What luck, what joy--as I was walking past the Pleasure Chest in Greenwich Village yesterday I ran smack into them: Sex and the City tourists clamoring off a giant bus and hustling into the sex shop! I've been hoping for such an opportunity. I joined their pack and was welcomed by the sex-shop hostess, "Come on in, Honey, where ya from?" Um, Ohio?
Celebrating the "Sex and the City legacy" and "honoring this groundbreaking movie," the Pleasure Chest was done up special in frothy pink. Pink edible panties, pink feather boas, pink penis pinatas (kind of disturbing to think about that one). And you get 25% off all of it with a ticket stub from the movie.
The girls and their moms giggled and jostled their way around the shop, snapping pictures and delicately handling the dicey merchandise. Vibrators clicked on, glowing and humming in the hands of the Midwesterners. I wondered, What was each gal's signature vibe? The Pleasure Chest had 4 "City Girl Favorites" to choose from:
The Charlotte: "every girl's best friend"
The Miranda: "suitable for any power-loving woman"
The Samantha: "ultra stylish stainless steel butt plug"
and The Carrie: "the Manolo Blahnik of sex toys" (!)
I wish you'd been there with me when the salesguy informed the crowd that the wooden paint-stirrers repurposed as spankers ("Spank Someone Happy") in the glass jar were free. "Free?!" the tourists screeched, and I was shoved out of the way by a mob of grabbing gals (and guys) all giddy with thoughts of spanking each other silly back in their rooms at the Amerisuites Hotel Secaucus later that night.
As I snapped pics of the SATC consumer orgy, sneering with glee at the cartoonish scene, I began to have strange feelings. Like the Grinch whose heart grew three sizes, I was seized by a moment of compassion when something sparkly caught my eye. It was a small gold crucifix hanging around the neck of a middle-aged, conservative mom. Her daughter, in adult-sized sailor dress, wore the same cross. I looked around. There were crosses everywhere. And then I realized: The Christians are shopping for butt plugs and vibrating eggs!
I love hating SATC too much to stop hating it, but there might be one good thing to come from it if, in the tightly wrapped heart of the American heartland, more Christian women are having orgasms and more Christian men are discovering their own assholes.
a midwestern mom peruses the naughty greeting cards
This epiphany came on the same day when a few too many Park Slope moms were "shocked" by the local opening of Babeland, a queer-feminist-run sex shop that promises those moms no sex toys in the windows, so as not to "make anyone uncomfortable."
While many Park Slope moms seem to feel okay about Babeland, to those who are freaking out I'd say, "Stop being so suburban." But after my experience in the Pleasure Chest, I might have to change my tune. As the city becomes a suburban land of Joneses, will the suburbs become the new cities?
Don't worry, I still hate it: