The Hitachi Magic Wand is an institution unto itself. It was introduced to the massage market in the 1970s and it looks it. Hitachi never updated the style of the “Cadillac of Vibrators” because it never really needed to despite its giant microphone look. It did have its downsides. It’s common knowledge that much like vampires, no two Magic Wands die the same way. I’ve had friends whose vibrators put on sparking displays of fireworks at their death while others exploded in flames. They sounded like the neighbors could hear them. Yanking them out of the wall right before coming was a common annoyance. Those in the Magic Wand cult now that the pleasure that comes with this piece of machinery far outweighs the few frustrations. Vroom, vroom! It’s the go to in my sex box to drive me over the edge during sex and I’m in good company.
It’s been a well known secret that Hitachi was secretly ashamed of their miracle body massager. It wasn’t really designed for sex, per se. Human bodies happen to have a lot in common in their fundamental structures. Those 5-6K RPM vibrations that could ease away muscle knots in the shoulders were also great for the tension down on the pelvic floor and the clitoris and the penis. High end mall and airport vibratory massager purveyor Brookstone gave up the ghost and started carrying the Lelo line along side their vibrators that are actually the size of Cadillacs but the manufacturing firm Hitachi finally caved into their squirming modesty and has stripped the Hitachi label off their famous “neck massager.”
The interesting thing about the news is the way it reveals a piece of the process of how consumer goods get to our genitals. So far as publicity, the cat is out of the bag on Hitachi putting their electronics prowess into their production of one of the finest vibrators around. It’s been cited in popular media many times over and there is a growing contingent of individuals complaining about a perceived overuse of them in their pornography. “
Originally Hitachi was going to cease manufacturing their dirty, dirty massager altogether but their distributor Vibratex arranged a deal to obfuscate the association by taking “Hitachi” off of the label and focusing on the name of the product, “The Magic Wand.” That’s some good negotiation work by Vibratex. Regardless of how many Magic Wands are sold, they represent a small blip on the overall profit margin for Hitachi that manufacture a myriad of products. No matter how ridiculous you or I or anyone else might think it is to drop the product now after 30+ years on the market, it is their prerogative They can make or not make anything in their lineup as it suits them.
Now to a smaller company like Vibratex, dropping this item would suck slug slimy sack. “The Rabbit” may have done wonders for the vibrator market but it wasn’t the same kind of quality tool that “The Magic Wand” was. Lots of vibrators come in go in popularity, marketing, and updated laws across the country legally permitting their sale and publicity. One of the reasons we have so many goddamn shitty vibrators is became of the shame and stigma around their production. When something is forced to the margins of society, it’s hard to access more than marginal tools and assets for production and distribution.
In the world of sex, the Magic Wand is the standard but the world of sex isn’t as big as the world of TV’s. The zoning to open a TV store is much more lax. Even in the Bay Area, Feelmore 510 in Oakland had to clear planning commission hurdles to open and faced striking opposition. Hitachi also helps make nuclear power plants. Vibratex is not their biggest customer. If you think their vibrators are good, wait until you get a load of their hydraulic excavators and train cars. Hitachi doesn’t need the Magic Wand. It’s an asymmetrical relationship. While it can be argued that Good Vibrations has crossed into your standard corporate mindset, it still only has a handful of stores. So to Hitachi, dropping The Magic Wand would be no big deal but it would be a pretty fucking big inconvenience to Vibratex and down the line to individual retailers.
There’s no one else making something on par with the Hitachi Magic with the same distribution network.
In the world of vibrators there are Magic Wands and toys for people that prefer less intensity. There is not a spread of toys operating in the league of the Magic Wand. It goes to family reunions with gas powered lawn mowers, paint mixers, and motorcycles.
For a brief moment I imagined a world where the production of Magic Wands stops altogether leaving sex crazed maniacs fighting over the last few on the shelves. In San Francisco there could very well be death matches in the streets over the remaining few. It’s an economic model for the physical distribution of shame waves. I would also call it a huge indicator of the need for more innovation in the actual engineering of motors in vibrators. The void that the Magic Wand would leave in the sex toy industry would win the AVN ward for the biggest gape of the year. This is less a testament to Hitachi than it is an indicator of stalled innovation in the world of dildonics.
Capitalism is some hella complicated shit and scale is also key. Science and engineering are hindered in cultures of shame. It means fewer people are willing to give you a loan or even a bank account for your sex related business even if it’s legal. It means it’s harder to rent. You have to swim upstream just to hang a shingle and in some places your stock might be considered illegal. It’s amazing that it’s easier to buy a gun than porno in some places. The fact that I have been told I am officially unable to process payments for “sacrilegious” photographs is a reminder that sex is still something of an outlaw profession no matter how unified HQ has decided your store layouts should be. It’s out of a horror film that it’s easier to run a toxic waste business than a dildo store.
Making a better vibrator isn’t catering to the dredges of society. Then again, so what if it does? That aside, it’s an engagement with dense concepts of mechanical oscillations and their relationship to the human body in particular. Making a vibrator is no less scientific or intellectually rigorous than building a better telescope lens and it grants us an opportunity to ask more questions and better explore the mysteries of our own bodies. When it comes to asking what a better vibrator would be, we’ve been ignoring some crucial questions about the fundamental engineering concepts and how they’re interacting with the swampy biomass between our legs in erotic hyperspace.
Doctor Extreme is a friend of the Mayhems and someone who is the BIGGEST vibrator nerd you will ever meet. I highly recommend that anyone who calls themselves a sex geek or vibrator junkie check out his videos, slides, and essays about vibrator physics. (Check us out having a hot threesome with his wife and a very nerdy introduction.)
I guess my hope is that beyond packaging and a lot of external innovations for the casing and outside layers of vibrators that we’ll see intensive focus on the issues that Doctor Extreme talks about in his video. It’s a solid primer on applied physics with a the motivator of pleasure behind it. It is math and science heavy but it’s about dildos. He has slides available and other videos on his own You Tube Channel.
I am without a doubt a lover of the
Hitachi Original Magic Wand. For the most part, I’m only going to have an orgasm with it sitting on my pussy. For me to have an orgasm, I need a lot of pressure and stimulation. It takes a ton of work and a lot of time to do manually or I can have a few orgasms in a fraction of the time. It’s been the only vibrator that has actually gotten my off aside from a Sybian and the Orgasmatron. While I can claim no Doctor Who fandom, I can say that his explanation of the clitoris as a Tardis is apt and accessible. We need more hardcore nerds looking at the biology and physics of orgasms and orgasm tools.
But hey, I’m a little biased. There are some other serious sex toy geeks in that lineup. I’d also like to give a shout out to Dildology while I’m on the topic of sex toys and science. They aren’t doing sex toy tech but they are hacking toys to pieces to get to the bottom of what they’re made out of and that is brilliant. Yay for slutty science.