The difficulties of perversion-proofing

FUNDAMENTALIST Muslims are notorious for insisting that women dress in what is supposed to be pervert-proof clothing.

Apparently the female form is so provocative — so much like an open can of Whiskas — that exposed males risk instant transformation into one of those noxious tom cats that squirts urine on to antique couch legs, always has a post-fight pus drain hanging out its skull and inseminates everything that moves.

Ensuring that women are always attired in a modesty-preserving tarpaulin or one-man tent is therefore the only way to keep them safe.

Hardline anti-pedophile activists have a similar view about the provocative nature of babies’ and children’s bodies.

Apparently scantily clad kiddies are so intrinsically irresistible — so much like an open invitation to sex criminals — that pedophiles who see them will automatically begin committing a whole lot more offences. Ensuring that unclothed or “inappropriately” attired sprogs are banned from nappy ads, clothing catalogues and art is therefore the only way to keep them safe.

Rabid Islamists and fanatical child protectionists are right to accuse humans of being a libidinous and lascivious bunch.

Beneath the tacky, timber veneer of civilisation lies a mess of ragingly inappropriate urges.
We covet our neighbours’ asses, make Benny Hill honking noises in our heads and commit an outrageous allsort of fornications.

And yes, sometimes some of us commit sins of the flesh that are so unforgivable we should be locked up forever. Where these two groups of extremists are wrong, however, is in claiming that it’s possible to cover up everything that could ever arouse an improper impulse.

Here are just a few of the things that’d have to go if we wanted to make sure nothing in our social landscape turned anyone on:

* Footwear, lack of footwear and The Sound of Music. Foot fixations are the common cold of the fetish world. One Australian sex worker has a client who calls from a phone booth in a country town to talk about his difficultly keeping control come summer when ladies get about in racy, open-toed shoes (his equivalent of a plunging neckline, especially if toe cleavage is involved). Another website recommends The Sound of Music for titillating glimpses of underaged female toes;

* Sneezing. Common colds are also the common colds of the fetish world. A recent contributor to the Sneeze Fetish Forum says the first time he got aroused by sneezing was watching Monstro the whale achoo in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio. This site also contains a section devoted to handkerchief, tissue and nose-blowing fetishes;

* High-cut clothing. Straight lacers who think only low-cut clobber is morally problematic will be unsettled to learn that a regular client of a Sydney bondage parlour has an unholy obsession with super-snug collars and neckties. He wears his pyjamas buttoned high and tight, pays dominatrices to chat with him about the different types of unforgiving neckwear he enjoys: Peter Pan collars, polo necks, skivvies, bow ties, scarves, jewelled chokers and so on; and

* Balloons. Balloon Buddies was established in 1976 as a pen pal club. It boasts that it is now the No1 place for straight, bi, and gay folk who love the, ahem, “erotic suspense of a simple toy balloon”.

Salacious websites also exist for people with a fetish for denim, conservative blouses, boiler suits, washing-up gloves, scuba gear, surgical braces, food fights, dental work, inflatable pool furniture, very large women who accidentally sit on very thin men, people who dress up in fluffy animal costumes (aka furverts) and — just to give all those Islamists the vapours — latex burkas.

If all this still hasn’t convinced you of the impossibility of expunging everything which has the potential to get punters hot under their freakishly high collars, consider the mysterious world of people with an erotic attraction to invisible women. To you, it’s just an empty space. To the invisiphiliac salivating next to you, it’s lewd-erific.

So, please. While it’s crucial to police unacceptable behaviour and stamp out all forms of child pornography, let’s not allow the fetishists to define what’s hot and what’s not. Otherwise absolutely everything we see, can’t see and shoot snot from will have to carry XXX ratings.

- originally published in The Australian on 17-07-2008.

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One Comment on "The difficulties of perversion-proofing"

  1. Emma
    26/05/2012 at 2:18 am Permalink

    i do love the manner in which you have framed this particular issue.

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