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Furbiling Trend Rises to Disturbing Levels -- Reported 1998-12-27 20:50 by Mr. Bad

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 "furbiling".

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 spokesperson.

"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."

Doctors Concerned

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 inserted.

"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."

Safe Furbiling

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 Arnan Mohgazian.

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 furbiling abuse.

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