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Hello Clitty: "Toys ‘Arse’ Us" Japanese style!


Perhaps due to other deficiencies, sex toys play a disproportionately large role in the erotic life of the Japanese. From the "Anal Eye," a 'scatoscope,' to the endearingly cute Hello Kitty 'vibrator,' sexual gizmos and erotic aids are hard to avoid in the Japanese boudoir.

It comes as no surprise then that the world's best selling love gadget was produced and largely sold in Japan. Since its 1998 release, the "Lovegety" shifted more than 1.3 million units. As the name suggests, however, it was a device designed to initiate the sexual act rather than enhance it.

The device evolved from Tamagotchi, the hand-held virtual pet that inevitably croaked when you forgot to digitally feed it. One of the subsequent marketing ploys designed to maintain initial high sales was to create male and female versions that could sense each other's presence and breed virtual Tamagotchi kids. From this, it was a very short step to the Lovegety, a small, oval-shaped device that took much of the uncertainty and stress out of cruising, something invaluable in a society where proactive social skills are often lacking, especially in the shy and nerdish younger generation.

The Lovegety, which retailed for 2,980 yen, had three basic settings that allowed users to choose between "talk," "karaoke," and "get2" modes, the last one signifying casual sex in a suitably fuzzy way. With its puny battery working overtime, the innocuous looking device would search for holders of the opposite sex within a five meter radius. That may not seem much, but in the densely packed clubs and streets of Tokyo's Shibuya or the crowded carriages of the Yamanote Line, such a range can often include hundreds of people.

If a holder with the same mode was located, the two devices then lighted up and discretely beeped. Assuming you forewent the pleasures of karaoke or talking about the Japanese equivalent of the weather (the price of tofu, the latest earthquake, etc.), then, this being Japan, a love hotel would have been only a short walk away.

The device has now been superseded by 'bluedating,' which uses mobile phone and Bluetooth technologies to match passing strangers in a more technologically integrated way. But both systems have the same strengths and drawbacks, namely their random and promiscuous nature and the fear of the unknown.

Indeed, some of the other love toys on the Japanese market suggest that at least part of the reticence the Japanese show in initiating sexual encounters may be based on fears of what is to follow, for example, one glimpse of the "Anal Eye" and the endearing illustration of how to use it might well persuade some of the less confident ladies to leave their Lovegetys at home.

A popular seller at many Japanese sex toy emporiums, the "Anal Eye" consists of a Perspex funnel and a viewing device with an inbuilt flashlight, designed to be inserted into the funnel, once that has itself been inserted.

So, apart from the dubious pleasure of humiliating another human life form (and yourself), what are the Anal Eye's chief selling points?

"With its own light (batteries not included)," the advertising chirpily proclaims. "If you embrace this, you will be able to see things you have never seen before!"

Another key feature is the firm handle that allows you to reliably extract the device once scatological curiosity has been satisfied.

With such experiences lurking behind each Lovegety bleep or bluedating buzz, it's no wonder that many Japanese – both male and female – prefer to 'handle' sex without reference to another person. Men, reluctant to embark on the emotional roller coaster of buying a girl a coffee and scouting out the nearest love hotel can opt for a "Tsumamigui," a kind of cunt in a can, for around 500 or 600 yen.

With a manga heroine melting with lust next to alluring phrases like "You so wet" and "Hey, get in quickly" on the outside, on the inside you'll find a lubricated Styrofoam hole that'll give just the right edge to an onanistic fantasy, quickly followed by a long, dark night of soul, after the user realises he's just been reduced to popping a beer can.

Ladies, as ever, have something altogether more tasteful to hit the spot with – the Hello Kitty 'vibrator.' But before the Erotic Review gets taken to the cleaners by the high–powered lawyers of the mighty Sanrio Corporation, we should stress that despite its dildo–shaped appearance, bright pink colour (the other choice is black), and relentless throbbing action, this 'sex toy' was only intended to be ever used as a shoulder massager.

The fact that it soon started appearing in sex shops, soon after its original 1997 release, has more to do with the twisted minds of its confused clientele than the wholesome reputation of the cute little white cat promoted by the good people at Sanrio.

After ceasing production in 1999, the company is now bringing the device back into production, due to sustained demand, much of it through sex shops. Although this might mean there's a real need to cutely massage shoulders, an alternative explanation is that after 34 years of continuous cuteness and innocence, Hello Kitty's original customer base has grown up, passed through the "Lovegety" and "Anal Eye" phases of erotic love, and now finds the need to apply the K-rod to the much neglected G-spot.


C.B.Liddell
Erotic Review
May, 2008
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  1. “this 'sex toy' was only intended to be ever used as a shoulder massager.

    The fact that it soon started appearing in sex shops, soon after its original 1997 release, has more to do with the twisted minds of its confused clientele than the wholesome reputation of the cute little white cat promoted by the good people at Sanrio”


    Same thing for yellow ducks. At first these were genuine toys for toddlers, and only long after was the concept applied to dildos. That makes me wonder if a pervert had the idea, or if sex-toys companies just followed their customers. Eternal dilemma of supply and demand. Being an “Austrian,” I believe trade is driven by supply, but for this particular case, I don't know.

    Anyway, every time my son plays with his yellow duck toy in his bath, I can't help getting mad at people selling or buying the dildo version.

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