In and Out


Dear Readers:

I was watching a Buffy rerun recently when the trailer for the new movie Splice came on, and I startled myself yelling "No, no, not again!" at the TV. Some misfire-prone synapse or other in my brain had leapt to the conclusion that Splice was another "sew three or more people together" movie. Splice turns out to be just another cautionary tale about not mucking about about with DNA. It' s Human Centipede I'm trying (and failing) to avoid.

If each era gets the horror it deserves, perhaps we have moved on from fear of the monstrosities that lurk, unseen and unsuspected inside us, to fear of the blurring of edges between ourselves everyone else. Human Centipede is a horror movie for the Facebook age.

Of course none of this is what really freaks me out about H.C. — it's the coprophagia. I cannot deal, personally, and I am obligated not to approve, professionally. After all these years of telling people that if rimming did not exist hep B and giardia would have seen fit to invent it, I may have developed something of an oversensitivity, but — eeeeeewwwwww. I'm asked regularly about "ass to mouth" and try not to simply go "eeeeeeewww!" when the subject is raised. I also admit that lots of people do it with no ill effects whatsoever. As a sex educator,I have to consider subjects I find personally distasteful. As a person, I never ever ever want to see that movie.

On the subject of things I find distasteful, let us now consider the Fleshlight. It's been years since I considered the Fleshlight, that vaguely flashlighty-looking male masturbation device that leads the market for inanimate things you stick your dick into, but then I got this press release: "Our Fleshlight Girls line was modeled to provide the most realistic experience possible. The problem with that is just like the real thing, when the lights were off, all of the girls felt the same. Now with the signature textures, each girl can have a dramatically different feel, which is additional incentive to add to your personal harem."

Leaving aside the question of whether or not all girls feel the same in the dark, I have a few questions. If you have ever used a purpose-made masturbation device, did you think of it as a "girl?" Do you think of your collection as a "harem?" Because while I get that we're all supposed to close our eyes and go with the fantasy while engaged in solo pursuits, I have never heard a woman refer to her devices as "the guys."

Fleshlight's vague ickiness probably isn't its fault; any design that's going to work is going to involve some sort of sheath-full of squoodgy rubbery stuff and jizz. My discomfort may be purely semantic, the insistence that the things themselves are "girls." Or it may be the way they remind me of some as-yet-unmade David Cronenberg movie for our time, in which hapless lonely guys purchase these things and stick it in and find that both their flesh and their very identities had become one with the "girl." Who will then kill them.



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