Q&A with creators of Neudies
Ever wondered why toys don’t have genitals?
It’s no secret that sex is all around us, but somehow it’s still uncomfortable and a little weird to talk about genitals. There is a rooted sense of shame in genitals that is directly linked to censorship. It’s an arbitrary kind of censorship that urges sex and shames our bodies at the same time. It’s no wonder we have a tough time talking about nudity.
In 2018, a pair of siblings in New York City asked themselves a revolutionary question, “Can we disrupt the way we see and talk about genitals?”
The siblings wondered how they could portray genitals in a completely different light. One that would incite conversation and distance shame from the equation. In one of these conversations, the idea of the lack of genitals in toys came up. They decided to reinvent these “missing parts” and turn genitals into protagonists.
This brother and sister duo developed the Neudies by combining their love for art, design, and storytelling with the goal of bringing people together and encouraging authentic conversations. “We are challenging censorship and cultural norms because we want to open up a conversation that normalizes genitals.”
Q&A with neudies co-founders Enrique & Ines
Where are you from?
We were born in Spain although we grew up moving around a lot. Ten years ago the greatest city on the planet, Neu York, of course, adopted us and it’s the place we now call home.
What was your background before the neudies?
Ines has a background in economics and enjoys being proficient in Excel. Enrique is an industrial designer and likes doodling with Crayola crayons.
Is it weird to work on the neudies being siblings?
It’s not weird, but it can definitely be challenging.
What do your parents think of the neudies?
They would prefer to be grandparents to real babies, but they love them regardless.
How did you decide on their shapes?
We always envisioned the neudies being born out of rejected doll parts. So we imagined what these parts would look like. And then we asked ourselves if genitals were to become a toy of their own, how would they be? This is the train of thought that guided us throughout the design process.
Playing with shapes that are subjective as opposed to anatomically correct, allowed us to make the neudies more approachable than genitals typically are. It also triggers people’s imagination in unexpected ways. Not everyone sees a penis and a vulva, some people see an elephant, a dad butt, a sea shell and even chickens. Fun fact: If you do a reverse image google search on the neudies, google recognizes them as pigs. Try it out!
Will you offer more colours?
Best believe! And we can’t wait to do so. As you know we are a tiny team of two, and as we grow we’ll be able to offer more colours so please help us by filling out our colour questionnaire! Click this link and scroll to the bottom. If you leave your email, we’ll let you know when we release neu colours!
Will you offer more characters?
Absofruitly! But the wait is always longer than we’d like it to be. Momma always says “Great things take time”. (That’s a lie, she actually says what’s the hold-up?!) Being a tiny team of two doesn’t make it easy, but we are on it!
Will you offer other shapes? Circumcised? Intersex? Outie? Pubes? Veins? Skin Spots?
We always imagined the neudies being more of a symbol for genitals rather than true representations. They have arms, legs, and a huge spirit, but no hair, veins nor pimples which most genitals do.
We never expected people to identify with the neudies in a way that they felt represented them. At least not in a physical way. It makes sense for people to want to see themselves in their neudies, but with every genital being different, this is all at once unexpected, exciting, and extremely challenging.
We are in conversation with several Geni Gang members from mixed backgrounds, that are kind enough to share their unique views on genitals and we are studying ways to introduce more diversity in future characters.
Are you desexualizing genitals?
No, by no means. But we think it’s fun and unique to showcase genitals in a non sexual state. More than 99% of a genital’s life is not sexual, yet we tend to solely focus on the 1%. We wanted to tell their story from this perspective.
Fun fact: According to a survey conducted by Censuswide, we spend 0.45% of our lifetimes engaged in sexual activity. In other words, only 117 days out of an average of 25,000 days.
Are you encouraging nudism?
No, but we don’t discourage it either. We just want people to feel comfortable with their own body and be able to talk about things that have wrongfully become taboo.
Do nagavi and nipes have genders?
Nope, Nagavi and Nipes are genderless. If you sense they are trying to communicate their prefered pronoun to you, please listen.
Have you been censored?
Yup… We are pretty badazz…Just joshin’ it sucks. Either people think it’s funny to report us, or they are actually offended by the cutest little characters.
We are not allowed to advertise on social media because they categorize us as sexual products. All this despite us attaining to all community guidelines.
How do you deal with haters?
The truth is that anytime you do something out of the ordinary some people will hate it and challenge you on it. Being different comes with a responsibility to deal with hate, ignorance, and skepticism and that’s…ok – because it means you are doing something right. At least it’s making those people speak their mind and (hopefully) think in the process.
Being different isn’t easy. Creating the neudies is by far the most challenging thing we’ve ever done. By no means are we perfect, but we are not afraid of being different. We are just trying to do some good and have some fun while we are at it.