REAL-TALK TIME: Sex toys are pretty fucking fun. Sadly it took me far too long to come to this conclusion, but between She Bop and Portlander Erika Moen's invaluable webcomic Oh Joy, Sex Toy, this truth became self-evident. Now Moen's taken her comic from the internet straight to your hot little hands with a beautiful 265-page book. In it, the exuberant pervert and her husband, Matthew Nolan, review oodles of wibbly-wobbly, madly oscillating sex toys. To call it vastly informative might just take the shine off of how entertaining and funny it is, because this baby's a joy to stick in your readhole.
Moen stars as the narrator of more than 40 different comics that feature helpful reviews of vibrators, lube, and porn sites, and Nolan chimes in about masturbation sleeves and cock rings. While the couple actually sample the sex toys, Moen uses a rotating cast of characters—the Masturbateers, who run the body-type, sexual orientation gamut—to demo the products. They're a delightful gang of cartoon cuties, like Archie and the Riverdale crew... except trans Betty and strap-on-sporting Veronica are testing out the Love Glider Sex Machine. Above all else, Oh Joy, Sex Toy is inclusive in its diversity—so you're bound to find a sexy tester who looks like you.
Moen's warm embrace of all things vibrating is infectious and heartfelt—she practically oozes bonhomie. In a touching story, the comics creator talks about how she came (ha!) to be such an ambassador of sex-positivity. It started with not listening to her repressed mother, and purchasing a cheap vibrator.
"I shudder when I think about the lies my mother told me, the sex life she was training me to have. I could have been robbed of all this, of the love and pleasure I've experienced since I bought my first, tiny vibrator as a scared, ignorant teenager." From that first orgasm, her enthusiasm about sex has come to full fruition. "For the first time in my life, I'm doing work that feels important."
Between making terrible (slash awesome) puns, patting pony-sized penises on the head for a job well done, and creating a mascot for butt stuff (the Anal Safety Snails, who say, "Go slow"), Moen's the most welcoming, honest, and chipper sex-ed teacher ever. Oh Joy, Sex Toy's collection of anatomy lessons, product reviews, and interviews is sexy and smart and big-hearted... and there are Star Trek jokes. This is important work, indeed.