When did sex go mainstream?

I know it’s Monday because it says ‘M’ on my pill box. So here’s yesterday’s column. Hope you enjoy.

A little while ago I noticed that they now sell quite a large range of sexual paraphernalia at my local Clicks. It used to be that you just went in, picked up your lady-razors and your box of basic missionary condoms, had a little blush and went on your way. But they seem to have extended their range significantly over the last couple of years to include some other rather raunchy items, right there between the loo paper and the hair dye.
I’m not saying they’re selling nipple clamps or anything like that, but they do now offer a host of spermicides, oils and lubes, some vibrating thingy-majigs, a wide range of enhancing supplements and a bunch of assorted condoms to choose from.
It made me wonder when sex went so mainstream? And not just sex but more interesting sex.
There’s no way that ten or even five years ago you would have found stuff like this in a store like that. In fact, back then nobody even talked about sex. It just wasn’t done. The fact that people were even having sex back in the day was only proved by the number of births occurring every year.
But lately we seem to have become somewhat desensitised on the subject. It might be thanks to pioneering TV shows like Sex and the City and books like Fifty Shades of Grey that have brought us out of our shells a bit and paved the way to make space for more explicit sex in the media, or maybe we’ve just grown up a little.
Sex shops are no longer the sole territory of dirty old men in trench coats, located in dark alleyways, back streets or dodgy websites. While those still exist of course, a lot of them have changed their style, classing up a bit and going from dark and musty to light, plush, unthreatening and luxurious, appealing to normal people looking to spice up their sex lives, their marriages or even just buy a joke gift for a friend, or party favours like penis-shaped straws and plastic tie-on-boobs for hen or stag-dos.
We all know that you’ve never had to travel particularly far on the internet to find the wild or crazy sex stuff. From edible panties, to a website that sells kosher sex toys for Jews. (www.koshersextoys.net offers the finest, and they say least expensive, sex toys for the slightly more religious. But I suspect that’s a topic for another column on another day.) It’s more the fact that you can now find this stuff in the bricks and mortar stores in most of our major malls that really fascinates me.
We don’t even call them sex toys anymore. Can I interest you in a super-luxurious high tech pleasure object, a happiness aid, or how about a battery-operated vertical-gymnastics device?
Even pole dancing has gone mainstream. Historically it was simply a spectator sport for your average man on the street. But it’s no longer just the domain of strippers and call girls; it’s been turned into a great, fun full-body workout for your average woman on the street too. At least three girls at the office I work at take pole dancing classes, and I swear I don’t work at Mavericks. Not anymore.
And so it’s no surprise that the latest big thing to hit the suburbs is to have a pole erected in the lounge or bedroom in your home. And with over 12 110 results for ‘buying a stripper pole’ on ebay, it’s clearly big business. I wouldn’t be surprised if pole dancing turned up as an event at the 2016 Olympic Games, right alongside synchronised stripping.
Some will ts
k and suggest that this whole mainstreaming of sex points to a decline of family values in our society, others will shake their heads and wonder what the world is coming too. And the rest of us will just linger slightly longer in the sex aisle next time we’re out buying our Domestos.

2 responses to “When did sex go mainstream?”

  1. I think it’s definitely due to the internet. Before we had no way of knowing what other people really thought or fantasized about, we just relied on the media to tell us. But with the internet, we could suddenly tell each other and all of a sudden we all realised that each and every one of us is obsessed.

  2. Andrew says:

    The fun has all been spoilt by commercialisation, just like Christmas.

    The bikini is the ultimate titillation device invented, what it reveals is important, but more importantly, what it conceals is vital.

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