Katie Price sparked a spate of complaints to Ofcom and ITV this week, after advocating fingering on Loose Women. She suggested spit as a natural lubricant, and said she had a sex toy but liked the real thing. "Oh Katie!" said the Loose Women in their disappointed voices. And Katie was escorted off the stage.
What was the topic of chat that made Pricey's comments so incongruous? Were they discussing Brexit? Or the immigration bill to allow 3,000 lone child refugees to enter the UK? Maybe they were tackling mental health issues, when Pricey shared what she shoves up her vag?
If they'd been debating anything of the sort, I could understand their despair, but in fact the Loose Women were discussing sex toys. Ruth Langsford announced that Gwyneth Paltrow is offering tips on "the best sexual gadgets and recipes to spice up your love life!" One of these gadgets being a £10K 24 carat gold vibrator. "Would you spend ten grand on a vibrator?" asked Ruth, opening the discussion. "No, why, when you've got the real thing?" says Pricey. "It's gold! It's gold!" says Ruth, who apparently keeps a magpie in her vagina. "You've got fingers and the real thing," says Pricey, sensibly. "Steady," says Langsford, in a warning voice.
"You've got vegetables and that in the fridge," says Pricey. "Alright Katie," says Langsford, the threat level in her tone rising from icy conditions to avalanche. But actually, in the context of a conversation about what to stuff inside your vagina, Pricey's suggestions seem fairly level-headed. Cucumbers are 49p in Tesco. You can get a kilo of carrots for less than a quid. Fingers are free.
Langsford is like the Marie Antoinette of masturbation. "Let them eat cake" declared the duchess, when beggars couldn't buy bread. "Let them spunk ten grand on a gold gash gadget!" laughs Langsford, shrugging off what, for many, would be a year's salary.
Langsford continues to read out items from Paltrow's clunge catalogue, and gets to "vibrating necklace." Coleen Nolan fiddles with her own jewellery, and looks perplexed as she asks: "Why would you need a vibrating necklace?" Langsford agrees: "That would be very annoying, wouldn't it?" Pricey announces that she knows what kind of necklace it is. Sensing the pseudo-liberated sex chat is about to get real, Langsford marches the conversation along to lubricants, which she imagines will be "safer ground." When Pricey suggests spit, Langsford says, "Oh Katie!" and does an exaggerated cross face.
At this point, Nolan gets out of her seat, and physically frogmarches Pricey off stage. "I wasn't going to say spit," says Langsford stiffy, "Gwyneth doesn't say spit, Gwyneth says, if you want a natural alternative to lubricants, you can use organic coconut oil, olive oil, and aloe vera."
Do the Loose Women have an aversion to body parts and bodily fluids? Given that the subject is sexual pleasure, their outrage seems a little odd. Maybe they're only aroused by £10K price tags and the fancy oil aisle in Waitrose - but there are some slots we don't need Ocado to fill. If we're talking natural lubricants, why isn't saliva an acceptable suggestion? I bet if Family Fortunes asked 100 passersby to name a lubricant, saliva would be up there in the top two answers. So why is everything Pricey says treated as sordid? And why are they fan-girling Paltrow, the pinnacle of clinical?
Katie Price's roots as a working class glamour model, mean that everything she says is dismissed by them as smutty. Paltrow, on the other hand, could fly the flag for felching and she'd still have Langsford fawning over her. Paltrow is an A-Lister - she's acceptable, she's respectable. Apparently, discussions about sex are only for "nice people."
Katie Price has been let down by Loose Women and the viewers who complained about her. I hope that ITV and Ofcom recognise the double standard inherent in the complaints and dismiss them, showing this up for what it is: slut-shaming snobbery.