Young Adult Novel Twitter Is Losing Its Absolute Mind Over Penis-Shaped Soap
A subscription box featuring a YA fantasy novel contained some unexpected perks
We all know there are a lot of dicks out there. And they usually show up unannounced, uninvited, and unwelcome. But today the section of Twitter concerned with young adult publishing has a lot to say about a very particular unsolicited dick — a purple one, made out of soap, with a suction cup — that made its way into a book box subscription featuring Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorn and Roses series.
The subscription service delivering on the dicks is “Book Boyfriend Box,” and its goal is to bring subscribers “bookish boxes with items inspired by your favorite book boyfriends and girlfriends.” And the content is… well, look, fair warning, we’re about to post a picture of it.
On the plus side, the soap is vegan and cruelty-free! No actual dicks were harmed.
The service promises to curate a package (lol package) filled with items from “a selected group of small businesses and independent artist” [sic]. The boxes usually include things like tote bags, illustrated bookmarks, candles, and jewelry, and are priced around $35–$40. They have not, in the past, included any genitalia.
Many of the books featured in the Book Boyfriend Box are by Maas, who is often thought of as a YA author but might be more accurately called NA (New Adult). She could certainly be called NSFW. Book Boyfriend Box does warn on its Instagram post for the box: “WARNING this is a NOT SAFE FOR WORK box. With mature SEXUAL content. If smut and sex isn’t your thing stay away from our stories or if you are a minor.”
Because the dick was only the beginning. The box also included some lovingly detailed art:
And a fan novella.
(We got both of those images from Jenna Guillaume’s Twitter, if you want to know who to blame.)
Here’s the whole kit and caboodle, as witnessed on the company’s Instagram:
Bloomsbury, the publisher for the books, was not involved in the decision and is almost certainly absolutely plotzing right now. We’ve reached out to Book Boyfriend Box and Bloomsbury for comment, and we’ll update the story with any comment we receive. (Update: Yaira of Book Boyfriend Box responded! See below.) But now, let’s take a look at how much fun everyone’s having with the little purple member.
A lot of people are panicked, overwhelmed by the deluge of “dick soap” tweets on YA Twitter, and reflecting on how far YA Twitter has come.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bloomsbury employee who has to manage the YA dick soap crisis of 2018.
While horrified, I can't help but think that SJM dick soap is a total rip off. It would get smaller every time you use it. (PSA: YOU SHOULDNT USE IT!)
Like, okay the dick soap thing is super inappropriate and probably a health risk, but also can we talk about how SELLING FAN FICTION IS NOT OKAY?!
me joining YA twitter in 2012: wow I love reading books and need more recommendations! me on YA twitter in 2018: let me tell you why the soap dick is problematic
I can't believe YA twitter made me search and scroll through "soap dick" with my own two eyes.
Can't focus. Too much Soap Dick Energy radiating from YA Twitter.
There are also some VERY IMPORTANT warnings about the dick soap’s mysterious suction cup:
it has a suction cup god save us I don't know if it's a functioning suction cup or some kind of weird soap suction cup but if it's functioning yes that IS a feature on many dildos, PLEASE DO NOT FUCK THE SOAP
it is really important to me that everyone who gets this box does NOT TRY TO FUCK THE SOAP especially if you have a vagina, and especially if this is perfumed soap (oh god what scent - NO I AM NOT THINKING ABOUT IT) please do not fuck the soap
And the GIF game is strong.
YA twitter today, uh, apparently?
Update: Yaira Lynn of Book Boyfriend Box sent us a response, quoted below. We… don’t understand all of it.
“We of course know the debate about what really is YA series and if ACOTAR should be YA or NA it’s an ongoing discussing, one we do not control. However that fact that the series contains multiple graphic sex scenes remains. Our box of course was advertised and sold to adults 18+, we offered multiple warnings about its not safe for work and mature sexual content. The infamous soap should be taken as the joke it is: a literal Illyrian Wingspan it even says so on the label. These are sold as bachelorette joke favors in the real world. We want to clarify that they are for external use only, as instructed on the label.
But with everything in life there will always be those that are scandalized. If the box scandalized you, it wasn’t for you. Most of the feedback has been positive so we are going to concentrate on that.”