This Pogo Stick's for Adults Only
16-01-06 Mr X
Editor's Note: The photo gallery that accompanies this piece and some website links in the story contain adult material and are not suitable for viewing at work. All links of this nature will be noted with "NSFW" after them.
I don't typically write about sex-tech that doesn't look like it's going anywhere. I rarely devote column space to contrivances that bore, disgust or repel me. And I leave snarky commentary and vocabulary-charged rants to the bloggers and instead focus on my enthusiasm.
by Regina Lynn
That's why I originally wasn't going to say much about the Jack Hammer Johnson (NSFW), which I played with at the adult trade show (NSFW) last week. (By "play," I mean touch it and bounce it around in the booth -- I didn't actually use it as intended, although if they send me a review copy I'd be happy to give it a whirl.)
The Jack certainly doesn't repel. It's just somewhat ridiculous. I can't see many folks shelling out $200 for the damn thing, even if one woman's farce is another's favorite fantasy.
It's essentially a dildo on a pogo stick. The spring mechanism isn't as strong and it doesn't have foot pedals, but it bears more resemblance to a pogo stick than the Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 does to a vibrator.
According to the user guide, you can use the Jack in all kinds of positions, although I suspect they used illustrations rather than photographs because some of the suggestions seem more theoretical than probable.
At first I dismissed the Jack out of hand. No woman is going to want that near her, I thought, watching the earnest marketing team bounce the things around in their first-ever adult trade show booth.
But in writing the first draft of this column, I came to understand that my initial dismissal has more to do with the name and the way it's being marketed than with the product itself.
It's entirely possible that the Jack will become a popular way to get through a serious injury that restricts your mobility without giving up masturbation. Or it could become the all-time favorite toy for people with mobility challenges.
You can stand up or sit at the edge of a chair, or brace it against the wall while you lie down or assume bala-asana. The long handle frees you from having to put your hands near an orifice, if reach is an issue for you. It doesn't need batteries and it comes with a one-year warranty.
At orgies, you can use it to penetrate one partner while having intercourse with another. A single man can use it for penetration while keeping one hand free to stroke himself. And webcam chat has opened up a whole new realm for novel sexual accessories. The Jack could always double as a pole for an exotic dancer who works from home.
As always, it comes down to individual preference and pleasure. What makes me snicker might make your pulse pound; what reduces me to trembling breathlessness might send you screaming for the nearest emergency exit. (Titan Men, (NSFW) anyone?)
For me, the Jack is a perfect example of how sexual technology evolves. We all know the cliché that high-tech starts with porn before moving into the mainstream.
But the most interesting sex-tech inventions don't come out of established novelty or entertainment companies. They come from creative folks with the drive to turn their ideas into prototypes and products -- and the willingness to share something about their sexual predilections with the rest of us.
For example, in the basic version of Bliss, Don and Suzanne chose to include very safe and comfortable action sets, with plenty of creative things to say and do, but no explicit instructions to have intercourse.
The expansion pack adds all kinds of penetration in various positions and orifices, drawing heavily from customer requests but also reflecting the developer's own sexuality.
Patric Lagny took a risk when he built his adult role-playing game Sociolotron as a platform where players can act out fantasies we don't consider acceptable in public. The game rapidly became known as a place where you could be a prostitute or a criminal and even rape someone (in-game, and likely with consequences).
Patric's gamble is that he's not alone in his interests, that others want to play in this gritty virtual world even more than he does and that being associated with such shocking sexual content, won't make it impossible for him to find a day job, should that become necessary.
With so many people now able to bring their ideas to fruition, you're not going to get a Happy Kitty or a qDot every time. But at least people are working toward products intended to bring pleasure -- no more of those torture devices patented in the 20th century and earlier.
The Jack Hammer Johnson might surprise me. Maybe it will re-brand itself under a name more likely to appeal to women and couples. (The only thing arousing about a porno jackhammer is the thought of Evan Stone wielding it.)
Yet, I think it's just as likely the Jack will fade into obscurity. It's expensive, it's gimmicky and it's too big to hide from the kids. Then again, inflatable sex dolls still exist, so who am I to predict what people will and will not buy when it comes to sex?
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