Please note that this post contains no names, or ages, or identifying details. I'm not even going to specify which states these incidents occurred in, and I will say that none of them were recent. I'm just going to name off some objects and some orifices and you can take it from there, okay?
Chicken wing. Anus. (Claimed they "ate it too fast." Which, if it were true--and my 5th grade understanding of digestion suggests not--is almost worse.)
Pocketknife. Vagina. (Folded. Phew.)
Bic pen. Urethra. (Left in for over a year and only removed when the calcification around it had filled the entire bladder. Also, the cap was on.)
What do these incidents have in common, besides being totally wacky and shocking and producing comedy-gold X-rays? They all could have been prevented by a five-minute consultation with one of the helpful folks at Babeland or a similar establishment. Unlike some of my coworkers, I don't think the crazy part is putting objects in your anus or even urethra--I'm no one to be casting stones and I bet you aren't either--it's using the wrong objects. Sex toys, at least the good ones, are specifically made in materials that can be made clean enough for your body and in shapes that are less likely to damage your body.
Sex toys are also expensive, hard to obtain in rural and/or conservative areas, embarrassing to buy and own, and it's very difficult to get basic education on them unless you really seek it out. Stuff like "silicone is neutral for your body, but jelly rubber has scary chemicals" or "anything that goes in your anus needs a base big enough to keep it from going all the way in"--you don't learn this at school, you don't learn it on TV, you don't learn it from porn, and you don't even learn it from a lot of sex toy sellers! Joe-Bob's Adult Books and Smoke Shop (both the brick-and-mortar and online incarnations) usually carries unsafe toys and sells them with no attempt at education. Joe-Bob is also located in a blacked-out shack in the worst part of town and charges $30 for a lump of poorly-made plastic.
Whereas a cucumber is 50 cents, a tube of Vaseline is a buck, you can get both at the corner Safeway, no one can judge you for having them in your house (unless they're sitting together on the nightstand), and 98% of the time you'll get lucky and have nothing but fun. The other 2% secures your place in The ER Hall Of Legends.
But it's a preventable 2%. Here are my if-I-ruled-the-world recommendations for promoting sex toy safety and sanity:
1) Get rid of sex toy bans. The fact that sex toys are still illegal to sell in Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia is ridiculous. These are totally inappropriate and intrusive laws.
2) Get rid of zoning regulations that force sex shops to only operate in Outer Shitsville. A sex shop is as basic a need as an auto-parts shop and ought to be as easy to find. Also, if the shops were allowed to operate in nicer areas, they'd be less likely to be intimidatingly skanky in appearance and clientèle, and the stigma in visiting them might be less.
3) Allow or promote the sale of sex toys in non-sex shops. This is already happening to a very small degree with more interesting lube selections and a few non-explicitly packaged vibrators in drugstores, but I'd like to see a lot more options in stores that no one is embarrassed to enter. (What about the children? Put stuff in opaque boxes on high shelves and the only kids who'll catch on are the ones who already know.) Not only would this further reduce stigma, but the competition and mass market might lower prices.
4) Ban the sale of unsafe sex toys. This is kind of a murky thing because there are a lot of toys that are only safe if you know what you're doing, and I wouldn't ban those. (How could I. Really.) But there are some toys that are just low-quality--toys made of toxic or unknown materials, toys prone to breakage or electrical faults, toys sold for anal use with no base or other retrieval method, those stupid numbing anal lubes--and I would ban those outright. Medical device manufacturers face standards on what they're allowed to sell for use inside a human body, and sex toy manufacturers shouldn't be able to play the blatant fiction of "it's just an adult novelty!" and be exempt from regulation.
EDIT: In the interest of avoiding government regulation, this should ideally be done by an independent authority analogous to Underwriter's Laboratories, which does not have the power to ban things per se, but whose approval greatly impacts the market viability of a product.
5) Educate people about sex toy safety. I know this is super politically difficult because sex ed is supposed to be all about responsible and serious things like diseases and babies, and something like sex toys--well, that's just dirty. But abstinence-only sex toy education is about as useful as any other kind of abstinence-only. You can't tell Chicken Wing Dude not to shove things up his ass. That's his thing, and by God it's his right, and anyway he's going to. It would make a lot more sense to point him towards a good buttplug.
I'm not sure if I can go so far as to say this education should happen in the schools (although it really should), but it should at least be more available to adults. If I were In Charge Of Things I would send out free pamphlets on sex-toy safety to every store that sold sex toys and to every primary-care doctor. Go in for your physical, come out with a little packet on "things that are okay and not okay to stick in your special places." Obviously lots of people won't read it or won't follow the recommendations, but it beats the hell out of no education at all.
EDIT: 6) Legalize sale of sex toys to minors. At least the drugstore ones. Masturbation (and experimentation with peers) are not statutory rape, and access to sex toys reduces the risk of kids using inappropriate objects or accepting offers from creeps to buy sex toys for them.
And that's my sex toy utopia. It's a world where people have the access, affordability, destigmatization and education necessary to not get chicken wings stuck up their asses. Or at least not as often.