I've done marketing surveys in the past and I encourage everyone to sign up. Occasionally, you have to feign enthusiasm for air conditioning units. But every once in a while you hit the sweet spot. My most interesting survey being the one on female sexual enhancements that I did a few years ago.
Apparently, all the women in the UK are having much more fun than the chicks in the US. The products that the group were asked to look at, use (when appropriate) and sound off on were sexual aids and enhancements found in UK stores. The goal of the study was to find out if US women would find the products acceptable for mass market.
The group that I was put with was a stay at home mom sampling. Most of us were a little giddy and feeling like we got a bonus ladies night out when the topic was announced at the start of the gathering. But when the products came out I was amazed at the viewpoints of my counterparts.
Product 1: An aromatherapy patch that you wear on your person and sniff throughout the day. The product was targeted towards women who were having a hard time getting roused up for sex. The patch was supposed to secrete (their word not mine) a pheromone that would get you hot and bothered. To be frank the patch smelled like vagina. And it further confirmed that I was not a lesbian because smelling crotch on the back of my hand was skeeving me out. (Though I will say that I could be booby gay. I think women's boobs are pretty. But I believe that's more of a desire to have them versus touch them. I know this because I fast forward through the sex scenes when I watch The L Word.)
Product 2: They were slowly warming us up for the hardcore stuff because this was simply a single condom packaged with 4 private part wet wipes. It came in a little black case that you could carry in your purse for a night on the town. I guess the UK manufacturers think we stateside women only like it once a night and we are very messy. That, or they heard American women are obsessed with making our twats smell like flowers since the wipes were overpoweringly perfumed. All you would have to do was walk past someone on your way home and they would know what you had been up to. "Lovely perfume. Get some tonight?"
Product 3: Oh goody, they were getting to the interesting stuff. This was a vibrating cock ring (at this point the Trojan and Durex versions were not on the market yet) packed with a condom. The women at the table giggled as they made it vibrate. One commented that that she wouldn't buy it for herself but thought it would be fine if her husband got it for her. Say what? Apparently, it was ok for us to smell like day old cooch from a pheromone patch so we would be ready to roll when husbands got home but not ok to be in charge of our own orgasms. Sex good. Orgasm bad.
Product 4: A discreet mini-vibrator. Nothing new, but the point was to find out if we would feel comfortable buying this at a supermarket or drugstore. "Sure!" I blurted out. Heck we all know "ribbed for her pleasure" is a crock of shit. About time we had something for us in the naughty aisle of CVS.
What blew me away was the shocked look of all the women at the table. "Oh my God no! This belongs in a dirty store. Like a sex store in the city or something.", said one panelist. I looked around waiting to make confirming eye contact that this lady was a pantywad and found no solidarity. "Goodness, this is something I would get for a bachelorette party or something." I tried not to wince but when I heard, "This should NEVER be in a grocery store. What if my daughter saw this? How would you feel if your daughter saw this? What if a Christian family saw this?” The panelist looked around and got nods of agreement. What. What. What?
(Raising my hand)
"Why is this any worse than your daughter seeing condoms?" I asked. No one could explain but they all agreed that it would sully their girls to see a vibrating anything at the Wal-Mart. The organizer tried to move on to the next product. It was a lubricant that served a dual purpose as a spot remover or something. I was a little distracted at this point. I'm not one to get excitable over women's issues. To each his own I say. But for some reason this was ticking me off. "Excuse me. Excuse me! I just need to say that I would be THRILLED for my daughter to see this at the Wal-Mart. I hope she realizes that it's ok to enjoy herself." I said. A shocked panelist retorted, "Well, I think that this would simply encourage promiscuity! I mean we are a religious household and those things only belong in a sex store not in a grocery store!"
Ok, at this point I was ready to put my head on the table and give myself a time out before I spoke. "But don't you think if you're daughter knows how to give herself an orgasm she will be less likely to be promiscuous. That she will feel empowered and less likely to look for the naughty elsewhere?" I asked. At this point the women in the room were looking at me like I was a crazy sex monster. They were scootching their chairs away as if to say, "Ooookay, we've got a liberal arts major on our hands."
I am not by nature a sexual maniac. Well, ok sometimes I am. It’s just that I was just so blown away by the crazy perspectives these normal, average women had that I got a little vocal. The viewpoints these women had actually scared me a bit since I know my kids will be going through puberty with their children.
Maybe they transposed the donut and the sex panelists lists. I bet if I put my ear up to the door at the Krispy Kreme survey I would have heard some moans of pleasure while the women ate their donuts. "Ooh original glazed you're the King! Cruller you rock my world! Spank me Apple Fritter!"