies on the alert for a glimpse of a dildo or vibrator, a nipple clamp or a harness.

I’ve discovered that entire porno movies are made without a single sex toy. It’s shocking. Time and again I saw scenes in which no one reached for the vibrator in the nightstand. Sure, people I know have sex-toy-less sex sometimes, and maybe these films are just meant to reflect that reality. Lucky for me that many porn movies do abound with toys.

Lucky for their viewers, too, because these videos address one reason people can feel hesitant about buying toys: they’re not sure how to use them. The most general answer to that dilemma is simple — however they feel best being used — but folks so often convince themselves that there must be a right and a wrong way to do everything sexual. Toy-wise, the rights and wrongs are in fact pretty basic. Don’t insert something sharp, scratchy or breakable into vagina or anus; don’t use electric vibrators near water; don’t put anything into the anus that doesn’t have a flange or flared base (especially a vibrator, which might overheat if it slips inside and cause you real, emergency-room-level problems); don’t use a cock ring or penis pump for more than a half hour, unless you’re an experienced user and know how your body reacts; don’t use things like tight scarves or unpadded metal cuffs for bondage, as these can do nerve damage. Oh, yeah, and don’t use your vibrator on unexplained calf pain. (Why not? One word: thrombophlebitis. Two words: blood clots.)

So videos that incorporate toys can show viewers how toys work (although I have to tell you that when actors fake orgasm with vibrators, it’s really annoying). They can give a novice user, or maybe even a jaded user, new ideas. Even the most highly non-educational porn, when it involves toys, can instruct and inspire.

What’s a toy? I define it as anything outside your and your partners’ bodies used for erotic play. The Sex Toys in Porn show will incorporate images of fruits and vegetables, dildos, vibrators, massage oil, strap-ons, a toothpaste tube, needles, condoms, and a leash. And that’s not all. Doubtless you can think of tons of other toys or items that can be used as toys (sometimes known as “pervertibles”). The problem with having only an hour-long show is that you can’t cover the whole waterfront.

Besides the scenes from mainstream, alternative, and amateur porn producers, I’m showing several clips from how-to sex movies that clarify toy use for the novice. Included in this list are my own video Carol Queen’s Great Vibrations: An Explicit Consumer Tour of Vibrators; Betty Dodson’s brand-new masturbation coaching tape for women, Celebrating Orgasm: Women’s Private Selfloving Sessions; Annie Sprinkle’s one-of-a-kind Sluts and Goddesses; a how-to tape from the adult industry called Good Vibrations, Part 2 (yes, we know they stole our name; they asked permission, unlike that sleazy Hollywood movie that promises to be an expose of the sex toy business); and How to Female Ejaculate.

We got gay male. We got heterosexual. We got lesbian. We got bisexual, dominant/submissive, solo; soft and sweet, and hard and raunchy. Sex is so varied, the pairings and pleasurings so diverse, that my greatest challenge has been to pick video clips that do justice to it. Truthfully, I’d like it to be even more diverse than it is. But the show must go on — that’s November 15 at the Roxie, for those of you who live in the vicinity of San Francisco. I can promise, at least, that you’ll never look at a banana or a Jeff Stryker Dildo the same way again.

(Awww, that wasn’t fair, was it? For those of you who can’t make it, here are a few other videos to check out: Paul Thomas’s new tour de force Bobby Sox — look for the aforementioned banana, and much, much more); Sean Michaels and Tricia Yen in R and R; Tiffany Million’s Dirty Little Mind; Andrew Blake’s Femmes Erotiques; Clips, from Blush Productions; and San Francisco Lesbians, volumes 2 and 6. There! You can have your own sex toys film festival at home.)

Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at carolqueen.com.

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