2017 Obsessions

This year, I spent a lot of time thinking about what to do with this biodegradable vibrator.

In 2016, when I was younger and dumber (hard to believe!), I did not know that you could compost a sex toy. Truly, had never given it a thought. And then on a pivotal day in the spring of 2017, I received a Gaia biodegradable vibrator in the Grist mail. Here it is, in December:

Eve Andrews / Grist.org

You’ll notice it’s still in the box. (The box is recyclable.)

I am in favor of both vibrators and composting, so good on you, PR person! But I found myself paralyzed. What am I supposed to do with it? Take it home? Too much! Leave it on my desk, so everyone I work with knows I haven’t taken it home? Aaaahhh! Write about this non-event, inviting my millions of fans and billions of internet strangers into my neuroses? Still a dummy, Andrews!

An inextricable element of this debate: That the words “biodegradable” and “vibrator” together conjure an immediate mental and physical rejection. Bio … degradable … vibrator. A vibrator, degrading. Into biomass. Yowza! Nooooo! I can’t help it!

I don’t mean to discourage anyone from buying a compostable sex toy. 2017 was simply a year in which I learned there are certain mental boundaries I am not ready to cross — the one currently separating my clitoris from the compost bin. This vibrator was the bête noire to my eco-warrior, and it defeated me.

Eve Andrews is an associate editor at Grist.