Tuesday, 23 February 2010

[Sex Toy] Rubber Jenny

So a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I was growing increasingly tired of masturbation. Then last Friday I received an email from a sex worker. Is that what they’re called? Women who work for sex toy companies? Anyway, Carly works for LoveHoney.co.uk and by way of solution to my problem, she offered me free sex. In a can. Specifically, this one:

As you can see, it’s quite odd. For one thing, it has a mouth. Now I know I’ve not seen that many vaginas, but I’m sure even Seymore Butts hasn’t seen one with an infranasal depression, or - it always takes me ages of fruitless head-searching then a quick Google search to remember this word - philtrum. (Hmm. I just spent ten minutes checking Wikipedia’s etymology of the word philtrum against the entry in volume two of The New Shorter Oxford. Interesting. Veeeery interesting. And they say masturbation ruins your vocabulary. Paff.) Anyhow, in the words of the popular song, any hole’s a goal.

Now, before I go any further – I think I should just … one moment, please.

Right. I have to say, having used the thing twice now, it is really very, very good. Which is to say, it feels excellent wrapped around your engorged Johnson and it does facilitate some splendid and relatively powerful sensations on fruition.

I did find it much easier to use, however, when I removed the superskin flesh-sleeve from the can. The reasons for this are twofold.

Number one. It’s a bit tight in the can. Out of the can, the superskin flesh-sleeve is able to expand to take your girth. In the can, it’s like trying to fuck a frighteningly robust moth. I think you know what I’m saying. Also, out of the can …

… the superskin flesh-sleeve becomes eerily animated, almost lifelike. It flops about in your hand like a dazed rat, freshly shaven, or like the panicking infant of some alien animal species, lost and frightened and helpless.

There's something sweet about it. Vulnerable. Not at all prurient. And when I bathed it in warm water, washing the sperm out of its unquestioning throat, I was amazed at the paternal instincts it inspired in me. I know it might sound a tiny bit odd under the circumstances, but I thought I felt like I might if I were washing a baby. I felt protective, fatherly. I think it was at this point I christened her Jenny.

[Idea: film about a mild-mannered sub-editor who is transformed into a slavering psychopath after becoming emotionally attached to a pretend vagina.]


I can’t really get over the naffness of it. It seems ridiculous to me. The fleshlight people have gone to such lengths and made such incredible strides in making a fake vagina which, if properly warmed and lubricated, could definitely pass for the real thing in a blind finger test. And yet they have chosen to package the thing like it’s only fit 13-year-old dimwits.

Why does it have to come in a can, for Christ’s sake? And why does it have to be a fake booze can?

It’s rather insulting if you ask me, pandering to that hackneyed notion that men are all Nuts-reading Neanderthals obsessed with sport, tits and lager. This is clearly nonsense. Only a tiny percentage of the male population have anything but intense and caustic disdain for Nuts magazine. (Please let it be so.)

My flatmate Imogen has just opined that the reason it’s like a can of beer is for purposes of subterfuge. So as not to upset your mum maybe, when she’s clearing up your tissues. If this is the case, and it certainly seems plausible enough at first glance, then why not make the design vaguely believable? Any mum worth her salt is going to be onto 'Pink Lotus Lager' in a flash.

The fact is, this product is branded for boys. And mental men-babies. Look at this, from the side of the can:

‘Government Warning: According to surgeons generally, if your wife is pregnant, this product just might be your best friend.’

Their target demographic seems mostly to consist of men who possess all of the intelligence, sensitivity and sexual savvy of Jim Davidson.

‘Frequent use may prevent births.’

As if anything more than 2% of their customers are actually in a relationship.

They're not. They're teenage boys, Nuts retards and a few justifiably embarrassed wankers. All of them single. This is why the reviews on the Fleshlight website are like this:

‘i probably fucked this thing for 10 of the last 40 hours. i have amazing stamina from masturbating for hours at a time, and this is so much better.’

‘its only been one day and my penis made me pound it twice already! this thing is AMAZING. i have a girlfriend and let me tell you this thing feels just like sex or even better! … two words. POUND ONE!’

So the problem really, is entirely in my head. It’s a matter of class. Snobbishness if you prefer. I just can’t imagine Cary Grant resorting to Sex in a Can. And that puts me off.

There’s room, of course, for the pounding yahoo - I’m sure it’s an enormously healthy market - but where are the sex toys for the auto-eroticist with a touch of refinement? There are masses of tasteful toys in a woman’s pleasure arsenal - as well as the garish veiny cocks, there are sleek and elegant vibrating love sticks so lovingly designed that even as they’re buzzing and teasing, they still manage to be aesthetically pleasing. They're classy. And cool. And offer no reason at all to be ashamed. So why must men have to put up with toys branded by Bernard Manning? I mean, what the fuck is this supposed to be?

Even Vulva, a terrible, laughable, repugnant product, granted, but at least they had the good taste to attempt to brand it as something sophisticated and erotic.

They failed, clearly, but at least they tried, goddammit. (By the way, that is definitely one product that would benefit from an exclamation mark. Vulva! See?)

Ooh, and I’ve just been looking around and I've found this. This is fairly tasteful. Well, ish. You couldn’t pass it off as an objet fucking d’art though.

Anyway, that’s my review.

In summary …

Efficacy :: 9 out of 10
Aesthetics :: 0 out of 10
Overall Branding Strategy :: 0 out of 10
Possibility for japes and silly photographs :: 6 out of 10

So, to end. Last night Imogen and I took some photos with little Jenny. Imogen got right into the spirit of the thing and applied some lipstick to Jenny's mouth. I didn't say but I thought this was a bit weird. I didn't want to sexualise her. That's also a bit weird. Anyway, Ben ran out of the room squealing like a girl and Imogen and I took photos. They weren't very good. Or were they? No, they weren't.

Still, this is Jenny smoking a joint, the naughty girl:

And here she is with a piece of ham for a tongue:

Eeeeeeeh, we have a laugh.

Anyway, enough now, I think. Thank you, LoveHoney Carly, very much, but I think it's time to move on from this nonsense. Time to meet some real people. Right now in fact.

Wish me luck.

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Friday, 19 February 2010

[Special Product] Vulva :: Old Man

I thought it might be funny to write an account of a date I had on Valentine’s Day - a date with myself and a bottle of Vulva. It would have been a silly thing, you understand. I was going to pretend that I had someone over for a cosy dinner. I would tidy the house and cook a meal - fish pie maybe, or a nice New England clam bake. And then I was going to make a clumsy lunge at myself after the coffee and hopefully go all the way. But not necessarily.

There is every chance I might not have put out at all. After all, I’m a sensitive not to say needy individual and it might very well have taken a good deal more than the scent of synthetic nethers to bring me to fruition. More important still, I feared that if I got into that whole self-love thing again, there was every possibility I might actually disappear right inside my own bottom.

Thankfully, the Vulva didn’t come till Monday. (I would normally have used the word arrive in that sentence, but I am a sucker for a vagina gag.) (!)

So, in order to fulfil my end of the bargain – to wit an honest review in exchange for a free sample of the product – I was forced to go to the hustings. Is that what I mean? Let’s say yes.

On Monday night, I held my first woefully unstructured focus group, telling my guinea pigs exactly what I was smearing on their hands. I asked them to score the product out of ten for vulvacity, arousal and overall pleasantness. The results were not good.

For vulvacity, Vulva was found distinctly lacking. Which is not a good sign. A product called Vulva, describing itself as a vaginal fragrance really ought to smell like vagina. If not, it can only be considered a failure. But then again, as a few of the people with whom I have engaged on the subject have pointed out, surely not all vulvae smell alike. Well, in my limited experience, I would say yes and no. Of course every foo-foo has a different odour, just as every Johnson has a different odour, just as every human being has a different odour. However, it's surely also true to say that there is definitely a ball-park smell.

Anyhow, here are a bunch of thoughts from the first session:

'It smells like wee.'

'It's a bit toilet.'

'It smells a bit like fish and chips. A bit musky … It's not unpleasant. I wouldn't want to smell of it but I wouldn't be really upset if I did ... It doesn't smell of my vulva, but does my vulva smell of everybody's vulva? Is my vulva everyvulva? … That doesn't smell anything like a vulva. Oh, maaaaaaybe – maybe there's a tiny hint. It's too perfumey though. It's got that kind of Copydex quality … I feel like it's burning my wrist. It feels simultaneously hot and cold … It smells a bit of honey as well.'

'So you put this on and masturbate? And it's meant to help, is it?'

'It smells a bit like cardboard.'

So there you go. 'Not unpleasant' is about as good as it gets. Personally, I don't agree. I think it's very unpleasant. For me, it does smell of vulva, but it smells of a vulva that's been trapped in a chemical toilet for six days. It has ammonia front bottom notes, reminiscent of those awful pineapple chunks you find it men's urinals.

Anyhow, on Tuesday night, I did a blind test in a pub with three new rugged male friends. They weren't impressed. The best quote came from Paul, a 45-year-old man from Macclesfield. 'It smells like old man,' he said.

That's not good.

So there it is. Vulva is basically a novelty item that no one in their right brain would ever buy twice.

And let that be an end to it.

In other news, I'm almost finished my first week of proper work, and yesterday, I got an iPhone.

I feel like an adult.

I'm not though.

Have a super weekend.

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Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Royal Mail Stole My Vulva

I hate the way that the only way you can complain to a lot of institutions is by filling in prohibitively long-winded and poorly-worded forms on their website. Never a person to speak to. Without wishing to sound cynical, or wildly paranoid, I must say I fear the non-user-friendliness of these forms might actually be deliberate. There’s nothing more likely to make a griping punter shut their traps and forget about it than a website that keeps logging them out. But I was determined. This was a serious issue. This was theft. And I didn’t see why the Royal Mail should get away with it. So I persevered, and in the section asking me to describe my grievance, I wrote the following:

‘The item in question was a small bottle of Vulva, the erotic vaginal scent of a desirable woman. This is apparently a feminine, tantalising, intimate scent and I was very much looking forward to it enhancing my increasingly dull fantasy life.

This is actually the second time that my Vulva has disappeared whilst in the care of the Royal Mail. The first time the entire package went missing, this time merely the Vulva itself. You must admit, it doesn’t look good. Take a man’s Vulva once, and he’ll put it down to carelessness. Twice and frankly, it starts to smell fishy.

Please investigate this matter at once and if you cannot find my Vulva and return it to me intact, I would like to know that the postman in question has been thoroughly ticked off. It really is a sad state of affairs when a man’s Vulva is not safe in the hands of a humble postie.

I am dismayed and seek immediate reassurance.’

The Royal Mail replied, and fairly promptly, but with a stock response. It's all ‘robust processes’ and ‘appropriate action’, and the concluding paragraph pretty much sums up their attitude toward my missing Vulva.

‘Once again, please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of Royal Mail for the problem you've had, and our thanks for taking the time to make us aware of this. Please be assured that we take letting our customers down seriously and will use this information to make further improvements.’

Yeah, right. Meanwhile, down at the sorting office, two bottles of prime Vulva are changing hands like schoolboy pornographs.

Sniff your letters. And never trust a postman. Or woman.

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Monday, 8 February 2010

Sick Of Self-Love (I'm Waiting For My Vulva)

I need to spice up my self-love life.

There. I’ve said it.

And when I say self-love, I don’t mean cutting myself some slack, thinking positive and giving myself a pat on the back whether or not I deserve it. I mean wanking. Unless of course, I’m being jolly clever and using one as a slightly sticky mirror for the other. Well, I’m not. I’m just talking about wanking.

I’ve fallen into a rut, you see. I just don’t put any effort into the act of making love with myself anymore. You know? I just don’t pleasure myself with the same outlandish vigour and rigour as once I did.

It’s an unpleasant truth but it’s come to pass that in this period of my life, my self-love lacks verve. I do it of course, and relentlessly, but the joy is gone. The sense of urgency is gone. The spontaneity that was at times jazz-like. That’s gone too. All that’s left is a tired, asthmatic glimmer of desire and a dulled sense of weary obligation. I go through the motions: a text-book moribund shuffle, like a dying man rooting through a pile of garbage. There’s no romance. There’s not even any real sense of pleasure. And as for foreplay? Forget about it.

A lot of this is connected to technology, of course, and the proliferation of fat-pipe porn. Erotic images were incredibly scarce when I was young. This meant you had to put a lot more work into your relationship with yourself. It also meant you had to take opportunities as and when they arose. Songs of Praise. Your friend’s mother’s bra and lipstick. Every inappropriate erection was a new, distinctly seedy adventure. These days there’s none of that, and recklessly I have allowed my imagination and impulsivity to become saturated, and desiccated, by porn. As a result, I’ve turned into a lousy self-lover.

And don’t think I haven’t noticed. If you want to know the truth, it’s tearing me apart. I’ve tried talking about it but I just won’t listen. I’ve come to resent myself. Literally. And when I remember how I used to be, back at the beginning when it was all fresh and new and I couldn’t keep my hands off myself….

So, in the absence of the ability to split up with myself, which is what I really want to do, frankly, I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to get myself back on the right track. I'm staging a kind of self-intervention, before any really irreparable damage is done.

My first move was to check out the clever articles you find in magazines and newspapers, the ones full of advice for couples who don’t really like one another anymore because of years of mind-numbing repetition. But they didn’t really work out. Spontaneous hugging met with a limp silence. Surprising myself with chocolates was a lovely touch but then watching me eat them all and calling me fat afterwards was just awful. That was an angry wank, that one. And not in a good way.

Then I thought of buying myself some knickers. It would be deceitful of me to claim that having the sexual smorgasbord of my nether regions coddled in the stretched silk of a woman’s undergarment is not something that gives me a terrific itch in the belly. For it is. Even the mere thought of it threatens to cajole some twitch of appreciation from Cupid’s torch. Having said that, the thought of actually purchasing a nice pair of knickers for posh-wank purposes – and they would have to be very nice – just feels a little sad. Sad as in pathetic. Lamentable. Borderline deplorable. That’s the problem with all of these masturbatory aids: they just seem so fucking desperate. Toe-curling in their desperation. And yet, still, in arid times, in a cold climate, when one’s very soul feels like it’s running to seed, if you’ll pardon the pine nut, it can be very, very tempting.

I mean, there are all kinds of self-sex accessories out there that, when you first hear about them, your mind just boggles and you think, no. You think, that’s just wretched. That’s pitiful. And then some time passes and maybe your circumstances change and maybe you think about it a little more and your mind stops boggling quite so much. I mean, is it really any less wretched and pitiful for a grown man to penetrate a synthetic vibrating vagina in a tin can than it is for a lady to krunk herself giddy on the shaft of a synthetic vibrating lovestick or rabbit-themed pleasuring device? Is it?

Well, it shouldn’t be.

And yet, somehow... I don’t know. Maybe it just isn’t for me.

This, for example:

This is ‘Sex in a Can’, from the same Captains of Cock that brought you the industry leader, the classic, Fleshlight.

I mean, good luck to you if you can grit your eyes and get into that, but I really don’t think I could. I should probably add, however, that I am willing to try, so if anyone’s got one they’ve finished with, do get in touch. For now though, even with the extreme nunliness of the vulva, it just doesn’t inspire me.

In fact, I can think of only two pertinent things less appealing than pushing my roaring jack into the fake plastic undermeat of a pair of canned quim nuts. One is filming the same act and putting it on YouPorn. (I just can’t bring myself to watch those things. It must be the saddest act of pornography in the whole world.) The other is splashing six thousand US dollars on a real doll.

Having said that, one day, when my boat comes in, I’d quite like to run away with this one.

There are of course men who reject outright the easy commercialisation of self-love. These men prefer to bore an unsexy orifice into a watermelon or pumpkin and root out their pleasure that way. Sometimes they layer bacon around the bore-hole.

Although I admire the spirit and inventiveness of these men, I can’t really imagine myself making love to a melon. Not at my age. I'd rather make love to a chicken, to be honest. A dead chicken, obviously – I’m not into kinky stuff. Just an everyday dead chicken from the supermarket. Maybe a bit of bacon around the bore-hole.

I can imagine that quite easily. You know, if I absolutely have to. I can imagine that the feel of the chicken skin, mottled from plucking and sliding back and forth across the cold white flesh of the legs might actually be quite erotic.

I don't intend to do it though. These are just thought experiments. I actually find it repulsive. Honest.

So instead of fucking a dead chicken, I’ve hit upon something else. Something definitely less vile. An idea. A business idea for a new product. Something to enliven the - let's face it - the chore of male masturbation.

I call it FISTMUFF.

Essentially it’s essence of fresh vagina, applied to the back of the hand. A bird in the hand, you might say. But no bush.

Simply apply FISTMUFF to one hand, take your old chap in the other and you’re away. With your eyes closed you sniff at the FISTMUFF, breathing in the erotic fragrance of the mouth that speaks no words, and you imagine that you’re anywhere but where you actually are, doing anything but what you’re actually doing.

Of course I’m joking. Where am I going to find a fresh vagina to tease and milk? Or indeed any vagina.

Unless… unless I reread Perfume with terrifying zeal, master maceration and enfleurage and then launch myself on a murderous yet delectably redolent rampage. Hmm... No. I don’t think so. Important though it is to spice up a dead date with Fisty Palmer, rampant carnage just wouldn’t seem right so close to Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, what kind of madman would deign to distil the bouquet of the bower of bliss? Surely not even a man with a smell camera would be so arrogant as to seriously attempt to simulate essence of vulva. It’d be like trying to recreate the roof of the Sistine Chapel in a bus shelter in Basildon.

It'll never happen.

Or will it?

I'm afraid all of that guff about me inventing FISTMUFF was a bit of a red herring. I was pulling the wool over your eyes, if you’ll pardon the poon. For the fact is, FISTMUFF exists. You may, of course, already be wholly cognisant of this fact; you may, in fact, be drenched in the stuff as we speak, pleasuring yourself to a dervish, spitting hot liquid on the keyboard, rolling on the floor, your tongue lolling from your mouth like a single sad mitten lost in the rain. FISTMUFF exists! Only it’s not called FISTMUFF. It’s called Vulva.

Vaginal scent. For men.

Watch the video and just marvel for a moment if you would, at the wonder of the world in which we live…

Mmmmmm, yes. Finally, a scent to keep the scourge of saddle-sniffing gusset-gannets off the streets and out of the gymnasia.

I’m figuring Vulva could be just the fillip I need to get me through this miserable mizzling month to the sappy spring that awaits. And more importantly, it can help bring me closer again. To myself. I'm convinced of it: essence of vagina will get me through this unpleasant patch.

So, my third consignment of Vulva is in the post. The first two, I should explain, went missing in transit. I swear.

I'm just hoping it gets here in time for Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to be alone again this year.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate a little feedback. I can't be the only one for whom wanking has become a depressing, devitalising experience. Can I? Singletons! Speak to me. What do you do to keep your self-sex life alive?

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Monday, 1 February 2010

[Television] A Disappointing Evening With Jonathan Ross

My grandmother thinks Jonathan Ross is obscene. That’s the word she always uses whenever he comes up in conversation. ‘I don’t like that Jonathan Ross,’ she says, the slits of her eyes oozing dry contempt, her scowl stabbing like shit-hooks into her jowls. ‘He’s obscene.’ What gets her goat of course, is the bad language, the kneejerk infantile sexualisation of absolutely everything and the wilful, pervasive inappropriateness. Basically all the good stuff, all the cheeky stuff that makes other people watch. But then my gran is from a different time, bless her, and consequently she's rather old-fashioned. She’s still not entirely happy with the idea of homosexuals adopting children, if you want to know the truth. But she's a good woman despite that, and I love her very much.

Also, I like Jonathan Ross. He can be overbearing at times, of course, and childish, and self-indulgent, and, frankly, borderline creepy - but Jesus, who can’t? He’s still on occasion well worth watching though, and that’s saying an awful lot. At his best, his lack of respect for propriety and showbiz protocol can be jaw-dropping. I will love him always, for example, for asking this country’s next Prime Minister whether or not he pleasured himself to thoughts of Margaret Thatcher. I think it’s actually testament to the gargantuan irreverence of that question that all traces of it have been removed from the internet. (Fiver to anyone who can find it for me.) (Video, that is - not mere mention. Tsk.)

For these reasons, when I was recently offered the opportunity to go see an episode of Friday Night With Jonathan Ross being recorded, I thought about it for a moment, then I took it. After all, if I were lucky, something amazing might happen, something magical, or at the very least something temporarily memorable.

I would have to be very lucky though, because, let’s face it, not only are chat shows in the main horrible worthless bilge, they are also, in essence, evil. With no pretensions to artistic endeavour, they are powered one hundred per cent by PR. They’re essentially live adverts, relying entirely on the public’s bland acceptance that celebrities are, by their very nature, interesting. However, even without someone as potentially unseemly as Jonathan Ross at the helm, chat shows can occasionally deliver wonderful moments of human nonsense. The various drunk appearances by Oliver Reed stand out. Serge Gainsbourg
insisting to Whitney Houston’s face that he wanted to fuck her. Muhammed Ali’s idiotic paranoid meltdown on Parkinson. Barry Gibb’s humour bypass on Clive Anderson. Tom Cruise on PCP on Oprah. David Icke giving Godhead to Wogan. These moments probably just about make the format worthwhile, but naturally, sadly, they are few and far between. Realistically, it was probably unlikely I’d be there the night Matthew Kelly shot himself, for example, or Mel Gibson revealed the new Hitler tattoo across his back, but maybe I’d be lucky and bag a devastating raconteur.

I wasn’t lucky. If you happened to have caught the show last week, you’ll know by the fact that you’ve already forgotten who the guests were, that the guests were crap.

They were, in order of sheer pointlessness, Kim Cattrall, the pubescent cast of something called Misfits and fucking Jedward. (It is, I believe, now a legal requirement that whenever John and Edward are mentioned in the showbiz compound, their name must be preceded by the repulsed intensifier fucking. Like Gregory F Peck.)

Before the horrific torture of the guests, however, there was the ignominy of queuing outside for over an hour in the drizzle. Then there was the unpleasant awkwardness of the warm-up guy. I was hoping for some budding stand-up. Instead there was this monstrous mediocrity who had members of the audience removing articles of clothing in exchange for prizes which never arrived, whilst all the while leching really inappropriately, and deeply unamusingly, over a beautiful girl in the audience. He was like a combination of redcoat reject and charmless Ted Bundy.

Embarrassing and incompetent though he was as an individual, however, it was his role on the show as a whole that was really depressing, bringing home as it did what an unmitigated crock of excrement television really is.

I remember thinking, 'let me get this straight, you’re telling me that when fucking Jedward, this pair of empty-headed showbiz suppositories walk onto a gaudy set, you want me to stand up and applaud? But that doesn’t make sense. We shouldn’t be screaming and shouting our approval at these arse-candles. We should be pelting them with effluent.'

Speaking of effluent, before Kim Cattrall’s extraordinarily dull interview, we were treated to a screening of the trailer for Sex and the City 2, which is, it has to be said, truly truly amazing. I honestly never thought I’d ever see anything that would make the original film of Sex and the City look like anything other than the celluloid tumour that it is, but this trailer actually makes it look remarkable.

So even though Ross repeatedly professed great fondness for the cast of Misfits and fucking Jedward, surely he would let Kim Cattrall have it for her part in the atrocity that the Sex and the City franchise has become. Surely.

Nope. Not a bit of it. Renowned cineaste Ross claims to love the crime against humanity that is Sex and the City, part one.

It was at this point that I properly gave up. I had been hoping for a glimpse of the no-bullshit Ross I’d seen in the past – the same man who tore Kevin Smith a new pimhole for the execrable Clerks 2 - but he seems to have moved on. He’s probably content to just sit out his BBC contract, hyping every piece of cack that comes his way and even sucking up to fucking Jedward when necessary. Well, I'm not. I'm done with him. I know, I know. He'll be gutted.

Finally, after a suitably crap performance by The Editors, it was over.

When I shuffled back out into the drizzle at around 9 o’clock, my hands buzzing with shame from all the fake applause, I actually felt good. Mostly I felt good because, apart from Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time, I haven’t watched a single TV programme actually on television since I moved back to London in September. Good for me.

It really is crap.

And you?

Have you ever seen a TV show recorded live and if so, was that crap too?

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