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When Lollipops Make Us Suckers

I agree with Gracie on the amusing factor of smut gone wrong; it goes so wrong that it’s good. Like this photo of a woman teasing a lollipop:

Her head is so far back that everything seems more forced than entry to a dry orifice. It’s so bad, I can almost hear the laughter involved in the posing. “Come on, Gina, show us yer crotch while you lick that lollipop!”

Or I at least like to imagine the laughter as opposed to the dull, strained reality of a photo-shoot.

But then I saw this photo of a young woman posing with a stuffed toy dog:

“What’s the point of that?!” I sputtered at the computer monitor, causing the husband to lift his head and look at what I was looking at.

“The point is to crop it here,” he began, pointing with his finger to the left of the image, drawing a line to neatly remove the canvas backdrop edge from being visible.

“No! Not that,” I interrupted, greatly annoyed that he could think for a moment that I was too stupid to understand the cropping of photographic images, “What’s the point of the stuffed dog!”

The husband stood silent; a dear in my emotional headlights, hoping that as I went ’round the feminist bend I wouldn’t take him out along the way.

In case you, dear reader, are confused, let me explain.  You see, it’s not the non-upright position of the stuffed dog — it’s the very fact that it’s there at all. Like this post pondering the subject of Pinups Perverting With Pink Plush, I have to wonder why a pinup in fishnets should be posed with a child’s toy.  Surely there are other ways for a photographer to capture a playful nature or the (still sexually appropriate) blush of youth.  But instead, this photographer — and so many others — opt for toys and other signature items which put us in a child’s room if not with an actual child.

Exhibit B, a woman posing on a bed with a Monopoly board game:

I’m all for fantasy play.  I still own a few stuffed toys, even keeping them on the bed. I am a huge board game nerd too. But, when we decide such cliché props are as innocent as child’s play in photos of sexual display, we are silently complicit in the sexualization of children.

And now, sensitive to the inappropriate nature of such things, I can’t help but see clues of childhood everywhere… It’s now that I see that retro Eden/Big-Eyed/sad art picture on the wall in the photo of “Gina” licking her lollipop. That wall art, coupled with the large little girl’s lollipop, makes this photo as sinister as the others.

Sometimes bad vintage smut is just bad.

Image Credits: All images from bondman2.

PS Because these photos were presumably the “out takes” etc., I’m tagging this post as “ephemera” too. You can’t sue me for it; but you can get your own blog and post a debate on the subject. Or just bitch in the comments.

Posted in Ephemera, Essays, Photographs.

Tagged with , , , , , .


5 Responses

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  1. Stas Mankovich says

    Sinister, yes, but the more immediate implication is the infantilization of women rather than the sexualization of children, it seems to me. The best way to view these photographs, to me, is as if they were criticizing the former; they take on an eerie and somewhat Nurse With Wound-like quality in this way, which I like a lot.

  2. Silent Porn Star says

    Hi Stas,

    I appreciate your point about the women being infantilized — but because of the nature of these photos, it’s a tiny hair slip away from the intent of the sexualization of children. If you, or any viewer, takes the option to view the photographs as a criticism of either or both icky things, that’s your choice; but that’s not the intent of the photographs. These photos were designed to arouse.

Continuing the Discussion

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