License and registration, please

An artificial penis and a ruined kisser speak volumes about traffic safety.

Published July 31, 2001 7:05PM (EDT)

The collision of collision and coition can mean art, like David Cronenberg's sex/car wreck movie "Crash," or queasy news blurbs, like those seen in Germany and China last week.

Germany first: Berlin motorcyclist Michael Gruber drove his 900cc Honda into a tree earlier this year. Between the gas tank and the tree came his penis.

"I was squashed between the tank and the seat," Gruber told the German TV documentary show "Blitz." "The tank was ripped off, and with it my penis."

Gruber revealed last week that he now has a brand-new penis, fashioned from the muscle tissue in his lower left arm. A tube inside the muscle allows him to urinate properly, according to, and he is even able to get an erection.

"I feel like a real man again," Gruber told the TV program.

Meanwhile, a motorist in Guanghan, China, has more genteel injuries. A woman identified only as Mrs. Tao is suing the driver who hit her, according to CNN, claiming she can no longer pucker properly. The accident left Tao with broken teeth, injured lips and a sorrowful void once occupied by "the feeling of sweet kisses."

It'll take about $4,700 to make it right, according to the lawsuit. The aggrieved kisser, who has a husband and a daughter, claims she's been deprived of "body, health, kissing and property." While Tao is also suffering short-term memory loss and other minor injuries, the inability to kiss is the worst. According to CNN, legal experts told the Jiangnan Times newspaper that "kissing rights" aren't covered by China's legal system.

There's a scant but devoted group of fetishists who like car crashes and sex in the same sentence. It's the speed, the impact, the scars, the asymmetry of flesh and metal, etc., and after Cronenberg's film, the arty turn-on was over-reported. But the accidents in Berlin and Guanghan don't quite fit in the realm of fetish. By right, arm-penises and sad-luck smoochers belong -- and have always belonged -- to the decidedly unartistic sphere of tabloid journalism. The crash lovers will just have to walk.

By Chris Colin

Chris Colin is the author most recently of "Blindsight," published by the Atavist.

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China Germany Love And Sex Sex