Sex gadget expose on Mississippi tv news (where they're illegal)

Cory Silverberg,'s Sexuality editor, points to a hilarious local news segment in Mississippi titled "Adult Store Caught Selling Illegal Sex Toys."
After hearing rumors that the “Adult Video and Books” boutique on McDowell Road, which had previously been busted for selling sex toys, was at it again, the intrepid Kandiss Crone from the 3 On Your Side “news” team decided to go undercover. Based on the secret audio recording, it sounds like she was confronted with a helpful sales person who sold her a vibrator (she chose “the purple one”). She then went back to confront an unimpressed but entirely pleasant store owner who tried to explain to Ms. Crone all the different places on your body you can use a vibrator (the one’s not prohibited by law in Mississippi).

You really have to watch the segment to believe it. I’ve watched it twice, and am left with several thoughts:

1. I love that the store is wheelchair accessible. I live in a major city and 90% of the stores here aren’t. Bravo “Adult Video and Books”.
2. How pathetic was it that they couldn’t even get the cops interested in the store? It seems like the “3 On Your Side” team are the only ones who care about this sex store selling sex toys. This begs the question; whose side are they on?
3. The “reporter” chose a vibrator that matched her sweater. Coincidence?

Link to Cory Silverberg's post, and Link to the video (WMV).



  1. The nitwits held onto prohibition of alcohol until 1966. Good luck ever getting them to come around to the idea that pleasure is OK.

  2. What are these people thinking? The entire “news” piece is almost surreal in its utter pointlessness.

  3. I like that the only description they give of what objects are not permitted is that they are “three dimensional”. Oh noes, its a Three Dimensional Object!

  4. The problem is that if we let the shops slide on innocent purple vibrators today, tomorrow the place will fill up with cock rings and life-like jelly dongs. How do cock rings and jelly dongs help you relax when your arm hurts? Explain that to me.


  5. Why would a female reporter do an expose on a law that subjugates women? It’s like when I see women carrying anti-abortion signs…

  6. Xn,

    Y r ls jrnlst, crrct? nd y’r pstng n prtty gky st, n? Mny f yr rdrs hv dgrs tht rqrd thm t s th trm “bggng th qstn” prprly. wld thnk tht t f cnsdrtn fr th dmgrphcs f yr rdrshp nd th fct tht y s th wrd “rprtr” n qts n ths stry tht y wld tk th cr t s th trm “rss th qstn” f tht s n fct wht y mn t sy.

  7. I’ve seen “begs the question” misused so often by so many people who should know better that I have given up on it ever being used properly by anyone outside of rhetoric of philosophy classes. Best to roll my eyes and say “Yeah, that person really should know better.” The one that bugged me the most was, oddly enough, the silliest one. Gil on CSI misused it in this way, which is entirely contrary to the character that the writers are trying to portray. They want to make him seem like an erudite intellectual. Using “begs the question” as “leads us to ask” pretty much is like having him say “I love this organic salt on my potatoes!” as a chemist.

    Chemistry folks (and science nerds) hate that “organic” was co-opted as a silly marketing term that was then coerced into being a genuine term in use by the FDA that supposedly means something.

  8. @ 11

    I would hope that all these people who know the meaning of “begs the question” also know the meaning of quotation marks.

  9. If enough people misappropriate the term “beg the question” when they mean “raise the question,” then it actually does mean “raise the question.” This is how English has always evolved, and will continue to do so long irregardless of our protests.

  10. attn “begs the question” freakos: Xeni quoted an article. The person whose piece she quoted will never see your failed attempts at ridding the English language of its inconsistensies. Please drink more beer until the urge to correct subsides.

  11. @#11:

    A Random John,

    you’re complaining to the wrong person. It’s a quote from Cory Silverberg’s post.

    And anyways, condescendence is just not nice.

  12. That’s “condescension”, you freak. Kidding! Don’t steal my vowels!

    As for “organic”, many people are upset that words in the English language can have more than one meaning. This usually passes with time.

  13. I love the fact that they’re all freaked out about some dildos but have no problem with the segment being sponsored by a casio! FTW?

    Thats akin to Jack Daniels outfitting the anti-narc squad.

  14. “As for “organic”, many people are upset that words in the English language can have more than one meaning.”

    *heh* Misappropriated technical terms in particular are the ones that cause the most consternation, of course, because they often end up meaning exactly the opposite of the original.

    Need I drag “virtually” into this discussion as a beaten, batter and bruised example of a word that has taken on the opposite meaning of its genuine meaning? :)

  15. When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

  16. Cank makes the point that Egnlish is Dynamic–it changes. Which begs the question, why? The answer is because it reflects a dynamic culture that changes over time.

  17. I note that the undercover reporter is in compliance with federal law requiring local news personalities to have at least one grotesquely misspelled name.

  18. The modern TV “news” media is desperate to invent controversy so they can sell ad-space. I’m impressed that the cops didn’t care, although maybe their superiors will scold them and they’ll be forced to arrest someone.

    I keep expecting Maude Flanders to jump out and scream “But WHO will think of the CHILDREN??!!”

  19. Hey drkwds btchng about “beg the question”. Do I have to purchase your silence with my fist of death?

    I saw this kind of crap in Atlanta about 10 years ago. Such impossible hypocrisy. Here is a city where the phone book has about 200 pages crammed full of phone numbers for “escort” services, and more porn shops than gas stations.
    Yet they are all worried about dildos.

  20. My local am radio jocks were talking about this, and figured that, given the “reporter” is reasonably good looking, and the “topic,” this was basically her push to get herself noticed by other markets. It’s all over the internets today, people are talking about it, she’s bland in personality, good enough looking, and can read a script. I think she’s an evil news genius who will soon be on CNN, MSNBC or Fox.

  21. Ill Lich , (#27) you’re right on there. Everyone should hear This American Life’s episode 344, “The Competition.” The second segment is about a guy that was smeared by local news over an over-10-year-old statutory rape charge that had been dismissed. He was working at an ice rink and the employer knew of the case and had no incidents, etc, etc. One local station chose not to run with the story, another one did. And ran, and ran, totally messing up this guy’s life. For no reason beyond a ratings push.

    It’s pretty sad.

  22. Hey all you “so-what-big-whoop-language-‘evolves'” lowlifes: please visit the web site of these dauntless crusaders for proper usage, against the devolution of language:

    No word on their opinion of dildo law, though, so getting back on track: FREE THE DILDOS! DILDOS FOREVER! VIVA LOS DILDOES! Dildos dildos dildos dildos hhhaahhhrrmmmhhhggh

  23. as they say in Alabama “god bless Mississippi” … it makes the rest of us feel so much better about our lot in life …

  24. Here in Alabama, we have similar laws that we re passed 5 or so years ago. The law was fought long and hard (huhhuh) by activists in the state, and it went all teh way to the state supreme court before being struck down. In the end, a fine line was drawn – you can’t sell them, but you can own them, bring them back from wherever, or buy them online.

    Or can’t you? There’s a loophole in the state law that such things can be sold for medicinal or humorous reasons. Therefore, all the adult stores in the state, barring being able to explain how EVERY item in their store is good for your health, have adorned their sales floors with gag gifts, lingerie, and adult magazines and video, all of which are still legal to sell. Even the most hedonistic of vibrators still have “For Amusement Purposes Only” stickers on them.

    So really, not much changed when the law passed.

  25. Irregardless of weather its misuse of “beg the question” is literally a mute point.

    Do I win?

    As for the actual subject, it never ceases to amaze me how we as a culture welcome violence (war toys are fine) but fear sexuality. We’re obsessed with both.

  26. Even the most hedonistic of vibrators still have “For Amusement Purposes Only” stickers on them.

    Hey, they probably do provide a lot of amusement!

  27. how come nobody is up in arms about “irregardless”?

    it’s non-standard and illogical…

  28. @13 Thanks for being the first to point out that this inexcusable error was mine and not Xeni’s.

    To everyone else, this is why I LOVE BoingBoing! Where else do you find a group of people equally interested in sex toys usage and language usage?

    I’m 37 and have been unknowingly misusing “begs the question” all my life and this is the first time I’ve been corrected. Thanks for the education and for caring enough about your rights to be outraged by the actual point of my post.

  29. Dildos are only sensationalist to sexless TV reporters and their grandmothers that are watching their show.

    I am flabbergasted that anyone still watches television news at all anymore. I haven’t watched it for nearly ten years. It’s just abysmal. The dying gasps of a bygone era known as the 70s, when Ted Baxters roamed the country in clouds of hair spray and dusty white cocaine residue.


  30. Local news is, without fail, witless and inane. This particular brand of witless inanity is just a reflection of the station management’s view of the local market.

    For example: here in Santa Barbara, local news thinks we’re all afraid of a) fire c) mudslides and c) teenage Mexican hooligans. So each newscast typically starts with a story about a fire, an earthy deluge, or a stabbing, or, if none of those things has happened, a teaser about The New Danger: Teenage Self-Combusting Mexican Mud Thugs! But first, local traffic and weather.

    So, in this Mississippi town, the Channel 3 managerial perception is that the populace is a’feared of the fake penises with their buzzing and their heathen promises of moist penetration.


  31. My favorite local news inanity was committed by a station here in Phoenix, AZ. After an earthquake in the northeast portion of the state this station decided that rather than ask a geologist about some of the mechanics of the movements of the earth in the area, it would be better to play a recorded message from a local senior citizen who called that day insisting his parrot had squawked loudly and fallen off of his perch at exactly the moment the earthquake occurred hundreds of miles away. And they showed a stock photo of a gray parrot as the man’s voice was played back. To this day, I don’t know if it was intended to be actual news or just some sort of joke.

  32. People are supposed to spell correctly on teh interweb?

    Guess you have never been to /b/…

    /from MS

  33. illegal to sell, how about give them away? Send
    Emissionaries with truckloads of donated vibrators.
    Flood the state, drop them off at churches.

  34. I live about two miles away from a sex store in Columbus Mississippi. Phantasyland just so happens to be located on a busy stretch of the ironically named Highway 69 South. The cops raided them about 6 years back and confiscated all the artificial phalluses. 2000+ or so. They eventually had to return them because they were deemed novelty items. Since then it has grown into a two story megastore of sexually themed ‘novelty’, videos, S+M equipment and lingerie.

  35. FEBRUARY 1–Mississippi legislators this week introduced a bill that would make it illegal for state-licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons. Bill No. 282,

  36. FEBRUARY 1–Mississippi legislators this week introduced a bill that would make it illegal for state-licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons. Bill No. 282,

    Next thing you know, no porn OR INTERNET CONNECTIONS to anyone purchasing those items with suspiciously crusty stains on their pants.

  37. @ #47: I guess the anchors for WLBT will not be dining out any more!

    I also find it ironic that the station call letters are “WLBT” – It could only have been more ironic if the call letters were “GLBT”.

  38. 33: can we make a nice, large “For Amusement Purposes Only” sign, and have it hung on the state legislature’s building?

    44: or even just have thousands of dildos (oddly, OS X’s speelchucker objects to that plural, as well as “dildoes”) on tiny parachutes, as part of a state-wide UN humanitarian airdrop?

  39. First they came for the dildos,
    and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t use a dildo.

    Then they came for the butt plugs,
    and I didn’t speak up because I did not plug my butt.

    Then they came for the Magic Clit-Flickers,
    and I didn’t speak up because I had no clit to flick.

    Finally they couldn’t come anymore,
    and really just wanted to make sure I couldn’t either.

    America is the most over-sexed yet under-laid country in history, I think. Sad, really, to think about how much more fun so many people could have been having in their lives, but were unable to relax enough to achieve. Explains a lot, too.

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