Remember how just a few years ago the book “The Secret” was huge and it told how if you visualized and believed and henpecked the universe that all your dreams would come true? And how everyone bought the book? And now we’re all bankrupt?
Clearly that stuff doesn’t work. I don’t believe in nagging The Force. In fact, I think the more you do needle the universe the more it thinks “Stalker!” and runs as far from you and the giant sucking sound of your neediness as it can.
But I do believe in magic, synchronicity and meaningful coincidences – like the time I lost my wallet in the middle of Georgia and it was found and returned by a woman who lived right near me in Central Florida. I just think they come in forms you don’t expect.
This is all a wordy way of saying I just love it when those “oh-my-god-how-weird!” moments happen and one happened to me just yesterday after I’d read a story in the Toronto Star about the first eco-conscious online sex toy outlet in Canada, Ecosex.ca . The site was founded by sisters Kim and Amy Sedgwick, who own Red Tent Sisters , a Toronto store dedicated to women’s health and happiness “from menstruation to sex to contraception to fertility, childbirth, motherhood and menopause,” says their website.
The Star story concerned the safety of materials in sex toys, namely phthalates, compounds which makes plastics soft and bendable and which have been banned from children’s toys in Canada and the US. Phthalates are still used in some adult sexual novelties, however, because those are considered “novelties” and go largely unregulated in both countries. What took me aback about the store was a quote by Amy Sedgewick who said "I'm a mom and if I am concerned with what my 3-year-old daughter is using now, I should be concerned about the kinds of toys she is using 20 years from now."
That really impressed me. While people in the United States are too busy screaming "vile, contemptible nonsense" to even listen to ideas about health care reform, here is a mom who is free enough of petty embarrassment or faux morality that she can look at her child’s future sexual health, practically, helpfully and accepting of the fact that hormones will be part of her life. That girl is going to have a mom she can talk to – even if she doesn’t always want to, she’s going to know she can. I had one of those and I don't think there's anything more edifying that a girl can have.
I was mulling all this over shortly before popping into Fairvilla to check out some new items. While chatting about something unrelated with a lady in the toy department, and not having mentioned that mom thing, she suddenly said “Why don’t you write about a mom who’s in here with her daughter?”
Their names were Lynn and Alison Finch and they were at Fairvilla for the simple reason that Alison had never been there before and “there are no stores nearly this big” in New Jersey where Alison now lives with her beau James Keith, unless you go into NYC, Alison says, where they’re too expensive.
“I was very informative with them growing up,” Lynn says. “I didn’t want them growing up with the same illusions (we had) especially the ‘orgasm-equals-love’ syndrome,” or “to dump that stuff that ‘sex-is-dirty’ on them.” The 26 year-old Alison was enthusiastically affirmative about having a mom who was as open and whom could talk to - so much so I felt I had to stop being nosey and let the ladies and gentlemen shop. Having enjoyed it myself, it was nice to see and be reminded of the closeness and security that kind of trust can bring.
So, that was my meaningful coincidence for the day, a moment so different from all the sensationalism in the media - from the pornified entertainment to health care madness - and one that showed that here, on the ground, people are talking, being practical and taking care of themselves each other. That’s the secret, really.