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Alabama shop swaps sex toys for handguns
February 8, 2011 1:37 PM   Subscribe

This Valentine's Day make love, not war... An Alabama sex shop is offering a handgun- for-sex-toy promotion for Valentine's Day.

"Sherri Williams, the owner of Pleasures, says it's her 'contribution to making love, not war here in Alabama, where guns are legal and adult toys are not,' so you might need a doctor's note for that vibrator (seriously)."
posted by anya32 (38 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Trading in one type of shooting for another, I see.
posted by ralenys at 1:40 PM on February 8, 2011


How does a sex shop operate in a state where sex toys are illegal? Is it one of those odd grey areas like head shops, where the products are being sold for "tobacco use only"? What is the sex shop equivalent of tobacco?
posted by hippybear at 1:43 PM on February 8, 2011


You don't need a doctor's note, but you are asked to sign a release stating that the product you are purchasing is for a "medical condition".

No lie.

I signed the form "GOVERNOR BOB RILEY" and the girl working the counter giggled.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:43 PM on February 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh man did I misunderstand that at first.
posted by byanyothername at 1:44 PM on February 8, 2011


Trading one metaphorical penis for another slightly less metaphorical penis, I see.
posted by quin at 1:44 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Step right up and try the latest and greatest from Motorola. This model only operates in silent mode, and keeps ringing as long as this switch is flipped, and doesn't make phone calls.
posted by domnit at 1:46 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


From the AL.com link:
"Public morality can still serve as a legitimate rational basis for regulating commercial activity, which is not a private activity," Associate Justice Michael F. Bolin wrote in the majority opinion.

The judges cited an opinion from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that also upheld the law from a legal challenge filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"As the 11th Circuit pithily and somewhat coarsely stated: `There is nothing `private' or `consensual' about the advertising and sale of a dildo,'" the majority opinion said.
Advertising, I can understand. Walking by Ye Olde Dildoe Shoppe and little Bobby and Judy can't help but look at the naughty words in vivid neon: "DILDOS SOLD HERE"

But sale? That sounds pretty consensual. Someone wants a dildo, so they go into a store that sells such products (but the store has some tame name like "Al's Fine Adult Products" (For All Your Adult Desires)), they find a product they like, they purchase it from the salesclerk who chose to work there (knowing full and well what they would be selling), and life goes on for everyone outside Al's Fine Adult Products.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM on February 8, 2011


Wow, you need to claim to have a medical condition?

Here's mine: I'm not dead yet.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:48 PM on February 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


"...and if he doesn't like the gun then he can go fuck himself."
posted by bondcliff at 1:52 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was a kid, Emory Folmar had been mayor of Montgomery since 1977. He would participate weekly in a call-in show on the local ABC affiliate before Good Morning America aired.

One day, a lady called in to the show to ask why Mr. Folmar had run the only sex shop in Montgomery out of town. There were the days before the internet, and I suppose she didn't trust buying her wares through a catalog, but she was damned sure tired of driving to Atlanta every time she needed a dildo. Apparently this was a regular trip for this particular lady.

She and ol' Emory went back and forth for a while, until he finally grew exasperated with her and said,

"Lissen heyuh, Missy. I sugges' you leahn to control yo'self sexshilly. And iffen you cain't? Then I HIGHLY sugges' you do what all the good, decent, God-fearin' women of Mungumray have done for a generashun....when overcome by the UHGE? Lean yoself against the washin' machine until that uhge passes!"
posted by jefficator at 1:54 PM on February 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


So, "medical condition" is the sex shop equivalent of "tobacco"?

Funny they're using that same "medical condition" reason for marijuana sales in many states, too.

Yay for "medical conditions"!
posted by hippybear at 1:57 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


A picture of the form. Does anyone have a more legible image?
posted by The White Hat at 1:59 PM on February 8, 2011


no really, what medical condition could it be? I need the rabbit vibrator to achieve orgasm daily. If I don't achieve orgasm I -- I -- I WILL SHOOT THIS GUN
posted by angrycat at 2:05 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


You could always say they're video game accessories.
posted by kmz at 2:09 PM on February 8, 2011


What is the sex shop equivalent of tobacco?

"For inserting into Georgia O'Keefe paintings only"
posted by Greg Nog at 2:17 PM on February 8, 2011


no really, what medical condition could it be?

Well, back in the old days they'd market vibrators as cures for back- and head-aches. And of course there's the curious case of female hysteria, which has a great wikipedia page:
Rachel P. Maines has observed that such cases were quite profitable for physicians, since the patients were at no risk of death, but needed constant treatment. The only problem was that physicians did not enjoy the tedious task of vaginal massage (generally referred to as 'pelvic massage'): The technique was difficult for a physician to master and could take hours to achieve "hysterical paroxysm." Referral to midwives, which had been common practice, meant a loss of business for the physician.

A solution was the invention of massage devices, which shortened treatment from hours to minutes, removing the need for midwives and increasing a physician’s treatment capacity.
posted by muddgirl at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sorry, I can't keep from quoting this whole article:
By 1870, a clockwork-driven vibrator was available for physicians.
Steampunk!
posted by muddgirl at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Texas had a similar law until recently, and I guess the usual loophole was to claim that they were "educational models." The "medical device" angle is new to me, but hey, whatever works.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:40 PM on February 8, 2011


Fuck violence, fuck violently!
posted by The Whelk at 2:42 PM on February 8, 2011


Well, back in the old days they'd market vibrators as cures for back- and head-aches.

See last season's Broadway play In The Next Room (Or The Vibrator Play).
posted by hippybear at 2:42 PM on February 8, 2011


I'm sure they get a lot of takers who want to trade their $400 pistols for $29 vibrators. I know, I'm missing the point, but still.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:03 PM on February 8, 2011


If dildos are illegal except for "medical conditions", what do they do about restraints, floggers, gags, and the like? Serious question.
posted by desjardins at 3:08 PM on February 8, 2011


It amazes me that we have laws like this.

Watch TV and you will see ads for "personal massagers" that "blow your hair back," and of course we all know what is really being advertised, but we can't call it them vibrators, for goodness sake!

I vividly remember back when Clinton was President and Attorney General Janet Reno's son was imprisoned for ten years for selling drugs, and she made it through that just fine, but when she brought up masturbation? She was drummed out of office.

Recently, in Florida, a bill was introduced that would outlaw the "simulation" of a sexual act. Apparently, a man had images of adults in sexual positions and he pasted pics of actual kids' faces on to the bodies. Creepy, definitely, but since he couldn't legally be found guilty of child pornography for this, they want to change the laws on obscenity. Which, of course, will lead to all kinds of problems while people try to ascertain what "simluating a sexual act" actually entails.

America, the Puritanical. *sigh*
posted by misha at 3:09 PM on February 8, 2011


I vividly remember back when Clinton was President and Attorney General Janet Reno's son was imprisoned for ten years for selling drugs, and she made it through that just fine, but when she brought up masturbation? She was drummed out of office.

Your point still stands, but methinks you meant Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:13 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Recently, in Florida, a bill was introduced that would outlaw the "simulation" of a sexual act. .... Which, of course, will lead to all kinds of problems while people try to ascertain what "simluating a sexual act" actually entails.

If that will cut down on the number of gyrating and grinding women in hip hop videos, I'd be in favor of that.
posted by hippybear at 3:26 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lessee, suitcase full of used dildos and vibrators. Check. Car gassed up? Check. I'm hoping to get a decent MK-11 out of this.

Wait, what?

Damn.
posted by Splunge at 3:39 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure they get a lot of takers who want to trade their $400 pistols for $29 vibrators. I know, I'm missing the point, but still.

They're giving store credit for "fair market value" of the guns. And I don't know if this store carries them, but there are some very expensive vibrators.
posted by kmz at 3:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


How does a sex shop operate in a state where sex toys are illegal?

I'm in Texas. Besides the usual stuff like vibrators being listed as novelty items of personal massagers, I once saw a Fleshlight marked as "For use as Novelty Cake Topper Only."
posted by SNWidget at 3:49 PM on February 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


I think they'd do better if the partnered with a gun store and did a buy-one-get-one promotion.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:03 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If that will cut down on the number of gyrating and grinding women in hip hop videos, I'd be in favor of that.

what
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


hippybear: If that will cut down on the number of gyrating and grinding women in hip hop videos, I'd be in favor of that.

Then we'd be left with shots of: a neighborhood street sign, little kids' innocent faces, people chilling on park and/or project benches, and of the producer/impresario type (if we're talking about 1990s hip-hop videos).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:27 PM on February 8, 2011


But sale? That sounds pretty consensual.

Oh sure, everyone thinks that until they walk into one of those places and find you are descended on by some salesperson. You think you're only going in for a look, but next thing you know you're out on a test drive, so they can show you how nice the ride is. Then they take you to a little room and convince you to sign some contract, even adding options like undercoating and a turbo.

Wait, what were we talking about again?
posted by yohko at 4:37 PM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I once saw a Fleshlight marked as "For use as Novelty Cake Topper Only."

okay is this some weird tater-like use of the word cake?
posted by angrycat at 4:40 PM on February 8, 2011


Are strip clubs still legal in AL, though? the kind with lap dances?

If so, we know it's ok to get off if you're a dude getting ground by a sex worker, but not a lady who just wants a little battery-operated fun.
posted by emjaybee at 4:41 PM on February 8, 2011


According to the standards of Alabama and Texas, I have been going to the wrong doctors for medical conditions and eating the wrong cake.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:47 PM on February 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Are strip clubs still legal in AL, though? the kind with lap dances?

It varies by municipality. Topless clubs are legal in Birmingham and in Jefferson County, but not in adjacent Shelby County (I think). Though my favorite one, Charlie's, has closed down. It was delightfully sleazy, affordable, and didn't water down the drinks. Good bartenders and bouncers who looked out for the girls. I think the God Squad finally harassed them out of business. Pity. It was one of the more well-integrated establishments in the area, both in employees and clientele.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:59 PM on February 8, 2011


Fans of '90s hip-hop video cliches will also enjoy The Roots' video for 'What They Do' (much better with the OG captions).
posted by box at 7:45 PM on February 8, 2011


I can pick an American designed toy by the bigass FOR NOVELTY USE ONLY printed across the bottom of the box in big letters.

The fact that you can't sell sex toys legally has its own problems, not in the least that toys can be made of crappy jelly rubber that slowly leaches all kinds of horrendous compounds into the body. Toys at the cheaper end of the spectrum reek of turpentine and acetone and bring women out in rashes regularly, but because they're sold as a novelty they have no legal recourse. There's no regulation to the quality of the product. Fuck, I have seen condoms with "not for use as a contraceptive" printed somewhere on them, from toy kits. We freak out about the plastics that go into food containers and regulate the hell out of them, but lubes and sex toys are ignored because oh no, genitals! and you wind up with people cramming things into their junk that they wouldn't allow anywhere near their mouths.

I'm not even going to start on people jamming vegetables in there.

I am glad that this is changing, largely due to the internet, and that many of the larger manufacturers in the states are trying to move away from dangerous materials. But really, having a wank is hardly the worst thing you can do and it is kind of sad that the Alabama legislature considers shooting things is better than having an orgasm.
posted by Jilder at 8:15 PM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


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