Flavor of the Week: Take My Vibrator, Please!


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SOMEWHERE ON New York City’s streets, there is a homeless woman who has my vibrator. The first sex toy I ever bought, I accidentally parted ways with it while moving out of my Hell’s Kitchen apartment. Fortunately, “losing it” can be very liberating.


I was raised Southern Baptist, and no one ever talked to me about genital selfplay. So I didn’t ask about it and didn’t cum until I was a 22-year-old graduate student living in Florida. “What do you mean you don’t own a vibrator,” my friend Sydana asked in a tone that suggested, to me, utter disbelief. “Girl, you need to go out and buy one today!” So I walked into Rick’s Toy Store—a typical one-stop porno shop with DVDs, blow up dolls, condoms and furry handcuffs in college town Tallahassee, Fla. As I stood in the aisle fingering and poking the collection of packaged delights, a male associate noticed I was visibly uncomfortable. He was about 5-foot-8, 145 pounds, built and had dark brown skin clothed in baggy jeans and a white Dolce & Gabbana shirt. He was handsome with black, overstyled, gelled hair that refused to move. I like pretty boys, but he was slightly too smooth for even my liking.



I had a Rabbit vibrator in my left hand when the Nuevo Rico Suave slinked over to me and asked, “Do you want me to show you how to use it?” I thought he was propositioning me. Horror must have flashed across my face because he quickly unwrapped the toy, inserted a handful of C batteries, turned the device on and demoed the product by fucking the air, not me. That night, as I felt my lower pelvic muscles contract and shiver for the first time, I knew I’d found something special in my new battery-operated boyfriend. He had a white sticker on the bottom that read “Imported from Sweden.” I named him Denzel, and I supplied him with ample bateries and meticulous cleanings with fluffy white cotton balls and safe solvents that reeked of rubbing alcohol.


In the beginning, Denzel and I used each other for sex: When I was horny, he got me off. Like many new couples, however, we grew to love each other, settling in over time. Eventually, when I traveled for work or ventured back to Chicago to visit my friends and family, I brought Denzel with me. Although I never properly introduced him to anyone, it was comforting to know he was there if I needed him. Alone together in my apartment after return flights home, he always caressed my most sensitive areas and hummed me to sleep in my bed. I took other lovers while we were together, but none of them seemed as focused on bringing me pleasure as he was. Denzel taught me how to satisfy myself and, subsequently, I learned how to teach men about gratifying me using their natural gear. With him, somehow it was always about me. My needs. My pleasure. My orgasm.


Five years later, Denzel and I were living together in a cozy, rent-stabilized studio apartment near the corner of West 56th Street and 9th Avenue. Pissed that the mice were living in my apartment for free while I (a starving freelance writer) had to foot the $1,350 bill, I left the neighborhood when the landlord elevated the rent by 30 percent.


I used cardboard boxes and clear rolls of heavy-duty tape to divide my belongings into “Things I Want to Keep” and “Things I Want to Give Away.” I took the box of giveaways downstairs to the curb. As with anything left unattended in this city, it disappeared within minutes.


In a fit of utter madness and confusion that only comes with moving, I accidentally put the goody box Denzel was packed in on the curb instead of the box of giveaways. How did that happen? My lack of attention to details in my personal life, the lookalike cardboard boxes and the hurried last-minute packing meant I accidentally and literally kicked Denzel to the curb. I didn’t realize it until later that night. But it was too late. Gone. The most important item in the sea of brown boxes had vanished.


I could live with the fact that I have to replace my oscillating toothbrush, organic Italian shampoo and other personal items.


It just felt strange to know there was possibly a homeless woman healing the cracks in her lips with my cherry-flavored Chapstick while getting off with my electrified wand of joy. Although I lost my lover to another, the lessons he taught me remain.Why the hell do I always discover so much about myself after a relationship ends? When I eventually purchased Denzel’s replacement, I inquired about the presence of toxic chemicals in imported plastic as well as the difference between G-Spot and clitoral vibrators. (In case anyone wondered, one makes me purr and the other makes me seriously consider meowing.) Had I known how much I would learn about my sexual health by buying and subsequently losing my first sex toy, I would have pinned a note that read, “Take My Vibrator, Please!” on the ill-fated box. But, that’s OK. I move fast. My new lover is Chinese.We met at the Babeland on Mercer. I call him Mr. Teo Wai (pronounced:T-O-Y), and we’ve been living together for almost year. He’s a keeper.


Twanna A. Hines is a writer, blogger and sexpot.


She blogs semi-daily juicy bits at www.funkybrownchick.com.


EMAIL SUBMISSIONS TO EDITORIAL@NYPRESS.COM


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