She looked me in the eye as I neared her, and held my gaze like some prepubescent Houdini.
Maybe 10 feet away, she broke into song and started to sashay, grinding her little-girl hips and waving her arms about her like a stripper.
And she sang,
Touch me, touch me,
I wanna feel your body!
Touch me, touch me,
Your heartbeat next to mine ...
It was summer in 1988, if memory serves. I was in my early 20s, and the song the little girl sang had been a recent hit on MuchMusic. The "artist" behind it was one Samantha Fox.
As I recall, Fox was one of the first female pop-stars to take full advantage of the new, video-based, era in popular culture. A pin-up girl who could more or less sing, she was a shooting star from Britain who made her name much less for her music than for her willingness to display her undeniably enormous breasts and to shake her ass to the delight of pubescent boys of all ages, clearing the trail first laid down by Madonna a couple of years before.
Did I mention the girl was no more than 8 or 9 or (maybe - just maybe) 10 years old?
I gave her a wide berth as we passed each other by. She watched me with the predatory look of a cougar on her eighth drink at a frat party. I knew it was silly to think so, but I felt this kid might - right there on the sunlit street - stop and grab me, hurl me onto the sidewalk and fuck me, whether I was willing or no.
And I wondered, as we passed without actual incident, What kind of kid does that kind of dance for a strange man on the street?
And that, despite the original's much-flaunted feminine pulcritude, is my strongest memory of Samantha Fox: a little television-watching girl, practicing lap-dance moves on 20-something men she passed by on the street.
I know, I've been neglecting livejournal, and those who inhabit my small corner of it. Truth is, I haven't even been much more than spot-reading my friends' list over the past few weeks.
What I have been doing includes work (a busy bitch, of late), writing yet another letter to the editor the Globe and Mail didn't see fit to print, continuing the (I hope) never-ending process of learning to live with the woman I love, not writing much, and wasting far too much time ogling profiles of pretty girls on myspace, which has nevertheless been an education, in spite of my voyeuristic inclinations.
It was on myspace that I was reminded of the existence of Samantha Fox. It seems that she is in Canada now, and trying for a come-back. Such is the way the world has changed, said come-back includes spamming people who have accounts on myspace. Even people whose accounts - such as mine - consist of little more than a photo and a username. "She" has twice sent me friend requests.
Myspace is a weird corner of the internet, a place where spam is okay and where young women - sometimes very young women - seem thrilled by the opportunity to show off their bodies in a state as close to complete déshabille as the sites owners will allow (actual nipples or pussy - and, straight men can only presume, cock - are apparently verbotten there, but sometimes slip through).
All of which pornography struck a chord, as Laura has such tendencies herself, as do a number of my lj friends.
I was reminded of a recent post here by touchmyskin, the woman who introduced me to lj and who - ironically - even more recently unfriended me, questioning feminist responses to pornography, a subject to which I have been giving some thought lately.
I have - at last - become more or less comfortable with the fact of my Desire. With the fact that I am attracted to women and, in particular, to the way women look. As my long-time readers may recall, I enjoy the sight of a well-turned ankle, a short skirt rippling in the summer air, pert breasts proudly carried like banners through the streets.
I say "comfortable" because I know that I am able to distinguish my appreciation of a woman's looks from her self. There are as many beautiful morons walking on their hind legs as their are buffed jocks striding about on theirs.
And yet ...
And yet, I am not comfortable with the emphasis our society places on the physical, on the visual. A firm ass or chiselled jaw no more means its owners are intelligent and moral than they are stupid or venal. Though I (do I flatter myself) maintain that I do not judge a person on her appearance, there is no denying I am in thrall enough to physical beauty that I am more likely to talk to a pretty woman than to a plain one.
It is not at all hard, from that acknowledgement, to imagine a slightly different "me" who would take the surface for the whole, dismissing the ugly as evil.
Celebrate the body, yes. Deify it, no.
Which makes my recent (and ongoing, thank you darlin') visits to one (or some) of Toronto's BDSM communities more than a little interesting. Here is a group of people, come together almost entirely due to their sexualities - sadists and masochists who not only beat and fuck each other, but who celebrate birthdays, play volleyball and generally act like the rest of us, only very often in weird clothes and to music I usually find much too loud.
Are they a part, or apart, of the mainstream sexualization of our culture? I don't know, but I note well that - their love of costumes notwithstanding - they come in all shapes and sizes, the fat apparently as comfortable in their skin as their slender counterparts.
These people, from what I can see, are living their own lives, not slavenly following the dictates of Fashion Television or Maxim.
I know, there isn't much focus to this. That's why it's a journal, I guess. Next time (maybe), I'll talk about the new novel, just out, by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's a good one. For now, I'm off to a birthday party, for someone I don't even know.