This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.
Is a vibrating condom a humdinger? Apparently so, according to an otherwise skeptical Shukan Post (9/6), which notes that Japanese sex lives are becoming like sports where those who are least proficient often have the best tools to at least make them look the part.
Top Japanese prophylactic manufacturer Sagami Industries Co. has unsheathed the latest weapon in its already formidable armory. Marketed by Ii Project, which refers to it as a “world’s first revolutionary product,” it’s a condom that apparently vibrates slightly by drawing on the body’s ki, it’s life-giving energy source. And it’s apparently selling like hotcakes.
“Various substances emit vibrating waves. These create an extremely weak energy, which we think is how ki manifests itself. As each of these substances has its own fixed pattern of throbbing, we have learned that throwing them all together creates a variety of influences,” a spin doctor for Ii Project tells Shukan Post. “These substances quivering together have given the vibrating condom some amazing features. We’ve had some customers tell us how it has given them greater staying power or permitted greater sensation.”
Surely, Japan’s top-selling weekly argues, when it comes to condoms, it’s a bit of a contradiction for a product to promise enhanced feeling, which logically encourages ejaculation, while at the same time providing greater endurance, which would seem to suggest the opposite effect. But the makers of this rubber claim their product has plenty of bounce.
“We had about 300 monitors of the product and over 70 percent of them reported that it had some sort of effect. What those effects were, we don’t know, but if you give it a try, we think you’ll see the difference,” the spielmeister says. “Of course, the product meets all safety regulations and fully complies with Japan Industrial Standards.”
What the product promises, then, is enhanced feeling maintained for a longer time when compared with the normal condom. Top porn actor Takashi Kato can see its benefits.
“It’s perfectly feasible that people could use such an item and truly feel that they have greater staying power or an improvement in sensation,” he tells Shukan Post. “What you probably find is that it acts as a sort of mental crutch for guys who have little confidence in their technique or staying power.”
Considering the placebo effect, Kato might be right about the vibrating condom. Medical experts tend to agree.
“Though I can’t really speak specifically about that particular product, sex is something that occurs when the brain feels it, so I don’t think that simply putting a condom on is going to make the penis react,” Norikazu Akiyoshi, a professor in psychology, tells Shukan Post. “But, having said that, science has confirmed the existence of these vibrating substances. They could quite conceivably improve blood flow. Using this condom could make its vibrations improve the blood flow, which in turn affects the brain’s central nervous system and encourages men to work on pleasing their partners.”
(The Mainichi Waiwai column ran online from April 19, 2001 – June 21, 2008. It was a much loved form of entertainment amongst foreigner in and outside of Japan. To any reader it was obviously not serious news, but it was a set of articles that portrayed quite well how the Japanese tabloids actually write about their own country. In 2008, a small number of Japanese people bought it to the attention of rival news groups that Mainichi was running an anti-Japan column on its website. With the bad publicity, Mainichi was forced to shut the page down, and take punitive measures against the journalists that were working on it, claiming that it was receiving opinions that were critical of the column, such as “its contents are too vulgar” and “the stories could cause Japanese people to be misunderstood abroad”. A perfect example of how Japanese consider what they write in their own script to be an acceptable secret code, that the rest of the world cant understand. When that same tabloid rubbish gets inconveniently translated to English to make light of some aspects of the Japanese people, it gets canned. Stippy.com finds this unacceptable, and will reproduce as much of the Waiwai content as possible in order to bring it once again to our computer screens for a good laugh. Of course we claim no credit for this content, and attribute it to it’s writers who were former Mainichi employees. Waiwai in its true and glorious form has been discontinued, but it’s legacy will live on at stippy.com for all to enjoy.)