When did cycling performance get so sexed-up?
While most road cycling-related advertising promotes performance in the saddle, Selle SMP’s may be the first to focus on performance in the sack (above). In the mean time, just when you thought it was impossible to associate one more trend with the boffo popularity of the steamy novel 50 Shades of Grey, here comes the vibrating bicycle saddle cover, which performs all by itself.
The Selle SMP ad, which appears in the September issue of Bicycling Magazine, takes its cue from recent scientific studies, much covered in both cycling and mainstream media, indicating that extended time in the saddle may interfere with sexual function in both men and women (although women have been studied less).
Keep That Loving Feeling
Performance assured, On the bike, With your partner, reads the ad headline. Sure, the company deserves candor points for being upfront about “keeping loving relationships loving,” but what’s going on with those photos? The hard-charging roadie in the photo at left morphs into a softy in an image so chaste and devoid of romantic sizzle (Button up that raincoat, Missy!) as to remind one of a ‘70s-era Kotex ad. Seriously, isn’t the “complicated, diverse creature” we’ve met, endlessly, in Michelob Light commercials during the Tour de France, enough of an affront to modern manhood?
Prominently featured, of course, is the patented, split-saddle design “created with input from Europe’s best doctors to prevent and eliminate any source of irritation, discomfort and numbness” and available in a variety of shapes and padding to “perfectly fit your anatomy.” European doctors are probably the right play here, considering that most U.S. practitioners would probably just prescribe Viagra and call it a day. In fact, it’s not just the M.D.s who are reticent. Experts suggest that saddle-related erectile dysfunction, said to affect about 5 percent of serious cyclists, may be under-reported due to embarrassment. Noseless saddles, by the way, are another option for perintoneal pressure relief.
Joy Ride Redefined
The flip side of the therapeutic approach to preserving sexual performance is getting happy on the bike itself with a vibrating bicycle saddle cover, apparently perfectly suited to those for whom simple road buzz isn’t quite stimulating enough. Introduced by the British sex toy shop SexShop365, the black polymide Happy Ride cover, which costs $37, is equipped with a “powerful vibrator” that’s regulated by a multi-speed controller inserted into a small pocket on the back. A spokesperson told a British newspaper that the new product was partly inspired by anticipation surrounding next year’s movie version of the novel 50 Shades of Grey.
One road cycling website suggested cheekily that the Happy Ride may be the ideal accessory for the World Naked Bike Ride.
As a road-safety-first kind of person, though, my concern is for pedestrians; the cyclist who’s getting his or her groove on while pedaling away on the erotic bike seat may become the ultimate distracted driver.