Vibrators. We’ve all seen them up-close and personal, behindplastic packaging at an adult store, in pictures and on TV. They’reeven becoming somewhat socially acceptable to own and use. Heck,even Christians are getting in on the act.
At www.themarrigebed.com , a Web site that attempts to answerquestions pertaining to “sex and intimacy for married Christians”in a scripturally sound manner, they claim that, “We see noscriptural prohibition on toys in general. Indeed, some of thespices and special sheets mentioned as additions to lovemaking inthe Bible would seem to fall into the broader definition of sextoys.”
The growing acceptance of women taking control of their ownsexuality is, in my opinion, a beautiful thing and an example ofthe fruits of feminism. But what went on before thebutterfly-shaped vibrators and shiny pink dildos? That brings me tothe story of what I found behind the Multnomah County Library oneevening.
I had ridden my bicycle from PSU to the library to return somebooks to the night drop box. I pulled up to the depository andaccidentally dropped my paper bag full of said books. While bendingdown to pick up the scattering of hardcovers, I noticed a browncardboard box on the ground. The curious cat that I am, I openedthe box to discover a shiny metal object about ten inches long withan on/off switch and an electrical cord.
Just as I was thinking, “What the heck is this?” An older man ina car pulled up to also return some library books.
“What is that?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I responded. “I just found it here, maybe it’san old-fashioned vibrator.”
The man, clearly shaken by my supposition, drove away.
Knowing that the question of the object’s identity would hauntme for days, I picked up the box and precariously rode with it tomy office at The Vanguard, where I sought the guidance of mycoworkers. Some agreed with my assumption; others wereskeptical.
I was able to just barely make out the words, “Niagara” and”Hand Unit No. 1″ on the aging label. Armed with this information,we took our query to the Internet and were quickly rewarded onEbay.com with pictures and a description of the object. I had founda Niagara Personal Massager from the late 1940’s that retailed usedfor about $30 to $40.
Upon learning this, I was convinced that I had in my possessionan antique vibrator. However, many males I spoke to were skepticalof its actual function. They argued that people used it for achingmuscles and nothing more.
Growing up, I had heard stories of women using vacuum handlesand dryers as creative ways to “relieve tension.” I argue that,although it may have been marketed as a “massager,” that was merelythe politically-correct way to mask a more lascivious use in a timewhen female sexuality was to be neither seen nor heard.
I am convinced that someone inevitably used the Niagara PersonalMassager for spots on their bodies other than their back and neck.This thought prompted me to wash my hands with hot, soapywater.