Attack of the Blue Whales
The Atomic Dog is a weekly feature that isn't necessarily about weight training or bodybuilding. Sometimes it's about sports in general, sex, women, or male issues of some kind. At times it's inspirational, but it can also be informative, funny, and even a little weird, but hopefully, always interesting and a little controversial. We hope it reflects the nature of Testosterone magazine in that, just as no man is completely one-dimensional and only interested in one subject, neither are we. If it makes you think or laugh — or even get angry — it's served its purpose.
I left the office early the other day to run some errands and my co-worker Cy asked me if I wouldn't mind stopping at the local Wal-Mart to pick him up some panty shields, the kind with the "stay-put wings." (He likes to use them in lieu of weightlifting gloves because, according to Cy, "they're comfortable, doubly absorbent, and pleasantly fragrant, just like the ads say.")
After finishing my errands, I stopped by the Wal-Mart and picked up a dozen boxes for Cy, but I wasn't in any particular hurry to get back to the office because the boss was in one of his cleanliness moods where he makes everyone get on their hands and knees to look for dust bunnies.
So I stopped by the magazine rack to kill some time. I skimmed through Newsweek, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and some of the usual titles you'd find on any magazine rack. But then I stumbled on something that caught me off guard. There, in the midst of Wal-Mart, one of the last bastions of middle class morality and good ol' American values, was a magazine that was about as pornographic as anything I've ever read.
It had pages and pages of scantily clad bodies, both female andmale, but it was the actual text that was more shocking. I mean, if I wrote stuff like this, I'd get even more emails accusing me of being a misogynist pig than I normally do.
For the sake of example only, here are some excerpts:
My girlfriend gets a glazed donut and sticks my penis through the hole. She nibbles around it, stopping to suck me once in awhile. The sugar beads from her mouth tingle on my tip.
When he's catching some zzz's on the plane, reach under his blanket, unzip his pants, and give him a mile-high wake-up call.
Start with his shoulders and smooth the slick stuff all the way down to his shorts — and below — for a grease job he'll never forget.
O' gentle reader, as these words bounced off the back of my retinas, I could feel the blood flow shifting south, quickly flooding the dams and farmlands of my fertile nether regions and raging mightily into the reservoir of my manhood.
I looked down, saw the bulge in my pants, and quickly turned to the left to make sure no one was looking. But in doing so, my tumescence knocked over a display of miniature personalized license plates, the kind that kids attach to the back of their bikes. A shower of Chelseas, Connies, Constances, and Cathies fell to the floor and made a sound like hail on a tin roof.
I quickly picked up the license plates, hung my baseball cap on the front of my pants, and resumed reading.
Swirl your mouth around the tip of my penis, and then, without warning, take all of me in your mouth.
When I'm about to reach the brink, tell me to pull out. Then bring me to release in your mouth.
The bottom of the scrotum is the most sensitive part of my body. Stroke it. Cuddle it. Love it.
I was now in a non-discriminatory, lycanthropic trance, and I sidled up to a gum-smacking, acne-dotted Wal-Mart clerk, noting how her sweat-stained smock complimented her fireplug-like figure. I stole a brief glance at her badge and said, in the smoothest, Whiskey-drinkin' tone I could muster, "Agnes, could you tell me where the condoms are, the really, really big ones?"
Agnes pushed up her already smudgy Gloria Vanderbilt glasses with her palm and pointed to Aisle 5. Whatever chance we had at romance was interrupted by the tinny, overhead speaker asking for a price check on Dr. Scholl's bunion pads. Agnes shuffled away, a trail of price stickers — and my heart — affixed to her left orthopedic shoe. We were not to couple then, or ever.
The name of this pornographic magazine that had put me in such a randy state? Cosmopolitan. No lie. And I'm told this is pretty representative of the stuff you'd find in any random copy of Cosmo.
What I find surprising is that just this past week, Wal-Mart, presumably due to complaints from fat women in blue tights who were championed by some religious groups, yanked some other "pornographic" titles from the magazine stands of its stores. The titles of this smut? Maxim, FHM, and Stuff, which are known in the business as "lad mags."
If you've ever read or looked through any of these mags, you'd know that they specialize in pictures of pretty women in lingerie and bikinis, tame stuff by almost any one's standards. Often times, you'll find racier stuff in the Maidenform ads that grace the pages of the Sunday edition of The New York Times.
Cosmopolitan, however, survived their Puritan purge. In Wal-Mart land, the lad mags represent pornography while explicit instructions about how to make swallowing cum more palatable do not.
Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, what in the wide, wide world of 'cooz is going on here?
Could it be that the typical mid-American Wal-Mart shopper — who this action was clearly meant to appease — is illiterate? Sure, soft-core porno pictures are one thing, but readin'? Hell, that's work. Ain't nobody actually gonna' read these things. Consider that the brainiest stuff you'll find in their book department is Chicken Soup for the Soul.
But if that's the case, why are the shelves of Wal-Mart filled with other visual examples of "porn," either explicit or implied? There are the aforementioned condoms, see-through panties, and even a new line of "lingerie" Barbie dolls where she dresses exactly like the girls in the lad mags. Add to that the CDs by gangsta' rappers, complete with the prerequisite lyrics about ho' slappin' and you wonder why all the fuss over some photos of girls in short-shorts.
I gotta' think the CDs slipped through because the typical Wal-Mart shopper isn't even aware of rap, never having listened to any music that wasn't played on a 6 or 12-string guitar by somone wearing pointy cowboy boots.
But the rest of it represents what I call the T and A Paradox. Those things that appeal to man's sexual instincts are evil. Those things that appeal to women, like Cosmo's soft-porn, day-time soap operas and the non-stop bed hopping practiced by their stars, and romance novels--most of which center on rape and reconciliation--are just fine.
But the fat ladies in blue Spandex tights, the blue whales, would never admit what they're reading is porn. Never! But they do object to visual glorification of female flesh.
When I lived in Denver, droves of these women came out to object a high school fundraising stunt where girls in bathing suits would wash your car. Apparently, this would lead to... hell, I don't know. My mind is either so evil or so pure, I can't even imagine what the problem would be.
Similarly, another group of blue whales protested the opening of a gentleman's club that was opening up across the street from a children's dance studio. Either they were worried about their little girls leaving the dance studio, seeing some topless dancers arriving for work, and putting two and two together to arrive at the conclusion that was what they were practicing for — to become professional nonnie shakers — or they were simply fighting against the "seedy element" that habitually hangs out at strip clubs.
You know who hangs out at strip clubs? Me and Tommy Lasorda. That's about as seedy as it gets. Run, you blue whales, run!
This kind of thing happens all the time. It often just takes one or two complaints to start the ball rolling, and corporations, who depend heavily on the purses of the blue whales, will do whatever it takes to appease them.
Meanwhile, as far as magazines are concerned, Cosmo will likely endure, jammed up there on the stands next to Better Homes and Gardens and People, while mags like Maximand the Sports IllustratedSwimsuit Edition will be relegated to a space behind the counter where they can't be seen by innocent women and children.
Nope, the blue whales won't be happy until they've turned us all into middle-aged women. Pass the panty shields, please.
This column was originally posted May 15th, 2003. TC is currently trying out for the role of Danny in the Broadway revival of "Grease."
If he fails, he'll be back next week. If not...a star is born!
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