San Francisco may have banned the exposure of genitalia, but that’s not stopping the Department of Public Health from bringing back its giant Healthy Penis. Yes, the beloved six-foot-tall mascot for safe sex is literally coming out of the closet and will be back at parades and other city events – and this time he comes with free penis-shaped stress toys!
Because hey, it ain’t a parade with giant penises and penis shaped stress toys!
The health department sparked some controversy when it debuted the three characters, all penises but in different hues, back in 2002. But the penis costumes – worn by health department staff and aimed at encouraging gay and bisexual men to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases – became popular and have been copied in San Jose and Cleveland.
The penises went into retirement in 2006, debuted again in 2009, and now are back for a third time to encourage men to get tested for STDs every six months. Those who do get tested will receive a Healthy Penis stress toy and a coupon that looks like a dollar bill – but, of course, with a Healthy Penis in place of George Washington. The coupons can be used for discounts, free coffee and other goodies at 25 local businesses.