I just finished reading a great critique of my open letter to porn actor James Deen by Fleshbot CEO, Lux Alptraum. While I agree with her on some of her points (I too think that a widespread consumer campaign is unlikely to happen...that is, without a push from legislators and the media), I believe that it this is absolutely 100% something that we should as consumers (or in my case, retailer) continue to fight for. I'd also like to address some of Lux's points.
It may be naive to think that a quiet loss of James Deen to the Doc Johnson roster would put a dent in their sales, I'll give you that. However himself and his girlfriend Stoya are incredibly media savvy and well rounded in the content they put out in the world. Stoya has written for numerous publications and models for fashion shoots, while James is no stranger to television/web interviews and has his own food-based web series. He has the potential to turn this into quite good publicity for himself by doing right by his fans. While profit margins from his toy sales might be smaller by going with a small, ethical toy company, there's the possibility of gaining more opportunities in other areas, not to mention more fans.
By publicly standing up for his fans' health, Deen would be helping to relieve some of the shame issues surrounding the purchasing of sex toys. He already sets the example as a smart, articulate person who isn't ashamed or afraid to defend his profession or sex in general. The more media heads we have writing and speaking about the issue of sexual health and toys, the better chance we stand of getting legislators to take a hint.
Now with regards to public policy on sex toys, a congressperson would not need to introduce a bill specifically for sex toys. It could be a bill that puts the same restrictions on pthalate usage for ALL plastic products, not just the ones that children play with. Alternatively, they could demand that companies producing plastic goods must label their products appropriately with the exact materials and percentages of those materials used. If pthalates are that much of a concern that they felt the need to heavily restrict their usage in children's toys, surely it should be the same for all products.
Its the same argument as climate change and energy efficiency. People complain that things like wind turbines, electric cars, and solar panels are too expensive, but the more we invest and move towards what we know to be right, the more innovations we'll get out of it. If we fight the good fight now, and convince people to invest that little bit extra for silicone toys, eventually we'll have our cost-effective, safe dildos.