It was seven or eight years ago that I first saw the sort of shirt that continues to trouble me. It was then that "sexy" slogans began to foul our ambit.
Paris Hilton wore shirts that said "I got lucky in Kentucky." And this sentiment filtered down to the lumpenmass and became "I will eat your jizz."
I remember that day at the mall.
"I swallow," said her t-shirt in the lowercase Arial that was popular at the time. That's peculiar, I thought, lulled by the same sans serif used to sell high-end kitchen goods. You swallow. Most people swallow. My digestive tract is working. This seemed an unusual boast.
There must be better functions to honor than those of the alimentary canal? Why not a more unusual process? Maybe the hypothalamus. "I release thyroid-stimulating hormone from my anterior pituitary" t-shirt is a bit more interesting.
Oh. That kind of swallowing. God. It was everywhere. And, at my local mall, it persists.
I didn't want these girls arrested. I just didn't like their shirts. And I wasn't having a moral fit; I was just confused.
I wasn't the only one asking questions. There has been study into this subspecies of dress. Some Londoner, apparently, investigated the trend and found that it was a legitimate and robust expression of young, potent female sexuality blah blah blah.
Whatever, to use the blank language of Paris. I just think it's yucky. And, my own gag reflex aside, I imagine it does little for the receding members of young males.
Wouldn't it be much nicer to surprise a lad with a swallow than to offer him a menu before the digestif? I've never been very good at having sex with men. Nonetheless, I believe I might perform better than the girl in the swallow tee. I might swallow. But I wouldn't tell him until I'd actually, you know, MET HIM.
From there, I noticed a related rash of Sexually Liberated shirts. To wit:"They're real" (N.B. not an necessary endorsement for the B Cups wearing the shirt. More just an affirmation of what we suspected) or "I may not be perfect but parts of me are fucking excellent." Like dermatitis incubated in the hot changeroom of Ke$ha, this illness ravaged the chests of young women. And, it's still going on.
I'm not so much offended as actually itchy. And troubled for the sexual future of the young. Again: if you're giving people a comprehensive preview of all your bed tricks, what remains? How can you hope to charge a partner into the overdrive necessary to a good shag? Poor lambs, and their t-shirt sex. Are they ever to enjoy a truly good rogering?
Oh. Like I care about their sexual leisure.
There's something else troubling me. And it's this: these shirts are not offensive or outrageous. At best, they've become quite normal. At worst, they're the twisted expression of what passes now for female "liberation".
Blank, ironic sex is everywhere. Even, and especially, in shopping malls. So it is hardly, despite the claims of theorists, liberating or plucky for little tarts to strut about in their naughty shirts. It is, in fact, rather conservative. "I swallow". Yes. Viva la revolucion.
I have done my time in offensive-wear. As I am now 40, I have abandoned t-shirts in favor of mid-level cleavage baring tops. As my décolleté is yet to turn to parchment, I figure this look is more inviting than a shirt that says, "I will suck your dong."
Actually, I never wore things like that. I have worn shirts that said "I Hate People", "Homosexuals are Gay" and "Christianity is Stupid". I regard this kind of offense as mildly constructive.
Like a provocative tweet, this sort of thing can be okay. Not a bad thing to do at all, ensnared as we are in an era of text-message speak.
Now I wouldn't wear the garb of this blaspheming kid. In Australia, his t-shirt prompted an arrest. It read "Jesus is a Cunt".
Yes. Icky. But I don't see why guy bloke was chucked in jail. And I don't see why John Gailey of Colorado was considered an affront to families.
Of course, if young women wish to advertise their end-to-end fellatio services, that's fine.. I just don't want it dressed up as "liberation" and "legitimate expression" and I don't want another standard set aside for people making political or religious statements.
Now. If anyone wants me, I'll be producing an exclusive range of "I ♥ Sodomy" shirts. Order in time for you next family dinner.
Image via Cafe Press.
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