It's the holiday season. The gift-giving season. The season to buy the woman you love a gift that will both tickle her pink and totally embarrass her if she opens it in front of friends and relatives.
Something like, say, the Trojan Her Pleasure Vibrating Touch Fingertip Massager. It's the perfect pick at just $19.99, and silky purple gift wrap is available.
But there's a catch. You'll have a tough time buying your tiny motorized toy in Colorado. Ditto if you live in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas or Virginia.
Allison Goldstein, spokeswoman for Trojan, says the company won't sell its stimulating product in these places, not even via the Web. The official statement: "The makers of Trojan brand condoms follow every law in every state. Colorado, along with seven other states, does not permit the sale of Trojan vibrating products within state borders, and as such, these products are not available for purchase in these areas."
Goldstein isn't sure exactly what laws Trojan is following. Neither are a bunch of Colorado lawyers. Thankfully, Michael Gross, an attorney with Denver's Schwartz and Goldberg law firm, which specializes in obscenity law, has solved the puzzle.
"[Trojan] is 23 years behind the times," he says.
Turns out, Trojan appears to be following a law banning "obscene devices" that's devices "including a dildo or artificial vagina, designed or marketed as useful primarily for stimulation of the human genital organs" according to state statute. But the Colorado law was found unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in 1985.
"Colorado's right of privacy is stronger than a lot of states," Gross notes. "We're wild and free out here."
Actually, other states on Trojan's no-no list are just as free. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit tossed Texas' law. (Which means horny Texans no longer have to shop for "educational models" to use in "safer sex demonstrations" in order to slide into the proper loophole.)
In its decision, the court noted that Louisiana and Kansas state supreme courts also threw out their obscene device laws, and that the 11th Circuit nixed Georgia's law.
Only Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia residents have to break the law to get their paws on, say, the Smoothie 18-inch Double Dong. And with the Fifth Circuit's ruling apparently unchallenged by Texas, the law in Mississippi (also under Fifth Circuit jurisdiction) may not be enforceable anymore.
Interestingly, the laws banning sex toys have been threatened by the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down a Texas law banning homosexual sex. In that case, the court found that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants people some personal liberty in the bedroom. So, when the Fifth Circuit took a look at Texas' sex toy ban, the judges figured if you could choose "who," you should also be able to choose "what."
As of press time, Trojan hadn't changed its mind about selling you that vibrator.
But if you're still looking for the perfect gift, never fear. There are plenty of similar products at local adult stores and online. And if you've got to have the Trojan model, at least one local adult store, Christal's, is selling the product, apparently oblivious to the company's ban.