Dear photographers of pornography and
Please stop putting animals in your
Paging through a recent issue of a
periodical I buy for its articles, I happen on "Bella,"
a passably attractive bottle blonde posing nearly nude in
a fake ice cave. The snow is polyfiber; the ice is lucite.
Wearing just a pair of knee-high silver boots and two rings
(one ring on her middle finger and one in her navel), she's
perilously underdressed for the fake climate. No doubt she'll
need Han Solo to gut his Tauntaun presently.
By her side, at the opposite end of
a silver chain she's holding, is a wolf. Or a wolf-dog, or
Alaskan Malamute, maybe. Now, I'm a broad-minded consumer
of pornography. A fellow has to be willing to suspend some
disbelief to liaise sexually with a magazine. Therefore, I
can overlook the weird sci-fi SantaLand set. But what's this
dog doing here?
You see animals in girlie pictures
often, and it's weird. Maybe the photographer hopes the juxtaposition
suggests the model's something of a wild beast herself...
nothing but a mammal, apt to do it like they do on the Discovery
Channel. But ask any man whose date wouldn't get busy while
her cat was watching: Bella is not in a sexual situation.
Suddenly the reader doesn't want to
see Bella nude anymore, but wearing long-sleeved denim coveralls
and one of those K-9 trainer-style padded cast-sleeves. You
cannot be too careful when it comes to animal safety! If this
dog jumps on Bella playfully, or even affectionately, she's
going to get some nasty scratches. She does not, after all,
have any clothes on. However, as this is a "gentleman's"
publication, to have Bella appear in a bite-suit would defeat
the purpose of her appearing at all. Therefore, out, damned
Of course, Bella's dog is probably
well-trained. It may even be sedated. (If so, maybe it and
Bella both started posing in skin mags for the same reason:
to fund their respective downer habits.) Maybe its trainer
is on the set, overseeing everything, ensuring nothing goes
wrong. But I don't want to think about him; I'm trying to
liaise here. And even careful animal trainers cannot always
prevent a mauling. Did you see that lion tamer getting attacked
on Extra a couple weeks ago?
No? Well, it was fucked up.
I recall a poster I saw in shopping
mall print and frame shops when I was a kid: a dark-haired
woman, reclining, her secondary sex characteristics concealed
under a judiciously draped python. Or it may have been a boa
constrictor. They're hard to tell apart. (One difference is
that pythons are oviparous, meaning that female pythons produce
eggs that hatch after they have been excluded from the body.
By contrast, their more widely distributed Boidae family cousins,
the boas, give birth to live young. Boas are ovoviviparous,
meaning they form eggs that develop within the body of the
parent, but without nutritive or other metabolic aid by the
parent. None of this was pictured, however. I would have remembered
So, OK, I get it. The snake is, like,
a phallic symbol or whatever. And a sledgehammer of a symbol
it is, too... a thick fellow in the grass, if you know what
I mean! But a snake cannot be a phallus. His scales will catch.
I guess he is also meant to allude to original sin and the
Fall, or some shit. None of this, however, is the least bit
hot. Quite to the contrary, it drains the sexuality plumb
out of the picture. Naked women are in girlie magazines so
that men can imagine themselves bedding them. But my man,
you can not have sex with this woman, naked though she is.
There is a snake on her.
troubling to consider, but am I supposed to imagine these
animals and models as partners in zoophilic sex acts? In the
back pages of the magazine featuring Bella, there are ads
for special interest films with ambiguous but suggestive taglines.
Fun on the Farm vaguely promises "scenes of beautiful
women performing acts you never thought they would!"
Freak Me Doggie Style features "freaky women and
their deepest desires!!" Presumably these videos do not
feature bestiality, but there's no disclaimer here to discourage
the optimistic deviant. I assume they comprise scenes of women
performing legal sex acts with other humans, proximate to
animals. I'll pass.
so, pornographers, please, from now on, for my sake, keep
your spreads free of fauna. Stick to situations with which
everyone can identify... like two 27-year-old women having
a slumber party that turns Sapphic, or a sexy public defender
pleasuring her client through the bars of the county jail.
if you'll excuse me, I have to drape little curtains over
all my bird cages and herpetaria, so I can masturbate without
being watched, and judged.
Matthew Shultz is the editor of Serious
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