Apologies for not having blogged in a while. I’m finally back in the States, but my brain feels too burned out to do any good writing at the moment. But, just to let it be known that I haven’t died yet, here is another bit from my time in Berlin.
**Original date: September 2, 2013
It may seem like I know what I’m doing, but this is all a very clever disguise to cover up the fact that I hardly ever know why I do the things I do. People sometimes accuse me of deep thinking, but most of the time I wander around, listening to Smeagol and Mr. Spock argue in my head while I spew out a mixture of inappropriate humor and vengeful wrath.
Such was the case when I was exploring the touristy parts of Berlin. I was by myself, I had just been harassed by an angry gypsy, and I wanted to look inside some of the shops to get out of the sun for a while (We hates the nasty sun, precious, we hates it. It buuuurrnnns! It burns us!).
While I was walking, a place called the Fun Factory caught my eye. The only coherent thought in my head was, Hey, I like fun! So I went inside, noticing that there was lingerie in the display window but not stopping to think about what that meant. Thinking? There’s no time! FUN is to be had!
It was a sex shop.
My first reaction was to laugh, because at that point I realized that it should have been obvious what kind of store this was. The employees greeted me as I walked through the door and after the laughter in my brain died out, I decided to look around. Besides, if I walked out now I would just look like a prude American tourist.
The store was about the size of a Victoria’s Secret and almost as pink. The front part of the store was dedicated to lingerie and some truly terrifying mannequins, and there was a section with books on sexuality that ranged from exotic sex positions (also terrifying) to coming out to your parents. As I wandered through the store, wondering if I had the guts to actually buy anything (I didn’t), I found that the back wall was one giant display for sex toys.
This part reminded me of a shoe store, with rows and rows of boxes lined up in front of the items on display. The entire length of the wall had an assortment of vibrators, dildos, and machines that were beyond my comprehension with which no man could ever hope to compete.
Naturally, I took a picture.
I did this so I could show my friends back home, because what college student wouldn’t want to see a picture of tons of vibrators from another country? So I took the picture, wandered around for a little while longer, and then moved on with my life.
Fast forward to one month later, while I was visiting my grandparents. My grandma asked me to show them pictures from my trip to Germany, so I happily pulled out my laptop and complied. I had the pictures full screen and was clicking through them one by one in order to give the story behind each of them. About halfway through the slide show, a certain picture popped up in the middle of the historic monuments and old castles.
For some reason, the people at the Fun Factory had decided to put pictures of naked women in lewd poses as the background for the sex toy display, which is perfectly fine. Sex shop owners are free to decorate their dildo displays in any way they please. In fact, the sex-themed background made sense, given that it was a sex shop. That’s completely ok. But why weren’t there pictures of naked men as well? Chances are, at least some of the women who want to buy a machine that imitates a man’s penis are interested in men. I sense a double standard, Fun Factory people.
Anyways, during our family time, my grandparents got to see these lewd pictures and brightly colored sex toys in all their glory.
I quickly clicked on the next picture, but the damage was done. My grandparents could not unsee what I had accidentally showed them, and what followed was probably the most awkward silence I have ever experienced.
Fortunately I’m too brown to blush, and when I found my voice again, I tried to explain why that picture was there (I was holding it for a friend! Don’t look at me!). After several seconds of incoherent stammering, my grandma interrupted me and said, “It’s ok, mijita. It’s important to try new things.”
Moral of the story, kids: Don’t show the Wall of Dildos to your grandparents.