Dong & Flesh: Why Sex Toy Descriptions Have It Wrong

Two Words in the Sex Toy Biz I Could Do Without

You know, I’ve been in this industry over 20 years having owned Grand Opening! and before that, starting out as a sex toy aficionado ever since I was old enough to walk into a porn store. In those decades, I’ve seen so many changes and have been excited by all of them. The relatively recent evolution of sex toys is pretty amazing: remote controlled vibes; round, marble shaped vibes that once cost $250 to buy are now slung around as keychains; tiny, pinky-sized vibrators that pack a punch; sizes, shapes and colors that were once unfathomable, and so many more. I love ‘em all.

Dong should be replaced by dildo in sex toy descriptions.

A dong, yes, but not a dong.

But there’s two words that are still hanging around in the sex toy nomenclature that are throwbacks to the bad ol’ good ol’ days of those sticky-floored, cigar smoking sales clerks selling singularly colored toys that could only do one thing.
Here they are:  DONG and FLESH.

On Dong and Why It’s Wrong

Ask any harness-strappin’ lesbian what she calls her toy and it ain’t “DONG.” It’s called a dildo which is a term that has been around for a long time. In fact, the term “dildo” has been around for centuries and I’m good with that.

But that word “dong” is the one that really gets me going. According to Wikipedia, the word “dong” falls into three categories: “Asian languages,” “People,” and “Other Meanings” including, wait for it… the easternmost village in India; a pornographic actor; feces or excrement; a language game where words are spelled out and consonants have the syllable -ong added on the end; a creature in the nonsense poem of Edward Lear: “The Dong with a Luminous Nose;’” a home run in baseball; a hot dog or German sausage; Dong Open Air (which is a heavy metal festival in Germany named after the Dong hill); and to top it all off, Dong is also a neighborhood division in Korea. If Psy recorded “Dong Style” instead of “Gangham Style” which also references a section in Korea, who knows what the adult industry would have done with that!

So thinking about the somewhat interchangeable terms “dildo” and “dong,” when I go for the gusto and want to fill my inner thighs, I don’t reach for a “dong,” I reach for a dildo. When a partner wants me to stick one into their willing body, they don’t breathe heavy and say “Fuck me with that DONG.” They gasp, “Shove that dildo in harder!” (or actually, they just scream “fuck me harder” and since my gender technically restricts me to only using my fingers and tongue, I ALWAYS reach for a dildo to pack it in their moist channels of desire).

So isn’t it time we retire the term “dong” from our adult industry sex toy terms, packaging, and signage? I mean, if you were to hold one up and show it to someone and ask what they’d call it, I’d bet my hard earned cash that they would say “George,” whoops! I mean, they’d call it a “dildo,” NOT a dong. If you were to ask your grandfather or even GREAT grandfather, they’d probably respond “I’d call that me in my younger years…” or they MIGHT call it a “dong.”

For internet shits and giggles, try looking up the word dildo in Google images and you’ll see the reflection of many products we’re all familiar with. Look up the word dong in Google images and you’ll come up with the visages of hundreds of Asian men and soon realize that the word “dong” is no longer used to describe a sex toy. Unless of course, the aforementioned Mr. Dong HAS a dong or IS a dong…

Besides which, if you get a nick in your toy would that make it a “ding dong”?

DONG – let’s get that word outta here.

Flesh-colored. I mean, really?

Okay, so the other term is what Crayola Crayons discontinued way back in, WHAT?! NINETEEN SIXTY TWO?!? In response to the Civil Rights Movement, the folks at Crayola cleverly changed the crayon color called “Flesh” to “Peach” to reflect the many range of tones of the human skin. So why is the adult industry taking more than 50 years to change our color designation? I mean, we have toys in many skin tones available yet still refer to that common tan color as “Flesh.”

To my knowledge, no manufacturers have been picketed by NAACP (which STILL stands for National Association for the Advancement of COLORED PEOPLE so I guess we can get a pass on that one) or any other civil rights organizations that I can think of, to change the descriptive color of “black” to “African American” so there’s really nothing to fear in that department. The reason why these civil rights organizations don’t picket might be because the adult products industry isn’t that important. But think how many of these DONGS, I mean, DILDOS we sell every day, month, and year. My guess is that it surpasses the number of men, women, and children in the US at any given moment but that’s another blog.

Changing the color designation of adult toys would be simple to do: simply call them “tan.” We call others brown and black and there are still companies that refer to creamy coffee colored toys as “Mulatto” which I’m not sure is considered a somewhat derogatory term at this point or not. I’ll have to try the word on someone and see what their reaction is and my guess is that they probably won’t know what the hell I’m talking about. I think the more accepted terms these days is “bi-racial” – hey, anytime “bi” is referenced in ANYTHING always scores in my book.

And I’m not bringing these two terms up to tentpole my PC muscle, I mean, my Political Correctness flag, but to let our beloved (and major) manufacturers know it’s about time to update the descriptions of our most popular sex toys. On the eve of our biggest trade show of the year, ANME, maybe it’s time to announce those subtle yet remarkable changes. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one to notice and to celebrate. Hell, I’ll even go out and buy a new, tan colored dildo to use on my politically correct and always happy snatch. I can hardly wait.

And now for your regularly scheduled JOTB:

Once, two guys went to a diner for lunch. The waitress took their order. The first guy says “I’ll take a hamburger.” The second guy says “I’ll have a hot dog.”

Moments later, the waitress walks by with her hands under her armpits. Curious, the guys ask why she’s doing that. “I’m doing this to defrost the hamburger,” she replies.

The second guy looks at her and says “Cancel my hot dog order.”

Okay! On to my next blog!  See ya soon!

This article originally appeared on XBIZ.

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Kim Airs

Sexuality Specialist at Grand Opening!
Kim Airs is the founder of the upscale sexuality boutique, Grand Opening! She's since moved the store online and now offers a ton more sex toys and goodies for your own personal shopping experience! You can find her on and Twitter.

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