Sex toys

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Painting of a dildo being offered (Qing Dynasty, China)
Anything's a dildo if you're brave enough.

Sex toys are devices used to enhance, simulate, stimulate or facilitate various sexual activities, thus making it more fun.

Most sex toys can be used by one person, although some require a friend (or several friends) to help. The range of possibilities for sex toys (or even what constitutes a sex toy) is limited only by the human imagination and some size restraints. While some have been designed explicitly for the purposes of sexual stimulation and/or enjoyment, others were initially intended to be used elsewhere but later gained notoriety as a (makeshift) sex toy, such as the Magic Wand by Hitachi,Wikipedia which was previously sold as a back massager but later found a niche in the sex community as a masturbation aid,[note 1] and a toy replica of the Nimbus 2000 broomstick from the Harry Potter franchise, intended for children to get their wizarding fix but was discontinued by Mattel shortly after when they caught wind of immature teens enjoying it too much[2] and sex shops reselling them.[3]

Legal issues and repression[edit]

Like most issues related to sex, sex toys tend to be regulated for reasons of religious perversion or political pandering. One outcome of this is the classic Swedish Massager, which is sold to relax tired back muscles or to assist in massage in general. It is nothing more than a vibrator, of course.


The legal state of sex toys in Alabama has been one of hatred and irrational fear. The story goes back to 1998, the year a law was put in place that banned the sale and use of the devil sticks. A group of plaintiffs, made up of six people who used sex toys and two people who sold the vile devices, sued the Attorney General, William H. Pryor, claiming it was a violation of their civil rights. A federal trial judge in 1999 found the law unconstitutional, but the 11th Circuit panel didn't listen to them, seeking a broader examination of how sexual laws had been enforced over time. After concluding that sexual privacy was "deeply rooted" in American legal tradition and practice, the trial judge again found the law unconstitutional. Stanley F. Birch, a member of the 11th Circuit Court of appeals, said although Lawrence v. Texas secured the repeal of sodomy laws, they still don't know how far sexual privacy goes. During a second review, Birch repeated the same argument he once gave in a Florida case concerning gay adoption. According to the Alabama trial judge's review of sex laws, only Georgia and Texas have bans on sex toys. Alan I. Begner, an Atlanta lawyer who represents sex shops, said that Georgia's ban was "nearly identical" to Alabama's law. "On the face of it, sex toys are illegal to sell," Begner said, but he said shops can survive prosecution if they can prove their products are "for novelty use only".

In 2004, the court of appeals upheld the law again on a vote of 2-1.[4] Troy King, Attorney General of Alabama, was reported as saying "they [the 11th Circuit Court] did their job". It came to the agenda again in 2005, but the court refused to even hear the case.[5] In 2007, another appeal was attempted,[6] and of course, the demon rods were still found illegal — on Valentine's Day.[7]


Ted Cruz: a dildo, but not a sex toy

In 2007, while working on behalf of then-Attorney General Greg Abbott (now governor) of the Texas, Ted Cruz wrote a 76-page legal brief defending the Texas penal code prohibition on "the advertisement and sale of dildos, artificial vaginas, and other obscene devices".[8] Cruz maintained that the government had in interest in "discouraging…autonomous sex" and the brief equated using them to "hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy."[8] Texas lost the case on appeal (PHE, Inc. v. Ronnie Earle) and decided not to pursue the case to the Supreme Court, perhaps because Cruz did not want to talk about sex to a Supreme Court Justice who is also a grandmother. The decision made sex toys legal to sell within the jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which includes Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.[8]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Hitachi got wind of this and ceased distribution of the massager in 2013, not wanting to be associated with the sex industry, but was persuaded by Vibratex to continue under the condition that the Magic Wand would be sold without the Hitachi branding.