Friday, 10 September 2010

Erogenous twilight zones

Reader beware - the links in this post will definitely be NSFW - by all means click on them, just not if your boss happens to be strolling nonchalantly past your desk. Some of the images will be difficult to explain away, especially in front of an industrial tribunal.

Pornography and popular culture have always had something of a quid-pro-quo relationship. In fact, you might even say it's all about give and take.

On the one hand (the one that's free anyway) pornography has exerted considerable influence over the music industry, contributing to what John Whitehead refers to as the "pornification of American culture". On the flipside (don't be disgusting), the porn industry has plundered popular movies for a series of often quite inspired pastiches - the best being 'Rears in Windows' and 'Wetness For The Prosecution'.

However, the sex industry is now reaching out with its well lubed extremities, and taking hold of other, more surprising, pop culture properties.

With depressing inevitability, the talent show format has made its way into the world of pornography, although I doubt you'll be seeing any footage on T4 on Sunday afternoons. Created by porn supremo Dominic Ford, "So You Think You Can Fuck" takes its profane inspiration from the similarly named dance show on TV.

Featuring a collection of 12 would-be stars, the website showcases the talents of 12 men hoping to be voted "America's Favourite porn-star". They're even divided into 'tops' and 'bottoms' to facilitate the decision-making process. After almost a decade of tragic stories about contestants' tough upbringings, a profile that features the quote "I’ve been lactated on, but I won’t go into that…" seems fairly innocuous.

But it's not just reality TV shows that have generated an enthusiastic following, science fiction also has a solid gay fanbase. Even so, it's a little weird to see the work of horror and science fiction author H.P. Lovecraft brought to life in an erogenous sense.

The next time you're in an adult novelty store, browsing the 'batteries not included' aisle, perhaps you'll notice a curiously crafted artefact - one that looks as though it should be used to animate the aggressive nature of tooth decay bacteria. If you do, you'll have discovered the Mythos Art Dildo.

Based on Lovecraft's horrific writing, the demonic marital aid has been designed to represent his Cthulhu mythology. In a way, it's probably mildly appropriate - a creature from the shadowy netherworlds, repurposed as a dildo that's destined to be stuck where the sun most definitely doesn't shine.

When Lady Gaga sang "That boy is a monster..." I'm sure this isn't what she had in mind...

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