REVIEWS
Good Vibrations Guide to Sex
3rd Edition

Book Excerpt

The Good Vibrations Philosophy
We are two very lucky women. During our decade-long careers at Good Vibrations, San Francisco’s women-run sex business, we not only had the opportunity to discuss sex with thousands of customers, but we actually got paid to play with vibrators, read erotica and review adult videos. Since then, we’ve written several sex guides, edited an erotic anthology (about sex toys, of course!) and braved numerous media interviews in hopes of sharing the Good Vibrations’ philosophy with as many people as possible. We feel fortunate to have found a vocation that fills us with missionary zeal, is consistent with our feminist politics and is fun to boot.
Good Vibrations was founded on the premise that there’s more sexual pleasure available than most people experience, and that achieving this pleasure should not be difficult, dangerous or expensive. The company mission is to provide access to sexual materials and accurate sex information in order to combat the fear, ignorance, bias and insecurity that prevent too many of us from enjoying the sexual pleasure that is our birthright.
Our customers frequently tell us how refreshing it is to shop at a women-owned business, as they feel that our "clean, well-lighted" environment is equally appealing to men and women. Good Vibrations, founded in 1977, is part of the grassroots movement which has been picking up steam ever since: More and more women have stepped forward to name their own sexual desires and to produce their own sexual writings, images and products, and in the process they’ve changed the face of the adult industry for men and women alike.


Trends and Innovations
The more people discover what powerful tools of pleasure vibrators can be, the more people crave new and different types of vibrators. Thanks to technological advancements and more demanding consumers, vibrators have reached new heights of quality and variety.

Microchips
The microchip didn't just revolutionize computers, it literally transformed vibrators—they're smaller, faster, and offer more options when it comes to playing with speeds. Some vibrators come with push-button controls that let you program in the desired speed, pulse, rhythm or rotation of the toy.

Watch batteries
Vibrators have typically been on the bulky side because they needed to house a battery pack large enough for a AA or C battery. One ingenious inventor discovered that a watch battery could provide ample power and fit in a much smaller toy. The result—the first ever fingertip vibrator, called the Fukuoku 9000. A small pad fits over your fingertip, giving that ordinary hand job a buzzing boost (wear five and your hand becomes a vibrating machine).

Waterproof
It took awhile, but the adult industry finally figured out that if you insert an ordinary washer into the base of the vibrator, voila, it's waterproof. What no one anticipated was the popularity of this innovation, but when you think about the endless possibilities for sex in the tub, the shower, the pool, the hot tub, the lake, the ocean (um, you get the idea), it makes a lot of sense.

Oral Sex Tips and Techniques
Playing with temperature is a tried-and-true method of enhancing oral sex. You might want to try holding a small ice cube in your mouth while you run your tongue up and down your partner’s penis. Or you could apply ice to your partner’s clitoris and then warm her back up with your mouth. Similarly some folks drink hot fluids before wrapping their mouths around their partner’s penis or clitoris. Blowing on your partner’s genitals up close creates a warm rush of sensation, while blowing or fanning the genitals from six inches away creates a cool, tingling sensation. Another popular way to play with temperature—which got an unprecedented publicity boost from coverage of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky’s affair—is to suck on breath mints or mentholated cough drops while going down on your partner.

When giving head, an Altoid works wonders. It gives him a totally new sensation and it helps keeps my mouth "juicy."

GV Tale: Joni’s Butterfly
As proof of the "make-a-quick-buck" manufacturing philosophy of the adult industry, consider the tale of "Joni’s Butterfly." Joani Blank, the founder of Good Vibrations, knew that a no-hands, wearable clitoral vibrator would be a very popular and sensible design, and she mentioned this to one of our novelty distributors. He took her rough sketch of the idea off to Hong Kong, and came back with a finished toy. Joani had several improvements to suggest: The vibrator was too bulky to wear during intercourse and the elastic leg straps were too flimsy to hold it firmly in place, but the molds had already been made and production was underway. To Joani’s dismay, her name (albeit misspelled) was permanently attached to just the type of shoddy battery toy she’s spent her professional life decrying. Since very few novelty manufacturers get patenting or trade protection on their products, countless Butterflies flooded the market, and Joani received no royalties for any of these.
The moral of the story is, if you have an idea for a sex toy that you’d like to see realized exactly as you envision it or if you’d like financial compensation for the idea, your best bet would be to produce and patent the toy yourself. If, however, you’d just like to get your idea on the marketplace in some form, and you aren’t attached to being paid for it, you should definitely consider forwarding a description of your better mousetrap (in writing) to one of the adult manufacturers in Southern California.

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The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, by Anne Semans and Cathy Winks (Cleis Press, 2002. ISBN: 1573441589) 325 pages softcover. $24.95

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