If you didn’t know that I was referring to sex toys, perhaps if you thought I was posing a zoological question, it may sound quite idiotic. But for anyone who has even the briefest knowledge of the vibrator market, here is a query that inspires thoughts about the inspiration behind this huge and ever-expanding corner of the entertainment world.
When the Rabbit made its mainstream debut on Sex and the City in 1998, as Charlotte’s tool of obsession, a movement was sparked. Various versions of the Rabbit, some called the Jack Rabbit others pinned the Rabbit Pearl Vibrator, had been in circulation for a few years already. The design was and remains quite sensational because it provides simultaneous vaginal and clitoral stimulation. In the 90′s, before people were discussing vibrators with the openness that we do today, many were intimidated by the little animal that could do what no human partner could do, or at least so it appeared.
Perhaps it is the overwhelming fear that electronic sex was taking sex to a whole new level that caused the developers of the first rabbit to choose this particular animal to inspire the toy. Think about it, sexual propriety dictates that we be turned off and disgusted by the concept of having sex with an animal, so why would we want to design a toy to look like an animal and have its features – in this case long bunny ears, a snout and sometimes even the face? If the design consideration was an object which was soft and eager to snuggle into one’s crotch, then why not a flower, a fruit, a soft seaplant or a doll?
So the choice was made to ignore the natural aversion and the rabbit was chosen. A brave and strange choice; let’s not forget the celebrity scandal involving the not so different cousin, the gerbil, just a few years earlier. And yet, against all odds the rabbit became a household name and for many women, a fantasy. Timidity, buck-teeth, pest-like reproduction and all.
A generation later, the rabbit has not fallen out of favour, but it seems to have metamorphosised into a far more endearing animal. This despite the recognistion that many women are chiefly in search of clitoral aid when they seek out a toy. They are not looking to replace a penis, but to go beyond where penis tend to go, and for that they need a far simpler and less expensive vibrator, like a bullet or lipstick.
The new rabbit on the block is a dolphin. And it makes a lot of sense. As a sensual, intelligent animal, the image of getting naked with a dolphin is somehow easier on the psyche than it is with a horny hare. That doesn’t mean inter-species fraternising, but it is easy to think erotic thoughts about the sea, the motion of a dolphin and their capacity to sense a human’s needs.
The industry is all over this idea. Of course, the sex toy industry is all over any new twists and tickles that provide a remake of last year’s IT toy. Just flicking through some of the many options, from the Long Distance Dolphin to the Silicone Splash Dolphin and the Dreamy Dolphin can put anyone in the mood for a splash. But it leaves you wondering, have we gone as far as we can go with the animal kingdom, or are we in for a few more unnatural surprises?