I don’t want to brag, but my purse is a fricking wonderland. My fully loaded, survivalist handbag contains the tools to halt both heartburn and sunburn. The treasures rolling around in there can eradicate six straight days of headaches and stave off two, maybe three meals in a row. They can address a menstrual emergency, obliterate germs on shopping cart handles, and fashion a failed blowout into a casually fabulous chignon. But what my purse cannot do is produce a basic orgasm. And now I feel kind of lame about that.
I recently learned about a line of mini-vibrators that are disguised as basic, unsexy cosmetics — a faux lipstick, mascara tube, blush brush, and mirrored compact, each promising 80 full minutes of buzzing in two modes: “please” and “tease.” Why pose as makeup? It ain’t because they both bring color to your cheeks.
Billed as a “fashionably discreet sexcessory,” each little pleasure wand is meant to be tossed into your bag so that it’s handy … er, “when you need it the most.” I did some research (and I’m convinced the Internet was invented for precisely this purpose) and found others that double as a hairbrush, a pack of Life Savers, and even a lint roller, which is about as unhot as it gets.
A writer for MORE magazine swears that the devices made it through security checkpoints at a museum and an airport in her purse with no questions asked. But surely the airport screeners noticed the battery-powered lipstick and had a private chuckle before clearing her for takeoff.
I like the clandestine aspect of these buzzing gizmos — these dirty little, pretty little secrets. They’re like something Q would have presented to Bond before an important mission: “Now pay attention, 007; it’s activated by nerve impulses from the wrist muscles …”
But for all their furtive, flirty fun, I can’t imagine why I’d need one. (Does that make me a buzzkill?) Look, no one likes to use the words “logistics” and “orgasm” in the same sentence, but how exactly does one eke out a pelvic quake in a museum? Or an airport? There’s a time and a place for the battery-aided yee-haw, and it’s never within four hours of a TSA pat-down.
You wouldn’t use it in line at Panera. You shouldn’t use it in the carpool lane. What’s the use of having hidden toys if you’ve got to have a hidden hallelujah? I’ll take a theatrical O over a practical one even if it means waiting until I’m within screaming distance of my nightstand.
And then there’s this comment I spotted in the customer reviews of one site that sells the things: “Warning: Do not carry a lipstick vibrator if you have a five-year-old who will go through your purse and attempt to put lipstick on in front of grandma. Oops.”
Can I be honest? When I’m out and about, what I need more often than a howling hip shimmy is, like, a cup of coffee. Or an itty-bitty, inconspicuous cocktail. I’d rather have a “lipstick tube” in my purse that’s really a shot of Baileys, and a “mirrored compact” that conceals a really intense, makes-your-skull-hum peanut-butter cup. You know, for emergencies. For when I “need it the most.”
But I suppose that purse-sized sex toys are not unlike the other tools a self-sufficient, equipped-for-anything, compulsively prepared gal keeps in her handbag at all times. We’ll never use most of what we’re packin’. It’s just nice to know that whatever the day brings, salvation is never more than an arm’s length away. And maybe a couple of AA CopperTops.