Making Kinky Classy

by SAMANTHA QUEEN · May 7, 2008

kinky“Trashy.” We’ve all said it, but what does it mean? I would say that it is a combination of tawdry and boorish. It implies seediness – a degree of depravity, ignorance and social irresponsibility. It invokes images of low fashion, fluorescent signs, open-mouthed mastication, cheap beer, sex shops, processed food. Traditionally, “trashy” has been associated with certain price points; now, however, price is not determinative. In fact, most of the time, it’s all about marketing. Now let us go to a place where marketing meets the bedroom. Where our obsession with celebrity, luxury, and opulence is exploited and our need for self-definition – or maybe just our filthy richness – meets our fear of “trashy.”

Of course, I refer to none other than the platinum, diamond-encrusted vibrator.

Meet Jimmyjane Little Platinum Eternity, 5.25 inches of platinum emblazoned with .66 carats of round-cut, conflict-free, VS1 bling ($3,250). Sorry ladies, no word on color, although we would guess J-L. Now let’s say that, hypothetically, you don’t have $3,250 for a solitary sex partner. Lelo, a Swedish company specializing in “sensual pleasure objects with a contemporary luxury flair,” brings us Yva. For less than half the price of a Little Platinum Eternity, you can take an 18K, gold-plated Yva home ($1500). It even comes in a dark wood gift box. The world of luxury sex toys, however, isn’t limited to vibrators. Believe me, it only gets better from here.

For you classy kids who dream of an abode filled with antiques, start with an Antique Tip Riding Crop ($550). Surely it would be a great addition to any housewarming registry. And what about the Jade “C-ring” ($1,100)? In a normal sex shop, it would be called a COCK RING, but at Kiki de Montparnasse, euphemisms reign supreme. Perhaps it is for that reason that we find Kiki to be the most palatable vendor of obnoxiously expensive sex toys yet. Or maybe it’s another bad case of Francophilia. The most likely answer: we just like the idea of “embrac[ing] fantasy” with $4,200 cultured pearl restraints. What is classier than pearls? And what is hotter than classy? Therein lies the marketing strategy, I’m afraid.

For the most part, I have to say that I can’t understand why someone would opt out of something more “trashy” in favor of doing something worthwhile with the excess cash. I like the pearls, but I probably wouldn’t cough up $4,200 for them (Would they even function? My pearl necklaces break if I look at them the wrong way.). All of this makes me wonder: is it so impossible to be both sexually uninhibited and classy? Must we throw money at our needs before we can accept ourselves? Or do people really just have that much extra cash? The difference, really, is little more than marketing. I suppose, however, that could be said for a lot of things. I will think about that very hard today, as I comb Third Ave. in search of new spring dresses.