It’s not like vending machines have always had a sterling reputation for wholesome offerings.
When PinkBox installs its first sex toy vending later this month (the location isn’t yet public), it will be the first in North America. Experimental couples and do-it-yourselfers can use cash or a credit card to buy a range of products, from condoms and restraints to more three-dimensional accessories.
Machines will be located in places where adults and alcohol tend to mix, curtailing the likelihood minors who haven’t yet heard about the birds and bees will see a vibrating egg.
WHYY spoke with Dr. Timaree Schmit, a sexuality educator and chief communications officer for PinkBox, about the concept.
WHYY: Let’s start with the obvious: Why do we need a sex toy vending machine?
Schmit: Well, we don’t need anything, but I’d say it is a fascinating and really important thing to have available because sexuality is a really intrinsic part of being a person, and pleasure is an inherently valuable thing.
And anything that can bring us more opportunities for pleasure, more opportunities for intimacy with other humans—which is another need—those things are great. I want to take away all the obstacles that are keeping people from their best potential experience and have them feel empowered over their own bodies.
WHYY: Any concerns that children may be exposed to information they may not be ready for?
Schmit: Ideally, we would raise children to believe that their bodies are good. That their bodies are great the way that they are. They don’t have to look a particular way…that everybody is entitled to feel good about themselves, and to physically feel pleasure.
It would be fantastic if everybody felt comfortable sharing their values in their sexuality education with their kids. I would love for parents to be the first and major arbiter of their kids’ sex ed. I would love to make sure parents had accurate information about anatomy, physiology, those sort of things.
In practicality, we are going to have to compartmentalize sexual things from children. We are not going to put sex toy vending machines next to a school. That is not going to happen.
But in an ideal world, there is no reason that a kid can’t know about that existing, because it is not as though if we don’t tell them, they will never find out.