It’s pretty damn obvious we didn’t get on this planet through Stork delivery in a knapsack, right? Anyone who thinks otherwise, well, you may want to ask your friends Santa and the Tooth Fairy their thoughts on the situation…
When I decided to watch some educational TV, I thought that the History channel was a good place to start. I found a pretty good series called “Strange Rituals” which uncovers some taboo topics that have existed throughout the ages. Two of the episodes discussed that universally relatable topic – sex (well, it wasn’t going to be toilet habits, was it?) After watching it, I realised there was one subject surrounding sex that had been completely evaded, but is still an interesting one nevertheless – sex toys, gimmicks and games.
Fun fact, did you know dildos were first discovered thousands of years ago, aging from the Palaeolithic period? Okay, so they weren’t as prestige as the quality pink rabbits we see in the modern age, but they existed! Ironically, they were made of a stone (so fitted in nicely with the era) and their appearance resembled a sausage-like pestle. Yeah, I kind of flinched at the thought of it too. It probably wasn’t the most pleasurable of experiences. The historical Italian translation for “dildo” (or “Diletto” as it was first introduced) means “delight”, which proves further ironic since it sounds like opposite of all that is delightful. However, who’s to say it was used for self-gratification? Historically, religious ritual and sexuality probably were not conceived as comorbid acts, so who knows what this tool’s main reason for use was? Either way, it served as the aetiology for today’s contemporary vision of sex.
As time has gone by, we have battled the views towards sex, sexual appetite and behaviour. The perception of it varied from seeing it as an unsavoury and unclean act and that it should be purely used for procreation, or to indicate sexual authority in consummating a marriage etc. But nowadays, we see sex as a liberty, a right, a pleasure and an act of love. There is no shame and there are no limits. In fact, we now have such a polar opposite view towards the subject that the leaps and bounds it has taken have allowed for infinite opportunities. It has a downside though. With these changes, has it unveiled a blurred line in society? After all, there are still religious and cultural divides in thought. Could the endless advances prove disruptive?
We have established that since these times of antiquity that sex has been a fixation to us all. But, instead of this intrigue being something kept behind closed doors, it’s at its height of publicity. From shows to shops, the sex industry is a profound part of the modern age. One of the big names in the retail of all things sexy is Ann Summers, named after the male founder’s secretary “Annice Summers” and if you haven’t heard of this epic brand then you must have been living under a rock since the 70s. This chain is a revolutionary milestone that marks our contemporary view on the subject of sex, by normalising the use of not just dildos, but much, much more…
This is where it gets a bit intense, because where the acceptance of diverse eroticism began, so did the expansion of toys to follow. Where once upon a time in history, certain sexual behaviours were frowned upon, they are now encouraged. If you think that you’ll purely witness a wall-to-wall array of rubber phalluses, then you’re about to be surprised, because things have become a lot more varied! From things to clip onto your lady garden, or to buzz up your behind, we are at an age where sexual shock is just non-existent.
In order to suit all types of sexual appetite though, the introduction of toys to be placed in, on or around our erogenous zones is just not enough. The gap that needed to be filled was not of physical stimulation, but of mental. People don’t just want these things for the 5-second wonder at the end of the stimulation; they need something that they can indulge their personal desires into. So, just when you thought things had got crazy enough, they further developed sex as a brand by initiating the world of fetish. And I don’t just mean stockings and suspenders here, we’re talking fake kidnapping, gimp suits, dominatrix games, dolls specially made for their buyer’s tastes and even people admitting sexual adoration for inanimate objects, such as landmarks or cars, and engaging in sensual acts with said objects.
To me, personally, it’s all a bit much (to put it diplomatically) I would suspect that this level of sexual fixation is a combined result of psychological development through individual life experiences, brain chemistry which sees hormonal release and reactions in the cortex to unusual stimuli, and societal acceptance to the endless opportunities for sexual boundaries to be pushed.
With such a blend of causes, whether it is historical, psychological, scientific or sociological, is this industry unstoppable? Yes, there are still people like me who are trapped in a time warp and believe sex should be restricted to couples who are in love and that it needn’t be explored with anything more than pretty lingerie and our natural…facilities, if you will. But, this infinite opening for sexual discovery makes it a force to be reckoned with.
So, we have a choice. Either we stick with our own unique set of beliefs and defy the mutable erotic world, or we go with the buzz and see what lies beneath our own conservative prowess?
The choice is ours; after all, we’re in an era where anything and everything goes.
I still think I’d prefer a cup of tea and to watch Ghostbusters right now though…I did tell you I was in a time warp! Mind you, it’s pretty good here, and my drawers never vibrate embarrassingly, so it has its perks.