Ever since a friend showed me the hand gesture that Elisa uses in The Shape of Water to explain the mechanism by which her amphibious lover’s hidden penis appears, I’ve been curious to see this fish dick for myself. Guillermo del Toro is no stranger to creating complex magical creatures, and I thought he would leap at the chance to show off the trap-door mechanism he devised to protect the modesty of “The Asset,” allowing his private parts to go from internal to external as needed.
Upon seeing the film, however, I was disappointed to discover that there is no fish dick (well, there’s definitely a fish dick, just not one ever shown on screen). We are left with only our imagination, with which we must combine Elisa’s gesture—indicating the creature’s Ken doll-like nether region slides (?) open—and his blue-gold amphibi-god aesthetic to envisage what this organ might look like.
But when XenoCat Artifacts, an Etsy store specializing in custom sex toys, created “The Jewel of the Amazon,” it looked like we had our Asset—I mean answer. The Shape of Water–inspired dildo captures the monster’s mesmerizing oceanic color scheme and rippled body, and its ruffled, bright-blue base even glows (under UV light) like the Asset himself. It’s an adult toy for an adult fairy tale, and it does not disappoint.
Unless of course you’re Doug Jones, the actor behind the creature, who told the Wrap on Monday that the dildo is “not exactly what I’d hoped for.” “After pouring my heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into this romantic, beautiful, magical role, the last thing I want to be remembered for is a silicone appendage that comes in two sizes,” Jones said.
Guillermo del Toro—who has definitely spent more than a little time envisioning his mythical creation’s mythical penis, even if he didn’t include it in the film—was dismissive of the sex toy, saying it wasn’t an “accurate” representation. “It’s some form of fan art … I guess,” he said at a screening hosted by the Wrap, adding, “I’m sure Dunkirk doesn’t have that problem.”
Jones and del Toro shouldn’t be so upset—the fact that “The Jewel of the Amazon” sold out its initial run of 20 dildos in just two days speaks to the intrigue and fascination surrounding the Asset’s asset. Give an audience a fish dick and they’ll talk for a day; tease an audience with a fish dick and they’ll dream for a lifetime.