God Vibes (Pt 2): Me Man. Me Like Tight Vaginas. Me Not Sure Why.
It’s time for my new favorite game: Name the Christian Sex Toy Description!
I came up with this game while researching Part 1 of my series on the Christian Sex Industry. As I flipped through the links on Book22, your internet purveyor of Christian Sex Toys, I began comparing their product descriptions with the descriptions on websites with fewer invocations of Jesus. If Book22 was being true to its mission of providing the same products as other sites, but with holier intent, the product descriptions ought to remain basically the same. Not so, my friend. Not so.
Below are two different descriptions for a product called “Like A Virgin gel.” One is from our friends Kevin and Joy Wilson at Book22. The other is from My Playful Passion, a site marketed specifically for women and sporting no particular religious bent. Can you tell which one is the more “Christian” description?
Is Description (1) the more righteous version?:
“Unique vaginal tightening gel. Feel the walls of the vagina tighten allowing for vaginal orgasms and a warm pulsating experience on the penis!”
Or is it (2)?:
“If you want to feel like you are having sex for the first time this water-based gel works to enhance vaginal sensations and increases pleasure for both partners by tightening up the vaginal muscles. Contains Capsicum to cause tightening and stimulation of the vaginal tissue and the precise amount of Vitamin E and Almond Oil to soothe skin but still be condom friendly. To apply, simply use a small amount of the gel inside the vagina up to 8 hours before intercourse. 1oz”
If you guessed that the Christian description is the one that includes the words “orgasm” and “penis” but explains nothing at all about how said gel actually works, you are a holy, holy person.
Now, I realize My Playful Passion’s description doesn’t exactly make the product enticing. I’m frankly not sure whether “just like your first time!” is ever a good selling point. Remember your first time? I’m willing to bet it wasn’t actually all that great, strategically speaking. I am also willing to bet that, whenever you have had mindblowing sex, you haven’t been lying there thinking, “This is good, but you know what would make it better? Tighter vaginal walls!”
That being said, at least MPP attempts to explain to me, a lady, why I might enjoy this gel. It’s for both partners! It isn’t just about making my vagina a vicegrip for my man. It’s about stimulation of my vaginal tissues! I might be grossed out by the creepy o-faced bride on the package, but I can rest assured that she’s making that face because the gel has given her oodles of pleasure.
Book22’s description, on the other hand, really doesn’t even make much sense. And what sense it does make seems (at least to me) decidedly geared toward a male audience. They throw the phrase “vaginal tightening” in right up front, then follow it up by telling me that not only will there be vaginal tightening, but I (if I’m a man) will be able to feel said tightening. Penises are promised a “warm, pulsating experience.” The product also “allows for” vaginal orgasms, but that’s not saying much. Technically, any product “allows for” vaginal orgasms. But does it cause them? That isn’t as clear. What is clear is that your PENIS will LOVE IT.
I know it sounds like I’m being a grammar fanatic here, picking on the writing style of someone who is clearly an amateur at the product-marketing game. But I think I’m justified in suggesting that the passive quality of the “allows for” construction says something about the person writing the descriptions. He or she (Joy Wilson??) has some understanding of what the product is supposed to do (tighten vaginal walls), but his/her understanding of how that action might affect the sex act pretty much stops at “feels good on penis.”
This sort of ignorance is par for the course on Christian Sex Industry websites. And that’s main reason I consider this a valid feminist issue. Joy and Kevin Wilson claim that they started Book22 as a means of spicing up their love life after Joy had trouble “rekindling her desire for intimacy” post-partum. But if the description of this “virgin gel” is any indication, that spicing up didn’t involve much investigation into what, precisely, might “allow for” vaginal orgasms or a woman’s pleasure. Instead, it involved a lot of praying. And the founding of a “sexually pure” sex toy website.
Also, how does that picture on the front of the Virgin Gel not count as “inappropriate” or “pornographic?” This is a company that strips all its products of any packaging that might lead to “impurity” in a married couple’s sex life. But a caricature of a blushing bride with pursed lips (surprised? Orgasmic?) and a tauntingly lifted dress? That’s totes okay.
Madonna-Whore Complex for the win!!!11eleventy