The Search for good vibrations.

Once upon a time there was a divorced woman who was bit lonely…this was her story


Mr Osaki had officially given up the ghost. His little dragon’s-head stimulator, which originally had all the vibratory powers of a jack-hammer, was a mere reminding purr.  His main component had assumed a limp appearance and just between us, his batteries would fly out at the most inopportune moment. I had to up-date.

Mr Osaki (and after four years you’d think I’d have dropped the title) was purchased after a night of rejection and way too many vodka slammers. I coerced an unsuspecting friend into accompanying me to a sex shop, assuring her that there were perfectly valid anthropological reasons for going. We expected a dimly lit den of iniquity, but discovered instead, a bright, if tasteless, magazine lined room. The walls were hung with sundry items of lingerie and associated paraphernalia while several of those surprised looking, blow-up dolls dangled in various stages of deflation above our heads.

I had come here for a reason. It was time to gird my loins. Taking a breath and assuming the practical consumer approach, I ordered the shop assistant to present his vibratory wares to me in order of quality and durability.  Due to a latex allergy, my choices were limited. Of the dozen or so whirring about the counter, three were composed entirely of silicon: a short, gnarly black one, a thin, slightly angular white one, and Mr Osaki- lolly pink and sure to intimidate any guy stupid enough to suggest a comparison.

So that was our history.

Around the time of Mr Osaki’s demise I was working for a small film production company that had the laudable job of editing some fairly tame pornography for Sexpo, Melbourne’s annual health and erotic lifestyle exhibition. I was warned not to enter the editing suite, which of course ensured that I offered cups of coffee as soon as humanly possible. Five men sat around TV screens examining each frame as dispassionately as if it had been a documentary on the life cycle of the newt.

My coffee must have been fabulous because I scored two free tickets to ‘Ladies Day’ and the chance to replace my erstwhile little friend.

I wasn’t sure if ‘Ladies Day’ would involve wearing a hat or not, but I figured there might be champagne. Accompanied by an enthusiastic girlfriend, we set off for the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. On entering we were presented not with champagne, but a small box which featured the picture of an ecstatic looking Nordic blonde holding a small cylinder of black plastic to what appeared to be her trapezius muscle – evidently a potent erogenous zone.

Wandering about from stall to stall we tried to appear nonchalant and were succeeding admirably until confronted by the waxing display. Ok, so I’ve done the legs and the bikini line and I’ve even gone the XXX; but there are just some places that surely were not intended to be smeared with hot wax and duly depilated. At least, so I thought until we hit the lingerie stalls, where it became screamingly obvious why this level of hair removal was required.

The exhibition had taken on a festival air, complete with a giant ‘member’ lurching through the crowd. I wondered what other functions could possibly be enhanced by an enormous penis costume  – a Brith maybe?

Reluctant to brush with Godzilla’s appendage, we hurried by to the stage area where a karaoke male strip show was beginning. Number one looked very comfortable. There had clearly been some “Risky Business” dancing-about-the-house-in-underwear going on here. Number two looked most uncomfortable. This was largely due to an unsurprising inability to divest his pants from over his shoes. We left him sitting on the floor with his trousers bunched around his knees, frantically tugging at his shoelaces. Here’s a word for you number two –Velcro.

Staff from a bondage-wear shop entertained next, with a spirited medley from “The Rocky Horror Show”. What a treat that was. A couple of leather clad dominatrix led rubber encased men, and studded women about on leashes, stopping for an occasional flogging. The audience, rowdy from the amateur strippers, grew progressively quieter. The men displayed interest and the women looked amused. That was until they noted the expressions on the faces of the men – then they looked dismayed. We listened to gritted teeth conversations between couples as they headed back to the lingerie stalls – “You have got to be joking! Do you really think I’m going to get into THAT?”

I was getting caught up in the spirit of things by now and felt ready to purchase something. But exactly what? The range of equipment was immense and unlike shopping for a dust-buster, involved potentially embarrassing questions. I gravitated towards a pleasant looking woman extolling the virtues of ‘The Butterfly’ to a couple of Japanese girls. Her dulcet tones convinced me that the jelly-bean coloured insects on her counter would obviate my need to find a bloke. SOLD!

Feigning exhaustion I bade my companion adieu and broke the land speed record to get home and trial my new toy. Ripping the box apart I looked at my purchase with much the same expression that I had once regarded the Rubik Cube. Checking the wrapping for instructions went no way to relieving my bewilderment, another sublimely happy looking Dane just smiled at me from the front of the box giving me no clue as to how she achieved this apparent bliss.

I gave up and switched on the black plastic muscle massager. It had barely enough power to stir a martini. I felt ripped off and peeved that my quest for self-sufficiency was not ending with my toys – just another episode of ‘Sex and the City’ and a cup of tea.

About Learning the hard way

Jane is of the belief that her life's purpose may well be to serve as a warning to others. She is unsure as to why she speaks in the third person...
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