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Hilary Fannin: What is lurking in the stockings of the lovely people? Vibrators

Only 380-ish hours left until Christmas and not a child in the house washed, as Great-Aunt Delphinia would say

What? Only 380-ish hours left until Christmas? How can that be? It seems like only yesterday that, chameleon-like, we shrugged off our Covid colours and pulled the dust sheets off our musty world. Only yesterday, wasn’t it, that I shovelled myself into a swimsuit and bobbed around in the sunlit brine? Only yesterday, surely, that the leaves turned and the nights grew cool and the cat knit herself a quartet of bedsocks? Yet here we are, a fortnight away from the big day, and not a child in the house washed, as Great-Aunt Delphinia would say.

Being a helpful soul and knowing just how busy our tiny lives can become at this most taxing time of year, I thought to make my usual trip to Goop-land to see what seasonal treats the wellness goddess with the glistening oesophagus, Ms Gwyneth let’s-bury-the-yoni-egg Paltrow, had up her expensive sleeves to entertain and delight us.

Armed with nothing but good intentions, a pair of torn rubber gloves and half a bottle of holy water, I girded my loins to scour through the Goop Christmas-gift catalogue, so beloved of our Gwyn’s legions of smooth-skinned and super-satisfied followers. No better way to cast a Christmassy light on just what’s lurking in the stockings of the lovely people.

Vibrators. Can’t say it plainer than that. It’s all about vibrators.


Sure I suppose you could visit the wonder woman’s website merely to pick up a box of neon bog paper or to splash the cash on a Gucci bag with blingy chain, specifically designed to store poochy poo bags. The online shop even offers the chance to purchase sachets of hair colour for one’s aforementioned infelicitous bowler (try saying that without your teeth in) which, while being both vegan-friendly and dermatologically approved, is conceptually vile.

Or you could simply dump your dough on a ribboned black satin baguette tote bag for carrying your carbs through the streets with elan.

One of the perineal – sorry, I mean perennial – favourites when it comes to vibrators is a product described as a dual-stimulation device with that ‘classic bunny-ears’ look

The big-ticket gift for Yuletide, meanwhile, is created by a master furniture designer and crafted from brass and tufted black leather. A fantasy chaise whose curves mimic the contours of the body, it comes replete with stirrups and restraints. If all else fails and you wreck your back trying to haul it down to your dungeon, it’d probably do wonders for the lumbago.

But in truth Gwynnie’s stall only reaches its juddering apotheosis when you peruse its vast array of vibrating sex toys. From “snails” to “cellos”, it’s all “viva la vulva” in Goop-land, and for a couple of thousand dollars you can even bag yourself a pulsating cowgirl saddle. (I’m not going into any more detail – you can look it up for yourself.)

One of the perineal – sorry, I mean perennial – favourites when it comes to vibrators is a product described as a dual-stimulation device with that “classic bunny-ears” look. Given that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand, was set up in sunny California as recently as 2008 (armed with the slogan “Nourish the Inner Aspect”), it’s entirely reasonable to casually use “bunny ears” as a way to describe a product. Presumably, for most straight-toothed Californians, bunny ears are simply long furry things that sit on top of cute little nose-twitching mammals.

It’s highly unlikely that those leggy, sun-kissed west-coast aliens spent their childhood evenings moving a cold and spiky hand-held two-pronged aerial – bunny ears to the Irish – inch-by-quarter-inch around the top of the chunky television set to get “reception”. Neither would they know that, in certain weather conditions (rain, mist, or when the wind blew), the odds of achieving both picture and sound were as slim as of finding a yoni egg in your chicken coop. And imagine their consternation if, mid-manoeuvre with the bunny ears, they were to suffer the not-insignificant shock of being aurally assaulted by a sudden rousing blast of Welsh.

Anyway, Gwynnie’s glittering cache is all there for the exploring. If you have the wherewithal, the chutzpah and the notion, you can even write to Santa and ask him for a bunny-eared vibrator with cruise control. More’s the pity we didn’t have one of those babies in 1969 when the storms were raging over the Irish Sea and we were all reduced to watching Mart and Market and reruns of Wanderly Wagon.

With one of those bad boys, we could have got Bruce Forsyth in high definition and surround sound, with his pixels pulsating in just the right order.