Steve Shubin, the Austin-based maker of the popular mens pleasure device known as the "Fleshlight," was the subject of a fascinating profile in the Austin Chronicle last month. The focus of the story is Shubin's complete domination of the fake vagina market, but there's also a section about Shubin's days working for the Los Angeles Police Department; days he sorely misses, because he used to be able to slap and choke people:
If you'd told Steve Shubin circa the late Seventies that at 59 years old, he would be running a company that manufactures discrete artificial vaginas, he'd have laughed. Back then, Shubin was a member of the Los Angeles Police Department – he spent six of his seven years in the force on the SWAT team – and he loved it. "I used to joke when paychecks came in, 'I feel bad about taking this!' In college, I was a defensive lineman and linebacker, and I went right from there to the police academy and chasing bad guys – and I got paid for it! It was amazing."
Shubin gets giddy talking about being a cop. "I couldn't do it today," he says, but not just because he's 59. "Today, everybody's got a camera, and everybody's got a lawyer. Steve Shubin would be fired in a month." He describes his days as a cop as "the best job I ever had," and that's up to and including his current gig raking in a bazillion dollars by selling Fleshlights. Shubin gushes about it.
"If somebody needs their face slapped, they're getting their face slapped," he says, talking about his style of policing – but, he laments, "You can't do that anymore." He talks about this stuff so openly, I almost wonder if he remembers that my recorder is on. "I've killed people before. I've done everything. I have choked hundreds of people unconscious. Did I enjoy it? No," he says – and when he explains why not, he says that it's because a person who's choked out poops their pants. Why'd he stop? The pay was bad. "There wasn't much money in policing," he says.
After reading the story, I thought, "This sounds like a pissed-off ex-cop that missed choking people out, had a lot of money, a lot of fancy cars, was misunderstood, mistreated by bankers, rejected by organizations that needed donations, whose neighbors would not wave to him. What an idiot!"
Wow. I thought, "If I gave that impression, I don't know what I was thinking," but that is not correct at all!
The truth is, I had a seven-year, action-packed law enforcement career 30 years ago. I loved police work and could not do the job today. Officers are watched and judged through every step of their day-to-day duties. This level of constant scrutiny hinders their decision-making process under pressure and puts them at major risk.
The world is a better place now that Shubin is making fake vaginas and not arrests.