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Meet the Guy Who Created a Rabbi Shaped Dildo

By Rachel Savage

Image courtesy of Shed Simove

On paper, the Jewish comedian Shed Simove sounds like a parent’s ideal child. After graduating from Oxford University and becoming the commissioning editor of Big Brother, he embarked on a successful comedy career and published three books. Not all parents, though, would be eager to see their offspring hit the headlines for a somewhat less prestigious reason, such as Shed's most recent product, the Rampant Rabbi, a rabbi-shaped silicone dildo.

A parody of the popular Rampant Rabbit vibrator, the Rampant Rabbi is a miniature man shaped like a normal dildo, complete with a suit, kippah, and curly hair. Recently, Shed tried to trademark the device, but Ann Summers, the British chain lingerie store behind the Rampant Rabbit, challenged his trademark application, accidentally giving the Rampant Rabbi a whole lot of publicity in the process.

This isn’t the first time Shed’s name has appeared in tabloids because of his weird entrepreneurial endeavors. Shed has created other “masturpieces” (including Cunt Dracula and the Queen Elizabeth-shaped Buckingham Phallus), changed his name to God, trademarked the phrase “The Trademark Office Has No Sense Of Humour,” created his own currency, and sold enough copies of a blank book called What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex to make it an Amazon bestseller.

The Rampant Rabbi sounded like another publicity stunt, especially since there’s an entire section on Shed’s website devoted to scandals. But I also wondered whether there was more to his headline-grabbing than an inexhaustible supply of puns. So I called Shed to see if he merely wanted attention or if there was a bigger point to the silicone rabbi he wants women to sit on.

What inspired you to make the Rampant Rabbi and your other “Masturpieces?”
I love wordplay, and I also like playing with societal conventions. I like looking at taboos like religion and sex—big issues like life and death. For me, the idea of a product that combines religion and sex is intriguing. But more than that, I’m a comedian whose jokes are three-dimensional. When your usual comedians think of a joke, they’ll write it down and it will become a line in their set. My life is a series of experiential jokes—3D jokes.

What gave you the idea for the Rampant Rabbi?
Because I work on puns, I think it must have popped into my head. I take an interest in the fact that Rampant Rabbit is a bestselling dildo. You take one letter off the Rampant Rabbit, and suddenly you’ve got a slightly humorous idea.

Did your Jewish heritage influence the Rampant Rabbi?
Yes, I think so. When I produce a product, part of it is to make my friends and family laugh. I’m not religiously Jewish or culturally Jewish, but I was born Jewish. I think it’s fun to play with one’s culture. I hope it’s an affectionate homage.

Has your dispute with Anne Summers been resolved?
I filed the trademark so that no one else would be able to make a toy called the Rampant Rabbi, but it got on the radar of the Ann Summers legal team, and they took umbrage to the fact that it was close to their trademark of Rampant Rabbit. It is very unlikely that the intelligent women that are buying both products are ever going to confuse a vibrator which causes amazing pleasure with a medical-grade silicone phallus in the shape of a rabbi. What do you think, Rachel?

I’ve never used a vibrator or dildo myself, but you’re probably right.
A similar situation happened with my 50 Shades of Grey parody [which was a book containing 50 pages that were different shades of grey]. I released my 50 Shades of Grey, and the lawyers at Random House who, ironically, were my publishers for my first real book, Ideas Man, didn’t see that I wasn’t competing against the real 50 Shades of Grey. If you’re passing off a pretend Louis Vuitton handbag, I understand that, but I’m not trying to create counterfeit goods. I’m trying to create parodies.

You said you're interested in big issues. Do your parodies make a broader point?
I think that I’m a bit like the Dalai Lama—I’m the Dalai Lama of novelty. A smiling, radiant, fun being, with a serious message underneath. I know I’m not changing the world, but sometimes taboos and things that people hold dear can be a ripe seam of comedy.

What kind of woman do you think will masturbate with your dildos?
The modern woman. I designed these creations to be something unique—there are lots of normal adult toys out there that are smooth and look like the male appendage. But no one has ever done one in the shape of a queen before; I thought that might capture the imagination of a nation of people: the modern woman and the modern man. I’m an equal opportunities adult toys creator.

Are you worried that nobody will want a small statue of the queen inside their vagina and you won’t sell any dildos?
I never am worried about sales, Rachel—the business side of it is never my motivation. I think “What is art?” is an interesting question. Without being too pompous about it, when Damien Hirst or Banksy does a piece that’s brilliantly witty and comes to life in a visual way, their output goes for hundreds and thousands of dollars—perhaps millions—and who deems it art? I think of my stuff as my art, because it comes from my soul. Who’s to say that the Rampant Rabbi shouldn’t win the Turner Prize? I think it should.

@RachelMSavage

More about sex toys:

Scanning the Future of 3D-Printed Sex Toys

I’m a Homo but I Loved Having Sex with This Robotic Pussy

Can Any of These DIY Sex Toys Make Me Orgasm?

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