As we said in Today In Weed: sex and weed go together like milk and cookies. Like bread and (canna)butter. Like other things that go together really well. This has been proven by both individual experimentation and recently uncovered research.
The close connection between cannabis and sex has spurred THC- and CBD-infused lubricants, suppositories that can improve sexual health, strains specifically targeting sexual function and pleasure, and more. For the sex-positive stoner, there’s one more accessory you can add to your “must have” list this new year: this lovely porcelain pipe shaped like the iconic Hitachi Magic Wand, now known as the Magic Wand Original.
Many of us associate pot and free love with the late ‘60s and the hippie movement. The Hitachi Magic Wand is another iconic part of that history. Originally released as a back massager in 1968 by Hitachi—a Japanese company that produces everything from bulldozers to parts for nuclear reactors—it wasn’t long before the Magic Wand ascended to its position as one of the best-known (and strongest) vibrators available. Though the strong, broad vibrations of the Hitachi aren’t for everyone, it’s still one of the most popular products on the market.
Popularized for sexual use by Betty Dodson, author of Sex For One (and at the time, a sexual pleasure outlaw—distributing sexual content across state lines was illegal), the iconic Hitachi massager shares many parallels with the history of cannabis. Once thought of mainly for utilitarian health purposes, both were reclaimed for pleasure.
With this pipe, now you can use your Hitachi to get stoned and then use your Hitachi while you are stoned: good vibes only.
When I saw this art piece (thanks to a Portland friend who found it in a local shop and shared it with their sex nerdy friends) and read the positive reactions of many sex bloggers and nerds, I knew I had to talk to the artist and find out more.
Caitlin Murphy: I don’t know if I ever told you the story of how I learned about the Hitachi pipe, did I?
Alex Simon: Didn’t you say your friend got one?
Well, a friend of mine got one but it was after a different mutual friend and sex blogger posted a picture of one on instagram. Sex bloggers have a private Slack and it was a real hit! The power of social media.
Cool!!! You saw it on Instagram first?
I think my friend Aerie cross-posted it to Twitter, but yeah. It wasn’t long after that that people were talking about it and my friend bought hers, and that was around when I thought to email you. It’s just such a fun concept, especially because I know plenty of stoners who like to smoke and then use their Hitachi. Now they can get high with their Hitachi and use their Hitachi while they’re high. I feel like there’s an Xzibit meme in here somewhere.
Absolutely. For me it was about examining objects that are designed for pleasure, and then kind of glorifying the form of it and giving them a new meaning for another source of pleasure.
And of course finding the humor in all of it. Because it’s such an iconic object for feminists and sex toy lovers everywhere.
It’s a versatile vibe, for sure. Is there a particular moment you can pinpoint when the inspiration to make it hit?
Ha! Yes! Someone very close to me had an old Hitachi wand for over 15 years and one day it sparked when she was about to use it. I told her she had to retire the piece… and that I needed to make a mold of it as soon as possible. I have some process shots on my instagram.
Hahah, that’s amazing! That is definitely one way to memorialize a trusty sex toy that has to be put out to pasture. I’ve seen old Hitachis that have been bedazzled and mounted, but molding it to make pipes is a new one.
Another thing that’s pretty cool about the Hitachi is that it’s typically such a private object for people, and putting it into a pipe context gives it more of an opportunity to be worshiped, talked about, laughed about. It opens up a platform for people to share their own experiences with this badass toy—and make new memories with it. I love playing with form and function and going in opposite directions from what people might think. That’s why I made molds of my prescription inhalers, cast them in porcelain, and now they’re pipes for asthmatic stoners.
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new batch of inhaler pipes ::: for the asthmatic stoners. 🔹 🔹 🔹 DM me if you want one (or more) and I'll reserve it for you.💋 🔹 🔹 🔹 #inhaler #asthmaproblems #asthmalife #asthmakid #asthmacantstopme #claypipe #clayisbae #handmadeinpdx #pdxart #potsgettingaction #etsyelite #etsyshop #etsypipe #legalweed #handmadepipe #asthmaticstoner #inhalerswag #inhalerlife #cannabis #420 #slipcast #etsy
Yes! I love them, which is why I got one for my asthmatic stoner partner.
Turning everyday objects, especially ones that we’re so used to seeing in specific forms like an inhaler or a vibrator, into a pipe makes the user do a double take and re-examine their own relationship with those pieces.
Can you talk a little bit about your ceramics background?
I studied Visual Art with a concentration in Sculpture and Ceramics at Bennington College in Vermont. One of my favorite things about that school was that every winter for seven weeks every student was required to do an internship in their field. So every year I went somewhere totally random around the country like DC, Aspen, Colorado, an Island in the Florida Keys, and Kansas City, Missouri to study with artists I admired, work in art centers, and to get involved in wild clay projects.
After I graduated from college, I moved to Portland, Oregon, and worked in a production pottery studio for six years. This is now my first full year of self-employment and it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s definitely not easy but it’s super rewarding, as you know!
Self-employment is a constant learning process. What would you say has been your biggest lesson so far?
That I should continue to make pieces that I’m really passionate about and that really excite me, instead of making what I think people want to buy. My work is definitely a reflection of who I am and how I interact with the world. The more I embrace that, the more people are empowered to buy pieces and take that magic into their lives.
What would you say is your most popular product?
I make a lot of mugs that have a heart profile and a unicorn as the handle. Sometimes they’re hand-painted with rainbows, sometimes they have catchphrases of things that I say all the time on them like “glitter everything you can’t salt,” and they’re often adorned with 22-karat gold embellishments. One of my favorite things to do is to turn people’s routines into rituals. We drink out of mugs every day, why not turn that into something super special that makes you feel like you’re participating in self-care by just having coffee? I think it’s important to surround ourselves with beautiful handmade objects that make our lives feel more precious. And intentional.
You can find Alex Simon on Instagram, Etsy, and her website.
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