The internet holds some very strange things. Weird-as-hell porn and gruesome videos we understand, but when we stumbled upon (not on StumbleUpon, mind you) what we're calling "winter condoms," we felt like we had to share the strangeness.
Technically "crochet condoms," these knitted wonders for your (or your man's) junk are actually a thing, and even has its own crochet-pattern. Time to bust out your knitting needles people.
Sex'ing in this glorified sock puppet would be beyond awkward, but in all honesty, on day's like today, when your whole body is attacked by subzero winds, a winter condom would actually be kind of amazing. Think about it: your feet are frozen, your legs are slowly being frost bitten, you can't even feel most of you upper body, but your crotch is toasty and warm thanks to the crocheted snuggy wrapped around your dick. Pure magic.
Too bad Christmas is over, 'cuz this would have made the perfect stocking stuffer to later stuff your junk in. Take note for next time mothers with sons, because that wouldn't be an creepy gift to give in the slightest. If you detected sarcasm in that last sentence, congratulations, you are capable of cognitive thought.
And just so ladies don't feel left out, enjoy the magic of the nipple warmers below!
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte
According to NPR, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics ordered 160,000 condoms to be distributed among the athletes. However, The Tokyo 2020Olympic rulebook asks athletes to avoid physical contact, including hugs and handshakes, as well as keep physical interactions with others "to a minimum." Though over 11,000 athletes from around the world are competing in the Summer Games, the Olympic Village can only lodge a maximum of 6,700.
The Olympics' condom tradition
Condoms have been widely distributed at the Olympics since the 1988 Summer Games, when they were given out to prevent HIV at the height of the AIDS epidemic, according to Time Magazine.
However, Olympians at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro reportedly received the most condoms on record. As many 450,000 condoms were distributed.
How many condoms will Tokyo Olympians receive?
If organizers distribute 160,000 condoms in Tokyo, each Olympian will receive an average of about 14 condoms for the duration of the Games, scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, for 17 days.
The Tokyo organizing committee told AFP that, though the condoms will be distributed to athletes in spite of COVID-19, they shouldn't be used at the Olympic Village — they're intended for athletes to bring back home to help them raise awareness for the Olympics' campaign for safe sex.
Will athletes end up using the condoms?
Olympians are no strangers to dating, particularly when surrounded by the most elite athletes in the world. In a 2014 interview with US Weekly, Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson said that Tinder at the Sochi Olympic Village was "next level."
Anderson said she had to delete Tinder in order to focus on her sport.
In 2012, American swimmer Ryan Lochte said that "70% to 75%" of Olympians had sex during the Games.
"Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do," Lochte told ESPN.
According to Reuters, more than 67 people affiliated with the Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19 since they began arriving in Tokyo on July 1.
Kais Latiri likens himself to a Galileo of immersive sex. "People are afraid of novelty, of innovation, of something new they're not used to," he said. "Take for example Galileo who said the Earth [went around the sun].* He was imprisoned for that."
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
That's why when Le Journal de Montréal said Latiri was running a "brothel" out of a Longueuil home, the accountant-turned-tech entrepreneur took issue.
"It's not a brothel," he said. "That's not the right word at all.
He called it a salle de jeux pour adultes — "playroom for adults."
It's clear to see why. The sex workers aren't humans: they're dolls.
Latiri, the owner and founder of Oh My Doll, has insisted his business is not an outrage, but a triumph of love and science.
After years of developing advanced virtual reality technology, he said his company allows customers to indulge in their wildest fantasies, all from the comfort of a South Shore apartment building.
In an interview with MTL Blog, Latiri opened up about the ins and outs of his business and what all this means for the future of romance.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Virtual reality sex is not cheating, he says
We live in a world where rapid advances in virtual reality and robotics are going to have a profound impact on both human-to-human and human-to-robot relations, said Latiri.
When he started testing virtual reality in 2018, its quality wasn't very good, he continued. But Latiri realized the experience could develop with time and the release of new "hardware."
"I was at the beginning of the wave."
Instead of viewing an adult scene like in old-fashioned pornography, silicone escorts and virtual reality systems — that simulate the senses of sight, touch, hearing, and even smell — allow Latiri's customers to feel like they're having actual sexual encounters, he said.
Can ladies, couples, and LGBTQ2S+ people get in on the action? You betcha, said Latiri, thanks to an array of male sex dolls and "f*ck machines."
"We have experiences for anyone 18 plus, of course," he continued.
Not everyone is happy with the sex dolls
And yes, the dolls are cleaned between uses.
"In terms of hygiene, our escorts are immediately cleaned after a service," states the website.
"You will see for yourself the hygiene measures put in place. The complete maintenance is done by handing it over to our maintenance staff in our appropriately equipped premises. After maintenance, our silicone escorts are left to rest for at least 24 hours."
With packages costing a few hundred dollars, the Oh My Doll experience is far from cheap but a brand-new doll can cost upwards of $2,000, said Latiri.
Not everyone's happy with the sex dolls.
In an online review of the site, one commenter who identified themselves as "Escort the real one" stated, "Never will you replace us, bastards. We're true skin and bones escorts and we give our clients real love."
And with automation already eliminating millions of jobs around the world, are robots poised to eliminate human sex workers?
Latiri doesn't think so.
"If they love their work and if they have passion, I totally respect that," he said. "And in my mind, it's not like we're here to replace them, that's not the point."
As many of his clients are in committed relationships, Latiri said he hopes Oh My Doll will eliminate infidelity.
"My mission is based on people who are in couples because those people, instead of going to see an escort, they have an alternative that's more ethical," he said.
"And at the moral level, they won't be guilty when they return to their partner compared to if they would see an escort."
Then there are Latiri's religious customers looking to overcome crippling sexual shame and as they struggle with their desires.
"You'd be surprised that there are a lot of religious people," he said. "They come to us with their religious dress and I'm happy that they come, I'm happy that they express their desires. It's really touching."
'Dolls will never replace humans, not today, not tomorrow'
According to information obtained by Le Journal de Montréal, Oh My Doll has been running out of a residential building without a proper permit, but Latiri is punching back, claiming the business is primarily for research and development purposes.
"With all the hubbub that's been created, I don't regret anything, not a thing," he said. "Because I know it's helped me develop the experience and the technology."
He hopes to expand his business by opening "in every city where the need is present."
A spokesperson for the Longueuil police stated that "it is not criminal in Canada to own a sex doll representing an adult person," and that they've looked into Latiri's operations "and have not found any criminal-related activities."
Latiri said he has contacted the owner of the building and said he would move his business if asked.
"The second they want me to get out I'm ready," he said. "It's not about pressure, it's about being good neighbours because they got caught up in this circus."
But whether you think the idea is strange, enticing, or off-putting, Latiri acknowledged it's raising some tantalizing questions.
For example, in a world where ever-more-advanced virtual technology provides better visuals, touch feedback and maybe even artificial intelligence, what's going to happen to old-fashioned human romance, relationships, and sex?
"I'm against the fictitious idea that proposes the dolls are going to evolve and that's going to create a societal problem. The dolls for us are just sex toys," he said.
"When I'm looking into the future of the sex dolls with artificial intelligence where she can move by herself, honestly, I'm not in favour of that."
"Dolls will never replace humans, not today, not tomorrow."
Just like you, we're fiending to go outside in our Nikes and a denim jacket — and while this year's season is drastically different from what we're used to, we've rounded up things all Montrealers do when the warm weather hits for some sense of normalcy.
Shove our winter gear to the back of our closets in defiance
We get it — Quebec winters are tough.
If you're from Montreal, you may be used to aggressively shoving your heavy-duty winter coat, hats, boots, gloves, scarves and other assorted paraphernalia to the back of the closet the minute Montreal weather hits plus five.
Spend more time outdoors
This one is a no-brainer. While Montreal's many winter activities can be fun, nothing beats being able to ride your bike — or a BIXI — through part of the city's 500-kilometres of bike paths or sunbathe in one of the city's many green spaces.
Since spring is basically the start of the summer for Quebecers, it's the perfect time to start planning regional road trips across Quebec.
Hit up the city's many cultural centres
While it may not yet be warm enough to sprawl out on the grass of your favourite Montreal park, it's just warm enough to spend the day comfortably strolling around the city, hitting up the latest in exhibitions at local museums — which are open in Quebec red zones.
Shop downtown on weekends
Montreal malls are often a go-to for winter hangouts, being indoors. But when spring hits and you want to enjoy sunny days while they last, browsing through downtown shops is the perfect weekend activity — followed by an affogato or tacos to go.
Buy artisanal snacks from Atwater or Jean-Talon Market so we can drink outside
If you love trying local delicacies and supporting local businesses, Montreal's two major markets are chock-full of handmade snacks and cider for the perfect foodie weekend in the city.
Since you need to also have food to be able to drink in public in Montreal, local eats are the perfect pairing to cheap SAQ wine.
Head to the gym for our summer gains
Hear us out on this one. We know Montrealers have been positively itching for gyms to reopen in Quebec red zones. As of March 26, Montrealers everywhere will be able to flock to gyms, giving them something else to do other than Netflix-ing life away during the seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic.