Essay by D.M. ANDERSON💀
Not that I'm in the market for one, but I spotted them in the Health & Wellness section while shopping with the wife one day. Quite a selection, too...the Satisfier Pro 2, the CalExotics 5-Speed Butterfly Kiss, the multi-speed Power Swirl and that family favorite, the Vibroman 3-Piece Couples Sex Kit. Real ammo may not be available at Walmart anymore, but it still has all your vibrating bullet needs (in assorted colors, no less).
They were locked in a display case along with condoms, lubricants and various other playtime products, which pretty-much guarantees Walmart will never be my destination for date-night enhancement. Personally, I'd be embarrassed as fuck seeking-out a pimple-face teenager in a blue smock so they could unlock the case and grab me a 4-Speed Jack Rabbit.
But maybe that's just me. As much as I love sex in all its shapes and forms – with the kids and occasional back scratches to prove it – I've always been irrationally self-conscious declaring it publicly. How irrational? As a teenager, I was more devastated that Mom found a dog-eared Penthouse magazine stashed in my sock drawer than the half-empty Jack Daniels bottle laying next to it.
Even as a responsible adult, I've always been uncomfortable buying condoms, sexy underwear or dirty Valentine's Day cards, for no other reason than I'd be sharing part of my private life with the stranger behind the counter.
|Would you buy a dildo from this man?
sex scenes are inconsequential to a movie's plot 90% of the time, as
is graphic violence. But I get it...that stuff is merely frosting on
the cake and I'll admit there are many horror films I enjoy because
they are gratuitously bloody. Conversely, I've never seen one that
was substantially better because of its boob count. Perhaps that's because
recreational sex is a regular part of human existence, while someone's
head being ripped open by a reverse bear trap decidedly isn't, therefore more interesting...from an escapism point of view, anyway.
Wow, reading that last sentence back to myself, I'm realizing how fucking creepy it sounds.
My youngest daughter, Lucy, is also a big horror fan, largely because of me. Ever since introducing her to the original Poltergeist years ago, I've shared a lot of great classic horror films with her. However, there are some I haven't and probably never will...not because of their violence, but the copious amounts of sex tossed-in for mallrats who are mostly too young to experience it for themselves. Because of my own hang-ups, I'm more comfortable with Lucy watching people getting disemboweled by zombies than horny hotties going at it between killings.
At first, it was because of her age, when she was still too young to wrap her head around the concept of sex. One night when she was nine or ten, Lucy spotted a couple of raccoons fucking on the roof of our shed. Ever the coward, I reassured her they were just wrestling. Needless to say, it was my wife who was eventually elected to give both of our girls “The Talk.”
|That's one your mother knows, kid.
So that one's out, as are Videodrome, Hostel, An American Werewolf in London, Phantasm, Rosemary's Baby and a batch of other classics which take a time-out to explore the joy of sex.
But sometimes I'm caught off-guard, like when we're both watching something for the first time. Lucy and I really enjoyed Hereditary, a deliberately-paced, atmospheric piece of supernatural horror directed by Ari Aster (his first feature film). While critically acclaimed, it sparked countless love-it-or-loathe-it debates among horror lovers, but we were impressed enough with its tone and originality to look forward to Aster's next move...
...which turned out to be Midsommar, a whacked-out, drug-fueled, epic-length slab of folk horror with an aesthetic similar to The Wicker Man. In this one, a group of American college students visit a Swedish commune, the Hårga, to research and participate in a festival that's held every 90 years. But the Hårga turn out to be a dangerous cult that not-only consumes a variety of hallucinogens on a regular basis, they conduct bizarre rituals, some highly sexual, others shockingly brutal.
For example, there's a harrowing moment when two elderly members who have just turned 72 - the maximum age allowed in the Hårga – happily leap from a cliff and splatter onto the rocks below. One actually survives the jump, so the others gather around to finish the job with a hammer. The scene is disturbingly graphic and lengthy. I've seen a lot of nasty death scenes over the years, but this one was absolutely ass-puckering, an assessment Lucy agreed with.
|Another successful Trump rally.
"Cover your eyes for a sec, Lucy,” I said with an nervous laugh. Equally put-off by naughty bits in-action, she happily complied. Though I thought the scene would be over quickly – as they usually are in horror movies - it went on and on for what felt like ten minutes. Lucy occasionally peeked up prematurely, catching a horrifying eyeful. But ironically, because of the ritualistic nature of the cult, this particular sex scene is actually essential to the plot, if only to emphasize the non-sensual purpose of the act. It might also be the most intentionally unerotic sex scene of all time.
Still, what the hell is wrong with me? Bodies exploding like watermelons - not-to-mention a poor bastard stuffed into a bear carcass before being burned alive - are perfectly fine, but prolonged procreation makes me uneasy with Lucy in the room? I mean, it ain't like I'm sharing porn with my kids. But again, maybe it's because sex is part of reality and horror violence generally isn't. The unreasonably self-conscious part of me was also mortified at the idea that Lucy was suddenly reminded she's here because her own parents did the nasty (minus the naked dancers, of course). "You 'n Mom are perverts, Dad."
At any rate, Midsommar is another dark, disturbing slow-burner from Ari Aster, all the more impressive when you consider it never relies on the usual horror tropes. No jump-scares, sudden cats, teenagers behaving stupidly, indestructible killers or supernatural entities. Hell, a majority of it even takes place in the beautiful spring sunshine. Bold, bleak and bizarre, Lucy and I ultimately enjoyed it (though a lot of spoon-fed horror fans did not).
And the movie's frankness didn't make Lucy explode or anything. In fact, she reverted to her 12-year-old self when telling her older sister, Natalie, about it, snickering like Beavis & Butthead over the plethora of pee-pees. Natalie later watched it online with her friends and they shared a lot of hearty laughs over that same sex scene. Ultimately, I think my kids are less uptight about that stuff than I am, at least around people their own age.