Sex & Money

Ladies: Start Your Engines!

June 04, 2013

Multiple Pages
Ladies: Start Your Engines!

Japan: Nuked too much, or not enough?

It’s a question I grapple with at least once a week.

One minute I’m watching a BBC documentary about Hirohito and some harmless-looking old Japanese guy in a suit and tie is calmly explaining that he’d smashed in his mother’s skull with a rock because he’d heard those devilish Americans had landed.

The next minute? This.

The folks who brought us the rape of Nanking and Hello Kitty are clearly cuckoo, but we can all agree they’re damn clever, too. Right?

I’ll leave all the complicated IQ stuff to Steve Sailer, but I think I have indisputable proof that the Japanese aren’t as smart as we’ve been led to believe.

Why else would they decide to mess with one of their biggest exports?

I’m talking about the Hitachi Magic Wand.

No, this isn’t a Japanese Harry Potter knockoff kid’s toy. “The Hitachi,” as it is commonly referred to for short, is a toy all right, but for grown-ups. One of the “sex” variety.

“The Hitachi Magic Wand is, ironically, one of the least erotic ‘marital aids’ imaginable.”

The Hitachi Magic Wand is, ironically, one of the least erotic “marital aids” imaginable. It’s unwieldy. It’s comically loud. It’s hideous and vaguely antique, something you’d picture finding in your grandma’s bottom dresser drawer between the heating pad and the enema bag.

Whereas most vibrators are battery powered, the Hitachi plugs into the wall, which somehow just compounds its off-putting resemblance to an artifact in the Mütter Museum.

And for many women, it’s the only thing that can bring them to orgasm.

Whether they want one—or two, or twenty—“forced orgasm” plays a part in many BDSM porn flicks, and almost always, the Hitachi is the tool of “choice.”

For a less explicit, almost prim, depiction of a well-placed Hitachi’s affect on the female anatomy, watch these “performance art” videos of fully clothed women trying to read aloud from their favorite novels while being pleasured under the table with a Magic Wand.

Sex therapists have been practically prescribing Hitachis to frustrated patients since the 1970s. For almost as long, fans have been souping up the “Cadillac of vibrators” with unofficial (and almost as funny-looking) after-market attachments, like Mods tricking out their multi-mirrored Vespas.

But I don’t ever recall Vespa expressing any embarrassment or regret after the Brighton Beach riots. Not so Hitachi.

At April’s International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas, the “bombshell news amongst the sex toy crowd” was the announced “re-branding” of that Japanese company’s most famous contraption.

The Magic Wand has always been marketed as a mere “muscle massager.” Its packaging features now-borderline-vintage photos of the device being directed at various non-erogenous zones by male and female models who could very well be dead by now.

Decades on, having accidentally acquired the kind of one-word name recognition that brand managers spend millions trying and usually failing to achieve, the firm’s simmering embarrassment about the Hitachi name being synonymous with orgasms boiled over.

It would be like famously uptight Kleenex®—they’ve been insisting upon that “R” in finger-wagging Writer’s Market ads forever—suddenly getting snotty about the fact that their product is primarily employed for nose-blowing.

Yet that’s pretty much what happened. Hitachi, like the neighborhood “moped” longs to be known for something other than sex. Hitachi does, after all, manufacture other electronics. Roseanne Barr once quipped, “Hitachi makes such a good vibrator, I think I’ll buy one of their TVs!”—but I can only assume most consumers didn’t make that leap.

So according to one report, the Japanese were all set to take their toy and go home, vowing to stop making it once and for all. Their US distributor talked them down off the ledge, convincing them to simply wipe the Hitachi name off the Magic Wand (and get some new packaging, finally).

Fans have been repeatedly assured that the Hitachi will be almost identical in everything but (slightly abbreviated) name and a few minor technical tweaks.

Fans do not believe this.

Like Jack Nicholson’s pathetic old roué in Carnal Knowledge who can only perform if a prostitute performs a precisely scripted routine word for word, these folks are now so Hitachi-dependent that they fear even a tiny adjustment of its circuitry may shipwreck their sex lives.

Reports of hoarding are coming in.

The Hitachi crisis couldn’t have come (as it were) at a worse possible moment. Actor Michael Douglas recently declared that the throat cancer that nearly cost him is life had been caused, not by a lifetime of drinking and smoking, but by performing cunnilingus.

Some doctors have questioned Douglas’s claim, and not just because it first appeared in the Guardian.

However, expect that highly original alibi to become the male equivalent of “I’ve got a headache” in bedrooms around the globe.

Ladies, start your engines—while you can.


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