SAN FRANCISCO -- Hospital workers at San Francisco
General have reported a 15th emergency-room case involving the deviant
sexual practice of "furbiling". City health officials have
formed a task force to raise public awareness of this problem.
Furbies -- this year's hot holiday gift -- are doll-sized robots that
wiggle around, squawk in response to noise, and speak their own
fabricated language, "Furbish". They were originally intended for
children's toys, but apparently some buyers have found another use for
the dolls: sexual pleasure. Some market analysts estimate that up to
30% of the 2 million Furbies sold so far this year were used for
Telephone operators on the San Francisco Sex Information Hotline have
been receiving a steady stream of calls about the practice. "Some of
the callers are worried, but others are intrigued and curious," says a
"The whole thing with 'gerbiling' was, to the best of our
knowledge, an urban legend," according to the source. "Few
if any people are cruel enough to mutilate a living animal
and stick it inside their fanny to suffocate and die. But,
apparently, that public compassion does not extend to Furbies."
Emergency room doctors say that in most "furbiling" cases, the
protruding beak and ears of the doll are first removed. The entire
Furbie is then wrapped in a sheet of latex, lubricated, and inserted
into the anus of the perpetrator. The wiggling, vibrating toy then
stimulates the internal sex organs. Patients report intense sexual
pleasure that can last for hours -- much longer than the 5 minutes or
so that a dying mammal can produce.
The toys can also be re-used scores of times before their
servos and sensors are too clogged with human juices to continue
working. One SFGH patient claimed that that robots, renowned for
their ability to "learn" human language, grew to anticipate the
"furbiling" episodes and would make their own pleasurable noises when
"In actuality, the practice is much safer than other 'anal intruder'
games," said Dr. Chiu Ling-Fang, proctology researcher at UCSF. "The
toy is easily turned off with a small switch, and can be removed
safely with human fingers. If an accomplice is involved, as is
usually the case, they can monitor the activity and call 'time out'
when dangers of over-stimulation or deep intrusion occur.
"Where we're seeing problems is with repeat users, who do 'furbiling'
alone, without supervision, and sometimes in combination with drugs or
alcohol. They can faint from excessive pleasure, while the Furby
continues to move and wiggle, digging deeper into the colon, causing
tears in the tissue and bruising other organs."
Hip Club Scene
Despite warnings from the medical establishment, the practice of
"furbiling" continues to grow among SF's hip raver scene. City
officials allege that Furbies are available at many underground discos
and sex clubs for the practice, to be used either in special back
rooms or even on the dance floor itself.
One club owner, who declined to be named, disagrees. "We, for one,
don't sell Furbies directly," he said. "Most of the furbiling you see
in SF clubs is done by individual Furby pushers that bring them in and
set up shop on a back table."
The owner further points out that although "furbiling" has boosted
sagging attendance at raves and clubs, organizers dislike the
attention the practice draws from law enforcement and city officials.
"We already have dancing. We don't need the hassle."
Officials say the dangers of "furbiling" are too great, and warn
consumers to stay away. "When it comes to 'furbiling', we're telling
people 'Just _don't_ do it,'" said local public health consultant
Mohgazian states that high holiday costs and low availability of
the dolls has kept the 'furbiling' trend at a manageable level.
Officials fear that post-holiday sales will bring thousands of Furbies
to discount bins across the nation, and with them more and more