Thursday, March 05, 2009

Worst best sex toys list in the world

I was seduced onto the Independent's website by their much better description of Heston Blumenthal's Victorian Feast, which aired on Channel Four last night, and which I missed. As I find that 4OD drains the life out of my laptop, I avoid watching stuff on it, and so will have to wait until the thing is repeated, complete with vibrators served with absinthe jelly.

Maybe because my mind had been taken down a certain line of thought, I clicked on a link on the same website to see the "Ten Best Sex Toys". There is no information about how the ten best is established, and so I must assume it is the ten items associated with sex which the person made to write the post (the celibate tea boy, one must assume) could dredge up out of the freebie box.

Ladies and gentleman, let me share with you:
Number one: an untitled contribution which appears to consist of satin ribbon for tying the wrists of your beloved. Great if you both like bondage, not so great if you don't. 5/10

Number two: a fancy honeymoon spanker prettied up with hearts. For those who want to try spanking, but only want to try it out as a joke. This is dangerous territory here. This is obviously BDSM for beginners who aren't sure that they'll like it. It's going to be tricky if both partners decide they want to be the Domme. Or maybe if one really, really, likes it and the other does not. Still, in principle it IS a sex toy, if a namby pamby ersatz imitation one. 3/10

Number three: the seven pearls Massage Ring - a whopping £433 knuckleduster which apparently doubles up as an intimate massager. No real instructions were appended and so one is left to imagine what one actually does with it. It may be unfair of me to judge without having tried the thing for myself, but it looks uncomfortable and it doesn't appear to have any endorsements to back up its claim to be one of the ten best sex toys. Ten most expensive...yeah probably. 4/10 for weirdness.

Number four: an afterglow massage candle. It was at this point that I realised we were in "desperately filling editorial pages" territory and not any serious attempt to sort out the actual ten best sex toys. A candle, and not even a usefully phallic one either. This one "releases an aromatic massage oil with hydrates and softens the skin on impact". Really. 1/10.

Number five: the hot and cold ceramic dildo. This is not a joke. With dozens of vibrating, wiggling, buzzing, lifelike, day-glo, bunny-eared vibrators to choose from, they chose a ceramic one. I got a chill looking at it. Ceramicists may make things that you can display to the general public on a stand with a chintzy bravado, but they do not make good sex toys. Believe me, I know without trying it that this in no way competes with the Omax vibrator "could get an orgasm out of a stone". This is as cold as a stone.... 1/10.

Number six: Colore Moi body paint. Edible body paint. What can I say? So much less enjoyable than chocolate sauce/honey/squirty cream. And sooo 90s. 3/10.

Number seven: Lust by Marc Lagrange. Wha? A book of posed pictures... by the cover, not even women who look like they breathe either. Oh yeah. That's sexy. NOT. 1/10. And how is that a toy? I mean... even partly.

Number eight: Bow diamante and silk lace pasties. Did they choose someone who was too afraid to visit the sex toy websites? The work experience minor who couldn't get in? They HAVE to be joking. This is dress up, not a sex toy. Not even close. 1/10

Number nine: Oh please. Wildly expensive and uncomfortable G strings. Unless you have a figure like a stick insect, forget it - you'll never see those pearls again. More dress-up. not toys. And tacky, horrible, unflattering unless you are skinny. 2/10

Number ten: The liberator. Described as a tarted up stack of cushions, there is no explanation why someone might want to pay £109.99 for these rather than use...cushions. Less a sex toy and more of a sex facilitator. 2/10.

Really the Independent needs a good spanking with a whopping great leather whip for misrepresenting this as a ten best sex toys list, rather than ten random things we can link to sex. I can do better.
Worth doing badly
Years ago, a Friend at my meeting ministered on the subject of a job worth doing. Unlike my grandmother who repeated "if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well" just about a thousand times in the course of my childhood, the ending was different. Trevor said: "if a job's worth doing it is worth doing badly".

Thinking about it was very liberating for me. I am by no means a perfectionist of the sort that can't bear to do a job sloppily, but I would often avoid doing a job at all if I knew I wasn't able to make a good job of it. Failing by not doing it at all seemed better than failing by doing the job badly.

His ministry allowed me to look at what he had said and know the truth in it: jobs that are worth doing, that need doing, are better done badly than not at all. It's true on all sorts of levels.

I was reminded of Trevor's ministry because today I had a bit of a shock. I was building in Second Life while listening to the incomparable Anton Lesser in the Falco mystery the Silvery Pigs. I would listen to Anton Lesser reading nonsense, I adore his voice, and I love his portrayal of Falco particularly. The episode I listened to was the final episode. As usual I loved the sound of Anton Lesser, but I realised that I liked the woman's voice too. In the drama she is a bit of an individual, a strong character who falls in love with Anton Lesser's character, and I thought she was very well cast, and had a lovely voice, but I had never bothered to find out her name.

Seen above, her name was Fritha Goodey, and this being the age of the internet I was able to look her up immediately, found a wikipedia entry and learned to my immense shock that she had stabbed herself to death in 2004. People always say nice things about someone after they have died, particularly when they die in tragic circumstances, but it seems that people were saying nice things about this actress when she was alive. She had a loving and supportive family, friends and colleagues who liked and respected her. It seems she was beautiful, kind, talented.

And yet she killed herself. Something about her life was so unbearable that killing herself seemed preferable. People said in the news reports about her death that she had been anorexic, and was such a perfectionist that she put herself through agonies wondering if she would let productions down... and even success and bigger and better parts hadn't made that go away. Often it seems it isn't the student destined to get none of their GCSEs who kill themselves through fear of failure - they don't expect to pass and it comes to no one as a surprise when they don't. It is the ones who are predicted to do very well that often can't cope with the pressure to perform, the pressure to live up to this perfect view that the world has of them.

I fear that I am a one tune guitar, but I think schools and our system of education can take the blame for much of that attitude, where exams are emphasised as though lives will be ruined on the stroke of a pen. It doesn't work like that in the real world... people fail exams, they move on and retake, or do something else entirely.

Everyone is different, everyone responds to pressure to perform differently. That's why I believe a one-size-fits-all education system that doesn't respond to the needs of the indiviual children with it is wrong wrong WRONG. And why I am going to be telling my grandchildren, that a job worth doing is worth doing badly.