October 25, 2007, - 12:33 pm

Explain This to Your Kids . . .

By Debbie Schlussel
. . . Sex Toys in the Grocery Aisle. Kroger, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Wal-Mart all sell them:

Moving sex toys from brown bag to grocery bag has proven successful for condom manufacturers like Lifestyles. . . . The new devices constitute the fastest-growing segment of the 35-year-old company’s business.
Lifestyles isn’t alone in diversifying its products and sales outlets. Also popping up on grocer’s shelves are vibrating rings and other sexual mechanisms such as “personal massagers” bearing familiar brands like Trojan and Durex, the No. 1 and No. 3 condom brands in the United States.


You need not be a prude to ask: Why should the dirty old man go to the seedy store in the Red Light District when he can just go next to the produce aisle for his “purchases”? There are reasons they have zoning laws, and this is one of them.
I like capitalism and the free market. But this is an example of capitalism without limits’ dark side and its contribution to America’s decline.
Would you like plastic or paper, er . . . brown bag?
What’s next–exotic dancing on Aisle Four?

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12 Responses

You don’t have to be prude to believe sex products should kept off the shelves at your family grocer. We seem to think sex has no consequences. Its life changing in a lot of ways and the reason we seek to shield our children from it is not that responsible adults think sex is shameful or something that shouldn’t happen one day. We want to preserve our children’s innocence and secondly as parents we would want to teach them what sex involves. That’s information no one else has the experience or the wisdom to successfully impart to the next generation. I don’t think every thing that’s available should be for sale and even a free market needs wise people so they can make the right choices. For themselves and for their children as well.

NormanF on October 25, 2007 at 2:02 pm

This is entirely consistent with school boards that decide that junior high and even elementary school age children need sex education and even birth control. The problem is that both are inconsistent with raising children properly. The corporate wisdom of society based on individual and family responsibility has been abdicated. Instead the Left has stepped in to substitute “sexual freedom” as a distraction as real freedom (with personal responsibility) is taken away. The commercial trends that your are observing, Debbie, are symptoms of this on-going distraction. They are not the problem, but simply a symptom of the problem.

Dr. D on October 25, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Debbie – you’ve got it all wrong!
This is exactly how free markets are supposed to work, and if the grocer’s community decides that they’ve gone to far they can vote with their pocketbook and go elsewhere – or let the grocer know they’re offended and he needs to move those products out of sight (at the least).
That’s free markets at work – and its a beautiful thing!!

knobdy on October 25, 2007 at 3:03 pm

I don’t see the big deal.
When I was a kid, and started menstruating; my mom told me “to go to the grocery store, and buy a box of Kotex.” Oy. I had no choice. So, I put this box into my cart. And, then? I couldn’t even see a woman cashier! So, I went thru the line. And, made my purchase; learning to overcome my shy-ness.
Much later on. When my son was walking with his brother; who is seven years younger. We were shopping at Ralphs. When I saw the boys “talking to each other?” And, I realized they were talking about condoms. So I went over; and tossed a few boxes into my cart. The kids made like they didn’t know me! And, I checked out, alone. Amused. At home? These kids really wanted to see these condoms! And, you bet. I’m glad they didn’t have to go to a “red light district.” Their curiosity was no different than when I was out there, having to buy Kotex; because I didn’t want to substitute “rags.”
And, it’s better to supply information than not!
To think that back in 1955, pharmacists weren’t even able to display condoms. But had to carry them, hidden, behind counters. And, they couldn’t sell them, “alone” … but the man had to buy something else. (Or perhaps bought something else, so he could appear nonchalant.)
As to the “sex toys” … most don’t work as advertised. And, more people than not know how to get pleasure without resorting to “vibrations.”
Didn’t Rudy just have a funny interview? Where his wife was sitting at his side. And, he said the public didn’t have to worry about him answering the ringing phone in his pocket … because his wife showed him how he can make it vibrate, instead. And, these two looked like kids figuring out foreplay. Well? He’s Catholic.
Most people? You think you can sell them this crap? Just because it’s now available at supermarkets? What for?
I am so reminded of the Henny Youngman joke. (At least I think it was him.) If you want a woman to stop liking sex: Marry her.
Isn’t that a much larger commentary about an intimacy problem?

Carol_Herman on October 25, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Among my friends, I was the last to menstruate.
One girlfriend, though, began menstruating at nine. She had gone to the beauty parlor, to get her hair done. Back in the days when this involved you sitting under heated garbage cans. While your set hair, dried.
Just before being put under this contraption, she asks if she can use the bathroom. She goes in. And, SCREAMS!
She thought she was bleeding to death.
Her story? Her mom didn’t think of telling her anything. So, that’s how she discovered menstruation. Thinking she was bleeding to death.
Me? I was about 12. When my parents thought I should know. So they bought a book. Called BEING BORN. It starts out with a “cartoon couple” … tickling each other. Explaining that married people, are married, because “this is nice.”
It then follows the arc. Explaining ovulation. Conception. And, the whole nine months. Pretty terrific pictures. (I’m sure you’ve even seen them. They’re still famous.)
So many kids only know about sex because they have single moms “who date” uncles. And, there was once an Art Linkletter Show; where he was interviewing this little boy. Who told that when his uncle visits, he sleeps under the kitchen sink.
My mom, who was born in 1905, told me that lots of people knew about birth; because it was before you had vets who fixed animals. She loved cats. She said you couldn’t keep a male cat. They reached maturity and left home. While the females produced kittens.
There wasn’t a time that people didn’t “know.” Though religions have gone to great lengths to make sex feel forbidden.
Ah. And, once, women were terrified that if they lost their hymens, men wouldn’t marry them!
You have no idea how the world’s changed since the 1960’s. And, then, the introduction of The Pill. ANd, ROE. Which is now the law.
Ya know. I believe in telling kids the truth. Early. And, often.
Though my mom relates, that when I was about six, or seven, I came in (after being outside playing with friends). All upset. And, I told her “she lied to me!” When she asked for more information, I told her my friends told me “the stork brings babies.”
Life’s funny. You’re always ahead when you’re honest with kids.
My mom’s follow up was that if I depended on learning things from my peers, I’d be poorly informed.

Carol_Herman on October 25, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Ah, yes! How sophisticated we are. Free love for everyone!
This story may seem innocuous to some. But, consider that this is just a small part of an attack on Judeo-Christian values designed to leave us vulnerable to Marxist or Islamic ideology.
“Marxists theoretician Gramsci concluded after WW1, when the Revolution in Russia failed to spread, that the Marxist was blocked by the “Christian soul” of the West. Hence, breaking down this identity became a matter of great importance. In 1919, cultural Marxist Georg Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Communist regime in Hungary. He set plans to de-Christianize the country by undermining Christian sexual ethics among children.
It is not difficult to hear an echo of this strategy now. The sexualization of children is promoted in order to break down their sense of modesty. However, some of the people advocating this show much more respect for Islam than for Christianity. Muhammad married a six year old child, so maybe sexualizing children is a form of soft-Islamization?
In general, Leftists hate Judeo-Christian values far more than they like Islam. Perhaps they think they can control Islam, or perhaps they are attracted to its totalitarian mindset. Either way, it is a fact that many of them are more aggressive against Christianity than against Islam.
Maybe I have a conspiratorial mindset, but the way left-wingers condemn Christianity and praise Islam is so consistent and aggressive that I cannot help but ask whether some of them have deliberately set out to uproot the plague of Christianity from our culture once and for all. They ridicule it at any given opportunity and destroy the values of the native culture, and at the same time they import a rival religion and groom it to replace the traditional one. When the day comes that people get sufficiently tired of nihilism, Christianity will have become so discredited as to have been eliminated as a viable alternative, and people are left with Islam.”
from Gates of Vienna

WillPower on October 25, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Dear “Islam is evil”

    I get the feeling you have no idea what you’re talking about, and instead of screaming about religious conspiracies, I think I’ll just talk about the topic at hand… But I DO recommend that you google “islam” so maybe you won’t have to face further embarassment due to your obvious ignorance.

    Dear topic at hand,

    Now maybe I’m dumb or naive, but I don’t see too much of a problem here. Unless those “innocent children” are mind readers, they aren’t going to know what’s in the box at just a glance. The kid would have to take the time to stop, take it off the shelf, and read it, and at that point you should have noticed what was going on and done something about it. Chances are, if they GLANCED at the box and are already giggling and carrying on, they aren’t “innocent” anymore. Instead of complaining about the box being there, question how you apparently missed your child leveling up through life at whatever innocent age they are.

    Having been one of those children who hit puberty early and had NO warning or idea what was happening, I would have been happy as a child if my parents had layed things down and talked to me about it. Heck, I’d have been happy if the “sexual education” video I ended up watching AFTER the fact wasn’t just 20 minutes of some girls sitting at a slumber party and giggling about “THAT TIME”. There was no explanation, just some girls who were obviously in their late teens referring to someething called “THAT TIME”. Then the school nurse pulled out a tampon that would NEVER have worked for a young girl, told us not to talk to boys, and that was that.

    So while you complain about children losing their innocence (which as I said they obviously don’t have if they already know about the whole “toy” scene) I say maybe you should TALK TO THEM. Sex education does nothing but educate, and maybe if they actually know things and realize the box on the shelf isn’t a big deal, you won’t have to face the HORROR of second-hand embarrassment.

    Damien Rose on February 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Gee, talk about exercising by jumping to conclusions, where does anyone get to “free love” because there are plastic devices that vibrate?
You think people never masturbated till electricity came along?
I’d beg to differ.
And, the free market it is!
Because you’re selling somebody something that has no useful purpose. Doesn’t work. And, can be done in hundreds of ways, with ordinary things you already have.
Or? You can take a little girl to ride a pony.
Does anyone remember the Harry Potter “magic stick?” That was for sale on Amazon?
Okay. There are parents who just do not know.
But then, again, there are people who become parents, and, they too, “just don’t know how it happened.”
Means, beyond the paper bags, there are comedians out there who ply their trade just talking about this stuff.
Don’t worry. Lenny Bruce blew down the barriers. It’s safe to come out, now.

Carol_Herman on October 25, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Carol –
Thanks just the same but – too much information!
“You can take a little girl to ride a pony” -??? What the he** is that supposed to mean??

CarpeDiem on October 25, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Well, there’s one more reason I wish there were Meijer stores in the state I live in now.

Dan on October 26, 2007 at 1:29 am

God at least destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah quickly and mercifully. He is just letting Detroit destroy itself from its own collective incompetence and immorality, which may be mutually reinforcing.

chsw on October 26, 2007 at 8:11 am

“God at least destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah quickly and mercifully. He is just letting Detroit destroy itself from its own collective incompetence and immorality, which may be mutually reinforcing.”
I think you’re mixing up God with Kwame Kilpatrick.

Dan on October 29, 2007 at 12:59 am

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