People, specifically male people, tend to think that it must be awesome being married to a sex writer. All the free Tengas and lube and porn, oh my! Indeed, sometimes I tease my husband, Christopher, that he has it so rough when, for example, I tell him that I need to give him an "orgasmic meditation blow job" -- for work. But then there are the less glamorous moments, like when an Autoblow2 arrives in the mail and I ask him to insert his most precious member into a piece of machinery that, in his words, "looks like a coffee grinder."
The Autoblow2, which was released today, is, according to its website, "THE CROWDFUNDED BLOWJOB ROBOT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT!" Picture a Fleshlight, that infamous pleasure tube with the fake labia on one end. Now imagine that inside the Fleshlight is deafeningly loud machinery that causes a pair of rings to grip the artificial-skin sleeve and move up and down at varying speeds. In other words, imagine a Fleshlight that does the work for you. Sounds brilliant, sounds awesome, sounds like THE FUTURE -- until the future is on your genitals, sounding like it might spontaneously combust.
Christopher got situated in bed and I unfolded the instructions, which began, "WARNING! READ SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS FIRST! TO REDUCE THE RISK OF BODILY INJURY, CAREFULLY FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS." I omitted that part and told him to grab some water-based lube. "It looks like something you would use to clean your pool," he said. Meanwhile, I kept reading, silently: "THE AUTOBLOW2 IS AN ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE. DO NOT USE IT IN OR NEAR WATER OR BODILY INJURY OR...
He applied the contraption to his junk, went to turn it on and I shouted, "Wait! Is this safe? The likelihood of bodily injury seems very high." Unconcerned, he turned it on, pausing on its slowest setting before increasing the speed. I tilted my head, watching the pale lips and surrounding fake-face. "It looks like you cut off part of a dead chick's face and are boning it," I said. He promptly lost his erection, which makes me feel good about his basic humanity -- so thanks, Autoblow2, for that.
After a brief intermission of trying to remove the thought of dead women from his mind, we gave it another try. The medium speed wasn't doing much of anything for him, so he cranked it up as high as it would go. He gave me a look that said, "What about the neighbors?" I lied, "They'll think we're vacuuming." The already noisy motor was now emitting, in his words, "a panicked, frenzied sort of noise." I half expected steam and a spring to pop loose at any moment. To me, it sounded like an imbalanced washing machine, which is to say, it sounded like the end of the world.
He began to manually move it up and down, because it just wasn't doing the trick, and that's when it let out a high-pitched sound like a hearing aide. It paused and restarted, paused and restarted, all the while sounding like the mechanical equivalent of a robot gagging. "This is absurd," he said, and threw it aside.
After the fact, Christopher had one main critique of the product: "Sound is an important part of sex."
As women have long been aware, sound is indeed where sex toys are most in need of technological innovation. Case in point: the Hitachi. A teeth-chatteringly powerful device that alerts everyone within a five-block radius that you are getting it on with a back-massager. Not everyone likes announcing such things to the world. Even the quietest of vibrators are too loud, as any woman with a roommate well knows. We ladies appreciate the innovation of vibrator-heads shaped like various members of the animal kingdom and all, but what we really want is a toy that is silent. So now that mechanical sex toys are increasingly being marketed toward men, maybe innovation is on the way at last.