We’ve all been on the receiving end of invites to attend multi-level marketing parties. Everyone you know is selling monogrammed necklaces or smelly waxes or more shit to shove in the back of your kitchen drawers. Most of us either ignore the Facebook invites to these parties or say we are busy. Unless I really like someone, I politely decline and pretend I’m one impulse-buy from debtor’s prison. However, if you are ever lucky enough to be invited to a sex toy party with a bunch of your favorite friends, I highly suggest you RSVP with an enthusiastic, “Of course I will peruse anal beads and flavored lubes in your living room!”
When I arrived at the sex toy party, my friend who was hosting had a whole table full of snacks and a section of her counter full of wine. Even if you’re hosting some boring-ass fancy tote bag party, let the booze flow freely. Drunk people buy more things. That’s just some unsolicited advice for you. Always a gracious guest, I came bearing a tray of penis-shaped cookies, because diversity. I baked both sugar cookies and chocolate chip. They were a hit! And everyone was thoroughly entertained by my yelling out “Eat a dick!” every few minutes. That didn’t get old at all!
The sales rep for Dildos ‘R Us (not the real name of the company, but it should be) arrived and set up her stock while we dined on crackers and chocolate chip peens. To my great disappointment, it was a bunch of lotions and creams. None of the good stuff was out. There was a whip on the table, so I figured at least that was something even if it wasn’t battery-operated. She wisely let us refill our glasses, and then we all sat down so she could talk about getting gross.
Our sex toy sherpa instructed us to open the catalogs that she passed out. I opened to the first page, lotions—same on the next page. I flipped through while she started to give her spiel and slowly lost my buzz as page after page was filled with body sprays and shaving creams and sparkly body powder so you can shine like a stripper for the next 12 weeks. These products took up over half the catalog. I get trying to push the add-on sell. Put them out on the table. Make me aware they exist. But don’t waste my perfectly good blood alcohol level by going through every freaking one of them when we all know I dragged my ass out on a Friday night to drunkenly stick the suction-cup end of a phallus to my forehead in front of the mothers of all my son’s friends.
This went on forever. The only payoff for this section of the presentation was that I was getting a little high off of smelling all this nonsense. Entering into the novelty section of the catalog was, while still not what any of us came for, a welcome change of pace. Our sales rep literally threw a book about 50 different ways to give a blow job at one of our more squeamish friends, and she punched that tome mid-air to keep it from getting too close to her. Just a small aside, but that book could be subtitled “49 Incorrect Ways to Give a Blow Job.” Quit making shit complicated, and keep your fancy fellating to yourself.
Now, I would say these parties are not for the shy or prude, but those are the most hilarious people to sit next to, so offer to pick them up on your way. They stay on high alert to squirm at any kind of smut and assume everything is innuendo even when it is very much not. There was one product that I actually bought years before at one of these parties, that had very practical uses. It was a soft, small gel pad that you could heat up and use for massages. I informed everyone at the party that I used it for period cramps. Whenever I have my period, but have to be out of the house, I heat that sucker up and stuff it in my pants as a portable heating pad.
One of my friends got wide-eyed when I mentioned the in-my-pants part, and gasped “In your…vagina-pants?” I don’t know if she was more shocked that I carried what she thought was a sex toy around in my pants or by the sudden realization that that’s also where I keep my vagina. Either way, I still fully endorse stuffing warm things in your pants when you have cramps. Shooting star, “The More You Know,” all that.
The time had now come for games. The dildo docent asked us to write down the name of a celebrity and a body part. The trailer for the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race was fresh in my mind, so of course. Then I picked frenulum, because a friend recently had theirs pierced and it was still making me want to throw up a little bit. I should have realized at the beginning that this was going to be some kind of Mad Libs about sex acts. So, in my story, RuPaul did some weird stuff to my frenulum that I don’t want to talk about right now. Ice broken.
Next, she divided us into teams and handed out some Fifty Shades-esque bondage-light nonsense. There was a paddle, a whip, some device to keep your legs spread apart, and something else I don’t remember because I’m traumatized. It was a race to see which team could get some of the gear on and spank each other the fastest. Some moms are already well-versed in spanking, and it hurt like a bitch and now I don’t hang out with them anymore.
I was stone sober by the time we got to the actual sex toys. As the vibrator virtuoso passed out her wares, we all inspected and occasionally flung things across the room at each other. Some of the toys were super high-tech. There was a vibrator with a strobe light that flashed in time with your chosen vibration pattern. I feel like the only reason there should be a light attached to a vibrator is if your partner needs some serious assistance in locating the clitoris. Otherwise, there is no need for a planetarium show down there.
A few of the products we were passing around were really cheaply made. Budgeting is important, and I fully support frugality, but this is not an area where you want to shop the bargain bin. One cock ring was particularly worrisome. If the dude who wears this thing has more girth than a jumbo Sharpie, he’s in for a very unpleasant snap. Or pleasant? People are into a lot of things. I’m not here to judge.
I cannot stress enough how sober I was by the end of this party and how detrimental that was to this lady’s sales. I arrived to the party that evening, credit card in hand, ready to drop some coin so my friend would get a better discount and I could scare my husband with something terrifying and expensive. Instead, I shoved another penis cookie in my mouth, sprayed someone I didn’t particularly like with one of the body scents “by accident,” and rolled on home to a very relieved spouse.
My expert advice to anyone trying to sell sex toys, or hell, even Tupperware or something, to a bunch of women at a party? Give everyone their own individual bottle of $7 champagne upon arrival—and a penis straw. Then skip the boring shit, and you’ll have everyone’s credit card numbers in 30 minutes and a very depleted stock. Drunk people buy more things, especially vibrators.
But again, I highly suggest, I even beg, that you accept the invite to your friend’s sex toy party. Hold a “from my cold, dead hands” grip on your liquor and be ready to either not be able to make eye contact, or laugh until you pee a little when you see the other moms on Monday. But, for the love of Ben Wa balls, let your sales rep know ahead of time that if you can buy it at Bath & Body Works, you aren’t interested.
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