Chiang Mai: Erotism in Green

CHIANG MAI

Erotism in Green

Catherine Vanesse

29 August 2018

To the north of Chiang Mai, a tea room invites the visitor to (re)discover nature through its most erotic prism.

“Eroticism is present everywhere, all the time and in each one of us, welcome to the Erotic Garden!”, says Katai Kamminga, a Thai woman in her fifties, at the entrance to this most surprising garden in which here and there giant phalluses stand proudly.

Open for three years, the Erotic Garden is the only one of its kind in South-East Asia. If phallic representations are numerous in Thailand, as evidenced by the decoration of some temples or the abundance of penis-shaped pendants in the markets, these virile members symbolise above all fertility or power, the carnal aspect remaining taboo.

“Eroticism is part of our DNA, it exists in each one of us, but society, religion, culture and morality seek to control it,” explains Katai.

To make her guests feel at ease, Katai takes care of visits herself, starting with a discussion over a cup of tea, a way of gently entering into a universe she evoked while speaking about the place of eroticism in Thai culture, in nature and in the acts of everyday life.

On the way to the garden, she stops to reveal details regarding the construction of the house, the door jambs of which represent penises. She invites people to smell the flowers, and is enthusiastic about their colour and shape: “Do they not perfectly represent the female genitals?” She invites the visitors to caress, to touch certain plants: “Does the texture not make you think of something? Do you not have the feeling you are touching a penis?”

Initiator and creator of this original garden, Katai appealed to art students from Chiang Mai University to make the erotic sculptures. “One still has a freshness, an innocence, at that age”. And sometimes even a voluptuousness, like the one that emerges from the sculpture in which we see a woman embracing a penis, her face serene, almost ecstatic!

Between the flowers and the sculptures, the garden has also been redesigned and reveals the curves of the female body, in pleasant harmony with its environment.

A place to discover in total sensuality.

www.chiangmaieroticgarden.com

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