Fashion

Forever 69: Fu*k the Commodification of Sex

Fashion

Forever 69: Fu*k the Commodification of Sex

ANNA, 2010. Courtesy of the photographer, Uwe Jens Bermeitinger, with styling by Melanie Jeske.
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“Most fashion photography is done by gay people finding women sexy, which is sort of not sexy at all, at least to a heterosexual man. She’s so retouched, so airbrushed, without any human response at all, and, well, you don’t really want to fuck a doll.” –Juergen Teller

I’m looking for someone to help me produce a series of pornographic videos based on high-end fashion brands. Alexander’s Wang, Proenza Squirter, G-Spot Raw, Michael Whores, Reed Jackoff, Rage & Boner, Undressed Van Noten, Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony… Stoya will star in XSL [Extreme Saint Laurent]. Karl will voyeur on a gay gang bang in Caca Chanel. Two petite Japanese lesbians will fuck each other with a black strap-on in Cum des Garçons.

The videos will be styled according to each brand’s mandate. The stars of Lick My Versace will be hairless from the nape down with skin no lighter than amber and no darker than tenné on the tan spectrum. Céline by Peepee Phallus will be overexposed like a Juergen Teller photograph; golden showers. Dolce’s Fab-Anus: Vol. 1 and 2 will explore the Madonna/Whore complex. Prada’s will be the best, though I’m not sure how just yet.

I wouldn’t call my imagined series parodic, unless it was in a court defense. In fact, in an ideal world, the videos would be produced in partnership with the brands—they would lend me the clothes, rent out the hotel studio suite, and hire me the best DPs the Valley has to offer (that’s Director of Photography but, yes, that too).

The concept is that this is believable. J’Adore Dior dildos and Armani MILFs aren’t so far from a Gucci-G pubis or “Nothing Comes Between Me and My Calvins”. Fashion brands have come to represent lifestyles and identities. They have come to commodify everything, down to pubic hair, down to one’s sense of self. The only thing left—let’s go the whole way—is for them to make something that will make me come.

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I have followed fashion for as long as I have been sexually conscious. I remember being 10 years old and dressing in a crop top inspired by Tiffani Amber Thiessen’s Valerie Malone on 90210. I gazed in a mirror at my chest where my breasts would be if I were her, thinking of Dylan (Dylan, Dylan) touching them, as I became newly aware of the seam at the crotch of my jeans. Through puberty, I catalogued my vast collection of fashion magazines according to nation, and made a hobby of online window shopping for bathing suits, year round. When I became reflexively sexual, at sixteen or seventeen, it occurred to me that my interest in fashion may have stemmed from a displaced desire to look at women’s bodies. Chicken, egg, Ego, Id, no matter, the fetish is set—having come of age with fashion, my sexuality is now bound to it. I love a strip tease. Costume role play. If I get dressed in a particularly hot outfit, I can’t leave the house without jerking off. Those are the healthy manifestations. But the rest…

While fashion showcases a variety of sexual attitudes and lifestyles (the industry is pretty open in terms of queer identities, BDSM play, exhibitionisms, etc.), such polymorphous perversity is only sanctioned for those with a very specific body type. My teenage favorite, Carine Roitfeld’s Paris Vogue, may have shown girls who looked like boys and boys who looked like girls doing all sorts of things with each other, but the boys and girls within her pages all looked more alike, as boys or girls, than I or my best friends and lovers do to any of them—that is, they were all very thin, very tall, impeccably groomed and mostly white, while we are all so diverse.

Here’s a story: once upon a time, there was an underage Canadian, virginal and versed in all the Vogues (Paris, London, Australia, America), who, consciously or not, thought that she could only start to fuck if she lost her hips and wore high heels. She was like a Catholic consumed by guilt, but her bible was a fashion rag and the only shame she felt was her fat. She first had sex, missionary style, at eighteen. Bo-ring.

“I know I always say this, but porn helped me to feel more confident with my body, because I realized that I enjoyed watching curvy girls in porn more than the ‘model-type’ girls, because curvy girls bounce more while they’re fucking.” That’s sex blogger extraordinaire Karley Sciortino, in conversation with Devonté Hynes, repeating a sentiment I’ve thought so many times. Even after I started having sex, I was never convinced when my partners praised my “vehicular” hips or my “juicy” inner thighs. It wasn’t until I started watching porn that I began to really embrace my body and the bodies I was attracted to. Fashion patterned my young brain to associate only one kind of hotness with sex, and then porn—BBW, MILF, shemale, ginger, amputee, as Dev replied to Karley, “no matter what you look like, there’s someone out there jerking-off to someone like you.”

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I remember what panties I was wearing the first time I could sex. I remember the dress I had on the first time I came in a public place. When I’m ovulating, I’m more likely to wear knee socks and lipstick and I like that. Fashion, in that it’s about the desire, fantasy, memory, identity, and the body, is about sex. But fashion, as in Vogue, is far removed from the sticky reality of sex. Fashion sex is voyeuristic and necrophilic. It’s free market, not free love, sex. Commercial. Static. Airbrushed. It’s capitalism hiding behind the allure of sex; seductive promises that, instead of liberating, rake you with insecurities that the shopping guides, diets, and self-tanners on the next page will promise to fix.

Fashion and sex go great together, just not as the likes of Lagerfeld, Wintour, or even Roitfeld would have it. I am very seriously looking for someone to help me produce my fashion porno series because the world needs to see a Lagerfeld lookalike stroking the geriatric boner beneath his skinny leather pants as a group of chiseled men pump each other full of lube. I will call my series Fuck the Commodification of Sex, and through it, I hope to make fashion more like porn—a democratic capitalist entertainment industry after the even the most niche consumer’s pleasure. With more curves. More sweat. And more of Stoya’s laugh.

Since Fuck the Commodification of Sex is stalled at the level of concept, I’ll settle for this—a column. Forever 69. A bi-weekly, bi-curious column that writes sex into fashion in a way that feels. Consider this the first installment.