It’s official. You can buy a gun in Alabama but you can’t buy a vibrator.
After nine years of arguing the constitutionality of the law, the state ban on the selling of sex toys will finally go into effect. On Monday, Oct. 1, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear adult-oriented retailer, Sherri Williams’ challenge to the law, thus ending the battle and allowing state law enforcement officers to soon begin making arrests. The ban is a part of the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act, which was originally passed in 1998 in an effort to end nude dancing in parts of Madison County, not to ban sex toys. The act states that the distribution or production of "any device designed or marketed as useful for the stimulation of human genital organs" is prohibited in Alabama.
Once the injunction that has delayed enforcement of the ban has been lifted by Alabama’s Attorney General’s office, violators will face up to a year in prison and a fine of less than $10,000. Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Nebraska, Virginia and Utah all have similar bans. There are a few exemptions to the Alabama law, however. Devices can still be sold if they have "bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purposes." Law enforcement purposes?
My suggestion is a National Vibrator Association, the NVA, that will vigorously support candidates who believe in an Americans' god-given right to masturbate in the privacy and comfort of their own home. We can make those witty bumperstickers: "Take My Vibrator? You Can Pry It Out Of My Cold, Dead Hand." Or we could refashion our image by promoting our educational programs around the safe use of sex toys, or we could call masturbation a hobby, much like hunting. More helpfully, we can come up with all the faux "medical" or "law enforcement" purposes that will allow people to continue to purchase any toys they damn well please.
All joking aside, this ban is asinine, to say the least. How a ban on strip clubs became a ban on stuff like joy jelly is inexplicable. And moronic. And sad. And, ironically, the perfect illustration of what "obscene" really means.