Love Land – A Quirky Korean Sex Park

By Michael Gakuran | | Japan | 11 Comments |

Although Japan has its fair share of seedy districts, sex museums and even Penis festivals, oddly enough the first place I ended up exploring was not in the Land of the Rising Run at all. Not too far off the coast of Kyushu, about halfway towards the Korean mainland is a small island called Jeju. Hidden inside is one of the world’s best kept secrets.

As should be blatantly obvious by now, this post isn’t for prudish types. Regular readers will know that I like to push the boundaries from time to time, and today is no exception. Just as the human body needs sustenance and sleep, it also demands sex. It’s a basic biological drive – no use ignoring it now! That said, society dictates we moderate our exposure to such animalistic behaviour, so this is your last warning. If you consider the image below even remotely offensive, begone (and come back after work). For everyone else, well, let’s get stuck in! Cue tittering and embarrassed pointing.

Where were we? Oh yes, off the coast of Korea. Jeju island (also known as Cheju) is well known for its Samda Sammu – 3 of the plenty and 3 of the few. The plenty? Lots of rocks, wind and women! Three of the few? A lack of thieves, beggars and gates. Nestled somewhere in the northern part of the island is a small museum dedicated to sex.

Since the end of the Korean war the island has been a fairly popular tourist destination for honeymooning couples, who come to spread out on its many beaches and explore underground in the ancient lava tubes, a World Heritage Site. Due to its influx of newlyweds, it also became something of a classroom for sex-ed, encouraging new couples to explore themselves and their partner. Love Land, the harmless name for the attraction, apparently opened in 2004 and has been feasting the eyes ever since.

The park itself may be something of a haven for the liberals among us, but that isn’t to say that such a relaxed attitude spreads freely across the rest of South Korea, Japan or Asia. In most open places things are kept carefully concealed, or at least out of view of the general public eye. But while here one can enjoy wandering around the spacious sculpture park admiring the many creative expressions of human sexuality. And some of the rather frightening ones…

Sculptures are twisted into all sorts of impossible positions, with body parts bulging that never should and vibrant colours painted on to emphasise the posture. It makes the Karma Sutra look tame at times…

Getting over the initial excitement, we continue to walk. A giant stone labia appears in front of us, hills shaped like breasts to our left and a pronged phallus bench that really makes the imagination wonder. Suppose somebody – accidentally of course – actually misjudged where they placed their behind when sitting down… It boggles the mind to think about it.

Strange contraptions are also littered around the park, decoratively illuminated. Painstaking detail has been taken in every aspect of the park and it’s full of quirky little surprises around every corner. Even the heavy rain and stormy February skies didn’t detract from the experience, although I was rather disappointed not to see any adventurous souls giving the old bicycle a try. If only the seat weren’t wet!

Food was never far away, but that too had been given the love and attention it deserved. Finding squid-related snacks didn’t surprise me after having lived in Japan for several years, but look a little closer there now… Is it just a squid..?

Equally intriguing were the green-ringed signs haphazardly placed in various locations. Clearly the newlyweds would not be leaving here unscathed – a traditional depiction of sex seemed to be the last thing on the designer’s mind.

A dome-shaped building appeared ahead, so after walking underneath a large pair of promiscuous white legs and skipping around a gushing depiction of the Greek God Poseidon and his lover, we went inside.

I was wondering what we might expect inside the gift shop of such a salacious park, and we weren’t disappointed. For the art lovers, there were expensive, carved wooden pieces of intriguing design and proportion. Curious candles for the ladies and of course mobile phone straps for the kids. Er… young adults. And for the more serious sexual connoisseur, there were of course a range of garden variety toys for sale. Some of them really could have been found in the back yard!

The whole experience would not have been complete without a classic from the sex industry – a peephole for all the Toms out there. But rather more than the hardcore shock of seeing what was inside, glimpsing another person doing the same thing from the other side of the box was far more surprising!

Also up for viewing was a delightful range of models showing various scenes. One of my favourites was the potter and his student sculpting…well… And another was this amusing shot from inside a bathhouse.

Back outside, the sky had grown black, but the park still plentiful with young couples and giggling groups of grannies in raincoats. The sculpture park is open for viewing in the evening, and I must say that the illuminations really wrapped up the visit. It felt just that little bit more special – catching the contours of people’s faces smiling bashing in the shadows and following the dynamic lines of the sculptures as they danced between light and dark.

It’s not often one gets to wander so contently and revel in a human experience so freely. Let loose from the restrictions of modern society, for just a short time you can gasp, blush or just plain guffaw at how ludicrous the human body is and how bizarre the whole copulation thing really is. I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re passing through Asia, even if you’re a little embarrassed. No, especially if you’re embarrassed :).

11 comments on “Love Land – A Quirky Korean Sex Park
  1. DAZZ says:

    Lovely photos. I think I’ve seen a few elsewhere, but I enjoy. I wish you had shown the one of the potter ;-D

  2. I think the most amusing piece for me is the Mosaic Wall of Thundering Buttocks. I mean…if you were the artist working on that, how would you come home and describe to your family/inquisitive child what you did today at work? Heehee. Maybe it’s just me and my juvenile sense of humor. I also found the water fountain(?) collection of posturing men fun, the Squid Penis cute (maybe his name is Ikapeen? Penika? perhaps he has an interspecies marriage with a wife named after a certain James Bond film…:D)…and Mr Sculpture McKreeperson is indeed quite frightening. On a side note, of the photographs you took of the statue at the beginning and end, I’m torn between which I like the best. My first thought is that the final one is the strongest. You get the full scope of the contortion of her body in the first, but I think it almost gets swallowed by the black. It ends up being not as interesting. In the second, the black is more balanced as she fills the frame more, and the composition is definitely more interesting to me, in capturing and keeping the eye longer. Both neat shots, though. :)

    • Gakuranman says:

      Thundering Buttocks eh Christy? That’s some rather colourful wordplay :p. I rather like your ideas for the squid mascot myself. Perhaps you should write to the park!

      Cheers for the comments on the black and white pictures. I’m torn myself. Originally I was only going to put up the last picture, but then the side view of the statue also was too good to leave alone. I did do post-processing work on them to emphasise the curves and get rid of the distracting background. Perhaps I went too far on the top picture? I tried leaving bits of the ground in, but in the end it felt better just to get rid of the traces of background and go with black (the photo was already pretty dark due it it being taken at night).

      • I’m not sure this went through the first time, so I’m going to try again. If I did indeed double post, sorry about that, and please delete. :)

        Hmm…now that you mention it. In looking at the second angled shot, something that subtly appeals to me is the bit of grounding she has, more specifically the texture of it and that added bit of contrast to the smoothness of the statue itself. The lack of it in the first shot is really noticeable now that I’m looking again after reading your comments about the manip. Even with the velvety blackness around her and the soft curves, the fact that her head and foot clearly rest upon something that is absent just doesn’t sit quite right. If I were playing around with it, I might try moving the frame. It might be interesting to ground her actually ON the frame of the picture and have her arching up into blackness. Conceptually it would be like her resisting her boundaries (the frame) and moving into the unknown (perhaps of her sexuality?) and of the blackness/negative space above her. Just a thought. :) The two caught my eye because that’s something I often do. If I really like a picture, the first thing I do these days is plunge it into B&W. I did several years of photography in school and it was all in B&W. I miss it sometimes…especially the processing of the film.

        And on the Buttocks…all other appropriate descriptives escaped me upon seeing a backside so large. To me it could only be Thundering. ;)

  3. Kobushime says:

    一番最初の写真いいね~(^u^)b 額にいれて飾ったらかっこいい!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interesting fact: The Korean word next to the squid (즉석구이 [jeugseoggui]) relates to a Korean cooking method on a plate or BBQ (like yakiniku or teppanyaki in Japan). Cut the word short and you have 즉석ᄀ [jeugseogg] (the Korean is a little butchered as the last letter is g which shouldn’t be on it’s own, so lets say it’s more like 즉석G ). This translates on the web to G-spot, I wonder if it is a coincidence or not! (Literally translated it says ‘Instant G’). I wonder if it is slang. If you’re interested, the actual word for the G-spot is G스폿 [G seupos]. If anyone out there is fluent in Korean please let me know if this is correct.

    On the lighter side, the expression on the pink old man statue is priceless!

    • Gakuranman says:

      Haha, that’s awesome! Thanks for looking all that stuff up. I would definitely say that it’s more than just a coincidence that the signs reads like that ;)

  5. interesting!! Thank you for sharing :D

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