Friday, September 1, 2006

Seoul Sexpo is Now Just an Expo

Models pose for a photo to promote the first 2006 Seoul Sex Education Expo at the Millennium Seoul Hilton in Seoul on Tuesday. (Photo and caption taken from the Digital Chosun-Ilbo website).

This is funny to me because I'm from San Francisco where sex, sexuality and whatever might float your boat is fine. However, in Korea, as I've noted before, there is a vibrant underground sex industry here. However, hypocritical it may be, on the surface it is still very much sanitized a la Ozzie and Harriet or Pleasantville.

That turns me to the story at hand. Even for women, mention sex and you get our attention. Believe me, it came up a few times last night over fairly pleasant conversation with an Englishman and drinks. So I had to stop and read when I saw this headline: Sex expo lingerie models barred from South Korea

A South Korean sex trade show promised foreign women in steamy underwear, striptease acts and sex seminars but had to cancel the performances after losing its lingerie models to immigration laws, organisers said on Thursday.

The 2006 Seoul Sex Education Expo, dubbed Sexpo, opened on Thursday, however, with plenty of sex toys, lotions and audiovisual material.
South Korean immigration essentially blocked the entry of the Sexpo models on a technicality. They were barred because they had tourist visas instead of performance visas. However, as I deal with immigration quite a bit, I completely understand their position. As a foreigner, I've seen rampant tourist visa abuse here, and I agree that you have to have things organized and in order. I know if I don't I risk a huge fine.

Plus, I like the Seoul immigration office. I always make an appointment. I literally blow in past all the people unaware that the immigration office makes appointments. I take care of business with a smile, a "please" and a "thank you" and blow right out usually in 30 minutes or less. You'd never get that level of civil service back home, so I'm biased. Plus, rules are definitely rules when you're talking about letting in bodacious and hot sex models in to perform at a convention in a society and culture where the sex industry isn't acknowledged in the mainstream. Hahahahahaha...

I, however, do feel for the male attendees who went with excited anticipation only to be let down.
Several male visitors were angry about seeing so many inflatable plastic women on display and no real ones.

"I came here for a show and all I have is this leaflet about sex toys. What's going on here?" said one man in his mid-60s who asked not to be identified.
As the sex industry is underground here, I can imagine that partaking in it does leave you with that "I'm a dirty boy (or girl) feeling". For a change, Sexpo Seoul would have been a place where all of the dirty boys and girls could frolic about in the daylight or, more accurately, in the conventional hall. There would have been a San Francisco-eqse level of acceptance. I probably wouldn't have reached the level of the Exotic Erotic Ball or the craziness of the Folsom Street Fair, but it probably would have been a step in the right direction. Then again, I'm a Californian.

Well, hopefully, next year they'll come back and will manage to hire competent planners who can get the paperwork done correctly.

More on this story:
Korea’s First Sexpo Gets Underway in Seoul
Seoul Sexpo Gets Off to Limp Start
‘Sex expo' suddenly just an ‘expo'

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