Korean Couples Take Matching Outfits to the Next Level

Story by James S. Kim. 

If you’re looking for something other than chocolates and flowers to give to your significant other this Valentine’s Day, take a note from what many young couples are doing in South Korea on a daily basis.

The “couple look,” or publicly advertising a relationship by wearing matching outfits, is quite easy to spot on the streets, beaches and cafes of South Korea. While it can be as simple as a matching T-shirt or shoes, there are couples taking it to the next level, curating entire looks that match from head-to-toe, from jackets and pants to socks and underwear.

The “couple look” culture has understandably spawned a sizable market for specialized retailers, according to AFP. Many online retailers sell couple attire for snowboarding, swimming and running, as well as pajamas and lingerie for the more intimate moments.

There is no substantial data to show how well these businesses are doing, but many young Koreans say donning the couple look is a sweet way of showing affection for one another and even showing off their relationship in public. Married couples have also been getting in on it as a way of reaffirming their love.

Needless to say, things can get complicated if a relationship goes south. Articles of clothing are a bit more permanent than chocolate or flowers, but at least it’s not his-and-hers tattoos.

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This story was originally published in iamkoream.com 

Video of The Week: The Fastest (And Cutest) Baby Penguin is in Love

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and love is in the air. That certainly appears to be the case for this female cape penguin who lives at Matsue Vogel Park in Japan.

Matsue Vogel Park is one of the Largest indoor garden in the world and is situated in Matsue-shi, Shimane prefecture. It is an aviary park which houses a number of tropical birds such as toucans, turacos, hornbills and ibises. There are also a number of aquatic birds such as emus and, you guessed it, penguins.

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This particular penguin is named Sakura-Chan and from the looks of it, she seems absolutely smitten by the human caretaker. At least it seems that way since she won’t allow any distance between the two.

No matter how fast the caretaker runs, Sakura-Chan is right on his heels. Forget having a human Valentine this year. This quick and adorable penguin is sure to warm your heart.

Watch the video below.

 

Chinese Commercial Pressures Young Women Into Marriage

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, dating companies are seeing an influx of people who wouldn’t mind meeting “the one” before the romance-filled holiday gets here. Using Valentine’s Day to their advantage, many of these dating companies are doing whatever it takes to get more clients.

The Chinese dating company Baihe.com is no exception. They seem to have taken this determination to the extreme with a very personal commercial targeting young women.

In the commercial, an elderly grandmother keeps asking her granddaughter whether she is married yet. The young lady, who just graduated from college, is left to reply with a face of guilt and sadness.

As the grandmother gets closer and closer to death, the young woman decides that she shouldn’t be so picky and ought to make her grandmother happy. With grandma lying in a hospital bed, the young woman shows up in her wedding gown and with a groom. She has finally made her grandmother happy.

Cue the cheesy music and tear-filled smiles.

But wait. Is this commercial actually suggesting that one shouldn’t be picky with the person they will spend the rest of their life with?

Unfortunately, this commercial will probably make many young Asian women feel guilty. Even in America, Asian women feel this pressure. Often times, strict parents will warn their daughters not to date until they are done with school. The second graduation comes along, everything shifts and suddenly they are pressured to find a husband as soon as possible.

Confusing? You bet.

I don’t know about you, but we’re not really comfortable with a commercial using an aging grandma to guilt-trip young women into finding a man to marry.

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Watch the full commercial here. 

Everything You Need To Know About Valentine’s Day Traditions

With Valentine’s Day nearly a week away, we decided this post would make the perfect Throwback Thursday. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about Valentine’s Day traditions:

Chocolates, hearts, roses, and love in the air. Yup, it definitely feels like Valentine’s Day. Although we’re accustomed to a number of Valentine’s Day traditions, we may not know where a lot of these traditions come from. In fact, many of us don’t even know the actual origin of Valentine’s Day itself. In honor of this holiday, we plan to explore everything from chocolate covered strawberries to cupid.


Giving Roses/Flowers To A Loved One

The custom of giving flowers to others dates back to the 18th century (introduced by Charles II of Sweden). During this time, floral bouquets were sent to pass on non-verbal messages. Each flower had a specific meaning or stood for a particular message and thus an entire conversation could occur purely through the flowers. Today, Valentine’s Day is the holiday which sends the largest amount of flowers. Roses are the most popular because it represents romantic love. Specifically, the red rose is showered in popularity due to its relationship with passionate love.


The Heart Symbol

The heart is said to be the source of all human emotions and the representation of love. It seems only fitting to use such a symbol for such an emotion-filled holiday. Because the shape of the heart is vastly different from the shape of an actual human heart, many suggestions have been thrown out as an explanation. Some have said that the shape was an attempt to portray an organ that they could not see. Others suggest that the shape is intended to represent various shapes of the female body.

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Cupid

Cupid originates from Roman mythology where he is the god of erotic love. Although classical Greek mythology  portrayed Cupid as a slender youth with wings, Cupid is now often seen as a young boy bearing a bow and arrows. Myths have suggested that being shot with Cupid’s arrow results in uncontrolled desire.


XOXO

Rather than spelling out the phrase hugs and kisses, people will often use the letters X and O. While the origin of O is unknown, we do have an idea for why X stands for kiss. In the middle ages (when reading and writing skills were scarce), documents were often signed with an X. The signer would then kiss the X in front of a witness to show earnest feelings. Similarly, in Christian history, people would kiss the X after signing an oath to prove sincerity.

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Chocolate

Although many people link the discovery of chocolate to Latin America nearly 2000 years ago, the Mayans and Aztecs seem to have delighted in the product even earlier. They would place cocoa beans in water to drink or even use cocoa beans as a form of money. People began realizing the correlation between chocolate and feelings of excitement, attraction, and pleasure- so much that nuns were forbidden to eat chocolate and French doctors used it to cure “broken hearts”. With such strong emotions gained from this treat, it seems to make perfect sense to put some chocolate in a heart shaped box for Valentines.


Chocolate Covered Strawberries

The origin of chocolate covered strawberries is often credited to Lorraine Lorusso who introduced them at a store called “Stop n Shop” during the 1960s. The act of dipping fruits in chocolate may have begun much earlier. When chocolate was first introduced in Latin America, the product was very bitter and people often ate it with fruit to balance the flavors.


The Holiday Itself

There are many legends concerning Saint Valentine. The most popular one describes Valentine as a Roman priest in the third century. Legend says that Emperor Claudius II believed that soldiers were better suited for battle if they didn’t have wives and families to think about. Because of this, he outlawed marriage for young men. Believing that this law was wrong, St. Valentine began performing weddings for young couples in secret. He was eventually discovered and imprisoned for his actions. During his imprisonment, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her the very first valentine- a letter which he signed “From Your Valentine”. We’ve been using this phrase ever since.

A Bra That Will Only Come Undone For Your “True Love”

We want to begin by saying we’re just as confused as you are.

But to the Japanese lingerie company Ravijour, a “True Love Tester Bra” makes perfect sense. Makers are claiming that the bra is able to analyze how a woman truly feels and will only pop open when the user finds her true love.

The lingerie company is marketing the bra as a safety device. Apparently, the bra will ward off unwanted sexual advances and will make sure that all people, except your true love, will not have access to your breasts.

How does this peculiar, high-tech undergarment work? According to the video promo seen below, the bra contains a sensor which syncs with an app on the user’s phone. The sensor will monitor and track the user’s heartbeat and once the heart rate reaches a specific point (the heart rate of true love, of course) the bra will come undone on its own.

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Of course, we’ve come across a number of problems with this device:

1. So what if you don’t find your true love? Do you have to keep the bra on forever? We’re certain that there are other ways to make the bra pop open on its own, but the video promo seems to constantly emphasize that the bra will only come undone in the presence of true love.

2. How accurate can that heart rate chart really be? What if I’m going out for a light run? Should I expect my bra to pop open because my heart rate has picked up? A person’s heart rate can rise and fall for a number of reasons. We highly doubt that this device is so intelligent that it can pinpoint the exact moment a woman finds her true love.

3. No, this is not an anti-rape product. As Huffington Post points out, “This high-tech bra will never “save” a woman from sexual harassment. Just because one’s brassiere isn’t being ripped off by an aggressive gentleman, doesn’t mean that the wearer isn’t experiencing a barrage of other forms of unwanted sexual attention before an evening gets to that point.” And getting into technicalities, what if one’s heart rate increases out of fear?

4. We’re pretty sure this thing can’t “know” how women feel. The creators (two men) can’t actually believe that true love can be measured based on a “one-size-fits-all” heart rate chart, right? I’d like to believe we’re much more complicated beings than that.

5. What if a girl just wants to have sex? In this day and age, there are plenty of women who are sexual beings. Believe it or not, women can actually want to have sex even if their partner isn’t their one true love. Shocking!

A woman should have the freedom to make these decisions for herself.

 

 

Japan Has Found “The Perfect Girlfriend” …And She’s A Video Game

The hit movie Her, now out in theaters, has received widespread critical acclaim and praise. The appeal to the movie? A man falls in love with an operating system. Some say they want to watch the movie simply because the concept is so strange. After all, to many of us, the idea of falling in love with a computer system sounds impossible. As it turns out, this may not be so unheard of after all.

Many people who are looking for love, company and comfort have decided to fulfill this with a girlfriend. A virtual girlfriend that is. LovePlus is a Japanese dating simulator for Nintendo DS.

LovePlus is sold exclusively in Japan so this may be the first time you’ve heard about it (it’s certainly my first time), but the game has picked up quite a bit of popularity worldwide. Thousands of men and women of all ages have been captivated by this real life dating simulator which offers three girlfriends to choose from– Rinko, Nene and Manaka. All of the choices have different backstories and adjustable personalities.

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Many LovePlus users claim that they use the game for comfort and emotional support. These players swear that though the girls are virtual, the affection and comfort feels very real.

“Manaka is the only — could I say person? … She’s the only person that actually supports me in bad times,”  one user tells Huffington Post. “When I feel down or I have a bad day, I always come home and turn on the game and play with Manaka. I know she always has something to make me feel better.”

Other users claim the video game helps them prepare for real world dating. Others have just gone through heartbreak or traumatizing loss and use the LovePlus girls as a method to cope with the loss. Because of this, there is a surprising amount of users who are heterosexual females simply seeking companionship.

So just how real can these girls get? While they may not look real, they apparently act the part completely. For instance, abruptly leaving a conversation may upset your virtual girlfriend and she’ll want you to say and prove your love. Her temper can raise so high that she’ll actually “slap” you out of anger. Generally, the LovePlus girlfriends are known to be caring, interested in your day, worried about you and ready to listen to whatever you want to talk about. If you’re feeling down, you can activate “comfort mode” and the virtual girlfriend will tell you how important you are to her and how she wants nothing but your happiness.

Apparently, creators have thought about making an “SOS” button that can be used once per game for users who may be feeling suicidal and need to hear words of encouragement. After all, many people have begun to be emotionally dependent on their LovePlus girlfriends.

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As a result, many LovePlus users treat their virtual girlfriends with the attention and care that any real girlfriend would want. Users will take their girlfriends out on dates, weekend trips, buy them presents on their birthday and even exchange flirty emails.

Patrick Galbraith, an anthropologist researching Japanese culture, tries to explain this peculiar phenomenon. “You have — always — this warmth and smile and happiness available at the touch of your fingers,” he says. “It’s the kind of relationship that is instantly rewarding and is always giving. You don’t have to give much to the game and it gives to you every time you turn on the machine.”

“The [LovePlus girlfriends] will kiss, model bikinis and moan when players stroke their chests with a stylus, but sex and nudity are out of the question,” Huffington post explains. “Neither the chastity nor young age of the girls has kept players from being attracted to their girlfriends, however.”

To try and make this relationship even more realistic, if you consider it realistic at all, there are hugging pillows with the images of the LovePlus girls printed on them. Apparently, there are clothed and semi-nude versions available.  Of course, users still swear that the main appeal is the emotional, not physical, support.

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This strange, but wide-spread phenomenon has been captivating the hearts of many. People have claimed their virtual relationships have not only lasted longer than real relationships, it has felt more rewarding.

While we’re personally not ready to pour our emotions into a video game, it turns out many people already have. Tell us what you think.

(SOURCE)

How To Keep Things Steamy: More Reason To Stay Inside All Winter Long

Story by Kanara Ty. 

We’ve come up with plenty of ways to keep things steamy with your partner — all the more reason to stay inside all winter long.


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BODY CANDY
When it comes to sex, we often underestimate the power of foreplay, especially everyday things like kissing. Slow things down a bit with Good Clean Love’s Body Candy. It’s an edible balm that will take the art of kissing to a new dimension. It works with your body’s natural scent and you can use it on your lips or any kissable body part. Even better? It comes in three tasty flavors (Cocoa Mint, Spicy Orange and Vanilla Chai), and it’s vegan, cruelty-free and made with natural ingredients. Details Goodcleanlove.com.

 


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KAHNOODLE
While Kahnoodle was conceived as a mobile app for those in long distance relationships, it’s still a great way to keep things spicy in any relationship. Take the coupons (complete with naughty stick figure drawings) that you can send to each other: “Good for one naked surprise when you come home from work.” And the other fun part of this app? There’s a love tank that you can each fill up as you race to see who makes the better lover. Now that’s some hot competition. Details Free on iTunes, kahnoodle.com.


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MASQUE SEXUAL FLAVORS
For women, you either really love performing oral sex … or you don’t. Usually one of the complaints is the, er, taste. Masque Sexual Flavors may help. It’s a paper-thin flavored gel strip (the flavors — strawberry, mango, chocolate and watermelon — are actually quite overpowering) that dissolves in your mouth and purportedly helps to neutralize other tastes. They make for intense make-out sessions, too. Details Yourmasque.com.


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G-VIBE
These days, sex toys are getting more innovative (vibrating condoms, hello!), and I’m always excited to see what new devices are out there. What’s currently hot on my list is the G-Vibe. It may not look like your typical vibrator, but the makers say its design adapts to every woman individually, with two tips to provide simultaneous stimulation inside, including the G-spot — and yes, men can use it, too. Details Funtoys.info.

 


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BONUS: HEALTHY HOOHOO
I’ve tried many feminine products, but I’ve never liked any more than Healthy Hoohoo (love the name!). It’s really gentle (no drying or irritating sensation) and removes odor-causing bacteria. Trust me, you’ll love the fresh feeling. And it’s free of glycerin, parabens (according to the company, 99 percent of breast cancer tissue contains parabens!), fragrance and gluten. Details Healthyhoohoo.com.


This story was originally published in our Winter 2013-14 issue. Get your copy here

 

Do You Prefer An Older Or Younger Lover? Japan Responds

They say that age is just a number, but apparently people still have their preferences. For many of us, there has been a long-standing belief that older men prefer younger women and younger women prefer older men.

Recently, this trend seems to have shifted.The rise of terms such as “cougar” and “MILF” have increased in popularity. This has become so evolved in mainstream media that even “Hot Mom” photo competitions exist. The idea of “the attractive older woman” has been embraced.

In the past, if you were a woman who dated a younger man, you were laughed at, called a “cradle-robber” and even called desperate. Women were led to believe in finding an older man to ensure that they were nurtured and cared for. Times have changes and more and more women are leaning away from this path.

Sandra L. Caron, a professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Maine, told The New York Times, “For a long time we’ve been fed this idea that women should look for a man to take care of her, a man that is more educated, has a better job and makes more money. That might be fine and dandy if you’re in high school and have this fairy tale Prince Charming. But when you look at adult women, most are self-sufficient and they don’t have to look for that.”

When NBC News looked into this trend, they noted that women may be more interested in younger men because,

-Older women are looking better every day, thanks to creative medical advances and a gym on every corner.

-Women are more likely to come back on the dating market because of divorce and a longer expected life span.

-Not as many women are looking for the picket fence and two cars. Now companionship, travel, and fun are coming to the forefront.

-Women may also want a man with a less-developed career who could follow her or take care of children, if that is a factor.

-For their part, younger men often find older women more interesting, experimental, fun to talk to, financially settled, and more adept sexually.

 

While the U.S. has begun embracing the idea of older women with younger men, Japan has kept true to their traditional views on relationships.

Earlier this month, a Japanese dating app called Match Alarm asked nearly 3,000 singles if they preferred dating someone the same age, younger, or older. The response was unanimous for women- 81.3% responded that they would prefer an older lover. This percentage is not as large for men, but a majority (46.9%) still prefer dating younger women.

Despite this preference towards traditional ways, Japan was still surprised that one in three men want an older lover. In fact, once the numbers were separated by age group, more than 50% of men between the ages of 20 and 24 preferred older women.

Japanese women generally seemed to agree on older men. Even the oldest age group, 35-39 most preferred dating older men. Check out the results below.

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So tell us- do you prefer an older or a younger lover?

(Source)

Adorable Engagement Photo Idea: Paint War

Story by Taylor Weik.

Typically, newly-engaged couples opt to send out their “Save the Date”s on fine stationary with elegant calligraphy. Jagdeep and Jasleen decided to take their engagement to the next level by smothering their announcement on a white wall with paint.

New York City-based wedding photographer Amandeep Nagpal of A.S Nagpal Photography, who shot the couple’s messy, bright engagement photos, fell in love with the idea after Jagdeep suggested bringing paint into the shoot.

Nagpal brought his studio setup to the indoor location, laid out cans of vibrant paint and brushes, and let the paint war commence between the white-clad couple.

“I love couples that want to go the extra mile to help create something fun and different,” Nagpal wrote on his photography website.

Check out more of his photography here.

 

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(Photo Credit)

Throwback Thursday | How (NOT) To Pick Up An Asian Girl

Lets just make one thing clear: If you’re going to include race when trying to flirt with a girl (which we don’t suggest you do), you’d better choose your words wisely. Apparently, some people have an awfully strange approach to flirting with Asian women and (trust us) a lot of the time this won’t end in their favor. We’ve come across quite a few no-no’s ourselves and we’re here to share them. Continue reading for a list of things NOT to do to pick up an Asian Girl.


1. Do NOT make her part of your collection.

Stamp Collection

“I’ve always wanted to date an Asian girl”
“Asian is the only type I haven’t dated before”

The last thing we want is to have someone date us just so that we complete their collection of ethnicities. We understand that you may be intrigued by something new, but this is definitely not the way to show it.


 


2. Do NOT come up to an Asian girl saying “NiHao”, “Ahnyoung”, or “Konnichiwa”.

One Direction (even though I love them)

“I was at a bar with my language partner from Korea, mind you she’s fluent in English and German, and this guy approaches us and drunkenly says “Ahnyoung” in a really bad accent. She looks him dead in the eye and says in flawless English, “You’re not even saying it correctly…” and we walk away laughing. Wongfu Productions was incorrect in their “Yellow Fever” video, it is NOT true that Caucasian guys can get an Asian girl by saying hi in a foreign language with a bad accent.”

This is especially true if you’re not even sure of a girl’s race. We’ve already had to deal with a lifetime of people assuming Asians are all the same.

 

 


3. Do NOT compare her to “typical” Asian girls.

Angry Asian Girls by Lela Lee

“There was a guy who tried to compliment me by saying the way I speak and even my major in college (English) is not like all the other Asian girls. He went on talking about how Asian accents are unattractive and how it was such a good thing I was so “Americanized”. He thought he was complimenting me by elevating me above other Asians, but he really just ended up insulting my culture. No go.”

If you think that we take this as a compliment then you’re mistaken- especially if it’s clear that your definition of a “typical Asian girl” is distorted.

 

 


4. Do NOT think you’re gonna win her over by saying you like her food.

“Oh you’re Chinese? I love Chinese food!”

You’d be surprised how often we get this. We appreciate that you like our food, but that has absolutely nothing to do with you dating us. This may be an effort to try and connect with us, but really- that’s a stretch.

 

 


5. Do NOT think that racial comments are attractive.

See our post on “The New Alexandra Wallace” here.

“In high school, a boy said, “If i came to your house to pick you up on a date and met your dad, would he come at me with a samurai sword?” “

This tactic is neither cute, nor intelligent, nor charming. Quite frankly it’s just not very nice.

 

 


6. Do NOT point out that you have Asian friends to try to charm us.

21 And Over

“Once I had a guy try and connect with me by saying “I like Asian people. I have an Asian friend actually.” Did he really think that just because he got along with his one Asian friend, I would automatically think he’d be a good boyfriend?”

That’s splendid that you have Asian friends, but just like the food comment- it has nothing to do with us dating you.

 

 


7. Do NOT say you have “yellow fever” or only date Asian girls.

Watch Wong Fu’s Yellow Fever here.

“I once went on a date with a guy who complained and said his options were limited since his parents only approved of Asian girls. I don’t need a guy who thinks he’s settling for me”
“He thought it was cute to tell me he had Yellow fever.”

We don’t want someone who is dating us merely for the color of our skin. Its perfectly fine for you to have a preference to Asian girls (you can’t help what you’re attracted to). We don’t even have a problem if you only date Asian girls, but we don’t want to hear that our race is the only/main reason you’re dating us.

 

 


8. Do NOT overgeneralize Asian girls .

Alexandra Wallace

“I don’t usually date Asian girls, they always get too jealous”
“I don’t normally date Asian girls, I can’t deal with the accent”

Being like Alexandra Wallace when you talk about Asian girls would be counter-productive for you. You are simultaneously assuming that all Asian women are the same and insulting us. Heads up, this won’t work on us.