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Buffalo, New York: In Japan, Pillows Can Be Sex Partners

Bruce M. Bixby 4120 James Street Buffalo, NY 14202

The Japanese market of sex toys for men is an impressive array of human substitutes, most of which either appear to be sleepy or sleeping. Fully 30 percent to 50 percent of online catalogues feature such offerings, and new products are being released at a dizzying rate.

Browsing the sites, it’s notable how many Japanese sex toys play on the notion of unconsciousness. Eyes closed, cut off from the real world by sleep, these dolls invite their human companions to follow them into a fantasy dreamworld.

This strange invitation is the subject of my latest paper, published this spring in the French anthropology journal Terrain.

Love surrogates The association of desire and sleep seems paradoxical. In trying to understand this market, I first looked at the physical shapes of these objects and the language that manufacturers and retailers use to describe them.

The company Dekunobô (木偶の坊), a leader in the “flesh pillow” sector, was founded in 2002 by Nobuyuki Kikuchi (菊地信行).

Starting then and continuing today, these sex toys – that is, dolls or body parts used for masturbation – are replicas of young women, sometimes pared down to the most basic female contours: a bolster cushion, for instance, or a vaguely human-like inflatable mattress.

These “bodies” come with interchangeable coverings and parts, from adjustable heads (featuring varied facial expressions) to wigs, legs and arms. There are optional breasts of all sizes, of course, plus stick-on nipples, disposable vaginas and more.

Without the jigsaw of their detachable limbs and other accoutrements, fresh-from-the-box human simulacra often resemble an inflatable or stuffed pillow.

That realization feeds one subtle marketing strategy, in which these “therapeutic products” (iyashi gûzu, 癒しグーズ) are presented as aids for a restorative sleep, variously referred to as “head rests” (makura, 枕), “cushions” (kusshion, クッション) and “pillows” (pirô, ピロー).

When sold more explicitly as “sexual sensation cushions” (seikan kusshion, 性感クッション), the products are referred to as “sleeping companions” (surîpu konpanion, スリープ コンパニオン) or “body dolls” (bodi dôru, ボディドール).

From Venus bodies to tush cushions

In their most basic versions, these sex dolls are shaped like cushions that can be concealed within pillowcases. There are three main kinds of sleeping companions.

The most minimalist versions, such as the momojiri kusshion (桃尻クッション) (which roughly translates as “tush cushion”), are just rudimentary anatomical representations of female hips.

The “Venus body” (bînasu bodi ビーナスボディ) has suggestive contours inspired by curvaceous carved figurines of the Palaeolithic era. Bigger breasts can be added (see photo).

Finally, there are the flesh-colored rectangles, which the Dekunobô company calls “cushion units furnished with a orifice” (hôru tsuki yunitto kusshion, ホール付きユニットクッション). Artificial vaginas can be inserted into all these items and removed for cleaning after use.

Dekunobô also sells an accessory that can transform any ordinary pillow into a sex partner. The “apron” (apuron, アプロン), which looks like a layer of skin with a pair of breasts and a vulva, can be attached to a bolster cushion or folded quilt to create the impression of a body.

At this stage in their evolution, the dolls are so similar to ordinary pillows that it’s difficult to know whether they should be categorized as bedding or sex toys.

Many Japanese manufacturers accentuate this ambiguity in their marketing. The vocabulary used seems to be a conscious attempt to associate sex toys with pillows, which have positive connotations in Japan.

They give their products evocative names like kû pirô (“sleepy pillow”) – a play on the word kû, meaning “empty” or “air” – or oppai makura (“breast pillow” オッパイ枕).

Other allusive appellations include the dî enu eâ piro (“inflatable DNA pillow” ディーエヌエアーピロー), the insatto hagu piro (“hug and penetrate pillow” インサットハグガールズピロー) and the nama rori pirô (“Lolita flesh pillow” 生ロリピロー).

Recently put up for sale by the brand Hot Powers, there is also a human-cushion hybrid called the “Lovely legs hopper pillow” (bikyaku hoppa pirô, 美脚ホッパッピロー), which has the upper body of a pillow and the lower body of a human.

It can be covered with a pillowcase featuring a trompe l’oeil image of a young woman to complete the effect.

Blurring the lines

Interestingly enough, the Hot Powers’ Lovely legs hopper pillow is dressed as a miko, a Shinto shrine maiden, and presented as a “wife” that can “cross the barrier between dimensions” (Jigen no kabe o tobikoete, ore no yome 次元の壁を飛び越えて、俺の嫁).

This is a very specific cultural allusion. In the Japanese Shinto religion, gods can appear to humans in a wide range of shapes, including mountains, pebbles, horses, cucumbers, mirrors, brooms, children and, yes, anthropomorphic objects.

In an article titled “Substitutes, Tricks and Transformations”, ethnologist Laurence Caillet notes that Shinto gods, having no inherent form of their own, move from object to object, both animate and inanimate.

Among the objects best able to welcome a “presence” are those that recall the idea of transportation and passage: vessels, pipes, any forms of receptacles, containers, hollow objects… Pillows also belong to that category. For aren’t they ideal vehicles for crossing over and travelling in the land of dreams ? A person, using a pillow to rest his head, goes from the state of wakefulness to sleep, his body dissociating from his mind as he falls into an oniric world… Similarly, sexual dolls play the role of such an interface. They act as a specific medium which has the capacity to blur categories.

The same logic applies to the strategy of marketing sex toys as pillows. The idea is to transform the sexual playing field into a sacred space, one in which the supernatural existence of a young woman conjured from thin air is believable to the customer.

For sex pillows to bring satisfaction, users must pretend that there is a real presence behind the artificial, balloon-like object. As the anthropologist Albert Piette has said, believing means accepting fuzziness. In the case of sex toys, believing also means being able to cross boundaries.

The attraction of these Japanese simulacra no doubt lies, in part, in the seductive game of hide-and-seek: on one side of the pillowcase hides a lady; on the other, just a pillow.

With tush cushions and Lolita pillows, customers can tinker with appearances, control them or transcend them, encouraging men into a playful and even dream-like exercise in secular, sexual faith.

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Boulder, Colorado: Video surfaces of Milo Yiannopoulos defending pedophilia, ACU board reportedly not consulted on CPAC invite

Jonathan S. Molina 3235 Tavern Place Boulder, CO 80302

The American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual gathering of conservatives called “CPAC,” announced over the weekend that alt-Right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos would be this year’s keynote speaker.

Many criticized the move because Yiannopoulos is not seen as a traditional conservative — if a conservative at all. Instead, Yiannopoulos is seen as the figurehead of the alt-Right movement, a movement that prides itself in nationalism, which many accuse of racism and anti-Semitism.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor for the conservative magazine National Review who is seen as one of the conservative leaders in post-modern politics, said the move to include Yiannopoulos as the keynote speaker is “sad and disappointing.”

Still, ACU chairman Matt Schlapp defended the decision in comments to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story about Yiannopoulos.

“An epidemic of speech suppression has taken over college campuses,” Schlapp told the news outlet. “Milo has exposed their liberal thuggery and we think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective.”

Then on Sunday morning, less than one day after the controversial announcement about the CPAC speaker lineup, video surfaced of Yiannopoulos allegedly defending pedophilia in the past.

“We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff,” Yiannopoulos is heard saying in a video, acknowledging that he has a controversial point of view, “to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults.”

“In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents,” he added.

“It sounds like molestation to me,” an unnamed person tells Yiannopoulos in reply, likely an interviewer. “It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me.”

“But you know what? I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him,” Yiannopoulos replied, using a euphemism for male oral sex.

It doesn’t end there.

In an interview with comedian Joe Rogan in 2015, Yiannopoulos discussed his sexual relationship with “Father Michael,” which he allegedly had as a teenager at age 14.

During the interview, he even tried to normalize pedophilia.

“So you’re saying you’ve never seen a 15-year-old girl, at any point in your life, that you thought was hot?” Yiannopoulos asked.

“Yeah, when I was 15!” Rogan replied. “I’m not retarded dude.”

“No, when you were 25 or 30, you’ve never seen girls you thought were hot?” Yiannopoulos asked again.

“No, I thought they were little kids!” Rogan said.

Later, Rogan called “Father Michael” a “terrible person” for allegedly having a sexual relationship with Yiannopoulos when he was a young teenager, but Yiannopoulos tried to downplay it.

“It wasn’t molestation,” he alleged

“That’s absolutely molestation,” Rogan shot back.

Later in the interview, Yiannopoulos talked about a Hollywood party he went to years ago that had “very young boys” in attendance for sex.

Yiannopoulos has since responded to the allegations on Facebook Sunday afternoon denying them completely.

Yiannopoulos wrote:

There’s a video going around that purports to show me saying anti-semitic things (nope) and advocating for pedophilia (big nope). The shocking thing? It’s Republicans doing it. Sad to see establishment types collapse into the same tactics as social justice warriors: name calling, deceptively edited videos, confected moral outrage and public shaming. This is why they deserve to burn — and why they are burning. Here’s how I actually feel about pedophilia, which you’d know if you’d actually watched or read anything I’ve ever done. Or, you know, if you had two brain cells to rub together. There’s only one appropriate response to this sort of behavior, and it’s a gigantic F**K YOU!

In addition, it appears that the ACU board was not consulted about Yiannopoulos being named a speaker at this years CPAC, let alone the keynote.

“The ACU board was not consulted on this, nor was there a board vote,” Ned Ryun wrote on Twitter Saturday, who sits on the ACU board.

Last year’s keynote speaker was conservative radio host Glenn Beck, who many criticized in 2016 for being an outspoken critic of then-candidate Donald Trump. Beck didn’t support Trump because he didn’t think Trump was conservative enough.

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Nothing, absolutely nothing, flatters a girl more than a man committing suicide because of her.

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Providence, Rhode Island: Harsher Sentence in Singapore for Pedophile Joshua Robinson

John C. Alba 600 Myra Street Providence, RI 02905

Wow... 4 years of jail without caning for a pedophile?!

Is this the message our Singapore Government People's Action Party is intending to send worldwide: "Spray paint our city or slander our government officials and you get it worse off than if you rape and sexually abuse our children"? Pedophiles will come from far and wide to take advantage of such an incredibly erroneous measure of justice!!

As a parent and an early childhood educator advocating for the voiceless in our country (and children everywhere, with the fact that upon release this pedophile could be anywhere around the world, abusing his mixed martial arts trainer's credentials) I find this unacceptable and absolutely intolerable. Unfortunately, the 6 year old in this traumatic case is a daughter of a close friend and it absolutely breaks my heart and those of all our friends and family. TO EVERYONE WHO READS THIS AND WISHES TO EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN AS A PARENT, A GRANDPARENT, AN UNCLE OR AUNT, AN EDUCATOR ... PLEASE JOIN THIS PETITION TO THE PRIME MINISTER, ATTORNEY GENERAL CHAMBERS AND THE MINISTER OF LAW TO SEEK A REDRESS OF THE SENTENCE FOR THIS SEXUAL PREDATOR JOSHUA ROBINSON.

"Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil" ~ Elie Wiesel

I WILL NOT STAND INDIFFERENT. NO MORE. Will you?

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