Jackhammer Jesus. All images via Divine Interventions.
VICE's recent nunsploitation shoot reminded us about how fun, weird and totally hot the tension between sex and religion can be. In fact, it inpired us to look into another facet of the interplay between piety and perversion: religious sex toys.
It's no secret that in the last decade or so, the sex toy industry in general has seen a boom. While the total value of the industry in Canada is unknown, the US has their industry at about $15 billion. That’s a lot of rubber wangs and simulated vaginas.
Of course with the rise in mainstream sex products, the obscure micro-niches of that economy are also growing. If you're the kind of particular person that only wants to get whipped by an upcycled vegan flogger, someone out there can totally make that happen. Today, thanks to video tutorials, DIY kits, and people with lots of time on their hands, a mini sex toy cottage industry has popped up.
The artisanal religious sex toy industry is very much part of this obscure toy sexplosion. Have you heard of the Holy Water Plug? It’s a sex toy that includes two inches of shiny cold metal that you stick down your urethra in the name of Jesus Christ, out of the little cross on the end comes an au naturel sort of holy water. It sounds painful, and I can’t fathom why anyone would pay 84 dollars to stick this mini pipe down their pee-hole, but the fact remains: It exists because somebody wants it.
There are companies earnestly trying to bring couples closer to God like Intimacy of Eden or Covenant Spice—who don’t feature any models with their products so Christian couples can remain virtuous while shopping for things to greedily stuff their holes with—and then there’s the fetishist scene whose participants are all for the idea of turning the spiritual into the sexual.
Nigel R. is one of the latter and has been assisting people in having orthodox-inspired orgasms since 1999. Much like other artisanal adult toy companies, the majority of Divine Interventions’ silicone products are handcrafted and coloured by Nigel himself.
Focusing mainly on Catholic-themed sex toys, Nigel first got the idea for Divine Interventions in college when he mistook the picture on the box of his roommate’s Jesus nightlight for a dildo. Now his company features products like the ‘Jackhammer Jesus’ and the ‘Baby Jesus’ butt plug.
Baby Jesus butt plug.
In many ways Divine Interventions gets its kicks out of marrying the ultimate binary—sex and religion—into one product. Though the target audience are religious fetishists, a small minority of religious customers have cited using Christian sensual products to improve their sex lives, in turn bringing themselves and their relationships closer to God.
"I got one email from a reformed Catholic who felt very oppressed growing up in the church, and thought the toys were great and improved her sex life," explains Nigel over the phone from California.
Nigel’s toys don’t only feature the King of the Jews. There’s also the sacreligious ‘Diving Nun,' comprised of a phallic-shaped nun that suctions to the wall to be used in as many ways as your imagination sees fit. Those lacking the appropriate accessories for their newly obtained silicone nun, can pick up some ‘Holy Water’ lube, for the reasonable price of $9.99 (each bottle has been blessed by a priest)."
In case you’re wondering, Nigel grew up a member of the Church of England, and now he is now a self-proclaimed Atheist. Nigel says he's received some negative feedback, as well as a suspect email from someone claiming to be from the Vatican, in which he was accused of violating the copyright of Jesus Christ. “I truly don't understand, our toys don't hurt a soul,” Nigel says. “People really do need to relax when it comes to religion... and our toys can help.”
However, Nigel is a man that wants every niche, and hole, filled. Unsatisfied with merely catering to Christianity, Nigel branched out into the penis personifying of other religious figures as well.
“Baby Jesus Butt Plug just sort of rolled off the tongue,” Nigel says. “I knew that I wanted to include figures from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, though the only Hindu and Buddhist pieces are the Shiva Lingam and the Buddha, respectively.” As a side note Nigel recently received a request for a Putin look-alike butt plug that he would affectionately call the ‘Putin-ass’ plug.
In terms of what’s next, “We did think about becoming a church, 'The Temple of Divine Interventions,'” says Nigel. “It would certainly be more fun than Scientology.”