Friday, January 18, 2008

You Can't Put That There!

by Meghan Miller

As you may have guessed from yesterday’s Thursday Thirteen, sometimes people use very strange things as sex toys. Sometimes it works—more often, it doesn’t. In fiction you can get away with a little more than you can in reality, but there’s still a fine line to walk: on one hand, you have erotic, and on the other hand, you have impossible, dangerous, or just plain silly. For example…

Food Sure, a little well-placed honey, chocolate syrup, or whipped cream can add some flavor to a bland sex life, but some people take it a little too far. None of the above should ever be used internally—for many people, that much sugar in their vagina is an excellent way to ask for a killer yeast infection. Neither should they be used as lube. Sticky substances don't really invite your body to slide more effectively, they just increase the drag on an already sensitive area.

We've all heard stories about people using the occasional fruit or vegetable as a masturbatory aid, but consider what you're doing before you do it. Cucumbers or carrots you can probably pull off, but what about things like bananas? Not only are they squishy (ew), but they're sharp and pointy at the ends. Who wants that jammed up inside them?

Some things are just impractical: cookies, cake, pastry, gelatin, or anything else that is in some way crumbly or gooey. Think about it for a minute. Getting them in, you have to spread the vagina pretty widely, since pastries aren't something that will compress or slide in smoothly on their own. That kind of thing is rough to the touch. Imagine what it would feel like on delicate genital tissues! Gelatin has the opposite problem—I can't imagine how you'd get it in. It'd fall apart every time you touched it, and melt if you tried to hold it in your hand, let alone inserted it.

Then there's the issue of getting the foodstuffs out. When going down on someone, there's a limit to both how long people can stay down there without their jaw falling off and how deeply they're able to penetrate. Ignoring the logistics of getting it in for a moment, if you've just stuffed your heroine's vagina with a cream horn, your hero is going to have to get it out. The vagina is a moist, tight environment and pastry is, as a rule, somewhat fragile. Soak it in any sort of liquid for a minute or two and it falls apart. Add compression to the mixture and...well, you can see where this is going. Sure, you could have your character go douche after sex, but one, that's not especially safe (it ups your risk of bacterial infections, yeast infections, and vaginal irritation) and two, who wants to think about their heroine hopping out of bed and running to the bathroom to rinse out her vagina midway through sex? (And really, it’d have to be in the middle of the scene, because can you imagine having penetrative sex while holding a cream horn in your vagina? I certainly can’t.)

Weaponry You'd hope that this would be self-explanatory, but apparently it's not. True fact about weapons: they're generally used to injure people. Think about the number of accidental shootings you read about in the newspaper, and then consider that to shoot a gun, one usually needs to disable the safety, then actually pull the trigger. With knives and swords, all you need to do is slip a little bit and you're risking serious injury. Guns, swords, knives, and stun guns don't add an element of excitement or danger; they add the risk of injury and possibly death. Edgy sex is one thing, but potentially fatal sex is another entirely—it’s likely to not only ruin the mood, but also to lose you readers in the process.

Power tools and appliances Plenty of people joke about someone using a vacuum cleaner as a way of simulating oral sex, and there's a reason that it’s joked about—because the idea is comical, not arousing. For those foolish enough to attempt this sort of masturbation, medical attention is sometimes required. You don’t want your hero to be that guy who needs to get his penis stitched up in the emergency room.

Similarly, tools shouldn't be used as masturbatory aids. Your electric screwdriver may vibrate very nicely, but inserting it just isn't safe. Depending on which end is being inserted, you're either smearing bodily fluids all over the power supply (and you were warned as a child about not getting electrical things wet, right?) or you're putting a device that is made to bore through wood into someone’s body. If you think that the human body can hold up to more than a wooden board can…well, you're wrong.

Animals Again, this should be self-explanatory, but you'd be surprised. After all, you’ve heard that story about Richard Gere and the gerbil, right? (That story's a hoax, by the way—Mr. Gere did no such thing.) All joking aside, snakes curling up in people's vaginas or gerbils cozying up in people's rectums is never okay. It should go without saying that horses, dogs, and other large animals are similarly inappropriate.

Alcohol This one might seem a little strange—there’s certainly no shortage of books in which the hero drinks champagne or wine using the heroine's body as a cup, right? Those scenes can be compelling and arousing, provided that the alcohol stays out of the heroine's (or anyone else’s) body cavities. Alcohol on the body is one thing. Alcohol in the rectum or vagina is an entirely different story. Bodies will absorb the liquid, and it will cause intoxication the same way drinking the beverage in question would. There's just one difference: people who are drinking will eventually pass out and stop drinking. When the alcohol is already in the body, you can pass out and continue to "drink". People have died from it.

Glass Unless it’s made of shatter-proof glass and designed to be inserted, it’s generally not a good idea. Stories (and, in some cases, scanned x-rays) of people with shot glasses, mason jars, and light bulbs stuck in their rectums abound on the internet. Even worse: what if the object breaks?

Air-propelled anything Whipped cream, spray cheese, carbonated beverage spray are all bad news for the vagina. Introducing air to the vagina can cause embolisms, which can be problematic—or fatal. And let me tell you, fatal sex is never arousing.

There’s nothing wrong with characters having creative sex, but suspension of disbelief can only carry you so far before the ick factor overwhelms your readers. Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list—nor would you want it to be, really, since we’d be here for days. Most of these could be avoided with a little common sense, so think about what you’re writing when you’re writing it. Don’t leave your heroine with a raging infection; don't let your hero be the guy who goes to the ER to get his penis stitched up—just say no to questionable sex toys.


Problem Child said...

I'm now terrified of your slush pile.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm horrified and confused. Glad you're there to weed through the muck and give us the good stuff!

RK Sterling said...

Oh, my eyes, my eyes!

LOL. This was rather frightening.

Aimlesswriter said...

Note to self; Never read this stuff before breakfast. I may never eat a pastery again. >Gag< Thanks for the visual!

I've always believed there was a think line between creativitiy and insanity.
Now, I think the world is just a very scary place.

Minx Malone said...

I think I just threw up a little. Just a little.

You guys have a very difficult job.


ECPI Editors said...

Meghan has been assigned to review many, many submissions in recent weeks. It's been a serious danger to her sanity. It continually amazes us what some people think is erotic or romantic. Let alone the "would this really work" or "is this safe" aspects of some of the ideas writers come up with.

Submissions are very much an example of "You have to kiss an awful lot of frogs in order to find your handsome prince."


Unknown said...

can u give me aome more fun toys 2 use

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