Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sasaeng control - Project Luhan

Today's blog is inspired by this question I received on ask.fm:


It's a good question, deserving of a detailed response, so I thought it would be interesting to answer it in blog form.

Korea doesn't really have any anti-stalking laws - unless the sasaengs assault their idols, trespass on property or steal something, the law can't really do much.  The idols can't do much either - any interaction with these people or even via their entourage and security just feeds the sasaengs because it confirms that what they're doing has a payoff - "EXO's security guard slapped me - now I'm THAT MUCH CLOSER TO EXO" etc.

It doesn't leave too many options... but I thought of a unique solution that just might actually work.  Read on, and come with me on an anti-fanfiction trip into the universe of stalkers and sasaengs.

(the first sasaeng)

You a 14-year old girl living in Seoul, and EXO has always been your favourite group.  How can they not be?  They're just so perfect, especially your bias, Luhan.  You've got all the CDs, a lot of the merch, you are in the official fanclub, and you do your best to trend hashtags on Twitter and support EXO in those Internet polls for "most popular group", "best group", "most attractive group" etc where you're allowed to vote as many times as you want.  One time you stayed awake all night clicking that checkbox like a lab rat, but it was worth it because EXO nearly beat out SHINee for some "battle" thing or whatever.  You had to stay up - it was so close!  What if EXO lost and you weren't there?  At least you know that it wasn't YOUR fault that EXO lost - you did all you could, you didn't let the team down.


Sometimes you wonder about other members of the EXO fandom though - do they really have any determination?  They make excuses and say that the polls are just a measure of who can click the fastest, but taking the time to vote repeatedly shows commitment to your idols, and can anyone really call themselves EXOtics if they don't support EXO with their whole heart?  If you don't care about your idols, are you really a fan or just a nobody?


There's one girl in the fanclub who really pisses you off though.  She's one of those "sasaeng" fans.  She annoys you because she's always telling these stories, and acting like she's so smart.  A few weeks ago she talked about how she got to touch Luhan, like, actually got to touch him like OMG.  That bitch.  Sure, it was only his arm brushing against her for a brief second while the security guard shoved her to the floor, but you're sure it was a precious moment that they shared, and more importantly, it happened to her and not you, which isn't right.  You don't see what's so special about her, that only she can do that.  You make a pact - you will find out what she did to make it happen, and you too will also touch Luhan, one day.


Not long after, one of your friends from the fanclub comes to visit and swap some EXO photocards.  You gently bring up the topic of sasaeng fans.

You: "How do they get so close to celebrities?"

Friend: "They use taxis.  Really expensive ones that you find online, who are familiar with the routes and know where the stars go.  They trail the stars all over the place in unmarked cars for the whole day.  Why are you interested in this?  You're not considering..."

You: "Oh, gosh no.  I'm not one of THOSE people."

It's better that she doesn't know what you're planning - you don't want YET ANOTHER person touching Luhan instead of you, after all - he's yours.  But you're not one of those sasaengs, I mean... they're crazy.  You just really love Luhan and want to meet him and touch him and will do anything to show that you care about him.  Later, when your friend leaves, you look up "sasaeng taxi" online.  Surprisingly, results are easy to find, with several taxis listed on blog sites along with their phone numbers.  Narrowing down the search even more, you try "EXO sasaeng taxi".  The first hit from the search engine is amazing - a blogsite with taxis specifically dedicated to following EXO, they'll even narrow their chase down to specific members of the group for you if they have to split up during their schedules!  It sure is expensive - 200,000 won per day - but expensive as it is that's actually pretty cheap compared to what some of the others are charging (up to 800,000 for some of them - omg), and surely one day of chasing should be all it takes to meet Luhan and touch his angelic body.  You make a phonecall to a "Luhan driver" and make an appointment for bright and early the next morning.

Thai woman working as a taxi driver . Thailand , January 18 , 2007 .

The next day, the taxi pulls up in front of your house.  You're relieved to find out that the driver is an older female.  It puts you at ease somewhat - you've heard horrible stories from your friend about sasaengs getting stuck with extra surprise charges and having to "pay with their bodies", which fortunately doesn't seem like much of a risk here (not that you wouldn't do it if it came to that, you could just close your eyes and think of Luhan, but better not to have to worry about such things at all).  Also her age means she's probably a little too old for Luhan so that's one less level of competition, one less pair of eyes ogling your baby.  You get in, feeling good about what lies ahead.

"You pay by card?" she asks, waving an EFTPOS machine at you.  You nod and swipe the machine.

"Also, please sign."  The cab driver thrusts a pen and a piece of paper on a clipboard into your lap.

"What's this for?"  Your eyes glaze over at the paper, full of incomprehensible legal jargon.

"Personal liability insurance waiver.  If you see Luhan, and you rush out of the cab and trip on some concrete and break your knee, we are not responsible for your medical expenses.  Please sign."  Faced with not much choice, you sign the paper.

"Okay, we drive now.  First stop is SM dormitory, Luhan is practising for Music Core."  The driver pulls away and you feel a palpable sense of excitement.  OMG YOU'RE GOING TO GET TO MEET LUHANSIFUIFAB WGFASF WFFS **** SPAZZ*****


Soon enough, you're outside EXO's dorms, in the back seat of the taxi.  You recognise the dorm building from the EXO official fansite, it's definitely the one.  You're so nervous and wired that your whole body is shaking.  Your taxi driver gets out of the vehicle and walks around the corner in the other direction... where is she going?  Never mind... you look back to the dorm building and concentrate hard, at any minute Luhan could emerge, and then you can rush him and meet him and say hi and tell him about how you're his biggest fan and then he'll give you a hug and he'll feel the special connection that you have for him that nobody else does.  Maybe he'll fall in love.  Soon enough the taxi driver comes back, with some snacks and drinks.

"We may be waiting a few hours, for him to come out.  Music Core is not until later.  You will need to eat and drink."

You figure that it makes sense that catering is part of the service, after all it's expensive enough as it is just to ride the taxi, throwing in a free meal is the least they could do.  Food and drink is the last thing on your mind though, you're not really hungry but then you realise that you haven't drunk anything since yesterday afternoon and actually are a bit thirsty, must be all the fangirling and anticipation wearing you out and making you sweat.  You'd better drink something.  You take a few sips of the tea she bought you and get back to the business of waiting for Luhan.

With nothing to do except wait, you decide to make some small talk - about your favourite topic, of course.  "Do you like EXO too?" you ask the taxi driver.

She turns around and looks you dead in the eye.  "I like them a lot.  They pay my wages, if you know what I mean."

You nod and smile, heh - funny joke.  She continues to stare at you - she's not smiling at all.  Have you misunderstood something?

Then something feels odd.  You start to feel a bit light-headed.  Must be all the excitement, but then it starts to get worse.  Before you know it you can barely keep your eyes open.  This isn't right, how can you be so excited yet so drowsy?  Your eyelids get heavier.  Just before you pass out, you notice the driver picking up her taxi radio, she says something to someone about "reporting in" but you don't quite hear it all before the side of your head lightly lands on the carseat...


You wake up.  You look around, you're in a small room, lying on a single bed.  One wall is made completely of bars, with a barred and locked door.  You also notice a toilet seat in the far corner.  That's odd, why is there a toilet in the bedroom... then it occurs to you that you're actually in a cell of some kind.  Why?  There is a poster above your head, which looks like this:


You recognise the photograph... it's SM Entertainment's new park that they were building.  Wasn't that meant to be a tourist attraction?  Is this really where you are?  Looking through the bars, you see another set of bars, and a cell beyond.  There is another girl in the other cell, who is about the same age as you.  She is looking at you, having noticed your movement.

You call out to her.  "What is this place?"

"It's Project Luhan."  She shrugs and points to a poster on her wall, exactly the same as yours.

"Yes, but what..."

The sound of boots on a concrete floor starting ringing out in the distance, and then getting quickly closer.  The other girl starts getting visibly nervous.  "I'll tell you later, okay?  Just be quiet for now.  I have to pass this!  I have to get out of here!  I've been here for too long!"

"How long?"

"Ssssshh!  Just be quiet!  Don't say anything!  Don't fuck it up for me, I don't want to wait another week!"

The sound of a metal door opening and closing is followed by a guard who appears and unlocks the other girl's cell door.  He then enters the cell and she stands up perfectly straight and salutes.  You notice that the guard has military stripes that bear the SM Entertainment logo.  The guard starts barking rapid fire questions at the girl.


"1063, sir!"


"Six weeks, sir!"


"Yes sir!  Very much so, sir!"


"EXO, sir!"


"Luhan, sir!"  Your heart feels a slight stab.


"He is an idol, sir!"


"He learns to sing and dance songs that are written for him in EXO, and to entertain fans.  It is his job to appear friendly and relateable to fans, so that they support the group's activities, and to work hard as a product of SM Entertainment.  He is just an ordinary person with a job to do.  As he is very busy, he does not need interference in his personal or working life.  Sir!"  This answer sounds especially scripted and robotic, she's obviously been trained to memorise and recite this.


"His personal life is none of my business, sir!"


"Yes, yes sir!"


"I would be completely fine with that, sir!  The personal affairs of idols are none of my business, sir!"


"That's completely fine, sir!"  The girl's voice starts to falter a bit.  You can sense that her resolve is cracking.


"That's fine sir!  It's none of my business!"  She starts openly sobbing.


Girl 1063 bursts into tears.  "No!  He's mine!  She can't have Luhan!   He's mine!  I followed him everywhere!  I even gave him my menstrual pad!  I gave him the blood out of my body!  How can he dare go out with that slut!  It's not fair!  That fucking bitch!  Can't he see that I'm the one who cares the most!"

The guard walks away without a word, locking the cell door behind him.  Girl 1063 collapses onto the bed, crying and mumbling incoherently, something about "pussy payment" but you can't quite catch it.  For the first time, you notice a metal tag on your wrist, with a number - 1064.  It's going to be a long stay.


To read part 2 click here.


  1. I don't have to write shit, here, take a gif:


    1. I don't need to click, I know what that gif is by the title - thanks!

  2. Great read. I kept picturing sasaengs getting rehabilitated ala "A Clockwork Orange" style.

    1. I wasn't thinking of that film in particular but it probably did influence me subconsciously heh

  3. Wow, I was hooked until the end. Best Fanfic I've ever read, also the only K-Pop related one. hah
    It reminded me a bit of SCP (Special Containment Procedures), in case you know that.

    1. I'm not aware of SCP, what is it?

    2. Basically, it's a site, or more like a project, where people can write their own horror stories and some are really damn elaborate and intriguing. However, it's more than just generic horror stories, it's like a little universe. I guess you can call it a very bizarre fictional X Files database.
      Most of the good stories start off really slow and then have a turn to the bizarre and horrific. While there are some funny ones (e.g. SCP-____-J or SCP-10101), the exquisite articles are the one that only imply, but never are really explicit.
      By many considered to be one of the most intense and twisted ideas: http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-231
      There are several hundred articles there, I'd suggest going through the top rated ones, if you do find it intruiging.

      Just remember, nothing of it is real. Maybe.

    3. SCP is fantastic. Love the article, though the rehabilitation part reminded me more of 1984 than anything.

    4. Thanks for the tipoff, I'll check it out!

  4. Replies
    1. I'm not into guys so I can't evaluate these things. To me he just looks like a kid with bad hair.

    2. i swear lu han is on crack cocaine

      he does sometimes have a cute thing going for him though

      lh was probbly the best exo member to write this article about though; i haven't really kept count but i'm pretty sure he's top three if not the most popular member overall

    3. In preparation for this blog I went into the EXO thread on OneHallyu and asked them which member of EXO they thought would be likely to draw in the most sasaeng fans. Luhan was the unanimous verdict, apparently his "baby face" draws them in, possibly nudging latent nesting instincts.

  5. God damn it. This is the most beautiful story I have ever read. I'm having goosebumps right now.

    1. Glad you like it. Just don't start following me in a taxi.

    2. Are you sure I haven't done it yet? Do you think you'll notice when I do? Poor oppar. Just wait for my love letter written with my non-existent menstrual blood.

    3. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxxRULu3gbS1T2hiMGFlVzVnRlk/edit?usp=sharing Menstrual blood is so 2010!

  6. This should become a novel. Like a legit dystopian fiction novel that has this plot. I'd buy it.

    1. I could write that novel if I had the time and money. Maybe I should try funding it on Kickstarter hahahaha

  7. In the past few days, we've gone from "I don't have to write shit" to "I'm writing a fanfic" haha.

    1. Gotta mix it up a little, heh. The funny thing is, both blogs took about the same amount of time for me to put together!

  8. WOW!!!! you have some superb writing skills Oppar Kpopalypse haha

  9. Kpopalypse oppar never disappoints. the taxi driver pic really made my day.

  10. For the first time, I like a post in this blog. Haha. Nicely written. Probably will continue reading if there's a sequel.

  11. Magical post.

    By the way how legal are non-lethal incapacitation devices in Korea? You know, pepper spray, mace, stun guns and the like. I figure they'd have to be illegal otherwise we'd have tons of stories and pictures of crying fangirls after some security guard sprays a cloud of large-animal mace into an unruly crowd of them.

    1. Well Yoseob got his hands on a bottle of pepper spray once... then sprayed himself in the eyes.

  12. As brillant as this is, I fail to see why people are classifying it as a fanfic when it involves no forms of anal sex whatsoever. (Not that I'm complaining about the absence of it of cource)

  13. Wow this is amazng! This is one of the few times i actually read something and it kept me awake... Thanks lol.

  14. I haven't read the article, I just wanna say I'm so fucking done with this EXo shits, their fans... omg the worst of kpop side.

    Congrats Miss Lee

  15. You should continue the story Lol I'm curious on what happens next.

  16. Not going to reply to everyone individually but thanks to all the people saying nice stuff!

    It's not really a fanfic. I'm trying to reclaim fiction writing by taking it away from fangirls, by writing fiction about K-pop but writing the kinds of things that it wouldn't occur to a fan to go anywhere near. I won't do a sequel to this story (because the rest is probably best left to your imagination anyway) but about 20% of all my posts belong in the "fictionalised rambling" category and there will be more of this kind of thing.

    1. Believe it or not, I'm pretty sure in that less popular part of Asian FanFics you could find something like this. Because lets just face it, if you haven't written a fan fiction by now you're going to later even if it's in you're mind and you don't realize your doing it XD

  17. This is beautiful... If only something like this were legal XD

    1. The form that the girl signed that she didn't understand was actually an "admission consent" document. So it's all totally legal and above-board. Kind of.

    2. Hmm... But since she's underage, couldn't that contract be rendered null and void?

    3. Good point. If I decide to novelise this, I 'll have to think up a way around that.

  18. Sasaeng Control - Project Kpopalypse


    1. Why do you think I made this post - I'm doing research for the time I need these services myself hahaha

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