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Old 11-06-2020, 04:36 AM
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SirSquishy SirSquishy is offline
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Question Population of looners in USA vs Europe
So for whatever reason, I've gotten the impression that Europe has a far larger looner population than the USA does. Do you think this is accurate, or not?

Anytime I hear or read a story of looners meeting or knowing other looners, they're almost always from Europe. I really don't hear many stories of looners meeting each other, or knowing other looners in the USA. Not to mention that prominent online looner shops are located in Europe, with just a hand-full located in the USA. Anybody have similar observations or experiences? Or is it just me?
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:05 AM
Loonorm Loonorm is offline
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Default Re: Population of looners in USA vs Europe
SirSquishy, that’s a tough call. I have to agree with you about the online balloon shops being from Europe. KaBoom Balloons, is a shadow of its former self, and Balloon Lovers Corner looks worse. These were the only two online shops from the U.S. that I knew of where you could get ‘non-standard’ balloons, i.e. all the different shapes and sizes.
As for the looner community being predominantly European. That’s a tough call. A friend of mine, who is a looner herself, told me that she thinks that it has to do with people there being more open to expressing their sexual feelings, fetishes, etc., with friends and family. Here, in my opinion, and based on what she told me, we’re more ‘conservative’ about this. I am in my mid-50s, in a healthy 5-year relationship with a beautiful lady, and I am ashamed about the fact that I absolutely love balloons! A few people know about this, but she doesn’t know. One person that I have told, is a lady that I have been doing business with at a local party shop. She always asked me what I do with all of the balloons that I have purchased. I finally found the courage to tell her that I simply like balloons. Really didn’t get into details, but she simply asked, about it, and I told her. She said that there’s much worse things that I could be doing, and that balloons are just innocent fun!
Finally, with the videos. The U.S. always had some great video outlets. I still love my old Bare Balloon Babes videos, from California. Who can’t forget Florida’s Tara Bush??!!?? And then you had Mellyloons/Looneynudes from the East Coast. Again, I think that it has to do with the fact that Europe is ‘more open’ than here in the States.
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:17 AM
BusterBill BusterBill is offline
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Default Re: Population of looners in USA vs Europe
Originally Posted by Loonorm View Post
These were the only two online shops from the U.S. that I knew of where you could get ‘non-standard’ balloons, i.e. all the different shapes and sizes.
.
Just an historical note. I ran Busters Balloons, Zepton ran Grand Balloons, and Buster Steve ran Buster's World Balloons -- all of us existed before the other US dealers came along. When I operated Busters Balloons, I was the first to introduce South American (SA24's specifically), Chinese 27" and 36" balloons, Canadian Tilco balloons, and Italian Rifco balloons to the global looner community. Tilco is now defunct and Rifco balloons, including giant novelty shapes such as the caterpillar and giant dolls as well as GL zeppelins, are still available but manufactured under other brand names. Grand Balloons carried a wide assortment of Qualatex and Tuftex products and specialized in Q24's; he carried literally every color, variety, and print of Q24 that was ever made. Then there was Buster's World operated by the famous Buster Steve out of Arizona who carried an exceptional selection of European balloons including the giant Czermak novelty shapes such as the huge nose, giant dolls, enormous elephant shape and so forth.

We are all no longer operating because the only reason to do it is for pleasure and eventually other priorities in life take precedence. There's no significant profit in it as it is a costly business due to transportation costs and customs duties to import unique products. And the hours of labor to fill orders are crazy long.

Zepton passed away of a massive heart attack a couple of years ago at the very young age of 48, so perhaps he'd still be selling his favorite balloons for the love of it. Although I don't think so because just days before his death he received notice that his first indie film had been accepted for exhibition at the Venice International Film Festival. He was over the moon at that news.

Just a bit of looner history for someone to add to the looner wiki if ever anybody gets motivated to create one.

Happy blowing to y'all,

Buster Bill
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:45 AM
BusterBill BusterBill is offline
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Default Re: Population of looners in USA vs Europe
Originally Posted by SirSquishy View Post
So for whatever reason, I've gotten the impression that Europe has a far larger looner population than the USA does. Do you think this is accurate, or not?
.
After running the Balloon Buddies for 30+ years I would have to say the percentage of looners among the general population is the same in pretty much all developed countries in the world. Small or underdeveloped countries, where balloons are not readily available or are not part of the social culture, are an exception.

So to answer your question, no the looner population in Europe is not larger than that of the USA or China or South America or any other developed country. The percentages are about the same globally. However, European looners are closer together geographically so the density can be misleading. Euro looners have much shorter distances to travel if they wish to meet up. The USA is enormous compared to Europe -- the distances between individual looners can be quite daunting when it comes to arranging to meet up.

It occurs to me that another factor that can skew perception is the cultural standards of a person's home country. Many American looners are reluctant to admit to their fetish due to our particularly sexually represssive, judgmental, conservative culture. I don't think this is only true of the USA -- almost all the Asian looners (except Japanese) whom I've spoken to have told me that they are reluctant to join looner forums or speak freely about their fetish because they feel guilt and fear of being judged harshly. Japanese looners are more forthcoming about their fetish and even feature sexually provocative balloon fun in their TV game shows. On the other hand, although I have heard from and know quite a few Chinese looners, almost none of them are willing to share their fetish online -- you'll find very few Chinese looners on this or any looner forums. (Perhaps they have their own forums behind the great Chinese Firewall?)

Sorry for the long-winded answer. But just wanted to give you some perspective on my many years of being involved in the looner community. I think European looners are perhaps more open, less guilt-ridden, and more visible, but I don't think there is a higher percentage of looners per million people in Europe than in any other developed part of the globe.

Cheers and happy blowing,

Buster Bill
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:45 AM
LoonerHoax LoonerHoax is offline
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Default Re: Population of looners in USA vs Europe
I remember the original SA24's. Big balloon, big neck, super soft but with a terrible smell. Heavy sulfur scent in the latex if I remember correctly. I never did get to really push the limits of those balloons beings I was still living at home with my parents.
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:00 PM
DeppLooner DeppLooner is offline
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Default Re: Population of looners in USA vs Europe
Originally Posted by BusterBill View Post
.
Just an historical note. I ran Busters Balloons, Zepton ran Grand Balloons, and Buster Steve ran Buster's World Balloons -- all of us existed before the other US dealers came along. When I operated Busters Balloons, I was the first to introduce South American (SA24's specifically), Chinese 27" and 36" balloons, Canadian Tilco balloons, and Italian Rifco balloons to the global looner community. Tilco is now defunct and Rifco balloons, including giant novelty shapes such as the caterpillar and giant dolls as well as GL zeppelins, are still available but manufactured under other brand names. Grand Balloons carried a wide assortment of Qualatex and Tuftex products and specialized in Q24's; he carried literally every color, variety, and print of Q24 that was ever made. Then there was Buster's World operated by the famous Buster Steve out of Arizona who carried an exceptional selection of European balloons including the giant Czermak novelty shapes such as the huge nose, giant dolls, enormous elephant shape and so forth.

We are all no longer operating because the only reason to do it is for pleasure and eventually other priorities in life take precedence. There's no significant profit in it as it is a costly business due to transportation costs and customs duties to import unique products. And the hours of labor to fill orders are crazy long.

Zepton passed away of a massive heart attack a couple of years ago at the very young age of 48, so perhaps he'd still be selling his favorite balloons for the love of it. Although I don't think so because just days before his death he received notice that his first indie film had been accepted for exhibition at the Venice International Film Festival. He was over the moon at that news.

Just a bit of looner history for someone to add to the looner wiki if ever anybody gets motivated to create one.

Happy blowing to y'all,

Buster Bill
HI Buster Bill, as always is a pleasure to read a little of looner history from you, just a little note to the thing you said, Tilco Balloons from Canada is not defunct, the factory just moved to Mexico (Jalisco State to be more specific), it still work under the name ¨Tilco Balloons¨ , I called them a year ago and they confirmed that the factory is the same from Canada, they moved to Mexico cause the manufacturing cost and market is much better here (They are manufacturing balloons from all sizes from 5¨to 72¨, but their strong client is Walmart Mexico, they literally make all the balloons that walmart uses for decor).
You can find them in their webpage https://tilcoballoons.com/
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Old 15-06-2020, 03:07 AM
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Tookus Tookus is offline
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Default Re: Population of looners in USA vs Europe
Yes, that's my perception too, Europeans have a stronger appreciation for sensual toys like latex, balloons, vinyl and so on. Here in America you really don't want to let anyone know.
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Old 15-06-2020, 05:02 AM
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SirSquishy SirSquishy is offline
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Default Re: Population of looners in USA vs Europe
Originally Posted by Loonorm View Post
SirSquishy, that’s a tough call. I have to agree with you about the online balloon shops being from Europe. KaBoom Balloons, is a shadow of its former self, and Balloon Lovers Corner looks worse. These were the only two online shops from the U.S. that I knew of where you could get ‘non-standard’ balloons, i.e. all the different shapes and sizes.
As for the looner community being predominantly European. That’s a tough call. A friend of mine, who is a looner herself, told me that she thinks that it has to do with people there being more open to expressing their sexual feelings, fetishes, etc., with friends and family. Here, in my opinion, and based on what she told me, we’re more ‘conservative’ about this. I am in my mid-50s, in a healthy 5-year relationship with a beautiful lady, and I am ashamed about the fact that I absolutely love balloons! A few people know about this, but she doesn’t know. One person that I have told, is a lady that I have been doing business with at a local party shop. She always asked me what I do with all of the balloons that I have purchased. I finally found the courage to tell her that I simply like balloons. Really didn’t get into details, but she simply asked, about it, and I told her. She said that there’s much worse things that I could be doing, and that balloons are just innocent fun!
Finally, with the videos. The U.S. always had some great video outlets. I still love my old Bare Balloon Babes videos, from California. Who can’t forget Florida’s Tara Bush??!!?? And then you had Mellyloons/Looneynudes from the East Coast. Again, I think that it has to do with the fact that Europe is ‘more open’ than here in the States.
I didn't know about those American resources. Thanks for sharing! Didn't know Tara Bush was from the USA. I know I've seen her in videos before.

Originally Posted by BusterBill View Post
.
After running the Balloon Buddies for 30+ years I would have to say the percentage of looners among the general population is the same in pretty much all developed countries in the world. Small or underdeveloped countries, where balloons are not readily available or are not part of the social culture, are an exception.

So to answer your question, no the looner population in Europe is not larger than that of the USA or China or South America or any other developed country. The percentages are about the same globally. However, European looners are closer together geographically so the density can be misleading. Euro looners have much shorter distances to travel if they wish to meet up. The USA is enormous compared to Europe -- the distances between individual looners can be quite daunting when it comes to arranging to meet up.

It occurs to me that another factor that can skew perception is the cultural standards of a person's home country. Many American looners are reluctant to admit to their fetish due to our particularly sexually represssive, judgmental, conservative culture. I don't think this is only true of the USA -- almost all the Asian looners (except Japanese) whom I've spoken to have told me that they are reluctant to join looner forums or speak freely about their fetish because they feel guilt and fear of being judged harshly. Japanese looners are more forthcoming about their fetish and even feature sexually provocative balloon fun in their TV game shows. On the other hand, although I have heard from and know quite a few Chinese looners, almost none of them are willing to share their fetish online -- you'll find very few Chinese looners on this or any looner forums. (Perhaps they have their own forums behind the great Chinese Firewall?)

Sorry for the long-winded answer. But just wanted to give you some perspective on my many years of being involved in the looner community. I think European looners are perhaps more open, less guilt-ridden, and more visible, but I don't think there is a higher percentage of looners per million people in Europe than in any other developed part of the globe.

Cheers and happy blowing,

Buster Bill
You bring up a good point here. It makes sense that the social and geographical differences between our continents can skew the perceptions. I hope some day American looners will realize that their fetish is nothing to be ashamed of. I hope someday we Americans can open up more freely. I would love to see the American looner community thrive. I guess everyone has their own personal psychological barriers to overcome.

Also, I've seen some Japanese TV shows you're talking about. Those always made me wonder what experiencing the looner community over there first-hand would be like.

Originally Posted by Tookus View Post
Yes, that's my perception too, Europeans have a stronger appreciation for sensual toys like latex, balloons, vinyl and so on. Here in America you really don't want to let anyone know.
Maybe someday that will change in America. I wonder if there would need to be a social change in the way Americans interact, or if something would need to change on a personal level for all looners in the USA without being influenced by a societal movement. Perhaps a social change would influence psychological barriers to be more easily overcome.
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