February 27th, 2008

This past week my bedside reading has switched from Harry Potter in French (shameful, I know, but at least it’s language practice) to a new study on sexual fantasies, Brett Kahr’s Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head? At 483 pages, the book itself is a bit flabby, but it reproduces literally hundreds of people’s reported fantasies (from vanilla sex to BDSM to getting it on in front of the queen of England)–and shares some downright cool theories as to what they might mean. In particular, this passage on men who fantasize about lesbian sex caught my eye:

“Many of the men who enjoy lesbian themes may themselves identify unconsciously with women and with women’s bodies. Rather than enjoying watching a man and a woman making love… the men who prefer to watch two women imagine themselves in the position of one or both women.”

Heroine Sheik readers, you can guess where this is going. Are you male? Do you like video games? Do you like watching women make out? Of course you are/do–but that doesn’t happen often in games, does it (insert frowny face here)? So where can you see girl-on-girl action? That’s right: fighters, those titles where women with enormous breasts and tiny outfits battle to the death, or at least the next K.O. Male gamers do so love those “realistic physics”–and, okay, this female gamer does too. But do we really dig these games because we identifying with hot women who beat the crap out of each other?

Tags: fighting, psychology, queerness, sex

18 Responses to “Getting in on Hot Girl-on-Girl Action”

  1. Darkpen Says:

    now that’s absolutely fascinating. I do admit that I stopped liking lesbian porn right around sophomore year, but before that, I couldn’t stand seeing some dude’s nasty cock (and ball sack) getting close ups. While I still don’t like seeing close ups of the dude’s ball sack, I do prefer seeing male x female porn more than lesbian porn.

    As for fighting games, I think the turn on is different than your run-of-the-mill porn vid. I think that identifying and enjoying fighting games where you can have open violence between the two sexes (or between two members of the same sex) walks right along the line of sadomasochism. I believe that some do play games like DoA and RR because of the ladies with enormous breasts (and panty flashing), and to have them fight each other, but I also believe that men, who play as women, play for several different reasons.

    The most common explanation you’ll ever hear is “because she looks cool” or “she’s my playing style (i.e. speed),” but the idea that the player identifies with their character in the way that you suggest is probably very true. I think that there’s a tranny surprise in many male gamers today, and for reasons that they themselves do not understand.

    But if I were to talk with my dick, and my dick alone, I’d say that the appeal of fighting games with women can potentially lead to a darker mindset of just sheer misogyny. The existance of websites like gurochan seems to indicate as much, but that’s not to say that everyone’s like that, either, and if anything, its rather alarmist.

    For me and choosing between male and female characters in games, it really comes down to two things: 1) Is there relationship stuff in this game? and 2) Which character models look less fugly? The men or the women?

    If there is a relationship section in the game, I tend to want to explore that and play as the guy, while if there isn’t (such as Pokemon Diamond), I’ll play as the girl. It becomes a question of self-identity, and what I want to do in the game. If there’s nothing I have to worry, with no guys trying to get on top of me, then I play as what’s essentially a cute-looking girl who is ultimately sexless, yet sexy, at the same time. If I play as the guy, then it becomes a question of male empowerment above all else.

  2. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    See, you say the things that when I say I get internet stoned :):

    I play as what’s essentially a cute-looking girl who is ultimately sexless, yet sexy, at the same time.

    I think that there’s a tranny surprise in many male gamers today, and for reasons that they themselves do not understand.

    Also, I’m curious why you hit only misogyny only when you “speak with your dick”? Is it because it’s a more sexy answer to you?

  3. Mutant for Hire Says:

    There are two approaches to characters on a videogame screen. One of them is association with the character, and the other one is treating the character on the screen as a separate person.

    For some guys, it may well be the thrill of having a girl under their personal control, the perfect submissive who will do anything the guy playing the game will want them to do.

  4. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Ah, but wouldn’t that be the same whether it’s a female character or a male character? (Play devil’s advocate here.)

  5. MNPundit Says:

    Speaking from experience, let me say absolutely not–at least if you’re heterosexual. If you want another reason I suppose it’s because it’s much easier to look at a male character as “you” and a female character as “object.”

    I openly admit that in fighting games I always choose the girl because I want to look at a “hot chick” while I play.

    In other types of games it’s more even but I often choose the female character because I find it makes the stories far more interesting in both literature and games.

  6. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    I think I need to look into the specific studies Kahr is talking about, because a few concrete examples would help. It’s easy enough for us to say, “No, I just like looking at hot girls,” but I feel like his point was that that’s how most people think, but when you psychoanalyze the situation, there’s something else lurking. I suppose it would also be an issue of whether you *prefer* girl-on-girl action: whether in porn or in fighters…

  7. SSJPabs Says:

    BTW, I forgot to change the name tag. MNPundit = SSJPabs. Sorry.

    Fair enough, I should have said “personal experience” but I’ve taken a pretty hard look at my own psycho-sexual proclivities and I am definitely someone who enjoys a more dominant role…. but having it over males it completely uninteresting to me. I suppose the exception would be if–like in that Mountain Dew commercial with the remote–you could turn them into a girl.

    Again it’s just MY experience, it could absolutely be different for the majority–but due to the outlet I use for the particular power fantasies, I’ve been analyzing my own desires for some time.

  8. Mutant for Hire Says:

    I fail to see why a heterosexual guy who likes to dominate women would want a male videogame character as his sub.

  9. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Oh, I’m not saying you’re not entitled to have that as your approach/experience, SSJPabs. It’s just rare to hear someone express something like that clearly and honestly :).

  10. Rynna Says:

    From a psychology perspective, the premise may certainly be true in some cases, but given the incidence of actual transgender cases is currently either approximately 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 30,000 for MtF (I know 1 in 30 is either MtF or FtM, and believe it’s the former), compared to the number of men who enjoy lesbian porn, you’d have to raise the number of TG types by an exponential factor.

    On the other hand, could there be an element of autogynephilia (Aka getting off by fantasizing having sex as a woman?) for these guys? Perhaps, but that doesn’t translate into wanting to actually do such – As I’m sure you know, there are tons of fantasies out there that a person wouldn’t actually wish to practice, but which are perfectly safe so long as they remain in the realm of imagination.

    So, in that sense, while the theory may work in a slim number of cases, I think the traditional one is more apt – Most of all ye guys reading this simply like looking at attractive women. Especially in a game area – I have plenty of friends who play characters that are most attractive too them, not characters who are idealized versions of themselves; unless you’re Narcissus, you typically don’t fantasize about sex with self!

  11. Rynna Says:

    Ooh, addendum: I just read the synopsis for the book on Amazon, and can definitely say with some clarity that this guy is just throwing out Freud 2.0 left and right.

    And while Freud had some good ideas for his time, psychology today generally tends to not subscribe to the notion that everything we do or think has some secret significance that’s the modern equivalent of penis envy or an Oedipus complex.

    That’s not to say childhood experience doesn’t lead to sexual fantasies later in life – However, this ‘Fantasy X signifies sexual hostility, while Y signifies wanting to be much buffer and so forth’ bit is much more sensationalistic pseudoscience than credible theory.

  12. Darkpen Says:

    I think one aspect that no one’s touched upon outside of “i like to see hot girls” is the deeper psychological aspects of voyeurism, rather than labeling that as a throwaway comment.

    As for the “speaking with your dick” comment, I touched on that only in that paragraph in the example of when its not the character that you’re playing is the sub, but rather, your female opponent, which comes down to a question of power and dominance, and if history is of any indication, the phalus long stands as a symbol of power, whether its piercing the sky, or piercing a body. Of course, if I were to simply speak on “power,” and what that sort of sexual mentality entails, and if prison movies mean anything, its not just women who fall prey, so I suppose my stating of misogyny in that single paragraph alone was a misuse of the word.

  13. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    And while Freud had some good ideas for his time, psychology today generally tends to not subscribe to the notion that everything we do or think has some secret significance that’s the modern equivalent of penis envy or an Oedipus complex.

    Ah, call me a Freud-lover, but 1) I’d say that’s a vast oversimplification, and 2) I think you’re right that psychology has moved beyond Freud, however what his work (and work inspired by his work) is useful for now is the analysis of art (like games) and its consumers, rather than serious psychological cases… Like what we’re doing here!

  14. Rynna Says:

    Well, from a ‘Let’s have fun’ standpoint, sure :)

    From a ‘This is why people like X or Y’ standpoint, not so much. Psychodynamic approaches can be helpful, and do hold some merit, certainly – But suggestions like that of the book in the title are rather far-fetched.

    If you really want fun things to giggle at regarding other people, find someone to do a modern day Kinsey study. It’s been 50 years or so, we could use another of those to show how deviant everyone really is.

  15. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Ooh, if you’re looking something along similar lines (modern-day Kinsey) read Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head. It’s all about people’s fantasies–and how a huge percent of the population has “perverse” or violent ones. Good stuff!

  16. Schala Says:

    “you’d have to raise the number of TG types by an exponential factor.”

    Well, let’s do that, because the real prevalence is more around 1/500 on both sides (MtF and FtM). That the APA and the DSM choose to ignore that and promote 1960s data (when they knew next to nothing about the condition), is just propaganda.

    I know I’m way later (nearly a year) than the last post, but I’d like to ask one thing:

    Can non-trans women have autogynephilic fantasies? You know, fantasizing about having sex as women, finding themselves sexy and getting off on the idea of having sex with [insert whoever here] as women?

    Cause it seems the answer would be yes (if female erotica magazines are any indication). Why would it be pathological if trans women had such fantasies?

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