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Naked Lust

I remember watching HBO and the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit documentary.  It was actually a revelation.  It wasn't just the photographers, but Elle Macpherson.  Listening to them discuss how they did things just to get the best reaction out of the guys looking at the pictures triggered an epiphany.  Up to that point, I had sort of worried that SI and Playboy and such exploited women, even if they volunteered and didn't have a problem with it.  I started wondering who exactly was exploiting whom.  I suddenly realized that it wasn't the women being exploited, it was the men.  As Trey Parker's characters pointed out years later in Orgazmo, "The men are the ones who want the product so much.  They're the victims."  Movies have to have a chick for the guys to crush out on, and they usually get prominent billing.  They make sure guys know she's in there.  Admittedly, when it comes to exploitation, there's plenty of blame to go around.  I just think it's too easy to oversimplify the debate.

Sex makes people do weird things.  We live in an era with unparalleled access to sexual knowledge and experiences.  However, society has not become more enlightened, understanding, and accepting of sex, they've only gotten dumber.  There's just a wider variety of knee-jerk reactions.  I recently discovered a classic arcade game called Magical Drop 3.  It's a great puzzle game.  The characters in the game are modeled on characters from the tarot deck.  I did an image search, and the first thing that came up?  One of the characters, Justice, tied to a stone pillar, panties down, and in a state of sexual excitement.  Don't get me wrong, I fully expect to run into Rule 34 within the first page of search results.  I just don't expect it to be the very first Google hit.

We have an unhealthy interest in sex, one that enables us to be really taken advantage of.  Further evidence is here on the right.  This picture is of Jessica Alba as she appeared in the recent Robert Rodriguez movie Machete.  Alba has long had a reputation that she will not appear nude.  She will dress sexy.  She will dress nearly nude.  But she won't due nude.  Period.  Finito.  The end.  She even sued Playboy because how they put her on the cover made her worry people would think she was posing nude inside.  She and Rodriguez, however, are old friends.  So, guys started thinking they got their wish.

Not exactly.

Turns out, Jessica Alba wasn't actually nude.  This picture here on the left is what she wore in the scene.  Please notice, not naked.  It was digitally removed (I also note that it looks like they slimmed Alba down a smidge as well).

Now, does this go against Alba's longstanding assertion that she doesn't appear nude?  Technically, no, but then again, we are seeing a nude Jessica Alba.  Longtime netizens know about "fakes", how people will use Photoshop to make the images they want to see (Ami Dolenz and Alyssa Milano were among the people who sued sites to stop their distribution).  And once again, if people want to see something sexual, from artistic nudes to humilation, they will find a way to get it, whether by creating the images themselves or getting someone else to do it for them.

It comes down to who is exploiting whom again.  Fakes have long existed, but usually that was done without the consent of whoever the fake was being made of.  Now, we have official fakes being made.  Not that those consuming it care.  Guys looking for sexy women to oogle don't care about the airbrushing and plastic surgery and other stuff, they just want someone who looks hot.  And as long as they are willing to surrender their money, they will be given what they want.

Sex makes us do stupid things.  Things we never seem to learn from.

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