Review of Buzz, A Stimulating Sex Toy History

Review of Buzz, A Stimulating Sex Toy History

Buzz By Hallie Lieberman Is a Very Intresting Book That Talks About 1000-Year-Old Dildos, Betty Dodson, The Sex Shop Explosion of the '70s, and More.

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Next, he created Doc Johnson in 1976, a dildo and sex toy company that’s still huge today (and using questionable sex toy materials).  To create it, he purchased a dildo company called United Sales, rebranding it to Doc Johnson, and took over their factory in LA.   Doc Johnson is one of the sketchier dildo companies around when it comes to shady materials, so it makes since it has its origins with the porn godfather himself.

While he was never charged for extortion or obscenity, eventually he got hit with 15 counts of tax evasion and was sentenced to 75 years in prison in 1992.

He was newly married and in love at the time.  He and his wife had just had his first daughter, and he was getting ready to retire.  Before going to prison in 1992 he divorced his wife to protect them, leaving his small family a large fortune.

In 1994, he managed to escape prison on foot.  Authorities started notifying airports, thinking he’d flee the country, but he was found at an In-and-out burger, where he was having lunch with his 7 year old daughter.  It turns out he spent all of his two weeks of freedom spending time with her.  I thought that bit was kind of a sweet moment in his intense and ruthless life.

After recapture, Sturman was returned to prison, where he died in 1997, he was 73 years old.

Joani Blank and Good Vibrations

One woman who attended Betty Dodson’s body-sex workshops was Joani Blank.  She even had her labia drawn by Dodson and featured in Liberating Masturbation.

After returning to San Francisco, she soon started Good Vibrations, a woman-only sex shop that sold vibrators.  It had a boutique style and was down-to-earth, Blank really didn’t care about making a profit as much as helping women out.

Good Vibrations soon inspired a movement of independent woman-owned sex shops: Smitten Kitten, Babeland, Sugar, Come as you are, Grand Opening, Self Serve, and many others.

While the men in the sex toy industry, like Sturman, seemed to create empires and seek profits.  The women seemed to be creating movements and social change.

Joani Blank, founder of Good Vibrations

Gosnell Duncan, Inventor of the Silicone Dildo

Duncan is my new personal hero.  He was the original silicone dildo hobbiest, before there was ever an Etsy or Tumblr, he was creating silicone dildos by hand in his basement.

After an accident in his auto-repair shop, he became confined him to a wheelchair and was unable to have an erection. He noticed he wasn’t alone, some disabled people wished to be able to have sex again, more than being able to walk.

Duncan created the first non-phallic dildos with the help of Dell Williams.

He experimented with the PVC strap-on dildos.  But dislike the smell and feel of the material.  He had often used silicone parts in his work on automobiles, and thought it would make a great dildo material.

Soon he was writing letters to GE chemists learning about how to mold and cast silicone. He developed a process where he would make a dildo model out of clay, pour a mold around it, then pour silicone into the mold.

He named his company Paramount Therapeutic Products, and started selling his dildos for $20-$40 each.

He reached out to Eve’s Garden and Good Vibrations to see if they wanted anything unique.  Together they collaborated to make the first non-phallic dildos that didn’t look like penises.  They were also the first dildos to come in different colors like blue, pink, and toffee.