Suzi Godson and Dr Thomas Stuttaford on Fleshlight Artificial Vaginas in The Times
A reader writes in to ask if her husband is losing interest in her because he's acquired an artifical vagina. Dr Thomas Stuttaford and Suzi Godson give their usual replies based on medical thinking (him) and sociological reasoning (her).
While it's a wonderful watershed moment to see the Fleshlight discussed so openly in the pages of a national newspaper, it's a bit weird that neither correspondent chooses to celebrate the husband's decision to buy a Fleshlight as simply a way to have a better wank - which, after all, is the point of a Fleshlight.
"Men who buy artificial vaginas… are relying heavily on fantasy for some aspect of their sex life," says Dr Stuttaford, while providing no evidence to back up his generalisation.
What about Occam's Razor: isn't the husband's desire to own a Fleshlight more simply explained by the fact that having sex with a Fleshlight is just more pleasurable than knocking one off the wrist?
But Dr Stuttaford does engage in an interesting discussion about why women find it easier to discuss their purchase of sex toys with their GP, friends or partners, than men do.
Why is it more acceptable for women to own a vibrator than for men to own a Fleshlight or other male sex toy?
"Blow up dolls are more popular than I realised," he muses.
Suzi Godson gives a gently mocking run-down of the history of the Fleshlight before predicting that the husband's model will soon be gathering dust in the garage with the breadmaker and the rowing machine - not because it doesn't deliver a satisfying climax, but because he'll realise that it won't serve him dinner.
In our experience, she's dead wrong about that. Hubbie is not going to stop wanking when his wife's not around just because his Fleshlight (or his fist, for that matter) won't make him beans on toast.
He will keep his Fleshlight for as long as he fancies a shandy - or as long as Babecast XXX is unencrypted on Sky at midnight. Hmmm, maybe Dr Thomas was right about the fantasy thing…
Suzi also mentions that hubbie will be put off because "cleaning Fleshlights out is a complete nightmare". Er, not quite - you just run the Fleshlight insert under the tap, dry it out and the job's done.
And doesn't that beg a rather un-PC question about whether the wife finds it a "complete nightmare" to clean herself out after hubbie's had sex with her? (No, I can't believe I asked that, either.)
Oh, and one last thing: Suzi makes the classic journalist mistake of saying that the Rampant Rabbit was made famous by Sex And The City.
We all know that's not true, don't we?