Cocks Not Glocks Highlights Weird Sex Toy Laws

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If you’ve been keeping up with the latest sex toy news (and why wouldn’t you?) you’ll have spotted quite a bizarre sight: students from the University of Texas in Austin have been carrying giant dildos around campus. No, they’re not just getting bored in lectures and looking for an alternative to doodling – they’re protesting gun laws.

Sounds odd? The Guardian explains that:

“The Campus (Dildo) Carry movement began last year when Jessica Jin, a University of Texas alum, organised a protest aiming to satirise the apparent absurdity of weapons being allowed on campus but not the showing of sex toys, which arguably contravenes university rules and a state law against displays of obscene items.”

The protest is designed to highlight what protestors say is a ridiculous double-standard: that you can carry a gun but not openly carry a sex toy on your person. And the ‘cocks not glocks’ movement (because that’s what it’s called – round of applause for punning students!), alongside highlighting gun control, has also drawn attention to the strict rules around obscenity in Texas.

That’s not the only bizarre sex toy law, though. We did some digging and found some of the strangest sex toy laws – some from history and some which still exist today…

Sex toy laws – Alabama’s ban on sex toy sales

One of the most frequently cited weird sex toy laws is the Anti-Obscenity Statue in Alabama, which criminalises the sale of sex toys. It cites a ban on “any person to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value.”

And in case you’re from Alabama and you’re looking to find a loophole, know that you’re not the first person to try. Sherri Williams, who ran a sex toy business, appealed the statute in the courts and eventually set up a sex toy drive thru. She even – in the spirit of ‘cocks not glocks’ – ran a special Valentine’s Day deal in 2011 where people could visit her sex toy shop and swap their guns for sex toys. Unfortunately, it looks like she’s now shut down, and as far as we can tell it’s still illegal to sell sex toys in Alabama – with people who do being subject to a year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Japanese sex toys with faces on

A lot is spoken about Japan and ‘realistic’ sex toys – there was an old rumour that the very reason sex toys like the Rampant Rabbit exist is because Japanese obscenity laws mean you cannot sell a ‘realistic’ toy – i.e. one that looks like a penis or a vagina. Thus, so it goes, everything in Japan is pink and cute and usually has Hello Kitty on. Or at the very least, sex toys that look quite like human genitals usually include a small face on them somewhere to show that it isn’t a ‘realistic depiction‘. This isn’t exactly true in practice, as anyone who’s walked into a Japanese sex toy shop will tell you. It’s more than possible to purchase a dildo that is roughly penis-shaped, and when it comes to vagina-esque toys, the ‘Onahole’ (literal translation: woman’s hole) toys, which look something like Fleshlights, are ten a penny.

So what’s the deal with Japanese obscenity law? As with many obscenity laws, it’s often complicated by the rules around pornography and pictures. In Japan, pictures of actual genitalia are considered obscene, and there are cases of people being prosecuted for distributing representations of genitalia. One artist, Megumi Igarashi, was arrested for distributing models of her vagina. So while reports of Japanese ‘cute toys to avoid obscenity’ may have been exaggerated, it is certainly true that obscenity laws in Japan make it harder for sex toy manufacturers to advertise and sell ‘realistic’ products.

Some countries ban sex toys – full stop

Sadly, there are some countries around the world which have a total ban on sex toys – meaning it’s illegal to own one as well as to sell them and promote them. Oman is one of those countries, and in May 2016 a woman entering the country was stopped by customs because a swimming aid she had in her suitcase was mistaken for a sex toy.

Other countries where sex toys are completely banned include the Maldives (which bans you from bringing in any ‘pornographic material’ and includes sex toys within that), Malaysia, and countries like Dubai.

In the UK (home of HotOctopuss), we’re relatively lucky: it’s completely legal to own and sell sex toys. Which means you could pop into any sex shop and buy whatever your heart desires, whether it’s a realistic dildo, a male masturbator, or something more advanced like the hands-free guybrator PULSE II SOLO. Or if you don’t want to leave the house – and we don’t blame you – then you can buy one directly from us on this site.

About Sarah Childs


Posted on Aug 29th, 2016 Uncategorized

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