I Need Your Pop Culture Expertise

Ryan Gosling Romancing a Sex Doll in  “Lars and the Real Girl”

For my dissertation, I’m attempting to chronicle the history of sex toys in popular culture. I’m trying to document how depictions of sex toys changed over time in films, TV shows, novels, songs, and any other popular media.

Right now I only have a short list.

The first movie that came to mind is the classic Ryan Gosling film shown above that costars a Real Doll.  Then, of course,  I thought of the famous episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte gets addicted to her Rabbit vibrator. Following in quick succession were the episode of Weeds where Andy gets reamed by a Torah scholar wielding a strap-on and Eminem’s “Crazy in Love”: “Like a devil in disguise/You’re always full of surprises/Always pullin’ devices out your purse, little vibrators/And dildos, you fucked yourself so much/You barely feel those anymore.”

I’ve included the rest of my meager findings below. As you can see, I’m failing miserably at this task. Please, I implore you, if you don’t perform any other acts of charity this year, you must help me update these lists. It’s for the good of humanity.


 1. The Osbournes’ episode where Jack uses a Clone-A-Willy kit

2. The Bad Girls’ Club (I think some sex toy company sponsored them)

3. Most episodes of Talk Sex with Sue Johanson

4. Oprah (I know there were a few episodes that focused on sex toys, but I’m not sure which ones)

5. The Mad Men episode with the vibrating device

6. The sex-toy home shopping channel

Note: I know that I must be missing some CSI stuff, since I don’t watch those shows. I’m hopeful, but doubtful, that dildos have been in The Amazing Race and other mainstream reality TV competition shows.


1. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

2. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972)

3. Selected films from the John Waters’ oeuvre

Note: I’m missing about five thousand movies here.

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15 thoughts on “I Need Your Pop Culture Expertise

  1. Dan Rose says:

    Not a Reference but funny:


    The girl in American Pie admits to having used her flute as an impromptu sex toy at band camp.

  2. dildographer says:

    I hadn’t heard of that Tarantino prank before. That’s great. Teachers should do that when students fall asleep in class.

    And, Armageddon Dildos? That’s the best band name in the world. I’ll need to check out their albums.

    I forgot about the American Pie scene. I don’t know how that slipped my mind. It’s such a classic.

  3. ouchies says:

    When I think of sex toys and pop culture, I think of Helena Bonham Carter’s character in Fight Club. There’s a scene where Brad Pitt is in her flat and spies a massive dildo on top of her dresser. Her response is simply “Oh don’t worry, it’s not a threat to you.”

    Or if you want to mention something REALLY fucked up, try Toddlers in Tiaras.

  4. dildographer says:

    I haven’t seen Fight Club in forever. I’m going to have to watch it again now. That sounds like an amazing scene.

    I know that Toddlers in Tiaras is fucked up, but I’ve never actually seen an entire episode. Dressing your four-year-old as a hooker is never a good idea.

  5. Dan Bashara says:

    There’s a Tom Green Show episode wherein he gives his grandmother dildos and convinces her that they are, alternately, earrings (she wears them) and egg beaters (she licks batter off of one). There’s also the Sex and the City in which Samantha fucks a dildo model, and the one in which she becomes an informal vibrator critic at Sharper Image. Valerie Cherish teaches Francesca about vibrators in The Comeback, when Aunt Sassy finds one in a grocery bag. Those are the ones that immediately leap to mind; I will ponder this matter further tomorrow.

  6. dildographer says:

    Thanks Dan. You are a budding dildographer. I love Tom Green, but I’ve never seen that episode or most of the episodes of that show. So maybe I don’t love Tom Green as much as I think I do. I can’t believe I forgot about all those other Sex and the City episodes and Aunt Sassy. I look forward to your future discoveries. Have you stumbled upon any artsy animated films that feature sex toys?

  7. Paul Quick says:

    There are a few other Sex and the City episodes.

    Season 3, Episode 33 “Attack of the Five-Ten Women” Miranda’s new cleaning lady, Magda, makes her feel guilty not to be more of a housewife and for having sex toys. Magda finds Miranda’s sex toy and replaces it with a statue of the Virgin Mary.

    Already mentioned:

    Season 3, Episode 43 “Escape from New York” Samantha meets a dildo model.

    Season 5, Episode 72 “Critical Condition” Samantha’s vibrator breaks and she goes to replace it, finding that it was intended as a back massager.

    Interesting that Carrie never talks about sex toys, and that there is no story line with her involving them. Strange for a sex columnist… But then again, she wasn’t a very good one.

  8. Amy says:

    Snookie whips one out when she’s unpacking on some episode of Jersey Shore and then says she’ll share it. Eww. I’m also vaguely recalling an episode of Crank Yankers where they have some unfunny call about anal beads.

  9. dildographer says:

    Paul: I forgot about that classic Virgin Mary episode.

    It never occurred to me that Carrie didn’t have her own sex toy episodes. You’re right: she was no Dan Savage.

  10. dildographer says:

    Amy: Snooki seems like she’d be into giant dildos.

    I never knew that you were into Crank Yankers. I respect that interest.

  11. Allison says:

    In Friends with Money, Jennifer Aniston plays a cleaning lady who masturbates with her client’s vibrator.

    Vibrating panties in The Ugly Truth.

    Scene in Made of Honor where an old lady wears glow in the dark anal beads as a necklace.

    Great episode of How I Met Your Mother where Robin buys Lily a sex toy for a bridal shower.

  12. dildographer says:

    These are some great ones. Do you own any of these movies? That Made of Honor one sounds classic.

  13. Jess says:

    Have you seen Slums of Beverly Hills? There’s a great scene with Marissa Tomei and Natasha Lyonne dancing to Parliament with a vibrator. There’s also a scene of Lyonne using the vibrator.

  14. Jess says:

    Oh and then there’s that classic scene from Parenthood (the movie) where, after the electricity goes out, someone grabs a vibrator thinking it’s a flashlight.

  15. dildographer says:

    I have not seen Slums of Beverly Hills. I saw Parenthood decades ago, but I forgot about that scene. Clearly your recall of vibrator scenes surpasses mine.

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