A resident of La Louvière, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted us via the orange button Alert us to denounce a new business, established in her town recently. She points to a shocking showcase and “scandalous” business practices. The trade in question? Al Keket, which offers pastries in the shape of a man’s or a woman’s penis. In the entity, residents and municipal authorities are however delighted with the arrival of such a shop.
“Recently, a pastry shop has developed in Mons, Charleroi and now in La Louvière, in my city. The concept? Eating biscuits in the shape of a sex, with hyper-sexualized commercial arguments. A just scandalous commercial approach. What can I say? to our children who will be attracted by this colorful showcase, where hypersexualization goes unnoticed? Where are we going please???”, a resident of La Louvière contacted us via the orange Alert us button to report the arrival of a new business in her town. This lady prefers to remain anonymous but explains to us that she does not understand how such a pastry shop can be set up in a city center, in full view of everyone, including children.
The business was established on April 22, on Place Mansart, in the heart of the city of Louviéroise. Her name ? Al Keket, referring to the shape of pastries that can be eaten in or taken away. Halfway between a crepe and a pancake, this dish topped with colored icing and topped with small edible decorations can indeed take different forms: either the sex of a man or that of a woman. “We don’t just make peckersimmediately indicates the manager. We also have cupcakes, brownies, cakes, pop cakes, brownies-cookies, pralines…”
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“We have more than 18 different tastes. The goal is to find somewhat comical forms. When we come home, it’s to find something good and funny”, continues the young woman, already manager of 4 other shops of the same type. Rosaria admits to not understanding how her store is vulgar or inappropriate. In her window, she even took care not to display anything so as not to shock more sensitive people. But inside, everyone is obviously welcome. “I have parents who come with their children, I don’t see the problem. There is nothing sexual in it. What we are shown on television is worse”she says.
Despite the criticism, Rosaria decided not to stop there, convinced that her concept has a bright future ahead of it. “It goes in one ear and comes out the other. Nothing can touch me”assures the manager of Al Keket. “Frankly, I don’t see myself doing anything else for work, it’s really cheerful. We’ve never seen so many smiles and good humor. We needed that after the Covid crisis”she adds.
It’s funny, it’s special but I don’t mind
A short tour of the streets of La Louvière tells us that opinions are divided regarding this famous pastry, but roughly speaking, no one is really opposed to the concept. “With everything we see today, it’s becoming normal, but I don’t like it”replies a resident at the sight of the pastries. “Why be shocked about that?”launches another. “It’s funny, it’s special but it doesn’t bother me”said a third.
Some take advantage of a short trip to town to discover Al Keket. “We had seen it in Mons but we had never tasted it. Here, we were passing through the center so we said to ourselves why not”, says a customer present in the trade. And others are eagerly waiting to test: “I explained this to my daughter who lives in Scotland and she told me that when she came to Belgium, she absolutely wanted to eat it.jokes a resident of La Louvière. I find it funny, but I’ve known about it for a long time in the United States.”
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This is not something that shocks the municipal authorities either, quite the contrary. The Louviérois alderman for trade tells us that he is delighted with the arrival of such a trade. “As a commercial alderman, when a business wants to set up in La Louvière, it’s something that necessarily interests me”emphasizes Pascal Leroy. “A business that attracts customers is a very good thing, it reinforces the attractiveness of our city center and it is one of our goals so for me yes, there is really added value in having this business. at the level of our cityhe continues.
This alderman also admits to being surprised by certain criticisms. “We we are in a rather festive city, in a good mood with a slightly surreal side… This business has been the subject of criticism but it is not the majority of the population. It’s even a small fraction of the population, I would say.”
One more trade, one less empty cell
For his part, the president of the Union of Louviérois traders and independents also welcomes the initiative. “Sometimes you have to put yourself in the shoes of people who are opening a business, who are getting started… They have the courage to want to undertake. So wanting to criticize at all costs, because here these are unfounded criticisms, it’s not nice. And that’s no way to greet people.”, points out Mehdi Mrakha. For him too, however, this remains a minority. “It’s misplaced prudishness”he adds.
The president of the Union of Louviérois traders and independents also believes that this shop could attract another type of clientele: “There is a business like that that opened in Mons and I heard that young women were going there for bachelor parties. They were going there to have fun and eat a chocolate ‘quequette’. So having that in La Louvière is more dynamic, it increases the flow of customers, people will come to see what it is. It’s one more business, one less empty cell”he said.
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But can we really speak of “hypersexualization” through these pastries, as the person who pushed the orange button Alert us asserts? We asked the question to a sex therapist. “A vulva or a penis is not necessarily linked to sexuality as suchanswers Marie Tapernoux. We are talking more about intimate areas, which everyone has on them in this case, there is nothing sexualized.
There is no question here of suggestive positions or invitations to sexual acts, as our interlocutor points out, but simple pastries. “It may be a professional deformation, but I’m not shocked by it. It may be precisely a way of playing down the situation and bringing it in a playful way with toppings, etc. It is perhaps also be a way of breaking taboos”says the sexologist.
For her, we must react intelligently to this type of concept. “If the parents aren’t comfortable with it, the kids won’t be either. I can understand that some people aren’t comfortable with their own bodies and sexuality in general and that ‘they are uncomfortable that their children are confronted with this, but I tell myself that this confrontation cannot be avoided.
She sees it, on the contrary, as an opportunity to address the issue of sex education. “It’s important to explain to children how their bodies are. There is nothing dirty, we stigmatize but it’s not dirty, it’s the human body. I much prefer that it happens with this kind of project, rather than our children falling on pornographic images without having this lighting or hindsight”she concludes, recalling that social networks are full of images “even more harmful” only that.
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