Attributed to: Keisai Eisen (渓斉英泉)
Sex Toys for Women’s Pleasure in the Bedroom (Keichū nyo’etsu warai-dōgu 閨中女悦笑道具)
Autumn: Leather Phallus Bag (Shū: kawa-gata kyōtai 秋: 革形茎袋)
‘Laughter devices’ (warai do-gu) of the title means sex toys. This set of small prints is a catalogue of sex toys for women’s pleasure. They are divided into the four seasons, just like the classification of a classical poetry anthology. And ever mindful of their educational purpose, they give additional advice on the number of times to have sex in each of the seasons in order to stay in good health. There was a traditional saying about the frequency for sex: ‘spring three, summer six, autumn one, winter none’. This meant once every three days in spring, once every six days in summer, once every day in autumn (here it says ‘autumn two’) and not at all in winter. But these pictures say that ‘spring three’ means ‘limit sex to three times’ and ‘summer six’ means ‘limit to six times’. Have they made a mistake? Or are they deliberately trying to make us laugh by writing ‘three times a day’?
Autumn introduces a leather condom (kawa-gata), described using the foreign word ‘ryurusakku’ (lul zak in Dutch means ‘penis bag’). A device called the ‘jealousy ring’ (rinki no wa), a chastity device for men, is also explained. It was placed around the flaccid penis and matted into the pubic hair. If the man got an erection in front of another woman then he suffered unbearable pain.