Monday, November 03, 2008

The Press Tells Diogenes, "Baby, Put Out That Lamp, and Come To Bed. I Got What You Need."

Free sex toys — and much more — for voting
Businesses across nation ready to reward citizens for casting their ballots

By Mike Stuckey
Senior news editor

Just when you thought it was safe to focus on the issues in this historic election season, a chain of sex toy shops has joined retailers, restaurateurs and other businesses across the nation in the time-honored tradition of rewarding Americans who go to the polls.

Because nothing makes me think of sex like politics.

Babeland, with stores in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle, is offering a pair of self-gratifying incentives for voters who present their registration cards, ballot stubs or “word of honor” that they voted next Tuesday.

How will they deal with multiple stubs from the ACORN-registered voters?

The rewards are no-so-subtle reminders of this year’s campaign rhetoric. For men, it’s the “Maverick,” a "sleeve" for self-pleasuring. According to a press release, “He’s always there to lend a hand, he works for every man, and he bucks the status quo.” Women can choose the “Silver Bullet” mini-vibrator, which is “a magical solution to difficult problems” and “a great stress-reliever during these troubled economic times!” The promotion lasts through Nov. 11.

The idea for an Obama-related toy was abandoned. No one has yet found a way to successfully sell being slipped a mickey, and waking up alone and sticky in a hotel room with an empty wallet. They can always consult David Axelrod after the campaign. He seems to have found a way to successfully sell something similar.

Babeland spokeswoman Pamela Doan told in an interview that the promotion is a first for the company, which she describes as “a sex-positive, women-friendly retailer for sex toys and accessories.”

I don't think anyone is truly "sex-adverse", although more than a few of us would prefer not having it occur within sight of our children, especially when its guy-guy- or girl-girl.

Although the company is relying on press releases and bloggers to get the word out, “We’re expecting a good response,” Doan said. “Both of these toys are very popular. The Maverick retails for $20 and the Silver Bullet retails for $15. It’s a good reward.”

I think there is a message here somewhere...something about getting screwed by an important act and still having to do all the work.

'Sex crosses party lines'
As to whether Babeland expects voters who take them up on the offer to lean one way or the other politically, Doan said, “Sex crosses party lines. … We’ve tried to make this into a nonpartisan reward because we welcome everyone. That’s our philosophy and our mission. We didn’t want to reward only Obama supporters. We have a lot of Republicans who shop at Babeland too.”

Actually a smart thing. They cater to a universal market. I wonder how much they'll dig an Obama tax scheme.

If the sex toys don’t float your vote, there are plenty of other less racy rewards to choose from in the afterglow of casting your ballot.

"Afterglow?" Voting conjures many different concepts in my mind, but it has never made me orgasmic. I think the author is going to choke on his own purple prose.

How about a free cup of Joe? Starbucks stores across the nation and Eat’n Park outlets in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are among many U.S. restaurants offering complimentary coffee to anyone who presents a ballot stub or “I Voted” sticker.

I like the whole "incentive for voting" thing, but I do it 'cause its important, not because Starbucks will give me a bitter cup of coffee for my trouble.

Voters can get a beer on the house at Todd Conner’s pub in Baltimore’s historic Fells Point neighborhood.

I predict he'll have a busy night.