Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Lap Pillows

The Japanese have introduced a new pillow, intended for bachelors. This is how it looks:

And this is how it is described:

One popular item for holiday shoppers is the "lap pillow," with skin-coloured polyurethene calves folded under soft thighs -- a comfy cushion for napping, reading or watching television.
The 9,429 yen ($90) pillow, which comes with one red and one black skirt, went on sale in late November and maker Trane Co Ltd says shipments have reached 3,000 in just a few weeks.
"We created this item to help tired people relax," said Makoto Igarashi, Trane's managing director.
Care was taken with details such as the softness of the thighs, panty lines on the pillow's "backside" and wrinkles in the lap of the skirt so as to make the pillow look and feel as real as possible.

The female lap pillow was preceded by a similar pillow, intended for women. It consists of a man's shoulders and one arm, the intention being that the sleeper leans on the shoulder and then wraps the arm around her own shoulder.

These pillows are supposed to work as substitutes for a real woman or man. They are explicitly intended for singles who have no-one living to use as a pillow.

I'm not sure what to think about this all. On the one hand such pillows are just jokes, and they are pretty well made, too. On the other hand, they remind me of the various sexual tools available and somehow extending this tool idea to the alleviation of loneliness seems to cross a barrier for me. Loneliness will not be less if you lie on a pillow that resembles cut off bits of humans, and to suggest that it does is quite criminal. Then there is the feminist angle: the male pillow appears to offer protection and comfort, the female one submission and comfort. But this is probably a purely subjective reading. An even more subjective reaction is my disgust at even thinking about mutilated parts of women as a source of comfort for men. Or the other way around, of course, but the evidence on crimes being what it is, especially the first way around.

Still, the Japanese are not alone in this desire to make toys out of all sorts of human body parts. A new fad in the United States is the hanging of artificial testicles on your truck. I have been told that this is a guy thing! Rush Limbaugh might have predicted that it's the feminazis who hang testicles at the back of their sticker-covered cars, but no, it's the he-men of the truck-driving kind who do this. Maybe the testicles are supposed to belong to the man who lost the last fight with the driver?

In any case, this is how it would look should you wish to follow the same fad.

Thanks to Wyzardess for the lap pillow link, to the Original Amazon for the Bumpernuts link and to Jason for the shoulder pillow link.