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.]
Number two. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANTS TO FUCK A CAN??!!?!
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.