cops, caped crusaders, & other male fantasies.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I was intrigued by the film Zoo from the moment I heard about it. Way back in the taboo-shattering mid-70s, my late mother contended that bestiality was going to be the last taboo. (That should tell you a lot about her.) I should point out right away that neither she nor I was "into" sex with animals, to use the parlance of the day, except as an intriguing topic of conversation on a long car trip. In the intervening years I have of course come out, first as a gay man, and then--to a far smaller public--as a man with several powerful fetishes, and I've often found it interesting to learn more about sexual attractions I don't share, both because they help to shed light on sexuality in general and because I feel a certain empathy for other people with minority tastes.
That said, Zoo isn't really the movie I was expecting at all. It's not a wide-ranging documentary about "zoophilia" in general so much as a true-crime examination of a specific case. Granted, it avoids the snickering tone of other chronicles of the saga of "Mr. Hands", but it doesn't really shed much light on the phenomenon of people who identify really closely with their pets and other animals. (Stylistically, it's a blatant ripoff of Errol Morris's aesthetic, and I could never quite get past that.) As far as parallels with other fetishes, the only one that really struck me was the huge role that the internet has played in bringing people together. Hard to imagine the circle that gathered around Mr. Hands forming without it--just as I can't really fathom meeting (virtually, at least) as many people into masks, gloves, and lycra-clad superheroes as I have without the aid of Yahoo groups, sites like GearFetish, and this very blog.
Beyond that one commonality, I'm on the outside looking in. (The Hub was there with me for about 30 minutes, but lost interest after that.)