Sat, Aug 30, 2014 - Page 12 News List

Not just a game

Taiwan’s social movements are inspiring a crop of toys and other novelties meant to spark conversation

By Ho Yi  /  Staff reporter

Let the Shoes Fly by board-game maker Godyu.

Photo courtesy of Godyu

Thick, hard and throbbing. That is how Chen Wei-ting’s (陳為廷) penis is said to look and feel. Some beg to differ, insisting that it is cute and chubby, more like a teddy bear. The manhood of Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), Chen Wei-ting’s close comrade, receives different comments. One calls it pink and squeaky clean; another maintains that he has big, round and well-shaped glans. But all in all, Lin’s should be long and thin — that is, according to a poll conducted by sex company Exotica (異物) to find out about how people think of the two Sunflower movement leaders’ male members.

What’s next, you wonder.

Exotica’s made-in-Taiwan dildos, which come in two models inspired by the above-mentioned student activists, have garnered enthusiastic reviews after the first batch of 1,000 pleasure sticks came out in June. They sold out almost immediately.

“Fei-fan feels really gentle and tender, while Wei-ting, in comparison, is strong and fierce,” says a user identifying herself as Aichi Don’t Be Shy (艾琪別害羞) on the company’s Web site (exotica-taiwan.blogspot.tw), after engaging in a “threesome” with the two life-like vibrators.

SEX AND ACTIVISM

Set up by a couple of LGBT and sex rights activists a few months ago, Exotica is envisioned as a social enterprise that aims to destigmatize sex and sexuality as well as providing financial support to cash-strapped social movements and groups. During the occupation of the Legislative Yuan, the two entrepreneurs, both in their late 20s, found it troubling that the mainstream media tried to besmirch the movement by accusing the student protestors of promiscuity. Equally problematic is that, rather than defending their libido, most activists chose to keep the movement’s image clean, pure and sex-free.

Ever since Lin and Chen jokingly kissed each other at an anti-media monopoly rally in 2012, the two have become objects of desire in the eyes of many, say the Exotica’s founders on its Web site.

Making dildos nicknamed Fei-fan and Wei-ting sheds a playful and positive light on sex, an often stigmatized and rarely discussed subject. It’s also an enjoyable way to recognize and embrace individual desires — even in the public sphere.

In the private realm, dildo users are encouraged to learn one or two things about activism while having an orgasm. Every purchase includes an introduction to civil disobedience campaigns, complete with pointers on how to fight against unjust authorities.

Exotica’s dildo-making business is far from alone in its endeavor to spread the rebellious spirit. Influenced by or directly involved in the wave of social movements in recent years, more and more individuals have become socially conscious and started different undertakings to advocate, raise awareness and call for action.

SOCIALLY-CONSCIOUS STREET WEAR

Anyone who has been to the demonstrations taking place over the past year would not fail to recognize black T-shirts emblazoned with the bilingual slogan Fuck the Government (自己國家自己救) or the black towels that read Civil Revolt (官逼民反), carried by protestors like a badge of honor.

Both items come from Radicalization (激進), a street-wear label launched in 2011 by members of political hip-hop group Kou Chou Ching (拷秋勤). Having been actively involved in virtually all the major social protests over the years, the veteran hip-hopsters make sure that their label has a very clear attitude.

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