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May 20 2014

Ordinance Banning Sex Toys Challenged in Court

Two citizens of Sandy Springs, Georgia are challenging a local ordinance that forbids the sale of sex toys to anyone without a “medical, scientific, educational, legislative, or law enforcement” purpose. But the arguments they’re using don’t go nearly far enough, in my view.

First businesses, now customers are suing the city of Sandy Springs over an ordinance that requires people to have a prescription, or a medical or scientific reason, to buy a sexual device.

Melissa Davenport and her attorney, Gerry Weber, filed the suit because they want the government out of the business of regulating private lives.

“(Some people) have this dirty mind about how people are going to use it. People really do need devices because they need it for health reasons and to have a healthy intimate life with their spouse,” Davenport said.

But what difference should it possibly make what anyone thinks someone else is doing with sex toys? It’s none of their goddamn business. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld a state ban on sex toys a few years ago, but a federal court overturned a similar law in Texas. I certainly hope they succeed in overturning this one.

39 comments

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  1. 1
    D. C. Sessions

    By an overwhelming margin, the most common sex toy is the “hand.” Perhaps they should be outlawed.

  2. 2
    Gregory in Seattle

    As Tom Lehrer says on a closely related topic: “Dirty books are fun, that’s all there is to it. But you can’t get up in a court and say that, I suppose. It’s simply a matter of freedom of pleasure, a right which is not guaranteed by the constitution, unfortunately.”

  3. 3
    arakasi

    There is just something wrong about a community where it is easier to purchase a firearm than a dildo.

  4. 4
    tiredofusernamerules

    Law enforcement purposes?

  5. 5
    Michael Brew

    The sheer stupidity and unconstitutionality of regulating how people interact with their own or loved ones’ genitals, aside, how can you really even enforce it, anyway? I mean, all a person has to do is repackage a vibrator as a massage device and how’s anyone to know the difference? Make a decorative scuplture that happens to be somewhat phallic shaped, maybe. Make a cozy for shot glasses that you can conveniently stick a penis in.

  6. 6
    Alverant

    Whatever happened to small-government conservatives? Oh wait this deals with sex. Nevermind.

  7. 7
    Big Boppa

    Simple solution…market a 10 Commandments Personal Massager.

    Thou shalt have multiple orgasms.

  8. 8
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Whatever happened to small-government conservatives? Oh wait this deals with sex. Nevermind.

    They’re afraid the other guy’s government might be bigger.

  9. 9
    marcus

    The reason it is illegal is that these legislators are afraid to compete with something that is brainless and can actually get the job done. In this case the dildos are +1.

  10. 10
    kathleenmcnamara

    @tiredofusernamerules
    I’m guessing the “law enforcement” thing is for handcuffs.

  11. 11
    Nentuaby

    Michael Brew: That’s what’s actually done, of course. “Massagers” aside, the bulk of the sex toy industry sells “adult novelties” that are allegedly for humor value only. The problem with it is, it gets people hurt. When the whole industry is founded on the pretense nobody is going to actually use the product, then there is a ready-made excuse for any toxic ingredient, sharp ridge, or injurious malfunction. They just throw their hands up in horror that anybody would actually stick their “novelties” in a hole. Hell, proper lab testing for safety becomes an active liability because it’s an admission that your product is actually what it is.

  12. 12
    steve84

    The “land of the free” shows its endless hypocrisy again.

  13. 13
    raven

    I mean, all a person has to do is repackage a vibrator as a massage device and how’s anyone to know the difference?

    They might not know the difference.

    Recently, I saw a “massage device” for sale at a rummage sale being run by mostly old ladies for a charity.

  14. 14
    zippythepinhead

    @4: “Law enforcement purposes?”

    Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

    Other times, dildos.

  15. 15
    dragon

    @4: “Law enforcement purposes?”

    I would be more concerned with “Legislative purposes”.

    Are we talking buying them so the legislature can ogle them in mock horror on the debate floor?
    Or do they need to test them all with their favorite staffer before they can properly determine if the product will be included in the bill? Ah, the perks of political office.

  16. 16
    Moggie

    arakasi:

    There is just something wrong about a community where it is easier to purchase a firearm than a dildo.

    Charlton Heston never spoke about his cold, dead anus.

  17. 17
    dingojack

    tiredofusernamerules (#4) – “The Magnum 44, the blackest, realest-looking, 11″ dildo in the world. You have to ask yourself one thing: ‘Am I feeling horny?’ Well are ya feeling horny punk?!?”‘
    Dingo

  18. 18
    Modusoperandi

    Luckily, my sex aid is imagining all the petty moralists’ Puritanical frowns as they clutch their pearls at the thought of people enjoying themselves.

  19. 19
    busterggi

    I can’t see how fingers, tongues, toes, etc, can all be banned in that town.

  20. 20
    raven

    There is just something wrong about a community where it is easier to purchase a firearm than a dildo.

    For some of these people, guns seem to be intensely erotic and addicting. According to them, you would die before they give up their guns.

    Oklahoma woman hides loaded 5 shot revolver in her vagina
    www. democraticunderground. com › … › General Discussion (Forum)

    Mar 9, 2013 – 100+ posts – ‎67 authors
    said the woman with the gun in her vagina.

    This happens occasionally. Really think things through. If you are going to “play” with your guns, at least make sure they aren’t loaded!!!

  21. 21
    podkayne

    “Law enforcement purpose” ? The mind boggles.

  22. 22
    Gretchen

    By an overwhelming margin, the most common sex toy is the “hand.”

    Certainly for men it is, yes. That’s convenient, because it means that male solo sexual recreation is comparatively not threatened by banning sex toys, whereas it is significantly more for women.

  23. 23
    dingojack

    ‘The Girl Who Shoved a Loaded Five-shot Revolver up her Vagina’
    Wasn’t that the less successful follow-up to Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl Who Sustained a Slightly Bruised Shin When She Drunkenly Fell Over the Coffee Table in the Dark’?
    :o Dingo
    ———–
    Not to be confused with Mark Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Coffee Table in the Night-Time’

  24. 24
    D. C. Sessions

    Certainly for men it is, yes.

    And enough women to go a long way towards tipping the totals. Of course, the main reason for the comment was snark — “you can take away my hand when you pry it from my cold dead gun!”

    But certainly hands aren’t the only dual-use toys, many of which are popular with women.

  25. 25
    oranje

    Add me to the list of those baffled why a ThunderWand is more dangerous than an AR-15.

  26. 26
    parasiteboy

    Those bastards won’t even let you rent or lease them either

    under Sandy Springs Ordinance § 38-120(d):
    (d) It is an affirmative defense under this section that selling, renting,
    or leasing the material was done for a bona fide medical, scientific,
    educational, legislative, judicial, or law enforcement purpose.

    I remember one time my significant other pointed out someone on Craig’s list selling “gently used” dildos. I know that they can be cleaned and mostly disinfected. It just seems like something that you would want to buy new.

  27. 27
    felidae

    In Texas, possession of more than 5 dildoes is a felony, begging the question, why 5–who knows how the conservative mind operates

  28. 28
    Synfandel

    @26 parasiteboy wrote:

    someone on Craig’s list selling “gently used” dildos

    That definitely would not apply to certain other erotic apparatus.

  29. 29
    dingojack

    ‘Gently Used; – makes me wonder if there’s a pornographic version of theGeorge Gently TV series?
    Dingo

  30. 30
    democommie

    I can understand they’re being banned if they’re republican sex toys. There’s always a chance that a child might choke on their small parts.

  31. 31
    Ichthyic

    It’s simply a matter of freedom of pleasure, a right which is not guaranteed by the constitution, unfortunately.

    there doesn’t need to be. SCOTUS decided LONG ago (and reinforced in Roe v Wade) that there was an implicit right to privacy in the constitution.

    anyone challenging such a law could easily argue that what one does with ones own sex toys comes under that same implied right.

  32. 32
    Ichthyic

    I can understand they’re being banned if they’re republican sex toys.


    Gary Aldridge might agree with you if he were still alive.

  33. 33
    thebookofdave

    “Law enforcement purpose” ? The mind boggles.

    Best not to think about it, podkayne. Georgia has very stiff penal codes.

  34. 34
    eric

    why 5–who knows how the conservative mind operates

    Vagina + anus + mouth + hands: okay. Ears or nostrils – OMG BLASPHEMY BURN THE SLUTTY SLUT SLUT.

  35. 35
    eric

    Re: police and legislative purposes. Sadly, I’m guessing these exceptions have a very malicious (rather than humorous) purpose. The goal here is probably to allow police to entrap dildo-buyers, and to allow legislators to flash them in hearings as a means of speaking out against them.

  36. 36
    Modusoperandi

    eric “The goal here is probably to allow police to entrap dildo-buyers…”
    Most embarrassing undercover assignment ever. Not that I’d know anything about that. The assignment and how bad it was, I mean. Hypothetically, one would never never his fellow officers about it. One might even turn down a medal for it. Or so I’ve heard, if I were me. Which I’m not!

  37. 37
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    @ 35

    Ears? What’s wrong with a bit of aural sex?

  38. 38
    dingojack

    “… to allow legislators to flash them in hearings …”

    So the laws are designed to allow legislators to expose themselves to people who have bought dildos (or perhaps police [see MO #36]) whilst in court? Would the Judge allow that?

    ;) Dingo

  39. 39
    Die Anyway

    Well, I hope they win their case but if not, there’s a possible way around the law. Here in my county, fireworks are illegal except for agricultural purposes. When you go to the fireworks stand you sign a form attesting that you are going to scare crows out of your corn field and you walk out with as many fireworks as you can afford. As far as I can tell, no one ever checks to see if you actually grow corn. So, maybe the “marital aid” stores just need a similar form where you confirm “medical” or “scientific” use and off you go to fulfill your heart’s (or any other bodypart’s) desire.

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