The Greatest Sex Toy Ever Made

Pop Culture

The Greatest Sex Toy Ever Made

Illustration: Sushant Ahire

A

ll around me, the mob was screaming. They were impassioned, throwing their bodies atop each other, growling like feral animals fighting for a shred of territory. The air was filled with the war cries of incensed metalheads, adrenaline coursing through the stadium like a forest fire, every man inflamed faster than the last one. But I was rooted to the spot.

I stood in the eye of the hurricane, transfixed by the guitarist on stage, fixated on the beauty between his fingers. I could feel the heat from the fretboard crackling through the distance, every iota of this man’s attention focused on the strings of his guitar, and their interaction was the most vivid display of sexual energy that I’d ever seen in my life. No erotica could compare with that raw rendezvous.

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Off-stage, exhausted, the guitarist was a reticent man of monosyllables, except when he started talking about his favourite Gibson Hot Rod. I’d never seen a Gibson guitar before, but the sexual attraction that I was feeling began to make sense the minute he handed it to me. It bore the aesthetics of a freshly minted battle-axe, married to the frailty of fine china. It was as fragile as it was destructive, as vulnerable as it was vicious. But beyond the visual appeal of this guitar, lay its soul, something of the guitarist and something of the guitar enmeshed into a single unit, unfurling through fingers flying over fretboards.

What is it about the guitar? It isn’t merely a musical instrument – in the hands of the right people it becomes a living, breathing entity. I know I speak for millions of groupies all over the world when I say that there’s nothing more erotic than watching someone play a guitar, the greatest sex toy ever devised.

When Les Paul built the Black Beauty in 1957, he probably had little idea about the sexual magnetism the instrument would come to wield. The fretless wonder with a double carved neck, a wet-sanded finish, and a stocky neck. It is humanly impossible to pick up a guitar like that and not borrow some of its sex appeal by association. And borrow they did, from the founding fathers of rock like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards, to the daddies of metal like Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett.

It’s not you, it’s the Gibson. This is basically hotness by association.

The guitar is an intimate instrument to play. It straddles your body and overpowers you with its form: You adjust to its rhythm, you pluck and coax out notes that sound like the moans of a lover in the heat of a charged moment. It is physically impossible to play it in a mechanised manner, because the machine reels your whole body into the exercise. You shred, it weeps; you tease, it giggles; you release and it growls throatily at you, almost begging you for more. It is like making love to a body that is young and fast, responsive and reckless.

Here is where this narrative puts on the proverbial frowny face. The Gibson’s raw sexuality is so self-evident that every poser with daddy’s credit card will now buy themselves a Gibson, learn to play a half-chord on it, and then magically expect their Tinder swipe rate to triple. And depressingly, it does. And because insult attracts injury, these guys become the rock gods of every house party’s seedy underbelly and magnetise a slew of enamoured women towards them. The same, if not worse, is true of women, because if a woman walks into a bar carrying a Gibson and singing Nickelback, nobody is going to be talking to anybody but her. You can recreate Kim Kardashian’s Instagram account live to be noticed, but it’s never going to happen.

It’s not you, it’s the Gibson. This is basically hotness by association. Like a mega-supplement for everything from your personality to how attractive your voice sounds. There is nobody and nothing that cannot be made hotter by a guitar, and it attracts aspiring adults like moths to a flame. It is usually a younger demographic that subscribes to this guitar-buying-to-get-laid school of thought. Sexiness brought on by a guitar wears off with time, and then it is just you and your personality. Once the amplifier is turned off, so is your girlfriend.

As for those caught unawares by a sexy Gibson-playing hero in your story, remember this is a double-edged sword laced with happiness and haplessness. You can remain unaffected by his charm and insist that he has a conversation with you outside of asking you for another cigarette, you can give him a chance to live up to the bravado of the sex toy that he’s carrying around. Or you can pack it in, keep your distance, and go home to the show you were binge-watching.

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