Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ceramic dildo row puts New Zealand potters in a spin



Ceramic dildo row puts New Zealand potters in a spin

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
New Zealand pottery has been rocked by plans for a ceramic dildo-making workshop. AFP

Ceramic dildo row puts New Zealand potters in a spin

The genteel world of New Zealand pottery has been rocked by a row over plans for a ceramic dildo-making workshop, sparking allegations of bullying and online abuse.

Ceramicist Nicole Gaston said she wanted the Wellington Potters’ Association to hold the event with Iza Lozano, a visiting Mexican artist who has conducted similar workshops in her homeland.

Gaston said pottery dildos were easily sterilised, could be warmed, and unlike latex versions did not pose the risk of leeching chemicals into the body.

She said: “Some of the oldest ceramic works ever found are of phalluses . . . This isn’t exactly brand new, people have been doing this for thousands of years.”

But the 41-year-old public servant said the backlash against the proposal had been so extreme that she quit her voluntary role as Wellington Potters’ Association president.

She said: “Some committee members said it was needlessly provocative, someone else said it wasn’t appropriate . . . There was this very reactionary, pearl-clutching response, like: ‘How can we talk about sex, we should be ashamed of it.’”

Gaston said many men appeared to find the idea of women making dildos emasculating and she resigned when opposition to the workshop began to include personal attacks.

She said: “It’s not like we would have forced anyone to take part in the workshop . . . If you’re not interested, stay at home.”

Gaston said she had also been attacked online.

“I saw on Reddit that someone called me a nutcase and I thought: ‘I may be a little outspoken, but I don’t think I’m crazy,’” she said.

The dildo furore is not Gaston’s first experience with spicy ceramics – she won an award in 2018 for her work entitled “Vagina Teapot”.

She was surprised at how polarising the dildo workshop plan became, saying she envisaged it as an empowering project that was positive about sex.

There has been support from some Wellington Potters’ Association members, including Vivian Rodriguez, who acknowledged the workshop would challenge the moral ideas of some people.

She wrote in a letter to the association’s governing committee: “At the same time it will provide an excellent avenue for those wanting to explore different types of creative expression, gender identity, and sexual empowering through art.”

The Wellington Potters’ Association did not respond to requests for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is working with Lao and Vietnamese authorities to expand the use of KHQR code cross-border payment systems to promote trade and investment as well as increase the scope of regional economic linkages, and in particular, facilitate remittances from overseas