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Though the most dedicated rape apologists may disagree, clothing choices like miniskirts, low-cut shirts and high heels are not reliable indicators of a woman’s sexual availability. Inanimate objects don’t consent to sex; people do. But is there any sartorial choice out there that does announce to the world that the wearer is down to fuck?
Enter The “LOVEBUCKLE,” a product of sex toy retailer OhMiBod (suggested stylings here). This leather belt features a brushed metal buckle with “circular cut-out window” for displaying “uniquely designed One® condoms.” Basically, it’s a big ‘ol condom belt, and it retails for $85.
It’s pretty clear that the LOVEBUCKLE is the rare clothing accessory that’s specifically designed to send a sexual message. But what exactly is it saying?
Are you one of those people who still believes that women wear short skirts in order to secretly signal that they want to have sex with you? Consider this: Even prancing about with a prophylactic strapped to your pubic area by an extravagant leather belt can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Possible messages sent by wearing a LOVEBUCKLE:
a) Have sex with me now! Last night, I strapped on my sample LOVEBUCKLE and asked some co-workers what it all means. “You’re wearing a condom right above your vagina,” one co-worker explained. “It means you’re ready to get freaky.”
b) Don’t have sex with me! I consulted a trusted friend to get another opinion on the meaning of this LOVEBUCKLE. This is what a giant condom belt means to her: “It’s one step up from a giant torso tattoo that says ‘I NEVER WANT TO GET LAID.'”
c) I want you to know that I am committed to safe sex. According to the OhMiBod presser, the LOVEBUCKLE is perfect for the safe sex partner who cannot be bothered with the hassle of accessing a condom that’s not directly above their genitals.”Never again find yourself digging though your wallet or purse to find a condom when the mood strikes,” The press release reads. “You’ll always have one handy when wearing the practical and stylish LOVEBUCKLE.”
d) I do not want you to know that I am committed to safe sex. In the next breath, OhMiBod recasts the LOVEBUCKLE as the pinnacle of discretion. “I find the LOVEBUCKLE a handy way to inconspicuously be prepared on-the-go,” an OhMiBod representative told me over e-mail. The LOVEBUCKLE’s promotional materials include the following travel tip: “Spare yourself the embarrassment of packing condoms in a carry-on or purse that may be searched. The LOVEBUCKLE allows you to discreetly carry artistic One® condoms in the buckle, and makes a great fashion statement at the same time. With the LOVEBUCKLE, you’ll always be inconspicuously prepared for safe sex on-the-go.” Until your gigantic brushed metal belt buckle sets off the metal detector, and sends you over for a more intimate inspection.
e) I want you to know that I’m committed to condom wrapper art. According to the OhMiBod press release, the LOVEBUCKLE can be filled with “200 different graphic [condom] designs . . . giving wearers hundreds of ways to express themselves, and making the idea of safe sex fun, hip and stylish.” My LOVEBUCKLE sample condom was illustrated with a photograph of Yellowstone National Park’s volcano-heated Old Faithful Geyser, which I can only assume means that the wearer is scheduled to erupt every 35 to 120 minutes.
f) Or, something completely different. According to an OhMiBod press release, “When the LOVEBUCKLE is empty, an engraved ‘re-load’ message shows through the circular window, reminding wearers to refill it with One condoms, or leave it empty, giving off an entirely different type of message and showing a alternate fashion style.”
So which is it? Is it a gigantic metal buckle dedicated to displaying your collection of designer condoms? Is it a discrete accessory that allows you to carry your safe sex accessories undetected? Is it a handy signal that you can take on or off depending on your level of horniness? Or is it a belt that carries an unnamed but “entirely different” message?
What’s that old phrase? When you assume, you make an ass out of the extravagant condom belt. After all, even if the LOVEBUCKLE is meant to signal that you’re “ready to get freaky,” it does not automatically signify that you’re willing to de-belt for just anyone who happens to spy your LOVEBUCKLE. For me, at least, strapping on the LOVEBUCKLE indicated only that I was conducting some field research on the meaning of strapping on a LOVEBUCKLE. Results were inconclusive.
Because seriously, this thing is hard not to notice.