Thursday, May 08, 2003

Spent way too much of the day checking out the page-by-page scans of a Japanese comic called "The Trophy" at the "Tortured Cops" Yahoo Group. It's by an artist named Gengoroh Tagame, who has an image-packed website of his own and is also the subject of another Yahoo Group which contains vast amounts of his work. Fairly extreme stuff, some of it, but a lot of it is right up my alley. Not an alley I include on most public maps of my psyche, mind you, but then the darkest and most hidden passageways are often the most exciting.

In "The Trophy," a burly cop is kidnapped by a high-ranking government official who subjects him to all sorts of indignities, including drinking his own semen. A second bear-cop comes looking for him and winds up in the same sorry state. The two men are forced into a series of degrading "contests" for the amusement of their captors. It's one of the sickest and sexiest stories I've ever seen. (As a sidenote, I find it interesting that most of the characters have western features despite their Japanese names. A few of the "bad" guys seem more overtly Asian, which raises lots of questions about ethnicity in porn. And about my own tastes--the casts of some of the other Tagame stories I've seen look more Japanese than these guys, and they just don't turn me on in quite the same way. I think some of it has to do with body hair, which seems to be more of a Western trait; the two captives in "The Trophy" are incredibly hairy, and the villain calls particular attention to the stubble on one guy. I hope to write more about race in a later post, although it's a pretty troubling subject for me. But I digress...)

People often assume that a cop fetish automatically involves wanting to submit to an authority figure, and sometimes that's the case for me, but just as often (or maybe more so) I envision the uniformed officer as a captive, a slave, a victim. It's the same with Batman and other costumed crimefighters: what gets me off is seeing them in their moments of greatest vulnerability, on the edge of degredation, despair, or even death. Ideally, they rebound and free themselves (or are set free by their colleagues) at the last possible moment. Come to think of it, the fantasy of a last-minute escape or rescue is partly just a guarantee that the cop/superhero can live to be trapped another day. It's a little like Sisyphus (or, okay, Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day"), doomed to repeat slight variations on the same struggle time after time. Sometimes I'm the captured hero, sometimes I'm the capturer.

Today, seated helpless in front of my computer while the hours ticked by and I avoiding paying work, I was a bit of both.

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