Historically speaking, mascots have are intended to bring good luck and brand exposure to sports teams, schools and name brands. At sports games, they’re tasked with getting the crowd riled up in support of the players. But pro sports and schools aren’t the only place you’ll find mascots. Take, for instance, these “sex mascots.”
When we say “sex mascots,” we’re referring to characters that are typically large, plushie and super sexualized. Most mascots seem tailor-made for kids, but not these sex mascots. They can have an educational purpose, like “Phil the Syphilis Sore,” meant to teach people about how to avoid syphilis, or they can be intentionally sleazy, like “Scrotie,” the unofficial mascot of RISD, the Rhode Island School of Design.
Just keep scrolling to see what we mean.
Here are 6 of our favorite sex mascots, from the weird to the even weirder:
1. Kan-chan, the Japanese Enema
In 2016, the Figs corporation held a contest for designers to create a mascot for Ichijiku Pharmaceuticals’ enema line. The result was Kan-chan, a pink, fuzzy enema that actually looks more like an Angry Bird. Kan-chan is a play on the Japanese word for enema, kanchou. Kan-chan is also available in a smaller, toy version — you know, for the person who may want this sex mascot to live on their keychain?
2. Scrotie, the Unofficial RISD Mascot
Considering RISD’s basketball team is called the “Balls” and its hockey team is called the “Nads,” it’s not entirely surprising that some enterprising design students went ahead and created Scrotie, the school’s waaaaay-unofficial mascot, in 2005. Though we have a feeling this sex mascot isn’t welcome to many school-sanctioned on-campus events.
3. Com-chan, the Japanese Condom
In 2013, Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture (the region containing Tokyo), unveiled “Com-chan,” a plush condom meant to inform local youth about HIV prevention. Com-chan looks a lot like Hello Kitty, even down to the whiskers and the cute little bow on its head. What does it not look like? Well, a condom.
4. The Healthy Penis, San Francisco’s Sexual Health Mascot
San Francisco’s Department of Public Health has a six-foot-tall Healthy Penis who attends parades and public events as a way to convince gay and bisexual men to get tested for sexually transmitted infections. This sex mascot even comes (aha!) in three different skin colors so that Black and Latino men are all represented.
The penises were introduced in 2002 (in real life as well as public marketing campaigns, as seen above), went into retirement in 2006, came back in 2009 and returned yet again in 2013. This sex mascot even hands out penis-shaped squeeze toys for people looking to nervously squeeze a penis. (Because who doesn’t fit that description?)
But The Healthy Penis also has an enemy…
5. Phil the Syphilis Sore
For several years around 2006, Los Angeles County health officials used Phil the Sore — “a pus-filled red cartoon character sporting an angry frown, a buzz cut and an earring” — to warn people about syphilis.
During his existence, he got criticized for not doing enough to stem the L.A. syphilis epidemic, but he still got an appearance on The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
6. Biff, the Titan Mascot
Sadly, this last sex mascot is a fictional one from the 1987 sci-fi sketch comedy spoof Amazon Women on the Moon. In the sketch, a young, clean-cut teenager named George nervously goes into his neighborhood drug store to buy condoms for his hot date with Violet.
Unfortunately, Mr. Gower, the elderly pharmacist who has known George since he was a baby, is behind the counter, and George’s purchase doesn’t exactly go as planned — especially since he’s Titan Condoms’ one billionth customer, a dubious honor that lets him meet Biff, the Titan condom mascot.
Biff seems friendly enough — he’s got a big smile — but poor George doesn’t seem to want all the attention.
What do you think of these sex mascots? Do you have a favorite?
This story was originally published on Aug. 3, 2017