Archive | August, 2009

This must be one of those “eye of the beholder” things.

19 Aug

If I ever meet the man in charge of Details magazine’s online content, I’m going to kick his dick off. I mean it, dude.

I know that giving Details any traffic or attention whatsoever is probably ill-advised. I mean, the content of the magazine and the related website is usually so egregiously misogynistic and juvenile that I’m positive that, if it isn’t outright satire (ah, if only), then it’s at least intended to be salacious and alarming for the sake of increasing magazine sales and website traffic. Still, there are plenty of people out there who aren’t aware of that fact and will come away from the site’s articles thinking this is where journalism is at, that aggressive sexual exploitation and objectification (of women, of course) are the order of the day, that it’s time to get on the train to Doublepenetrationville or get left at Homo Station. Hence, I consider it my responsibility to at least direct a few sane individuals over to participate in the commentating on the site’s message boards.

Anyone who has been around on feminist blogs for awhile will remember the old Peter Rubin piece on the Details site about whether it was OK to “demand anal” (see Twisty’s take here, as I’ll not be linking to the original). That article was so outrageous and absurd that I assumed I’d never find anything to rival it, but then along came another Details online article by some likely Adult Swim and Joe Rogan fan named Eric Spitznagel entitled “How Internet Porn is Changing Teen Sex.” Now, one would assume that, with a title like that, the article might contain a sentence or two of analysis, but instead it just reads like a catalog of some slobbering old creep’s wet dreams about sexually abusing underage girls. You don’t have to take my word for it. Click here if you’re in need of a good puke.

If you’d rather not read the article, I understand. Worry not; Deuce will sum it all up for you and contextualize the shit out of it so you can go over there and comment without being forced to read Spitznagel’s mediocre writing or his exhaustive list of revolting statutory rape fantasies.

It all starts off with the article’s subtitle: “Forget awkward fumblings in the back of the bus. Junior’s thinking more along the lines of reverse-cowgirl anal.” First off, “fumbling” is not a noun, and hence it cannot be pluralized. Duh. But really, is Spitznagel about to try to tell us that the average fourteen-year-old boy is so blase about sexual contact with girls that he requires anal sex to muster any excitement? Am I to assume that teenage boys have somehow overcome the social and sexual anxieties and fears that have plagued adolescents since the dawn of time? I don’t make out with a whole lot of teenagers, but I doubt it.

Spitznagel recounts his own experiences with porn as an adolescent — borrowing issues of Hustler from a friend to toss to — and remarks that the average teenager today would consider wanking over copies of the magazine that once featured women being turned into ground beef on its cover “quaint.” Quaint? Doilies are quaint. Small English villages are quaint. I’m pretty sure that images of women having their heads shoved into toilets while some skeezy guido porks them from behind aren’t quaint.

But anyway… Spitznagel then goes on to drop a few facts and anecdotes on us that, were I to give him far more credit than is his due, I’d suspect he chose in order to sneakily intimate what’s wrong with the effects the porn industry has on modern sexuality:

The awkward truth, according to one study, is that 90 percent of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online. Considering the standard climax to even the most vanilla hard-core scene today, that means there is an entire generation of young people who think sex ends with a money shot to the face.

Well, that’s not good. (Of course, the “one study” isn’t cited, so we don’t know whether that figure is accurate, but I suppose it’s conceivable that it is.) He then quotes Seth Rogen (you don’t say), who reads porn message boards for fun:

“It’s hilarious how much these kids know,” Rogen says. “There’ll be arguments like ‘This is classified as gonzo, but I would say it’s more of a feature-BDSM. Also, they say this clip is taken from Handjobs #8, but this scene was actually first featured in Killer Grips #7.'”

And then two college dicks:

“Pubic hair is disgusting,” Travis says. “Girls should keep their vaginas porn-star trim.” Cody describes his first real-life ejaculate-to-the-face finale like this: “It was the happiest moment of my young life. There is just something about blowing a load in a chick’s face that makes you feel like a man.”

I suspect sometimes that over at Details these quotes from first-name-only dudes are phonied up in order to get a reaction out of people, but it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that these two assholes exist. If they do, their attitude is certainly repugnant, but, as Spitznagel says, “boys have always been perverts.”  What about the girls? Well, apparently at least one young woman thinks taking one in the face is “empowering.” Here’s Spitznagel (re)quoting a 22-year-old woman named Lindsay:

“Even if she has eight dicks on her face, she’s still the queen of those eight dicks,” she says. “I definitely like come on the face.”

Lindsay, having internalized the prevailing argument of pornographers and smirking perverts everywhere, has added hers to the roar of voices that would drown out the protestations of those of us who don’t think black is white, down is up, and getting jizzed on is the road to equality. How very, very sad. But it gets worse. Spitznagel, altruistically shouldering one of the heaviest burdens that the male pop journalist must bear, trolled a few porn sites, dug through mounds of pornographic images to find female porn stars’ blogs, and found that many of the “veterans” were surprised at how “porn-ready” adolescent girls seem to be these days. There are thirteen-year-old girls who idolize Jenna Jameson, 250 of 1000 adolescent females surveyed in Great Britain hope to one day become strippers, teenage girls come to porn sets already well versed in what’s expected of them, and so on ad nauseum.

Alright, dude, we get it: widespread porn consumption among teenagers has led to an expectation among young men that sex ought to mimic porn, and hence that women ought to submit to all manner of the degrading and potentially harmful acts that mainstream porn depicts. That’s fucking terrible news, as us anti-porn feminists have been saying all along.

Oh, wait, that’s not where you’re going with this?

Sigh. I knew it:

For most men over 30, facials aren’t something you actually do. They’re like car chases or hurling someone through a plate-glass window—the difference between cinema and life. But the ubiquity of porn has blurred the line [among young people]…

To those of us who came of age in the eighties and nineties—the dinosaurs once naïvely content with even the most terrible, chafing teen hand job—it feels a bit like looking down from an attic window onto the Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love. Let the young have their Twitter and their Jonas Brothers—we have no interest. But this kind of hurts.

How in god’s name could anyone trot out a laundry list like that of porn’s social effects and come to the conclusion that things have changed for the better with the growth of the internet porn industry? I think I might know the answer to that. If, let’s say, one was so blinded by privilege and entitlement as to conceive of women chiefly as dick receptacles, one might come to the conclusion that a media genre that is helping to brainwash an entire generation of young women to believe that being a dick receptacle is a real party is a boon to the young men who reap the “benefits” of the success of that media genre.

And, really, who can blame Spitznagel? When he’s able to find, like, six women willing to confirm his hopeful supposition that young women just love being used, abused, and ejaculated upon, why would he give it any more thought? Why give up the privilege of using and exploiting women’s bodies by proxy when one can point to a few women who like being degraded, having it taped, and having it broadcast around the world via the Internet? Why think about the damage that the porn industry does to the real women involved in it, to the real women who might not want to rip their pubes out by the roots, who might not want eight dicks on their faces, who might not be cool with their partners expecting them to submit to the degradation and humiliation that characterize almost all Internet porn, when you can choose instead to listen to the women who find it easier to join ‘em than try to beat ‘em? Why empathize with the young women who haven’t bought into the porn industry’s ideas about what women are here for when they are sexually abused by boys who have when you can point to thirteen-year-old whores (come on, like that wasn’t the intimation) who wanna be Jenna Jameson when they grow up? Essentially, why take any responsibility for your complicity in an aggressively misogynistic and exploitative sexual culture when you can blame the victims?

What an asshole.

PS – To those of you who like to come over here and argue that men can tell the difference between porn and real life, and who claim that porn has no effect on the way men treat their sexual partners, I give you Eric Spitznagel’s take and respectfully ask you to shut the fuck up. Also, I think y’all might want to head over to the site and tell him he’s blowing your cover.

*Word up to O.A.G. for the tip.

If anyone cares to write to the mag editor, his email is dan_peres@condenast.com
If anyone cares to write to the author, his email is vonnegutsarsehole@yahoo.com


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Latisse. Because if your eyelashses aren’t thick enough, you are seriously fucked up.

10 Aug

I was watching TV recently when I saw a commercial that seriously confused me for a minute. The commercial was for Latisse, a new product by the makers of Botox that claims to help one grow longer, thicker, darker eyelashes. For a minute I thought I had accidentally stumbled upon a skit show, but then I remembered that SNL and Mad TV are incapable of doing anything funny or insightful, so I had to consider the possibility that Latisse was a real product, that a major pharmaceutical company had developed a prescription drug for people who are so upset by the paucity and/or hoariness of their eyelashes that they feel they need a DRUG to help them remedy the situation. And then I thought about my own eyelashes, which are fairly pale, and wondered whether I ought to rush myself to the nearest hospital.

This pharmaceutical outfit, Allergan (operating out of Irvine, California — a real shock), claims that their drug treats the legitimate medical problem of hypotrichosis, but I’m a little skeptical. Have you ever heard of hypotrichosis? Yeah, me neither. It’s a scientific term for “a condition of no hair growth” (nice work on the wording there, Wikipedia cooperative). Apparently that’s considered a medical condition, though I can’t imagine why it would be save in very rare circumstances. I’ve always been under the impression that a medical condition was something that caused one physical discomfort, threatened one’s life, or disrupted one’s ability to carry out one’s daily activities. Oh, wait, that’s it: a “condition of no hair growth” in the wrong places can be just as disruptive as a condition of copious hair growth in certain other places, because it threatens one’s ability to comply with the old fuckability mandate.

The product’s website makes frequent reference to hypotrichosis, which indeed does sound terrible (as does anything that ends in -osis), but the company’s product line-up hints that what they’re really trying to treat is notthathotatosis; Allergan, in addition to Latisse, also slangs some injectable anti-wrinkle shit called Juvederm (the slogan for which is “parentheses have their place but not on your face” — I swear), the Natrelle line of breast implants, our old pal Botox, and some line of uber-expensive skin creams called Vivite. Not only do none of their products treat legitimate medical conditions, but they don’t even treat the symptoms of legitimate medical conditions. I mean, I suppose having no eyelashes could be a problem, seeing as they protect one’s eyes from debris and all, but I imagine that the no-eyelashes-at-all contingent makes up a pretty small percentage of this product’s target market. The majority of that target market, I suspect, consists of those women who have been convinced that having a few thousand spider legs for eyelashes is more important than, say, protecting one’s eyes from irritants and chemicals or being able to rub one’s eyes when they itch without having to worry about dumping an ounce or two of mascara flakes into them.

So, you drop your $130 for each month’s supply, smear this shit on once a day, and a mere sixteen weeks and $520 later, your eyelashes may get thicker and darker. Of course, as soon as you stop using Latisse, these benefits will disappear. What a sweet deal. But there has to be a catch, right? No way. Latisse’s side effects are totally mild! They include red and/or itchy eyes (which you’d have anyway due to mascara) and the possibility of skin and iris discoloration. The discoloration is likely to be permanent, but you can always wear eyeshadow to cover it up and get color contacts to restore your natural eye color, right?

Are you fucking kidding me, dude?

This product campaign is just evil. It preys upon women’s insecurities in the most disgusting of ways, creates insane expectations that can’t be met, then hoses women out of huge sums of money. We’ve all gotten the message that, if we can’t naturally grow eyelashes the likes of which mascara models can’t pull together without falsies, we’re blowing it as human beings and will never be able to coquettishly bat the fuckers at men in order to make them stupid. Hence the existence of glue-on eyelashes, eyelash dye (a lovely substance to be sure), eyelash extensions, and the ever-expanding variety of mascaras with absurd patented high-tech names. But now that ain’t enough. Sparse eyelashes now constitute a pathological medical condition (note the frequent use of the phrase “inadequate eyelashes” on the site and in the ad) that requires treatment with expensive drugs that might permanently alter the color of our eyes and eyelids, drugs that might sort of work, but will never create the kinds of eyelashes that don’t require curling, slathering with mascara, and augmenting with false eyelashes. I know this because all of the images on the site and in the ad feature women with an abundance of mascara on.

All of that is sinister enough, but what of this company’s central operating principle and the message that the FDA, in approving these drugs, is putting out there? That principle and message are one and the same: in a nutshell, not being hot enough is a medical condition, and a boner shortage warrants the attentions of our best and brightest scientists (and marketing experts).

I must have missed the news report announcing that we’d cured cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Latisse is officially the new Flomax.


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I left you guys because your skin isn’t radiant enough.

4 Aug

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell you, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. No, I’m kidding. I’ve been in Malaysia and Indonesia since the 14th of July, and I just couldn’t convince myself to write instead of sitting on the beach, diving, or walking around the jungle looking for monkeys. I’ll be home on the 8th, but I have a feeling there’ll be posts before that date, since I couldn’t sleep last night and ended up mentally formulating a few posts. I suppose that means I’m ready to get back to real life, but I still have some vacation left to take care of, and I hear there are pygmy seahorses out in the ocean in front of my room.

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