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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “Why are sex toys like a ‘pocket pussy’ stigmatized, while dildos are commonplace? Is it the clean-up? I bet it’s the clean-up.”

The lack of lips on this model is not the problem. It's _a_ problem, but not _the_ problem.

I think the clean-up is terrible with a lot of these devices, but I don’t think that’s why people make so many jokes about them.

My starting point for thinking about this: Whenever cisgender men are mocked for using a thing or wearing a thing or doing a thing, we can usually find issues of toxic masculinity and tightly held but very unexamined expectations about what makes a “real man.”

For example, when men carry handbags—which are super useful, whatever your gender!—they will get a lot of flack for that because only girls and flaming queers carry purses. When men cry, they are violating all kinds of gender standards for stiff upper lips and “keeping it in” and you don’t want to look vulnerable, men aren’t vulnerable, goddammit!

What’s at stake with penis masturbation aids like the pocket pussy is the idea that real men don’t need to wank—they should be able to get willing partners whenever they want—and if they do wank, then they use their HANDS. Buying a silicon facsimile of a cunt, in this paradigm, only underscores the pathetic nature of their thwarted urges and inadequate manliness. This is also, by the way, a contributing factor to some of the stigma faced by men who call phone sex lines or use the services of escorts and other sex workers: a “real man” wouldn’t have to pay to have his sexual needs met.

Okay, I don’t think I put enough sarcastic quotation marks around that last paragraph, but I was afraid I might run out, because it’s really a whole array of phallusies, isn’t it? “Real men”

  • don’t put things up their butt.
  • always want sex.
  • always come.
  • take control of sex.
  • aren’t curious about other men’s dicks.

The list goes on and on, but it all boils down to a very few things that men should want and be able to do. If you put a single foot outside the box, if you can’t or don’t want to do sex in those prescribed ways, then you aren’t a real man. You will probably be ridiculed, if someone finds out about your thing, maybe even by the woman you are having sex with; you could get in a lot more trouble, depending on where you are when someone finds out.

At the very least, you will see whatever that thing that you like to do being mocked everywhere, and you will either have to step up and speak out about it, or just stay quiet and feel a little more terrible with each passing meme.

It isn’t fair, because you’re right: women owning (certain kinds of) sex toys is pretty commonplace in the Western world. Perhaps in conservative and/or religious bubbles, not so much, but enough women have rallied around the sex-toy revolution over the past 20 years that they are accepted in most mainstream circles.

It's almost at the point now where, if a woman hasnt tried a sex toy, there is often pressure on her going the other way: don’t you have at least a bullet vibe? No? What is wrong with you? Whereas wankers (almost always cis men) are stigmatized for wanting release and not being “man enough” to get a woman to fill that function. How well the pocket pussy fits isn't the question; it's how well does the user fit into prescribed gendered behavior.

There’s a lot of mess here, but honestly, it’s not the stuff in the pocket pussy that’s causing the problems.

*****

I don't review sex toys for function; I'm more interested in the symbolism. Do you want more sex-aware writing like this in the world? Then become a patron of mine on Patreon!

 

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