Archive for July, 2006

A Smart (That Is, Educated) Customer is a Good Customer

July 19, 2006

Good Vibrations has a tradition — part of its brand, by now — that I’m quite delighted to uphold when I go out on the speechifying trail to talk about the biz. I’m in the Universal City Hilton as I write this, here to attend the ANE (Adult Novelty Expo) convention: that is, the place sex toys businesses go to find out what new toys will be on the market for us to carry this year. What happens in this part of LA is literally Xmas in July, since what GV’s fine and feisty toy buyer sees and likes right now may well be what you see and like when it’s time to buy your sweetie (or yourself) something sexy. And I’m here to make sure this is true whether or not you shop Good Vibes, because I’m presenting on a panel called Why Smarter Customers are Better Customers and Educating Them Will Make You Money.

This was cooked up by my friend and colleague Cory Silverberg of Toronto’s dandy sex co-op, Come As You Are (which also gets my vote for best-titled sex biz ever). I joined the smart and lovely Candida Royalle of Femme Productions video and Natural Contours toys and the smart and lovely Shay Martin of Vibratex (whom I get to see not nearly enough of, even though she lives not too far from San Francisco). Candida brought us porn from an unabashedly female perspective (Femme) and, later, vibrators shaped like female curves, not phallic or rocket-y as so many vibes had been before they came along (now their innovation is one of the biggest, largest-growing segments of the toy marketplace, proving that imitation is very much the sincerest form of flattery). And Vibratex brought us high-quality Japanese-made vibes, most notably the Sex-and-the-City-endorsed Rabbit Pearl, toys which (sensibly enough) married the phallic-shaped vaginal penetrators we all knew and either loved or didn’t with simultaneous clitoral stimulation. Two heads *are* better than one, and Vibratex’s toys have been top-of-the-line for over twenty years.
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Coming for a Cause at the 2006 Masturbate-a-Thon

July 19, 2006

Since Good Vibrations created National Masturbation Month and the Masturbate-a-Thon back in the last century I, as GV’s primary spokesperson for Masturbation Month-related press, have given about a zillion interviews extolling monkey-spanking, pink-salad-tossing, Surgeon-General-firing, and Coming for a Cause. I helped develop Good Vibes’ NMM taglines, and am especially proud of “I’d Rather Be Masturbating” and “Think Globally, Masturbate Locally,” though that was a little controversial at first. I’ve talked to shock jocks who couldn’t take wanking seriously (even though what they do one the air often gives wanking a bad name), and I’ve talked to the Canadian version of NPR (not the US version yet, though, sad to say, because I live for the day when I can chat with Terry Gross about jilling off. Terry, are you listening?).

But I’d never been followed around by a spritely director from the UK while planning my own annual National Masturbation Month hoedown: the public Masturbate-a-Thon, which we host at the Center for Sex & Culture, with the kind permission of GV. Now, it seems, we are to be Part One of a two-part series on the UK’s esteemed Channel Four. Perhaps it will be called A Tale of Two Masturbate-a-Thons, because we’re following our usual San Francisco event with one in London!
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