Telling Sexual Stories: Power, Change, and Social Worlds

By Ken Plummer | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

The tale and its time

If I see a girl that most people would find attractive, I immediately tend to imagine that she has in fact wet herself and that her underclothes are wet. And instead of saying, there’s a pretty girl, I desire her—I do it in two stages. This is a pretty girl. Let us imagine that she has just wet herself. Therefore I desire her.

(Cedric)

When you see someone on the streets and television—a good-looking girl that most people would look at—I don’t think to myself about sort of normal sex with that girl. I will just think of, you know, being down at their feet

(Glenn)

…shades of stockings and also shades of skin, and shades of shoes and a combination of shoes with the shape of the foot. I’ve noticed that some women seem to excite me tremendously for no apparent reason at all. And it appears to be because they have a certain shade of stocking on which suits their particular shade of skin, and they’ve got a certain fat or muscle layer in a certain form of the foot itself. That’s why muscular feet seem to excite. A skinny bony foot will do little for me, usually. I’m learning how complex it is.

(Bert)

Here are more sexual tales gathered from research. In the late twentieth century, it could seem as if every sexual story that could be told is being told. Many desires have found a voice in the recent proliferation of sexual stories. Some of the newer stories have been about desires for a cross-gender experience—to be a bit, or a lot, like people are sensed to be from the other gender: the cross-dressing tales, the transvestite tales, the transexual tales. Some have simply been for any erotic desires at all: women who have been encouraged to talk about their sexual lives and desires in ways that thirty years ago was denied them. Some have been about desires in different contexts: to be a sex worker, to be a sex consumer. Some have been for special kinds of relationships—often simply ones that ‘work’. Some have been for erotic desires not within their reach, or, when in their reach heavily devalued: sadomasochistic, ‘fetishistic’ of all kinds, high desires and low desires, adolescent

-113-

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