December 28th, 2005

Do we sexualize Christmas? Not that it’s a good thing or a bad thing, or even an usual thing, but it’s something that doesn’t get talked about much. Is Christmas a sexy holiday?

Halloween we recognize, at least in part, as an excuse to look and act hot — and maybe that’s because, among other things, it’s a holiday that, for most of us, isn’t tied to religion. Christmas, on the other hand, we normally think of as a time for family, for peace and good will toward men. But who says those things can co-exist with a little sexiness?

What’s sexy about Christmas? How about those cute little Santa outfits? Are those simply festive, or is there actually something attractive about dressing up like ole Saint Nick? Okay, that’s probably just festive, but, not to be too un-pc, isn’t there something sexual in the whole “come and sit in Santa’s lap” thing?

I’m not saying it’s sexual when little kids wait in line at the mall for their 30 seconds of lap time; I’m saying sometimes we sexualize it, as we do often with symbols of paternal power (however jolly), like in the ever-confusing mid-coitus line, “Who’s your daddy?” I’m thinking of attractive women sitting in men’s laps being asked, “And what would you like for Christmas little girl?”

Of course, we’re sexual creatures. We implement sexiness into everything we do. The point is, it extends everywhere, even up to the North Pole. Presents can’t take that long to make, right? I’m betting eleven twelfths of the year Santa’s elves are busy assembling sex toys.

P.S. Get any good game loot for the holidays? I’ve acquired Mario Kart DS and a fabulous Fruit Fucker baby tee; I am content in my nerdiness. How about you?

Tags: Blog

22 Responses to “Merry XXXmas?”

  1. qDot Says:

    Bonnie.

    Seriously.

    Lay off the egg nog.

    I’m worried about you.

  2. Bonnie Says:

    ‘Tis the season…

  3. Patrick Dugan Says:

    Hey now, Christmas itself might not be sexy, but I’ve been doing pretty well in the adjacent weeks. “Togetherness” can be taken to a nice extreme, especially when two people haven’t seen each other in a year.

    About Halloween, the holiday isn’t explicitedly religious, but those who care about religion (like Bill O’reily) correctly identify it as a pagan holiday. The virtue of paganism is fucking unlimited.

    I got Shadow of the Collosus, which was a beautuful meditation of fatalism, death and rebirth, in my analysis. I’m not going to write an Escapist article on it though. Hey Bonnie, should should write an essay about how the magic vital points on the giants are like sexual orifices, and the act of repeatedly stabbing them is a sexual pantomime. Maybe throw something in about how the masked men are representative of societies repression of sexualized animal nature, the content deadline for “The Virtual Cofeeshop” is next tuesday. You could also say something about necrophilia.

    I’m playing Psychonauts, which is cute, basically a platforming with high saturation of cleverness in the level design and great writing in the cut-scenes.

    I got Anito: Defend a Land Enraged, but I can’t get the damn thing to install on my laptop, so it goes…

    Hey, have you watched Mulholland Drive yet?

  4. Brummbar Says:

    Christmas, as practiced by most, has as much to do with Jesus Christ as it does with the dinosaurs. The whole thing is a pagan festival in honor of Mammon and old North European/Baltic folklore.

    The vice sated by Christmas is avarice, not lust.

  5. MD² Says:

    Well no Christmas loot around here, but I bought myself Ryu Ga Gotoku. Made me laugh a good time, though I don’t think most people would find it comic the way I did.
    If you have good knowledge of yakuza movies from the 70s/80s, it’s a great game though: all the clichés of the genre are here. It’s like playing your way through a high budget B-movie.
    Too bad they dumbed down the combat system for the first half of the game just to implement an experience system.

    As for the sexing up of Christmas… let’ say I won’t go there.

    Patrick: lucky you, Psychonauts and Shadow of the Collosus are two game design masterpieces (well… not by the actual definition of masterpiece but you get the meaning).

  6. MD² Says:

    By the way Bonnie: Thought you might be interested. -_^

  7. Bonnie Says:

    Patrick, you’re right that Halloween definitely has religious roots. My point was just that, in practice, those roots have fallen away.

    Also, that’s really interesting point about Shadow of the Collosus. Unfortunately, I don’t own the game, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing about a game I haven’t played myself.

    And no (Bonnie goes and hides in a corner) I still haven’t watch Mulholland Drive. Soon. Honestly.

    Ah, MD^2, everything you wanted to know about elf sex… I know a lot of slash fans who will be very disappointed :-).

  8. Brummbar Says:

    Mulholland Drive wasn’t so great. No need to hurry on that.

  9. Bonnie Says:

    I think — and this comes purely from heresay — that it might not be the most entertaining experience, but (dare I say) intellectually, it’s supposed to be fun…? Just a guess.

  10. Brummbar Says:

    Well, it’s appropriate that the movie is from David Lynch because it takes full advantage of the Lynch Effect (wherein people praise a confusing movie because they don’t want to seem unhip or admit they don’t “get” it).

  11. Bonnie Says:

    Okay, so finally I watched Mulholland Drive last night (between Patrick and a RL friend of mine who’s been bugging me for years, it was time.), and I’ll be the first to admit I’m confused as a hell. Plus, I can’t say it was a wholly enjoyable (in a normal, comfortable way) viewing experience. Still, I’m intrigued. I walked away thinking, “Okay, now I’ve seen it. Moving on.” But it won’t get out of my head. I’m sure I’ll have to read up and watch it again to ever get things straight, but, in the mean time, any words of wisdom? Or anything (Patrick, this if your field.) about how complicated, as you say Brummbar, “confusing” movies involve a level of interactivity as in games in that the viewer has to take an active part in understanding?

  12. Patrick Dugan Says:

    Its funny, I just bought the film on DVD. On the inside flap are “David Lynch’s 10 Clues to Unlocking This Thriller”

    1. Pay attention to the intro, there are two clues before the credits

    2. Notice appearances of the red lampshade

    3. What is the name of the film Adam Kesher is auditioning for? Is is mentioned again?

    4. An accident is a terrible event, notice the location of the accident.

    5. Who gives a key and why?

    6. Notice the robe, the ashtray, the coffee cup.

    7. What is felt, realized and gathered at the club Silencio?

    8. Did talent alone help Camilla?

    9. Note the occurences surrounding the man behind Winkies

    10. Where is Aunt Ruth?

    Consider that your strategy guide, and try to think of the film as a post-structural narrative, or better yet an algorithm for how a self creates itself in idealized form.

    The interaction with the film involves playing with that algorithm.

  13. Bonnie Says:

    Is that last bit yours, Patrick, or part of Lynch’s commentary? Either way, that seems to me to be the core of things – post-structural narrative, post-structural cause/effect, post-structural self. Of course, however, being linear beings, we can’t experience anything wholly post-structurally; we create structure, linear time, or, at best, simulatenous strands of linear time. But that re-formation of order, however fought, would seem to be itself a form of interactivity.

  14. Patrick Dugan Says:

    That last bit was mine, but I don’t mind being equated with Lynch.

    I’m a big advocate of games being inherently post-structural. Of course, its hard enough doing structural narratives in interactive form, but I’d like to think something like Mulholland could be a game downt he line.

    The think that gets me about that film and its earlier counterpart “Lost Highway” is that everything seems to happen twice, in the opposite way. Like in the first part of Mulholland theres the box with the weird blue key, in the second part the key signifies mortality. They’re really the same thing, but from different sides of the looking glass.

    We go through life and think of what happens as being straight-up, like “yeah, that happened and then that happened yada yada.” Not many people consider how things could have happened, the possiblity space instead of the history. We hardly ever think of how something could have happened in an “opposite” way that would siginify the same thing we felt about the original causal chain, but this is whats happening in Lynch’s films. When you figure out the feeling the opposite chains of causality are about, which is actually very simple love and jealousy, you can appreciate all the crypticness as being very real and relevant to the characters.

    Its kinda like supersymettry in string theory, like somewhere in the universe the complete opposite thing is happening, it only at a basic quantum level. Yet this opposition is what holds together the whole universe, and maybe the mind even more so.

  15. Bonnie Says:

    I totally hear you. It’s like positive and negative space — complementaries that fit together, that define the outline of each other. But what a challenge to present that in a movie, which by nature is view in a linear fashion!

  16. FerrousBuller Says:

    Weren’t you the one who had a link to a company selling Mario & Princess Peach costumes for adults? And I don’t necessarily mean for Halloween, though there was likely some trick-or-treatin’ goin’ on… *cough*

    I don’t think there’s anything so wholesome or sacrosanct that people can’t find a way to sexualize it or turn it into some sort of sex fantasy: from naughty nuns to repressed librarians to fairytale figures to – oh hey! – cute videogame characters. So how hard is to come up with “Jolly Ole Nick and his naughty elves” fantasies? Obviously not hard at all… :-) [One example: “Bad Santa” – talk about a black comedy Christmas movie!]

    Oh, and BTW: Happy New Year!

  17. Bonnie Says:

    Ferrous, you’re right, we can, and do, sexualize everything. But some things we’re more willing to admit it about than others. Christmas is supposed to wholeness and, I don’t know, God-ish I guess. Santa is supposed to a jolly, cuddly father figure. Of course, Christmas is those things; Santa is those things. But what we often refuse to address is that those things can also be sexual.

  18. FerrousBuller Says:

    It’s interesting that you seem to suggest that wholesomeness and sexiness are diametrically opposed – if not in your own mind, then at least in the minds of most. To be sure, one doesn’t usually think “family friendly” and “naughty cosplay” in the same sentence. [Even though I just did. :-] Still, as with all things in life, there are gradiations involved: a married couple which indulges in a little “Mr. & Mrs. Claus” sex-play is a far cry from someone who decides to hold a Christmas-themed orgy. :-)

    Sure, for a lot of people, Halloween is an excuse to dress sexy and engage in a little role-play; but for a lot of people, it’s also an excuse for kids to dress up and raid the neighborhood for candy. The fact that some people use it as an excuse to explore the darker side of their libidos – or just to try something different – doesn’t rob the holiday of its wholesome meaning for kids in the process. I don’t see a dichotomy or contradiction here: the holiday is what you make of it. Why should Christmas be any different? “The Polar Express” and “Bad Santa” can coexist side-by-side at the cineplex fine…just make sure you take your kids to the right one. ;-)

    And a lot just depends on the personal beliefs of each of us. We live in a country where a major religious figure (Jerry Falwell) attacked a popular children’s character (Tinky Winky) for being gay…because he’s purple and has a triangle on his head. Tell me we don’t have some effed-up notions of sexuality in this country. :-)

  19. Bonnie Says:

    Hey, Ferrous. I don’t mean to imply that wholesomeness and sexiness are diametrically opposed (although, what defines wholesomeness is sort of a hard question), but just the opposite – that the two can co-exist (They may even be intricately linked, but that’s probably a discussion better for a fighting day :-)). It’s just that, as you mention, people tend to feel that sexiness, especially with a holiday like Christmas, is somehow “wrong” in the face of holiness. Why is a whole other question…

  20. Adelheid879 Says:

    Thats some great basics there, already knew some of that, but you can always learn . I doubt a

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