“It seems today / that all you see / is violence in movies / and sex on TV” – Family Guy
We’ve come a long way since Leave it to Beaver. In the last two decades, edgy platforms like HBO, Comedy Central and Netflix have allowed writers to really push the envelope and explore all the messy, complicated, and wonderful dimensions of the modern human experience in ways that had never done before. In particular, topics like sex and sexuality have gradually become fairer game for prime time. Here are some of our favorite sex toy TV cameos:
5. Sex and the City
Though campy as hell at times, SATC’s incredibly positive legacy of fostering a more open dialogue about sex among women is undeniable. In particular, the show would thrust (no pun intended, we swear) two humble toys into the limelight and make them among the most popular vibrators of all time.
“Rabbit” style vibrators first appeared on the scene a little over two decades ago, and were among the first vibrators to offer simultaneous, rotating g-spot and powerful vibrating clitoral stimulation. Interestingly enough, the vibrator’s stylized, cunicular shape was initially a response to Japanese cultural taboos around the graphic depiction of genitalia and has since spawned a whole menagerie of different animal-themed vibes. However, it wasn’t until these “twice as nice” vibrators were depicted in Sex and the City as being effective enough to make even the buttoned-up character Charlotte temporarily eschew men that demand skyrocked stateside, with endorsements rolling in from Self, Glamour, and even Oprah herself.
Our favorite take on the rabbit dual motor vibe is Jimmyjane’s “Iconic Rabbit”, which offers a more streamlined shape, and high-quality latex-free elastomer for a luxurious feel.
4. Sex and the City
Not for the faint of heart, the industrial grade magic wand has been among the most effective and best-loved vibes on the market since 19-freekin-68. Despite technological advances and the advent of far more sophisticated toys, the Magic Wand (née the Hitachi Magic Wand, until the company tried to distance itself from the auxiliary applications of the “back massager”- which Sex and the City also poked good fun at) continues to see brisk sales. And there’s a good reason. The large, hefty wand’s two speeds of 5,000 and 6,000 vibrations per minute (yes, you read that right) are concentrated in a soft, tennis-ball sized head that makes for incredibly targeted, powerful clitoral stimulation. The magic wand also doesn’t require batteries (it plugs into a standard outlet) and can accommodate a number of fun and innovative attachments. The wand also does make for a decent back massager- if you’re into that sort of thing.
3. Inside Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer’s blend of unapologetic, sex-positive wit and humor have made her into one of the biggest stars of the day. One of the most celebrated scenes from her sketch show involves a star-studded parody of 12 Angry Men in which a jury debates the topic of whether or not Amy is attractive enough to be on television. At one point, Paul Giamatti’s character cites a Tantus Silk dildo allegedly found in Amy’s dressing room as evidence that no one will have sex with her, only to discover that many of the male jurors in the room not only own such toys but also thoroughly enjoy them.
The Tantus Silk is good for much more than just a punch line, however- the high-quality, smooth silicone design is great for anal or vaginal play and is harness-compatible. It's hypoallergenic, boilable, bleachable and dishwasher safe- just make sure to use a water-based lube with this silicone toy.
2. Master of None
Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix show is a sweet, honest look at the evolution of modern, long-term relationships – part of which invariably involves the challenge of keeping things from getting predictable in bed. In an attempt to spice things up with his girlfriend, Ansari’s character “Dev” brings home a Liberator Wedge- a high-density foam wedge that allows for deeper, more intense penetration and better support in a variety of positions during sex. At Unbound, we love Intimate Furniture’s take on the wedge concept, which has a combination riser ramp and removable wedge for even more interesting intimate possibilities.
1. Broad City
As with “santorum”, we have Seattleite sex blogger Dan Savage to thank for the alternate meaning of the term “peg”. In 2001 Savage challenged his loyal readers to come up with a term to describe the act of a woman using a strap-on to perform anal sex on a male partner. While mention of the practice has become increasingly common in pop culture (cropping up in recent movies like Deadpool and popular shows like Weeds), the concept isn’t quite so novel- the Marquis de Sade was writing about it in the 1700s, after all.
The brilliant, feminist modern masterpiece that is Broad City, however, recently had a depiction of the act which we absolutely loved for its nonchalance: the show portrayed pegging as a fun way for protagonist Abbi and her partner to experiment in bed, without suggesting that either’s sexuality was necessarily called into question by reversing the traditional power dynamics of heterosexual sex. The humor of the episode doesn’t derive from the fact that Abbi’s male partner enjoys anal intercourse or prostate stimulation, but rather from the fact that he is so particular as to have an expensive custom-made, bespoke-fitted dildo crafted for the purpose and refuses to accept any cheap imitations.
While the custom-fitted “Shinjo” dildo from the show is fictional, we found the next best thing: the German-engineered Fun Factory “Bouncer” dildo has much more than meets the eye for satisfying anal (or vaginal) play. The gently curved design is perfectly angled to stimulate either the G-spot or the prostate, but the real magic comes from three rotating balls inside the shaft of the toy which react to movement and add a whole new level of luxurious sensation. To channel your inner Abbi and “plow it like a queen”, we recommend paring this silicone toy with plenty of water-based lube and a high-quality harness like the Spareparts Joque harness (depending on if you’re feeling more Dom or Femme).