Love & Sex

I Did It For Science: Remote-Control Panties

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Experiment:

To determine whether it is possible (and if possible, advisable) to have a discreet orgasm in public, using remote-controlled, vibrating underwear.

Hypothesis: State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.

Masturbation and I go way back. Ever since I discovered the many joys of a running faucet, getting myself off in new and varied ways has been a combination of pleasure-seeking and puzzle-solving that has landed me a good many toys, products and accoutrements over the years. However, despite my willingness to publicly write about sexing, I maintain Masonic levels of secrecy when it comes to the actual deed; the notion of getting off in public is thus at once titillating and a total nightmare. But given the proper circumstances (loud noises, incognito vibrations, several well-placed dirty thoughts), I am confident that heightened arousal is possible. Orgasm, ahoy.

Materials:Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).

One generously donated Club Vibe remote-control bullet vibrator, complete with machine-washable thong, audio sensor and iPod hookup (tagline: Pleasure Remixed)
Two AAA batteries (Energizer)
One vagina (mine)
One city (New York)

Methods: Describe, step by step, what you did in your experiment.

After picking up my remote-controlled vibrator from Babeland, I ran (or to be more accurate, "skipped gleefully") to a nearby café to use their bathroom as a makeshift insertion laboratory. A few minutes later, I was strapped into a lacy, black one-size-fits-most thong, with a tiny, pink bullet-vibrator in my vagina, the remote control clipped onto my hip. The Club Vibe offers three settings: ambient, music and manual. In music mode, it connects directly to an iPod or mp3 player. In manual, it promises "seven ass-shaking vibration patterns." I set the control to "ambient," where the vibe responds to the tone and intensity of all of the noise surrounding you (the packaging recommends trying out a club setting, so that your nether regions will be "pulsating to the DJ's jams"). I cranked the controls up to eleven and set out to feel the world.

The second I stepped outside, a huge semi rumbled down the street and I had the distinct feeling that I was being paged — and the call was coming from inside my vagina. A honking horn amped the paging feeling up so much that I was sure some fellow pedestrian would notice and out me. The sensation itself fell somewhere between lounging in a massage chair and standing directly in front of the speakers at a particularly bass-heavy concert, the resonance rattling your sternum. Each of the city's white noises had its own corresponding buzz — the wind blowing at the right angle caused the vibe to shiver, car doors slamming gave a brief staccato burst. I was able to walk near enough to one loud, inscrutable argument that I felt like a participant, the machine hammering away at my g-spot as though it had an axe to grind. All of these were startling, but ultimately pleasant. Thusly stimulated, I met some friends at a bar for phase two of the experiment.

My goal was to keep my experiment secret; I hoped that would heighten the illicit aspect of the experience. But apparently word about electronic underpants travels faster than my speedy bullet. "It's like the clapper!" exclaimed a friend, putting his hands together very, very near to my vag. The experiment went rogue very quickly after that, and in a matter of a beer or two my remote control was passed around the table, while various folks played DJ with my pussy. I was hooked up to iPods and PSPs, and my vagina competed in a game of "Name That Tune!" Although my taste in music runs along the Wu Tang/sad-folk-singer spectrum, it appears that my vagina responds more intensely to show tunes and, um, Ave Maria.

The evening hit a vibratory high note once people began speaking, laughing, screaming and singing directly into the remote's internal speaker (Lisa Loeb's "Stay" made a brief, unfortunate appearance). One intrepid volunteer took charge of my remote and began singing songs from Disney movies (Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas, specifically) into my vagina. Before he could hit one saccharine chorus, the room exploded with laughter, and my remote was overcome with the combination of song, laughter, and ambient bar noise. The bullet vibrated exuberantly, joyfully, like its little AAA life depended on it. I was near tears. It wasn't the same as hot, raw sexual arousal, but it was close.

Observations/Results: Quantify the effects of the experiment.

I wasn't completely satisfied with the findings from the first phase of the experiment, so I decided to give the tool one more test, to see if eliminating drunk, friendly participants could bring the experiment to its desired conclusion. Arranging the bullet so that it was cuddled up with my clitoris rather than inserted, I went into the city's damp, pulsing, unpredictable belly: the subway.

Waiting on the platform, I didn't even have to look out at the tracks to know the train was coming — I could feel it from blocks away. It was like being clairvoyant; my vagina could predict the future. When the train burst into the station, I was already grinning like a fool, enjoying the grinding of gears against the track. Once on the train, I sat back, closed my eyes, and let the MTA do its magic.

Unfortunately, there was no orgasm to be had on the subway either. While the commute was definitely more enjoyable than any other in my recent memory, the vibration alone wasn't cutting it, and the number of people sitting directly across from me had me paranoid that I would soon be noticed and carted away as a deviant. Either that or they'd start singing Disney tunes, and I wouldn't be able to contain myself. Even the knowledge that I was headed home to get off in peace wasn't enough to move me from arousal to orgasm.

Conclusion: Summarize your findings.

Waiting on the platform, I didn't have to look at the tracks to know the train was coming.

When I was out on the street picking up sounds from traffic, it felt kind of like the city was fucking me — and for the first time since I moved here, that felt pretty good. I didn't give much thought to the unwitting people in my erotic wake; I was much more concerned with keeping a straight face.

It's possible that I would have gotten off more readily at the bar, had everyone been unaware of the vibrator tucked into my panties. I'm no stranger to having multiple partners, but given the sheer number of people trying to scoot me towards an orgasm, I felt more like a party trick than a scientist. Although almost everyone was good-natured about the whole public-vibrator-orgasmic-group-effort thing, it was disconcerting. When I walked by the DJ table, a complete stranger asked me how I was enjoying the music. "Um, well, it's ODB, kinda hard to go wrong, right?" This was not the answer he wanted. He asked me if I wanted him to "turn the music, you know, up," gesturing with his eyebrows between my face, the speakers, and my junk.

That sort of thing happened a lot.

More surprising than the sheer power of this tiny vibe/panty combo was the seriousness that others devoted to the experiment. I started the experiment worried that it would be mortifying, exhausting, and in no way arousing. I think I expected to be met with either discomfort or some weird tension that could only be relieved by vigorous banging. What I actually experienced was startlingly professional; it was kind of a relief. There was some awkwardness, to be sure, but when people were handling my remote control, their questions reminded me more of an eye exam and less than a trip to the OB-GYN: "Do you like this song? How about techno? Can you tell when I change songs? What about Peaches, is that working? How about now?" They were considerate, curious even — more so than a good number of the folks I've let inside my normal panties for less scientific reasons.

Having now experienced a gay man singing into my vagina like it's a teeny rumbling karaoke machine, I can say confidently that, for me, it's impossible to achieve orgasm under certain circumstances, no matter how comfortable I am. But that doesn't mean everyone shouldn't try it once. Or twice. Maybe on the daily. Nobody has to know.

Read more I Did It For Science here.

Photos by Lauren De Luca.

©2009 Jack Harrison and Nerve.com