Flexing Our Muscles

Regular readers are aware that I’m a big, big booster of the erotic imagination. Frankly, I think the distinction between “the erotic” and “the erotic imagination” is almost nil. Bodies are mostly just sacks of fluid wrapped up in skin-packages. If you absolutely remove the imagination, even the most gorgeous naked body is… well, mundane. So sex-for-sale airbrushes and pumps and primps real bodies to turn them into imaginary objects of lust. Sex-for-sale writes provocative, impossible stories to allow mundane bodies to inhabit our erotic imaginations, turning them into gorgeous hunks that ignite fantasies of what we would think, feel, and do with said fantasyman right in front of us. Even right in front of us, the bodies we adore, wrestle, fuck and make love to inhabit our imaginations much more evocatively than just our literal senses. Even the most stunningly hot, mouthwatering hunk of muscled physical perfection is – without our imaginations – just a body, with aches and intolerances and acne and skin tags and weird birthmarks and pigeon toes and bow-legs and… well, the inevitableaccumulation of mundane human existence.
But then we imagine. We put a story together. We mentally remove the clothing. We blur out the wonky bits. We apply our tunnel vision to the nice parts. We mute the cringeworthy laugh or the habitual, gross clearing of the sinuses. We freeze-frame on the particularly flattering angles and overlook the odd divots . In short, we lust because we imagine.
The cover of Rolling Stone is popping up everywhere, featuring three of the main characters of True Blood in a 3-way naked, blood-bathed embrace. This is, in itself, an exercise in the lustful imagination. This scene is out of context. It doesn’t appear in True Blood. It’s full of implication and allusion, but it relies entirely on the imagination to give it a story. It’s been meticulously posed in order to make it PG-13-ish, carefully and barely obstructing any glimpse of pubic hair, penis, testicle, or female nipple. But, obviously, those parts are implied and inevitably imagined. Personally, my eyes continue to be drawn down the long stretch of Alexander Skarsgård’s tight, hard abs and into my imagination of his beautiful cock hiding demurely and just barely behind Anna Paquin’s leg. I’ve imagined that fantastic, gorgeous naked body many times, most fondly in fictional wrestling scenarios. Stephen Moyer, while not asmuch an object of my lust, also has made an appearance in my wrestling fiction. Nothing at all against her, but Anna Paquin has never appeared in an erotic fantasy of mine.

Pretty On the Outside has done a sweet mash-up for you and me to blur the lines some more in service of our erotic imaginations. Rather than an Anna Paquin sandwich between two slices of Alexander Skarsård and Stephen Moyer, it’s now a Stephen Moyer sandwich between naked titans Skarsgård and Joe Manganiello. And isn’t this precisely the work of the erotic imagination? To disassemble and reassemble? To recast and and reconfigure. Now, remove Stephen Moyer from the second mash-up and insert me (or you). And then set the scene in motion.

My point, friends, is that a kink is simply a variation on a human theme. Our capacities for the erotic are an extension of our facility in exercising our imaginations. I suspect that you and I probably possess more vivid and well-exercised imaginations than the general population, but the mechanics are basically the same. If anything, perhaps we’re just the finely toned athletes of the erotic, because we flex those muscles more often.

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