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Fashion

Bond-Age?

Posted by Omar / December 12, 2006

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Why am I writing a sex column? I'm married. I'm from a Muslim background. I'm what you might describe as tubby and unkept. Basically, I'm a square.

Well, the forces that govern MP were planning to kill off the section labelled SEX on our site, due to a lack of postings about ... sex. What the hell? I thought Montreal was supposed to reek with carnality and sensuality and sin and all that...how could we ignore sex? I argued. The angry MP tribunal stared me down and told me that I should put my money where my mouth was. After stuffing my mouth with all the nickels in my pockets, I was eyed with great sadness and despair. Nonetheless, I was told to spit out my change and start writing about sex.

So where to start?

My brother came from out of town (Toronto, to be specific), and had heard much of Montreal's reputation for strip clubs and such. I figured -- I'm the sex guy now, so off we went. An hour later, at L'Axe bar on St. Denis, listening to Love Bites by Def Leppard, staring at an empty stage and watching ridiculously bored and wasted girls in slutty outfits listlessly sitting around, we decided to rush the hell out of there.

I'm all for indulging in a little sleaze and fetishism now and then, but how anyone could turn that sad little scene into a hotbed of sexual energy and fantasy is beyond me. Maybe it was just a bad night. Oh well.

I figured I might as well give up. Aside from typical male thoughts like "boy, I like breasts" and "hey hey whacka whacka voom voom" I didn't feel I had much to add to the ongoing discusion about sexuality.

Until I went to see the new James Bond film Casino Royale.

James Bond films have always had a close relationship with cultural fetishes. Whether one drools in their commodity fetishism of cool, sleek 007 gadgets, or ogles the tough and sexy bond women, or delights in the womanizing ways of our suave Bond hero, the British spy franchise is practically iconic of the sleek and sexy.

Have any of you seen Dr. No? What do you remember? Is it the plot? Sean Connery's smoldering charm? I bet it's Ursula Andress. Every single being, including sweat shop workers in Cambodia, knows the image of Ursua Andress emerging from the water in her tight swimsuit. Like I said - iconic.

James Bond, like Hugh Hefner, defines a certain romantic glamourized image of the sensual woman. It's romantic because Bond women are fiercely loyal or noir-ishly devilish. They are an idealized concept of women, feminine but sassy - and fairly uncomplicated. It is this romantic idealism, so removed from the complexity of actual male-female relationships that makes all this fetishistic.

So imagine my surprise when I felt my first tinge of sexual excitement. The object of my fetishistic desire was not the stunningly beautiful and very sexy Eva Green, but stunningly handsome and very sexy Daniel Craig.

Qualifiers, qualifiers! I am a very heterosexual guy (ask my wife if you don't believe me. i have one, i swear.) I think after two years of working on the tv show QueerTelevision, many hours of which spent watching hardcore gay porn, would have awakened any dormant feelings. But alas, I yawned through the gay porn, and was typically excited by the lesbian porn (until I started watching it - another column on that later).

Back to hunky Daniel Craig. Feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey wrote about the cinema having a 'male gaze' - I don't know if Casino Royale could be called the 'female gaze' but the typical male gaze objectifies woman and the female body. In this film, what is on display is rugged masculinity and the perfect male body. Shots of Craig in the semi-clad abound, and even his 'arse' is discussed in flirtatious detail. By contrast, one appreciates the beauty of the bond girls, but here they are just accessories to the true display of sexual energy - Craig's rugged torso and roughly handsome visage.

But aside from the swoon-worthy shots of Craig's body dripping as he emerges from the water, is the mannered performance of a masculine ideal. This Bond is no-nonsense, but has boyish charms, he is confident, and ruthless, but he's not heartless. As contrasted by the many modes of masculinity present in our society today, he not a macho pig, but he ain't a pussy either. Watching Craig embody the perfect James Bond, and make it seem a little closer to reality, was in itself a voyeuristic, fetishistic turn-on.

That he is no more real than Superman (another male ideal personified by the dreamy Brandon Routh), is truly besides the point.

Sexuality, outside of procreation, often falls into two camps - the spiritual or the fetishistic. The former explores sexuality to resolve issues of personal identity, to know the difference between I and thou, and to genuinely feel the other through love and intimacy. But the later is sexuality's play pen. In that space, you can costume, break with your identity and fly face first towards the imaginary. Politics don't belong here, ditto with respectability. Crack that whip. Slap that ass. Be a whore, or a pirate or even a winged sea-monkey - after all, anything goes.

We have derived so much fetish from the concept of femininity, that it was only a matter of type before we put masculinity on carnal display. I don't know if any of this is progressive or not (probably not). But damn, it sure was hot.

BTW, Casino Royale rocks. I rate it [72 + {2(4.3) - 1.7866}] x 4 / [3,403 - {2x487(5)}] + 2000.

Discussion

10 Comments

Jer / December 13, 2006 at 08:52 am
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Hey waitaminute...is this is just a movie review in disguise? An ad for the next film club? It's 9 am and I was looking for something to get the day started right. Instead all I get is a film studies lecture.

That being said, thinking of you as a winged-sea monkey is definitely hot.
Omar / December 13, 2006 at 09:58 am
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Well, Jer, I do still have the winged-sea monkey outfit. Come by with a six-pack and maybe we can get this party started right.

As for a disguised film review...can I help it if cinema is such an important tool in the provocation of sexual issues?

All the same, I couldn't resist rating the film...talk about my own personal fetish.
Christy / December 15, 2006 at 11:07 am
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MAN I miss the good old days of sixties pin-up babes. Back when everyone was damn well expected to suck it in. Them deformed looking bellies make me THRILL.
/ August 30, 2008 at 04:43 pm
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