forced harem bathing

harem girls washing the new harem slave

These photos push lots of buttons for micro-fetishes (or at least, recurring themes closely attended to) here at ErosBlog. I’ve always had a soft spot for images featuring opulent bathrooms and fancy plumbing. Furthermore, I’m quite partial to en déshabillé women at their ablutions. Plus, since these photos show harem-induction preliminaries from a 1960s soft-porn version of the Victorian classic The Lustful Turk, they push not only all the general Orientalist harem-fantasy buttons that lurk throughout the Western literary imagination, but the very specific power-over fantasy that’s often summarized (among men, at least, and sometimes with a wink and a leer) as “have that one bathed and sent to my tent.”


Hey, what’s that sound?

That, it turns out, was the sound of me writing myself smack into a brick wall. Uh, ouch.

I initially drafted this post a few months back, and found that I couldn’t post it. So I wrote a little note to the future and buried it in my drafts folder:

In early October 2018 as I am writing this, it’s looking a lot like the United States Senate is about to vote to put a rapist on the United States Supreme Court. Which means — I just discovered — that my over-fifty cis-male privileged white thoroughly-calloused nerve endings are feeling just a tiny bit raw about rape culture. In fact those nerve endings are feeling too raw, it turns out, to post Victorian-era rape porn (reimagined as 1968 soft-core sexploitation) in order to mine it for fetish fuel.

And that is not a limit I ever expected to set for myself.

I don’t even think I’m setting it now. Not once and for all, not for all time. I have more than once characterized my editorial goals here at ErosBlog as unabashed and unapologetic male-gaze writing about porn, while striving not to be a complete dickhead to and about women. Rape fantasies, and rape porn that embodies and depicts those fantasies, are enjoyed by men and women both (I do not say “alike”) and their role within rape culture is complex and controversial. I’ve cheerfully and noisily waded into those controversies in the past, with my trusty shield of “well, actually” in one hand and my slippery staff of mansplaining in the other. When it comes to porn that encompasses elements of rape culture, usually my reflex is to publish and be damned. For reasons. Damned good ones, I think.

But not today, dickhead. Not today. Not in early October 2018. Because if my not-so-very-touchy nerves are currently so raw about rape culture that I flinched at a bit of light-hearted “have that one bathed and sent to my tent” harem tomfoolery — a meme that I’ve cheerfully deployed at least four times previously — then I don’t need to ask a rhetorical question about how it’s going to feel to the women in my audience today, the day that women are lining up to be arrested at the United States Senate as Susan Collins blathers at length about what a fine and innocent man Barty McBoof is.

I don’t need to ask, because I already know. Today is just not the day for it. I’ll put this post in my queue with a hold note. I’ll post it on a happier day for women, or for the United States, or for the world. An election day, perhaps, or an impeachment day, or an indictment day, or an embolism day, or an infarction day, or a “resigns to spend more time with his family” day.

So, if you’re seeing this — nice day, isn’t it?

I woke up this morning in a sunny bedroom with the notion that having yesterday watched a powerful woman teach the president of the United States a badly-needed lesson in manners and Constitutional governance did indeed qualify today as a nice day. Cheers!

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