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Esquire: Love Self Service


“Esquire Malaysia September 2011″ Esquire have kindly allowed me to reprint the monthly articles that I’ve been writing for them for the last few years. This week’s blast from the past comes from September 2011. Check out Esquire Malaysia each month for my latest articles.

I’ve recently begun exploring one of the most important secrets to a woman’s satisfaction—the female orgasm and that little DIY kit every woman should have tucked away in her bedside drawer. It’s not something we want to discuss over tea, but it’s a much appreciated tool for the modern woman nonetheless. In fact, Ann Summers has invented a masterpiece called the iGasm, a device that plugs into your iPod and vibrates to the music you play.

Here’s a suggested playlist: Start with a little hip-hop bump and grind, move on to some dancey house tunes, then hit it hard with the drums and bass—for Ah Lien girls who like it faster, there’s always the techno feng tau beat— and then take it down with a little ambient to smooth the ride out. Apple wasn’t thrilled with how the app was advertised, which showed a dancing girl with wires coming out of her iPod and going into her knickers, but that didn’t stop the iGasm from finding its place in the urban dictionary.

So how did this gadget that inhabits the core of a woman’s self-reliance handbook come to be? The first pleasure device appeared in 1870 in Britain and was a steam-powered device called The Manipulator. (Why do I have images of Arnold Schwarzenegger doing an ad campaign for this with the tagline: “The Manipulator. Come with me.”) During the Victorian era, there was a little female hysteria called “worm fury” and the only way to treat this frenzy was to massage the patient into “paroxysm”, or what we call orgasm today.

Doctors would treat patients by performing “vulvar stimulations”, an immensely tedious process that caused doctors to suffer hand and wrist fatigue. The Manipulator was hence a relief for doctors who made it an entirely nonsexual clinical device. The electric vibrator was later introduced to become the housewives’ perfect home companion, and there’s been countless variations created to appease their much-needed cravings since then.

There are devices that look like back massagers and even more exotic ones that look like rabbits, beavers, butterflies, and eggs. Designers have also cloaked these stimulants for travel purposes.

By disguising them as lipstick cases, torches, and now MP3 players, all conveniently sized for a woman’s handbag. It’s no wonder that every time I take my turbo inhaler out for my asthma, I see a look of shock on people’s faces as if to say, “I can’t believe she took it out in public!” I think it’s quite funny. In fact, the last time I took my pump out for a puff , a male friend stared at me in disbelief, to which I had to say, “If it was what you think it is, it’ll be bigger than this. What, you think it’s made in China?”

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