This may come as a shock to you, but the world has finally threatened to produce a weird sex toy that I have no desire to own. I am referring, of course, to the train wreck that is Teddy Love. For those of you who don’t know, Teddy Love is a teddy bear with a vibrating muzzle and retractable tongue (yes, really), allegedly designed to provide adorable and discreet stimulation to women everywhere. His creators have set up a crowdfunding campaign to mass produce this monstrosity and unleash it upon the world. They have the disturbing goal of planting one of these pleasure plushes in every woman’s bedroom. Thanks, but I’m going to pass.
Now let me be clear. I own dragon dildos, canine dildos, equine dildos, corncob dildos, cucumber dildos, alien dildos, tentacle dildos, dinosaur dildos, bottle-shaped dildos, popsicle dildos, cactus dildos, glass dildos, steel dildos and more vibrators than you can shake a stick at. I own several dildos large enough to ward off home intruders. I proudly proclaim my status as the owner of many and varied sex toys. I happily announce to the internet at large what new and exciting objects I have masturbated with recently. I chuckle gleefully when the TSA leaves notes telling me that they felt the need to inspect whatever toys were stashed in my luggage. In short, I love sex toys of all shapes and sizes without an ounce of shame. So given my expansive and exotic tastes, you may be wondering what I’ve got against poor little Teddy Love. Certainly, he’s unique…so why am I not among the four backers (as of writing this post) stampeding in a mad rush to pre-order a bear? Ladies and gentlemen, let me count the reasons:
1. Safety and sanitation – Under no circumstance am I going to purchase a sex toy that I can’t properly clean. Teddy Love’s magical muzzle is made of TPE, a porous material that can’t be sterilized like silicone. Even if his muzzle and tongue were upgraded to a non-porous material, I can’t imagine that plush fur that gets routinely saturated in bodily fluids would be healthy or pleasant for anyone. And you can forget tossing a motorized vibrating bear into the washing machine. The only remotely possible remaining option would be some sort of dry cleaning, and quite frankly, I can’t imagine dropping a lube and fluid-encrusted teddy bear off at the cleaner along with my suits.
2. “Discreet”…you keep on using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means – Teddy Love is not the first sex toy to try looking like another household object. There are lipstick vibrators, makeup compacts, rubber duckies and so on. Do you know why I don’t own any of these? The answer is simple: I have kids. Kids who are fascinated by the lipstick and makeup in my purse. Kids who take rubber duckies in the bathtub. Kids who would be magnetically drawn to every single one of these “discreet” sex toys (and furry ol’ Teddy Love) like the Millenium Falcon in the Death Star’s tractor beam. I could never in a million years leave one of these toys out in the open without them being discovered and questioned. So I buy vibrators that are pretty obviously sex toys. If I have to hide them anyway, I might as well get an enjoyable shape with the power and features I want. Furthermore, I don’t think a teddy bear in the bedroom of an adult woman is all that discreet. I am 39, and I have exactly zero friends with teddy bears displayed on their beds. Oh sure, when I was thirteen I’d have sold organs on the black market to lay hands on a Teddy Love…but I grew up and I’m not going back.
3. Convenience – I travel on business quite a bit, and on every overnight trip, there is at least one sex toy in my luggage. I don’t want a toy encased in a stuffed bear that eats up valuable space. I’m also fairly certain that the TSA is going to give me far more shit about a teddy bear with hidden machinery inside than they do about my straightforward vibrators and dildos. I have no desire to be subjected to a cavity search because Teddy Love flagged me as a possible terrorist.
4. The scary message behind the cute toy – Toys like Teddy Love try to sweep sexuality under a rug, hide it behind layers of fake fur and stuffing and cutesiness. The whole campaign implies that women should feel anxious, worried, guilty and insecure about owning and using a sex toy. God forbid that anyone guess you like orgasms…and giving them to yourself, no less! The world needs to collectively quit pearl-clutching and gasping over this topic. Teddy Love’s very potential for existence depresses and infuriates me because it reinforces stupid stereotypes and about women and sex toys: That toys are replacements for a man, that using them is taboo. As weird and poorly designed as Teddy Love is, I wouldn’t be filled with rage if it were being marketed differently. I’m sure there are folks who would be intrigued with Teddy Love, who have an itch that bear could scratch…but the message isn’t being aimed at them. Teddy Love is all about capitalizing on the neuroses of women. For even more on this, you should check out Epiphora’s Teddy Love post.
The TL;DR version? If you want a sex toy, go out (to a store or the internet) and get a good one…without shame, guilt or fear. It’s the only way to lay the specter of Teddy Love and his ilk to rest for good.