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Announcing the Secret Project I’ve Been Working On For a

Announcing the Secret Project I’ve Been Working On For a

Art by Addison Finch

About a year and a half ago, I met via Zoom with some folks at Vibratex, the current distributor of the famed Magic Wand (sometimes known more colloquially as “the Hitachi Magic Wand” or just “the Hitachi,” although Hitachi’s name is no longer on the toy). The company had seen my tattoo of their product, and the many GQ articles in which I declare my love for the Wand, and they wanted to chat about how we could collaborate. Needless to say, I was intrigued!

See, back when I was in journalism school in 2015, I spent a whole semester researching and writing a longform feature article on the Magic Wand. I had been reviewing sex toys on this blog for about three years at that point – not long, but long enough to know that the Magic Wand was probably the best-known vibrator in the world, and was certainly the vibrator with the longest and richest history, having been around since 1968.

I don’t recall what grade I got on that article, but I do recall that at one point, one of my interviewees said to me, “There could be a whole book about this – and you should be the person to write it!” At that time, I hadn’t seriously considered writing a book on anything, but the Magic Wand seemed as good a subject as any. I filed away that idea for the future, hoping it’d come to fruition someday.

When I connected with Vibratex eight years later, that’s what I pitched them as our potential collaboration: a book about the history and impact of the Wand. And while I definitely still think there’s a book’s worth of stories to tell about it, we tweaked the idea during our discussions, and landed on doing it as a podcast miniseries instead. That way, I could incorporate the voices of many different experts and laypeople, telling their Wand stories in their own words.

Announcing the Secret Project I’ve Been Working On For a IMG 1098 Large
Sipping a Magic Wand-themed cocktail at last night’s Magic Wand-themed event at the Museum of Sex

So, for about a year now, I’ve been interviewing people about the Magic Wand, researching its history, thinking deeply about it, combing through interview transcripts, and piecing them together into episodes. The result is my new podcast miniseries, Making Magic: How the Magic Wand Became the World’s Most Famous Vibrator, which is launching wherever you get your podcasts on May 30th, 2024. There’s a trailer available now, if you’d like a little taste of what’s to come!

I’m so, so excited for people to hear this series. There’s an episode about the legendary sex educator who made the Magic Wand famous in her all-nude masturbation workshops; there’s an episode about the trailblazers who started the first feminist sex shops and kicked off a movement of women reclaiming their own bodies and pleasure; there are episodes about why the Wand is so important to so many queer people, trans people, and people with disabilities or mental illness; there are episodes about its ubiquity in porn, kink, and art.

I interviewed sex-positive superheroes like Carol Queen and Tristan Taormino, porn dynamos like Stoya and Ava LaPrima, sex history buffs like Hallie Lieberman and Lynn Comella, industry icons like Shay Martin and Andy Duran, kink geniuses like Danarama and Billy Lore, pervy intellectuals like Tina Horn and Sinclair Sexsmith, and badass academics like Laurie Mintz and Debby Herbenick, just to name a few. It’s been a hell of a process, and I’ve been so lucky to get to have so many fascinating conversations with such clever and wise folks.

Making Magic is edited and co-produced by Jamie Pityinger, and made possible by the generous support of Vibratex, with art by Addison Finch. I really hope you’ll tune in when the first episode launches on May 30th. If we’re not available in your podcast app of choice just yet, you can paste this RSS feed into your app and subscribe that way:

It’s an honor to have gotten to work on this project, and I can’t wait for y’all to hear it!

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