You know how you can buy the Lonely Planet, rough guide to type of books when you’re travelling around the globe. Do they contain much about sex?
I don’t mean where you can go to get laid in a particular country I mean do they tell you about the culture surrounding sex in a particular country? I don’t ask for the purposes of sex tourism, not my style, I pose the question because understanding comes from knowledge and with understanding comes wisdom.
And that way you’re not going to piss the locals off or get yourself arrested!
It’s difficult to translate the culture of a locality on the other side of the globe into mere words so I suppose a multimedia solution is called for. The Internet seems a good candidate for disseminating this kind of information. However I find that only the major nations and cultures are well represented. We do our bit for our little corner of the UK, certainly being totally candid about our relationship.
In the rest of the world the US and Japan are also represented with millions of pages dedicated to people’s views of the sexual attitudes, laws and practices in their respective locales.
Frankly though, because it’s impossible for someone to actually experience a culture unless you’re actually living in it, immersed in its language, media and history, even the vastness of the Internet cannot teach you about any aspect of a culture.
Take Japan. It’s very easy to get the idea that all Japanese businessmen buy used cotton panties from vending machines and read sexually suggestive and violent Manga comics all the time. While I’m sure that some do that can’t be the whole picture.
In fact the Internet is like looking at the world reflected in a hall of mirrors. You have to accept that the distortion is there otherwise you would just freak out. Staying with Japanese culture it has to be said that the difference between east and west is huge. Japan is so very different from even some of its close neighbours yet it is now influencing the culture of every country.
Who’d have thought that a folk tradition of sexually rapacious squid would have spread across the globe and manifested itself in everything from the Hentai of Japan to animated cartoons on Cartoon Network – and no I mean the Ben 10 aliens, not the sexual connotations.
The hall of mirrors applies to cultures that you are familiar with too. In our case the western and particularly British view of sexuality. The Internet has done a huge amount to ensure that all forms of sexuality are expressed and those with predilections outside heterosexual vanilla can realise they are not alone.
However someone has to be the first to voice a view about a particular kink or orientation. While bisexuality and homosexuality are well represented out in the Web some more unusual sexual preferences are not, and perhaps worse others are over-represented because they represent a way to make money.
Take bestiality. They are some sick fucks who actively seek out stories, images and movies of zoo fetish. The laws of supply and demand then dictate that this is the sort of porn that you can charge for. The viewers of such images don’t even have to find them sexually arousing, I’ve had personal experience of knowing someone who looked for bestiality porn just to freak out their workmates – nice guy huh?
Sometimes this sort of shit is also used to attractive traffic to sites whose primary focus is more conventional porn. I was looking for an illustration for an article I was writing earlier this month, and Google came up with pictures of a girl fellating a horse. Not what I was looking for and not at all related to the search term I had entered.
But back to my original point. We could really do with an objective and informed global sexual guide book. Any offers?