Why Are Some States Keeping Real Americans Away From Sex Toys?

Illustration for article titled Why Are Some States Keeping Real Americans Away From Sex Toys?

Why does Sarah Palin look so blissful at this campaign stop in Pennsylvania? Well, if The New Republic's Michelle Cottle is right, it might be because Pennsylvania is one of the states where one can legally buy Trojan's Vibrating Touch fingertip massager.One of Cottle's colleagues saw an advertisement for it while watching Thelma and Louise on Lifetime (a reason he prefers to stay anonymous) and discovered that Trojan can't sell it in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. Well, "can't" might be a strong word (and more on that after the jump), but Cottle wonders if this is the reason for so much of the red state frustration on display at Palin rallies. But, first, to the law. Following a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling this past February that struck down Texas' sex toys ban and, by extension, Mississippi's, Alabama is the only state remaining in which selling sex toys is illegal. Crusading Alabama legislator John W. Rogers is, however, trying to fix that with legislation but faces an uphill crime because people like Dan Ireland, the executive director of the Alabama Citizens' Action Program, says the ban is needed "to protect the public against themselves." Trojan's list of states where it cannot sell the fingertip massager — including my current state of residence, Virginia — seems a little off to me. Consulting with a lawyer that prefers not to be named, it turns out that Virginia (and the other states) don't restrict the sale of these products but do require that they be kept out of sight of minors — which means off the shelves of your local pharmacy and next to the condoms where Trojan wants to display them. (Side note: one local grocery store in my area carries Trojan's Elexa vibrating cock ring in apparent violation of state law.) So, you can walk into your pharmacy and up to the condom section and freely peruse the condom selection, many of which contain explicit diagrams on the packaging of how to place a condom on a penis, but a tastefully packaged, miniature vibrator that bears no resemblance to a penis has to remain behind the counter or at a sex shop with the smutty videos. Nothing unequitable about that at all. So This Is Why Red-Staters Are So Angry [The New Republic] Related: Federal Appeals Court Overturns Texas Sex-Toy Ban [Fox News] Fighting for Our Rights in Alabama [Wonkette]

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Erin Gloria Ryan

Women need to be protected against pleasuring themselves without the help of a cock. And men, too, for that matter. Pleasure-causing is a cocks only zone.