Georgia City Sued Over Law Requiring Prescription To Buy Sex Toys

A man and woman in Georgia have filed a lawsuit against the city of Sandy Springs, GA, attempting to challenge a city ordinance that requires a consumer get a prescription from a doctor in order to purchase sex toys.

According to city ordinance 38-120, the sale and purchase of “obscene material” — which includes “any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs” — is forbidden in Sandy Springs, with the exception that the sale or purchase may be okay if it is “done for a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial, or law enforcement purpose.”

In the suit [PDF] filed last month in a U.S. District Court in Atlanta, two consumers each make their case for wanting to purchase the devices without having to bring a note from the doctor.

The first plaintiff is a woman with multiple sclerosis who says that, since being diagnosed with the disease in 1996, she and her husband have learned that these sexual aides have restored some of pleasure that had been lost because of the nerve damage that resulted from her MS.

“She credits the devices with saving her marriage,” reads the complaint.

Additionally, the woman says she and her husband have spoken to others in the MS community about the benefits of these toys, and that she sells toys “to others who seek to use them for intimate sexual activity.” But the Sandy Springs law prevents her from either buying or selling any such devices in the city.

The second plaintiff is a man who buys sex toys both for his own personal use and to be used in his artwork. Because of the Sandy Springs law, he can neither buy the devices nor sell his artwork without proving he has a medical need.

“(Some people) have this dirty mind about how people are going to use it. People really do need devices because they need it for health reasons and to have a healthy intimate life with their spouse,” the female plaintiff told Atlanta’s Channel 2.

The plaintiffs allege that the Sandy Springs ordinance violates the 14th Amendment and “significantly, substantially, and needlessly infringes on Plaintiffs’ interests in and rights to privacy and liberty.” Additionally, by effectively banning the sale of the male plaintiff’s artwork, the lawsuit alleges that the ordinance violates his First Amendment rights.

While the lawsuit does seek “nominal damages,” the female plaintiff says that she isn’t looking for money; she just wants a court to strike down the ordinance.


Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.