Ou sont les mugs d’antan?

On May 31, 2007 by Eden M. Kennedy

Why, Mom? Why did you take me to the mall when I was fourteen and buy a bunch of mugs with animals fucking on them?


Oh, wait! I get it! This was our “sex talk”! NOW I UNDERSTAND.


I do like the bunnies. They’re really going at it, aren’t they? So soft. God, it’s inspiring. That little guy with the stain on him is really focused. You can tell by the way his partner is grasping his hind legs that he must be doing something right.


Elephants? Not quite as sexy, Mom. They’re awfully cute, though, and imagine the things they can do with their trunks!


I think trunks must be key for elephant sex, because for the most part their bodies are too blocky to really get down in a way I’d understand. But here I am being judgmental when I know that sometimes even the best sex looks just like two beached whales.


Speaking of which. They didn’t make a sexy whale mug; instead we have the procreational aftermath whale mug. Look, the mother whale is even smiling! Or maybe she’s laughing at the penguins:


Penguins = not pornographic IN THE LEAST. What, you have those three on the lower left, you know, just chatting, getting to know each other. Then we have those two on the upper right, one holding the other everso gently while balancing on the head of the burly, immobilized penguin.


They all look scared out of their minds.

Jesus, I have to tell my therapist about this.

[Mugs by Taylor & Ng.]



100 Responses to “Ou sont les mugs d’antan?”

  • Oh…my. That is all the speech I can muster for this.

  • This was the funniest thing I have read/seen all week.

    Les pauvres lapins!

  • I’m pretty sure elephants suffocate if they lie on their backs. Making the scene decidedly less sexy.

  • These are hilarious… I would love to have a set of these. They’re just too funny. Who makes them?

  • You certainly are correct in your assessment of the penguin-on-penguin action. If anything, it reminds me of that incredibly stilted ‘secret society’ scene in “Eyes Wide Shut”. The antithesis of erotic. Now with penguins!

  • My father had the penguin mug when I was a kid. Except the penguins were green. (Maybe with age?)

    Anyway. I dropped it when I was about seven or eight and my mom freaked. “That was your father’s favorite mug!” and that sort of thing.

    I’d never realized that’s what the penguins had been doing all those years. I figured they were playing some sort of ritualistic penguin game. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  • Here you go, Jennifer–


    Wow. I’d forgotten about those.

  • “Eyes Wide Shut”. Perfect. That’s exactly it!

  • My mom had a potholder with the rabbits on it — it was years before I noticed what they were doing. I was a teenager and I was MORTIFIED. Almost couldn’t go into the kitchen anymore…

  • Mom is too funny but at least you were informed. I had to watch National Geographic to learn about the rabbits and penguins, and that whales have really big ones.

  • ROFLMAO! You’re mom had a MUCH cooler way to talk to you about sex than mine did!!!

    Mine was a photo album of Polariod shots of a woman giving birth from the local hospital. Nothing hidden. Completely up close and person.


  • i LOVE them! better than the boring sex BOOK that I got.

  • my parents had those very same mugs when i was growing up. i seriously thought i was the only one who had ever seen them.

    i try to steal the bunny one every time i visit home, but i haven’t been able to make it out of my parents house with it yet.

  • HAHAHA! So funny! Did she know they were having sex? Because at first glance everything seems so innocent.

  • Those are hilarious. I really needed that laugh. Thanks!

  • Hilarious! Whales, understandable. Elephants, questionable. Penguins, just hysterical!

    Yeah, the bunnies are good.

  • Can’t. Stop. Laughing.

    Thanks for sharing Eden! :)

  • This really put a smile in my face. Can’t wait ’til my husband gets home. THANKS!

  • I’ve just never seen anything like that before. They are awesome!

  • My mom got a permission slip to sign so that she and I could go to a sex-ed seminar at school. She never signed it and I didn’t ask her about it because I thought it must have been realllllllllly bad if my own mother wouldn’t sign it.

    Turns out I was wrong.

  • Those mugs are treasures!

    At least all your moms didn’t actually HAVE the talk with you. Mine did, starting at 12 years old once a week until I graduated. God I need a therapist…

  • Those are FABULOUS!

  • “I have to tell my therapist about this.” ?? Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t come up before.

    You mom was either really hip, or really, really clueless.

    That said, I’m totally buying the entire set!

  • My mom had the elephant one when we were growing up, and we used to fight over who got to use it for hot chocolate.

    I think I was about 18 before I realized what those elephants were doing. I’m kind of oblivious like that.

    Last Christmas, my mom got each of us our very own inappropriate animal mug. I have the penguin one.

  • Oops. The original mug was actually hippos (not elephants), now that I think about it. Do you have that one?

  • This is absolutely hilarious. I wonder if my mom would know what she was looking at if she saw them. I’m thinking not so much.

  • My tea was served up in the bunny mug while on a weekend visit with my friend to her parent’s house. Eighteen year old me wasn’t quite sure how to react. My friend’s mother giggled quietly to herself and waited for me to say something. No dice.

  • Wow, my mind was just blown.

  • Too bad you didn’t have the bear one. One of the bear’s is sucking on another bear’s toes. That always freaked me out. Never mind the humping – I’d seen the dog humping the cats all my life – but the toe sucking was just too much.

  • We had a hippo version (I think they were hippos, anyway. Perhaps rhinos). My mom thought it was hilarious and I didn’t quite get it till I was older. Didn’t realize there was a whole set to be had out there!

  • You are genius-like.

  • Thank you for the laugh! I’ve seen the rabbits, but not the others. Priceless!

  • Gave any of us “The Talk”, that is.
    *sighs, blames migraine*

  • Oh, the hilarity!
    My mother Loves anything to do with rabbits and bunnies and such, and as she NEVER gave any of us (I’m the youngest of four) I feel this would a Fabulous gift for her.
    *goes to eBay*

  • How sad is it that I couldn’t even tell what half of the rabbits were doing? Some of them just seemed to be alone… were they next in line?

  • I’m scarred for life. I don’t know which was worse, the polite penguins having a chat below the ‘embracing’ ones or the elephants and their interesting trunk use.

  • We had the whale one when I was a kid. My parents still have it, and I think it has the best heft and size for a big glug of coffee. I’d never seen the other ones before. Awesome!

  • oh gosh, now i want a set of mugs. Maybe monkey mugs, you know those would be interesting. I want to use these mugs for the ‘sex talk’ with my kids. Shoot, I just want to drink coffee out of these mugs every morning. Those are GREAT!

  • Very scary that we had these mugs in our household as well…..

  • Just imagine the water cooler conversations! If only I didn’t work at home…

  • This is the kind of kitsch that warms my heart, broadens my grins and offends my artistic sensibilities.

    Good going.

  • I cannot believe you have the fucking bunny mug too. I’ve had mine for years and I had no idea there was an elephant version. I bought mine myself though at a thrift store. we are mug mates.


    No, the penguins do not look like they are doing anything the slightest bit connected with sex.

  • I can’t help it … I LOVE those mugs!

  • Holy shit. I need a cigarette now.

  • I think it’s sweet that the bunnies in the lower left corner of that top photo seem to be using the missionary position. How very bourgeois of them.

  • you have no idea how much i needed this laugh today. i mean, really, no idea.

    what a great post.

  • I feel so smug that I caught the Catch 22 reference. I am a foreign language geek, so any phrase that I come across gets memorized.

    I think the mugs were originally from the 70s, when sex was invented.

  • Reminds me of the scene in the original movie La Cage A Folles where the very proper relatives of the son’s fiancee are finishing their soup and see the soup bowls with little Greek boys doing the same thing as the rabbits…which was a hilarious scene, as was your post!

  • HEY! We have TWO of those whale mugs in our assortment of lost hopes and dreams mugs at work!

  • Add me to the list of kids whose mother had these mugs. The bunny one for sure but I can’t remember the other animal — I don’t think it was elephants.

    However, along these lines, when I was a little kid, maybe 5? For Christmas I wanted to get my dad a tie. So we went to the mall and I bought this super cute reindeer tie. I remember my mom just howling and saying how much Dad would like it. Dad did say he liked it and thought it was very pretty but he never wore it out of the house.

    Years later, helping them unpack from a move, I discovered it. Yep. Reindeers humping. Humping! What was wrong with those people in the 70s!?

  • Hahaa… “a procreational aftermath whale mug”. Brilliant! I definitely want a set of those mugs!

  • Oh shit. Brilliant. I think some of your best blog posts ever are unfolding from recent events.

    The penguin mug … the elephants and rabbits are blatantly having sex (and Christ those tusks must chafe), but most of the penguins seem to be forming gymnastic pyramids while a few of them are covertly bumming each other. And you’re right, they do look terrified.

  • Back in the Seventies my mother bought the rabbit ones, along with matching dishtowels. How could I have forgotten them until now?

    Thanks, I think.

  • LOL What a great introduction to your blog! Plus, I love bloggers who use fuck! Nice to meet you! :)

    I want the bunny mug!

  • Cartoon sex ed! Ah, that takes me back. I hadn’t thought about “Where Did I Come From?” and “What’s Happening to Me?” in years. My folks gave my brother and me those books, then asked us if we had any questions. We did not. I think we were all grateful for the unspoken agreement to never speak of this again.

  • We had the exact same mugs when I was growing up– “La Baleine” and everything– but also, with alligators. Alligators. Actually I still have that mug, and I have gotten over the fact that they are pretty much fucking, because alligators are even less sexy than penguins and elephants, and it doesn’t seem like they’re fucking unless you really think about it. What was UP with the seventies/early eighties?

  • I am so glad I didn’t have to live the rest of my life without seeing those mugs.

  • Here is an amusing quote from the online store:

    “serious but witty, benignly whimsical on 11 oz. white ceramic mugs with easy to grab handles”

  • we have to keep commenting until the number reaches 69

  • Holy shit, I love you people. Best comments ever.

    Wanna come over and drink beer out of my new mugs tonight??

  • thank god you didn’t have a giraffe mug – then you would have been scarred for life!

  • The mugs are great! Hope you are keeping them or at least auctioning them off to us.

  • Wow. That is a beautiful way to start your day!

  • I *HAD* the penguin mugs back in the day and loved them dearly. They were soooo sexay and sooooo counterculture in a high-end consumerist kind of way. Dammit I cried when they broke. :(

    Thanks for the memories.

  • My parents had the bears and the elephants!! Like a set of each!

    My Mom finally got rid of them when I realized what was going on, when I was like 20. LOL.

    I think I know what Dad is getting for Father’s Day!

  • Haha! My parents had these too! My sisters and I never realized what they actually were until we were in our twenties – it’s amazing what you don’t see when you see something everyday.

  • So, it seems this post turned on Stephanie A. although why wait for the husband to come home?

  • It’s me, Gleth, reclaiming an old blog from Blogger to get my post up!

    Oh. My. God. I grew up with these but all were sold at our moving-away-from-Denver garage sale. My girlfriend and I have been E-baying these things like mad. It took us forever to get the bull and the rooster (score!) and we still don’t have the alligator orgy.

    For what it’s worth, my girlfriend helped Winston Ng die of AIDS-related complications in the 80s or early 90s, and that’s how her collection started. The mad E-baying is more recent, our substitute for bunny-sex.

  • Given the mugs, Bossy finds it interesting that the number of comments before her’s is 69! Kind of makes Bossy forget what she was going to say.

  • my mama had a lovely tee in the 70′s:

    “it’s not the shape of the ship, but the motion of the ocean!” that she wore when we went sailing.

    the adults LOVED it when i’d quote that.

    i was horrified, when as a teen, i “got it.”

    ah, and the memories of dad chasing mom around, trying to pull down her tube top while she clutched, giggled and screeched.

    good times.

  • I need some of those mugs.
    You do realize you are missing the key mug, which is bears trying to eat each other’s faces, right? That should definitely have been in the sex talk – how to kiss without mauling. They look happy about the mauling, too.

  • Those penguins rock my world.

  • I need to tell you that I have been crying all day and laughing at these mugs was like cold spring water on a hot day. Thank you. And for gods sakes, get a sharpie and get to work!

  • best warm beverage equipment ever

  • Why am I turned on?

  • We had those mugs! Apparently only the rabbit one survived, though, and I went through my entire childhood never noticing exactly what the rabbits were up to. I only noticed a few months ago that hey… those are some TERRIBLY friendly bunnies.

  • We had the same mugs! Plus the ones with bears on them. I never noticed that said mugs were so very filthy. I’m actually home visiting, and I just went downstairs and checked: yup, fithly, filthy, filthy.

    We also had mugs with frogs on the inside. I’m pretty sure it was just one frog, but maybe there was some sort of autor erotic axphixiation thing going on with the whole ‘cover me with your beverage’ thing.

  • I ama drunk blogging that was awesome!

  • My mom had the elephant mug, I totally stole it when I moved out. I love, love showing it to people.

    “See? They’re doing it.”

  • oh man, that is hilarious. The scrumpin’ bunnies is the best. I have a shot glass of crocodiles getting it on.

  • Those are the funniest god damn mugs I have ever seen.

  • Oh my GOSH!! We have those too! I was about 13 when I realized what they were doing, but I was too embarrassed to ask my mom if I was right – I thought it was just my dirty mind!! They are so funny that when my husband and I got married, we got a set to go in our house, too. (our poor, poor future children…) I didn’t realize other children had had those mugs inflicted upon them, too! :)

  • OMG! I need the penguin mug!!! I will pay top dollar for it (or at least some dollar!!) I used to have that same image on a hot mitt and I LOST IT and I still lament that fact, nearly 10 years later. PLEASEEEE!!!!!

  • the penguins disturb me! but this post made my day :)

  • I’m reeeeally late on the happenings. In any case, I am really sorry for your loss. Take care of you.

  • If I saw these on ebay I would buy them in a minute. So funny!

  • I was helping my sister move this weekend and OMG I found three of these mugs. Hope someone shopping at the Goodwill appreciates them. Or maybe at the zoo. The sex zoo.

  • Eden, I’ve just begun reading your blog (jumped over from Heather) and while I’m so sorry to have begun at what is a heart-wrenching time for you, I *love* these mugs. I’m in SB–wanna bring them home for me?

    Thinking good thoughts for you.

  • That is the funniest thing I have EVER seen. I have been laughing out loud for 10 minutes looking at those penguins.

  • Must . . . collect . . . them . . . all!

  • OMG, my parents had that rabbit one too…and until NOW, i never realized they were DOING IT! I hadn’t seen that mug in probably 205 yrs…HA

  • my mom has the mug of the bunnies humping!

  • I am sitting here drinking coffee at work from my penguin mug. I have used this mug for more than 20 years with hundreds of people seeing it in meetings and different places but NO ONE has ever commented on what they those damn birds are really doing. In fact, I just had a comment from a secretary…’I love that mug with the cute little penguins on it!’. I just say ‘thanks’.
    Penguins need to keep busy since they can’t fly and it’s so frick’n cold where they live.

  • I have the rabbit mug at my desk right now. I’ve been using it for over 28 years and hardly anyone has ever noticed what’s going on. I also have the elephant-and-donkey one that seems to have been made for the ’80 election, but the beasts on that one are so large (and so involved) that you can’t fail to get the idea.

  • I am extremely grateful for coming across your blog. My aunt has had the Rabbit mug for as long as anyone in my family could remember. I'll be 29 next month and my brother will be 30 in August to give you an idea of time.
    Every time we would go to my Aunt's house, my father would (like everyone else) use the mug because it was a larger than normal mug. I was only in 2005 when my brother was using the mug did anyone actually *really* look at it. My brother almost fell off the bar chair in laughter before letting us know about the mug.
    There is a near brawl between my brother and I on calling dibs for the mug if anything should happen to my aunt (our family likes being prepared). Anyways, I relented and photographed it in hopes of getting one made if I couldn't find another.

    Thank you so much for your post because of the links above me, I now have a whole set on the way.

  • I laughed my socks off … still laughing …

  • My sister found this mug at a junk store and gave it to my Mom. She couldn’t figure it out she thought the penguins spelled something out. she asked me to look at it and see if I could figure it out if it meant something. So I am looking at this mug and I’m like holy crap is that two penguins doing a 69. I was like mom your cup is a penguin orgy. it took some convincing but I don’t think mom is ever going to drink from that cup again

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