First-time buyer; Peaceful protesting

Photo credit: Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson

Dear Dan: Any advice for a first-time sex-toy buyer? I’m looking into vibrators, but I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something that doesn’t do it for me.

— Very Into Buying Electronics

Dear VIBE: “VIBE should go to a sex shop in person so she can physically pick up and turn on the models she’s considering buying,” Erika Moen says. “If possible, go to a shop that advertises itself with any of the following words: feminist, queer, LGBTQ+, sex-positive, woman-friendly, trans-friendly or inclusive, as these places tend to be staffed by people who are passionate and genuinely invested in helping folks of all walks of life.”

Moen and her partner, Matthew Nolan, have been making the Oh Joy Sex Toy comic for three years, which combines reviews of sex toys with really awesome/hilarious/radically-inclusive sex ed. And Moen, who has personally tested hundreds of sex toys, wants you to rub one or two out before you go shopping.

“VIBE should pay attention to the kind of action that feels good or gets her off,” Moen says. “Does your clit like super-direct focus? The smaller the head of the vibrator, the more laser-like the precision. Do you like lots of overall, engulfing stimulation that covers a lot of ground? The larger the head, the more surface area it’ll cover and the vibrations will be more generally distributed across the entire vulva, from outer labia to clit.”

For best results, Moen recommends buying two toys, VIBE, if you can swing the expense.

“Get a generic bullet vibe first,” Moen says. “They’re about $15 to $20 — it’s a model that has a control box you hold in one hand and a cord that connects to a simple vibrating egg shape that you hold in your masturbating hand. Try it out at home, and then based on how you did or did not enjoy it, purchase a more expensive, high-quality model ($60 to $120) based on the kind of vibrational stimulation you learned you want (or don’t want) from that first cheaply made model. Personally, I recommend the Minna Limon and Vibratex’s Mystic Wand for smaller-sized, decently powered vibrators. And then the big guns that’ll blast you to the moon and back are the Doxy and Vibratex’s Magic Wand (formerly known as the Hitachi Magic Wand). Best of luck to you!”

Oh Joy Sex Toy: Volume Three, a new collection of Moen and Nolan’s terrific column/comic, was recently released by Limerence Press. Follow Moen on Twitter @ErikaMoen.

Dear Dan: A friend and I want to go to the inauguration in January with the intention of standing with our backs to the ceremony as a peaceful protest statement. A handful of people doing this won’t say much, but if hundreds/thousands of people did this, it could send a message to the world that the majority of us did not vote for him and are not supporting his hate. Do you feel this would be a worthwhile action to try to organize (along with giving money and time to organizations that support social justice), and if so, would you give voice to this idea to your readers/listeners?

— Peaceful Protester

Dear PP: I’m torn. On the one hand, we need to stand against Trump and what he represents and his inauguration. Like his campaign and his nomination, his election is an outrage. On the other hand, flying is expensive and lodging in D.C. isn’t cheap. Perhaps our registering-our-opposition-to-Trump money could be better spent? There’s nothing about going to D.C. that precludes making a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union ( or the National Center for Lesbian Rights ( or the International Refugee Assistance Project (, of course, and symbolic acts of resistance (demonstrations, zaps, protests) often inspire people to engage in practical acts of resistance (donating money, monkey-wrenching discriminatory “registries,” urging local elected officials to not cooperate with anti-immigrant/anti-Muslim directives).

So if heading to D.C. to protest on Inauguration Day feels right and necessary, PP, you have my full support. But I’m going to spend the day making donations, baking cakes and sucking cocks.

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