For sale: Vibrator. Used twice. On tiny songbirds.
Science is exciting and requires supplies. But now that my experiment is over, it’s time to send this Sexy Things Pop Vibe onto its next chapter. Will you be in it?
The story behind your newest addition:
Scene: Adult store, April 2012.
Well-dressed salesperson: Hi, welcome to [XXX] Adult Emporium.
Me: Hi. I’m looking for your smallest vibrators.
Salesperson: Great, let me show you our Bullet collection.
They were neatly arranged down one side of a kiosk. They were also nearly as long as the birds themselves.
Me: Actually, do you have anything smaller?
Me: I’m trying to collect samples for my graduate work.
Me: I need semen from a bird.
Me: It’s for a “friend”?
Salesperson: Okay! I can suggest these three models within your price range.
They were $8, $12 and $15. We went to the counter. He turned them on and I put them in the palm of my hand.
Me: Whoa. These are all really strong.
Salesperson: Your hands might not be sensitive enough, so if you want a better idea of the sensation, you can touch it to the tip of your nose.
Me: Oh my god.
Salesperson: How does it feel?
Me: I’m afraid they might cause nerve damage.
Salesperson: Try turning it to the lowest setting. This one has a bunch you can choose from. You can control the pulses too.
Me: Is there anything I can do to lessen the strength?
Salesperson: We’ve…never had anyone ask that before.
Me: Maybe wrap a towel around it?
Salesperson: I’m sure you’ll be creative enough to come up with a solution.
I picked the $12 one and biked to school.
Half an hour later, I realized I’d forgotten to ask for a receipt. The guy picked up, and I explained that I needed to be reimbursed. I think that’s when he finally believed me about the whole thing.
(I never did submit the receipt to NSF. After someone in our lab was asked to justify an order from the Container Store, I just couldn’t bring myself to fill out the expense report.)
I tried it out on two test birds. You know how cartoonists indicate the force of a power drill by drawing squiggly lines around cross-eyed people? The poor males were blurry in my hand. Also…nothing came out. Conclusion: Cloacal vibratory stimulation is an ineffective way to obtain bird seminal fluid.
Anyway, my scientific failure is your gain! Act now, supplies won’t last! Waterproof and comes with free batteries.