a million wicked thoughts (part won) – ogi ogas and sai gaddam

“The erect primate penis is used as a sign of male-male aggression, to mark
territory, and as a sexual invitation to females. If the invitation is witnessed by a competing male, the erect penis can provoke hostility and attacks. It may also be a visual cue that motivates males to copulate with a female shortly after she has mated with a competing male. Biologist Richard Dawkins even suggests that an erection may be a visible sign of a male’s general health. But some primates go further than simply inspecting each other’s phalli.” (41)

“Interestingly, NFL scouts believe that a football player’s butt is the single best indicator of his physical strength and athletic ability. Sportswriter Michael Silver reported on what he saw at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine: ‘You’ll hear scouts and coaches throwing out compliments like, ‘That guy’s ass is pretty, now.’ You’ll see write-ups lauding a prospect’s ‘big, bubble ass’ or ‘great explosion in his hips.’” (166)

“Men aren’t the only primates willing to spend money just to look at females, but they’re the only ones to develop it into an industry.” (23)

“But in one of the many ironies of the adult industry, the women who stand to make the most money from selling nude photos of themselves-namely young amateurs who have never appeared in porn before-are also the ones most willing to give it away for free. In fact, many young women enjoy snapping self-portraits of themselves in their underwear or completely naked and posting them online. JayBee, Sexbook, and My Ex Girlfriend contain thousands of provocative photos of young women taken by their own hands.” (193-4)

and so, the first half of my thoughts on this book is subtitled “the sum of your parts”. i read it over the holiday break, and it came to me via a custo recommendation, and reminded me of why i’m glad that i always ask the question, “what are you reading?” because it brings me books that i may not necessarily have gotten to. i learned a number of interesting things, like sambian rites of passage, which are not unlike ancient greek rites of passage, and the male obsession over the male principle that challenges the underlying homoerotic yet homophobic elements of male sexuality that still run rampant.

i also shake my head at (though am not surprised by) the popular term searched on pornhub as “mom”, and pondered the reality that while men and women seem to watch porn in equal numbers, men are much more willing to pay for it-so much so that a woman’s credit card payment is automatically flagged as damage control to do for a potentially angry wife or mother whose identity has been stolen by some trifling, hard up dood.

this large-scale study on porn and the internet is of interest to anyone out there who is dating and/or curious about how we interact with each other under this cloak of darkness and anonymity, and a quick glance at the table of contents and the diversity of angles taken to analyze the data will be all you need to know if you’d like to proceed. it’s obviously a huge topic, and fairly white male-centric (yet feminist, or feministy) and only scratches the surface of LGBTQ identities-but again, these are huge spans of experience and subject position that i would’ve challenged if attempted.

but hey, like janet reitman‘s scientology book, it’s a solid start and maybe it will usher in a next chapter like going clear.


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