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From "bunga-bunga parties" to designer vaginas, behold the 10 best sex stories of 2010.
But so, too, was a new deterrent against the crime: the Rape-aXe, a flexible polyurethane tube that fits into a woman's vagina. Rows of jagged plastic hooks line the inside of the device — bent backward like teeth in a shark’s mouth — and lodge in a perpetrator's penis upon entry.
The perpetrator can withdraw from the woman, but the Rape-aXe remains, painfully, clamped on.
7) The power of a giant wooden penis
As GlobalPost correspondent Jonathan Adams learned, nothing says springtime in Japan like a penis festival. Vaginas, too.
One of the best-known penis festivals is held at Komaki City's Tagata shrine, about 45 minutes outside Nagoya, every March.
It may sound like a sophomoric gag. But these are folk rites going back at least 1,500 years, into Japan's agricultural past. They're held to ensure a good harvest and promote baby-making.
At the Hime-no-miya grand vagina festival, parents dress up their kids, pray for healthy babies, and celebrate with sake, beer and snacks galore.
And, yes, he took photos.
8) Does Facebook lead to adultery?
That was a big worry in Indonesia in 2010.
In May, a group of Muslim clerics from Indonesia's largest Islamic organization, the Nahdatul Ulama, recommended creating rules to govern how Muslims use Facebook — pitting the nation’s religious against its increasing modernity.
As GlobalPost correspondent and deputy editor Peter Gelling reported, the clerical bunch were concerned the social-networking site could be used to flirt, leading to illicit affairs, adultery or worse.
9) Sex tourism in Senegal
More women — often white, European and "of a certain age" — flocked to Senegal's shores in 2010. They all had one thing on their mind. Three, actually: sun, sea, and sex.
As GlobalPost's Anne Look discovered, Senegal's sex tourism industry has its roots in poverty and the lack of jobs for the country's young men. The unemployment rate for youths is estimated at 30 percent, according to the International Labor Organization, and the average person in Senegal earns about $3 a day, the World Bank reports.
“It’s a question of survival. Life is hard. If I didn’t have these women, I’d be struggling," said Moussa, a 31-year-old dreadlocked drummer who has been "dating" female tourists since 2003. “The women come here alone. They hit on you, and you go with it,” Moussa said. “They like men with rastas who play the djembes [drums]. It’s part of the ambiance.”
"Besides," he added with a sly smile, "they know men who play the drums are powerful in bed."
10) Betal nut beauties
Betel nut, a mild stimulant, is enjoyed across Asia. But only in Taiwan is the nut sold by fetching young women in outrageous outfits, perched in neon-lit, see-through roadside stands.
But as Jonathan Adams reported, a debate erupted in 2010 over these scantily-clad hawkers of nuts. Is the practice a tourist draw, or a national shame?