When I learned of its existence, I knew I wanted to go. South Korea has a park on the coast that is dedicated to penises, and though I didn’t know of the purpose of it, I was hoping to see something funny and strange. And I did.
After listening to my enthusiastic insistence, Amber and Kevin agreed to spend the first part of Korea’s Thanksgiving going to Haesingdang park. We spent three hours riding a bus through gloomy weather, and as soon as we stepped off the bus, the rain began.
Unfortunately, Amber had forgotten her umbrella in her boyfriend’s car, and Kevin’s umbrella had broken before we left. So now we had one umbrella to share between three people.
The rain started out as merely a drizzle, and Kevin bogarted the umbrella while Amber and I covered our cameras with one hand while we took pictures.
The dicks were everywhere. And all of them were circumcised. Park benches had short chodes where the seat ended. Along theleft side of the path, large erect penises stood like sentries. Aside from two statues, none of them had balls. The whole park was filled with eunuchs.
That said, the penises were like snowflakes; no two were the same. One was green and had a woman hugging the base of it, face planted into the shaft. Another had one leg and a waving hand sticking out of it. One statue was carved to be a dick in a dick in a dick. Many had faces, angry and smiling, horned and bearded. One penis had a loopy expression with a warped face, pupils facing out. “That’s a soju penis,” Kevin said. Another penis was covered in bright circles. “Syphilis,” Kevin suggested.
After passing a row of penises, and a circle of penises, we reached an area with stone penises. They were all equally spaced from each other and had a different animals of the Chinese zodiac carved onto the surface. In the middle of this stellar design were two penis benches. The bottom of each bench resembled a woman’s legs, and they knelt, butt to butt, pointing outwards with their penis heads.
By this point on our walk, it had started raining pretty hard. Kevin continued holding the umbrella, stating that since he was the tallest, he could hold it above us. The three of us huddled and walked in attempted synchronization. Though the path was lovely and the beach beside us was incredible and clean, our only goal was shelter.
There was a building on the end and we awkwardly walked toward it, passing by the only non-severed penis statues in the park. The statues of three Asian men faced the ocean, forever gazing out into the water with their flies down and their hard penises exposed. Two of them gripped tightly, concentrating, while the other one just hung out in the breeze and waved like he was flagging a taxi.
We reached the building and stepped out of the rainfall, assessing our individual levels of water damage. We weren’t cold, just uncomfortable. Luckily we were in a museum and could walk around and hope that the rain would let up.
The museum was just as interesting as the park had been. Though there were areas of the museum dedicated to show the history of fishing in that area, and to promote their local caves, we were only interested in penis statues.
We posed and smiled beside some short wooden penises, trying to match their ecstatic expressions. We found mini amateur carvings of women on their backs with their legs spread, as well as carvings of men bent over each other resting their gigantic penises on one another’s backs. What are friends for?
One room was filled with imaginative and exaggerated art. There was a chicken with a penis for a nose, life-sized statues of a black man with horns and a white penis beside a white woman in a clinging robe holding a severed penis. Above us were several winged penises flying by with erect penises, legs and tails.
There was also a painting of a Trojan- looking man wearing a waist-length robe. His penis would have hung to his knees, had he not been weighing it on a scale. It seemed his genitals were the same weight as a wrapped bag of treasure. His expression was not one of pride, but rather of sadness. As though he’d realized he would never fit into a woman and was doomed to forever jerk off, like so many of the statues in the room he was in.
Before we left, one of the two workers inside handed me a pamphlet that explained the legend of the park.
A young couple had gotten engaged and worked with the fishermen in town. The woman collected bait from a small island in the sea, and her fiancé would row out to drop her off and pick her up every morning and night.
One evening a storm hit, preventing him from boating out to her. She died in front of his eyes.
The next day, fewer fish were biting, and the following day, the fish were gone. The townspeople would suffer without fish.
Eventually, a fisherman “relieved” himself in the sea. And immediately, some fish started to return.
The townspeople realized that since the young couple had not consummated their relationship, the woman was angry to have died a virgin.
And so began the building of penis statues along the coast. The pamphlet also said, “It is unclear whether or not it is also helpful for men to “relieve” themselves in the ocean.”
We had spent about an hour in the park, though most of our time we’d been inside the museum. It was time for us to catch a bus and leave this tiny penis town.
As we waited at the bus stop, the rain turned back into a drizzle. By the time we got on the bus it was gone entirely. But we were still dripping wet as we rode away from the park.