Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Shape of Water

I went ahead and saw The Shape of Water the other week and it seemed significant to me. Here we have a cast of protagonists: the first, a disabled individual, specifically a mute, talked down to for her disability, her humanity undermined, and her abilities underestimated. (And further someone whose socioeconomic class is discriminated against. Second, a gay man, whose social life and freedom are restricted for his sexuality. Third, a black woman, whose race is her primary limiter. And then fourth, we have a nonhuman, someone presented as an animal - who for all intents and purposes is an animal - who is the subject of all the injustices animals are often subject to.

And we have all of these people rising above, proving that they are worth more than they are given by heteronormative society in ability, intelligence, strength, and the ability to love. The Shape of Water is one of those unfortunate films that receives critical acclaim while being generally ignored in box offices, only playing in select theatres, and not even considered for annual awards (although it did take home one for its soundtrack). But if you want to point to Hollywood making one more step towards acknowledging and respecting human-animal relationships, this is a good one. Indeed, this is the first time I have seen a film glorify an explicitly sexual relationship between a human and something non-human very clearly pre-linguistic (at least expressively: he only makes single word utterances through ASL). Further, even when the protagonist describes this relationship in a rather explicit manner, no one takes issue with its interspecies nature.

Slowly, very slowly, zoophilia is peeking its way into accessible media and being portrayed as something beautiful, even if strange, and one more victim of a judgemental society. Go support this film if you get the chance, it's certainly worth it. Wonderful soundtrack, very daring depiction, well paced and with very real and flushed out characters that you can take home emotionally with you. Even for non zoos, of course, enjoy falling into, and even in love with, its weirdness.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Robert Pattinson and the Thing with the Dog

So here is what happened.

Robert Pattison, probably best known for playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise, is working on a film called Good Time, which is about a man with something of an obsession with dogs and who believes he was a dog in a former life.  In the film, there is a scene in which a drug dealer bursts in on the protagonist who is lying in bed with a dog, apparently giving the dog a hand-job.

The story that's been bouncing around is that Robert was asked by the director to actually stroke off the dog, and that he refused.  He later clarified that it was all a joke, that he wasn't seriously asked to do so, and that a fake dog dong was always what was going to be used.  There's obviously nothing wrong with this; for one thing, as a rule of thumb while filming, you want to expect as little out of your animals as humanly possible.  If anything might even potentially cause harm or discomfort to the animal, you would really rather avoid that.  For another thing, Twilight was pretty darn tame as far as weird kinds of lovin', and I don't imagine Robert himself would be very comfortable if asked to actually bring a dog to erection.  Just a guess.

What makes it honestly silly is that as soon as the story came out, PETA congratulated him on not being a horrible animal abuser by agreeing to this morally bankrupt request.  And every site discussing the story is chock full of people crying the same thing — not because it's good to respect an actor's comfort zone, or even because it's good to avoid employing real animals when possible, but because giving dogs erections is sick and wrong.

Even though the incident was apparently all a joke, it is important after all, because the response is real.  So let's discuss this.  Zoopoint is obviously biased on the whole thing, but I think the best impartial indicator to the morality of such a hypothetical request is best judged by the reaction of the trainer: a very blatant, "I mean, you can. You just gotta massage the inside of his thighs." This is something that is done all the time by caretakers of intact animals for a variety of reasons, whether to stimulate them for breeding, for semen extraction, health checks, or indeed, for the pleasure of the animal, and for only one of these things do people get in an uproar.  PETA had nothing to say about the trainer who clearly was no stranger at all to the red rocket, but when the word 'pleasure' is used, suddenly it's an affront to all that is natural and holy.

Which is awfully ironic.  I imagine this dog would have enjoyed being massaged for pleasure more than for forced breeding any day of the week.  He might have even become a Twilight fan.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Scientists Still Clueless

Just a quick post to let you know I'm still alive. Apparently the first ever "consensual" intercourse between species has been documented, and the researchers looking into it are still clueless about how or why this could possibly happen. Now they're getting down to it being a natural reaction to mate deprivation in combination with estrus.

It makes one wonder when they'll finally decide to just talk to us if they want to understand us, and find that we aren't all oversexed, lonely abusers. Or maybe it's time we started talking to them.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


One thing I haven't talked much about on this blog since its inception is my video game habit, but I am in fact a gamer (PC master race) and every once in a while something pops up that catches my attention.  A bit over a year ago Might & Delight of Stockholm became my new favourite indie developer because they gave me a game that was not only enjoyable but did things that I feel really broke barriers, and some of those barriers are things that might be relevant for this outlet.

Image result for shelter might and delight

Three games comprise the Shelter series, but they all have a few things in common.  Shelter puts you in the shovel-esque paws of a mother badger, beginning underground in her set with her newborn young, which you are charged with feeding, protecting, and leading through a world of hazards ranging from flash floods to forest fires to dreaded birds of prey.  Shelter 2, my personal favourite, has you instead as a mother lynx in a huge, open environment, hunting for your kittens and once more shielding them from predators and the everyday (and perhaps not-so-everyday) risks of being a young animal in a big new world.  Paws is a spin-off of Shelter 2 in which you play not as the mother lynx but as a kitten who has lost their way.  It's more exploration-focused and whimsical, but retains the simple but ironically philosophical outlook.

Image result for shelter 2
Shelter 2

Each game focuses on the interplay between mother and young, and bonds formed through hardship.  Hardly a word is written in the game and there is no dialogue; no humans exist in the Shelter world, but all the same it's almost impossible not to feel a rather intense affection for these furballs you have been charged with, and the resulting blow to the upper-left of your chest when one of them shrieks their dying cry as they're carted off by a fox that you should have noticed, should have caught — but didn't.  To help along this paradoxically meditative and dire plot, each game has extraordinary simple but beautiful acoustic soundtracks and a papier mâché aesthetic.

Image result for shelter 2 paws
Paws: A Shelter 2 Game

To me this visual style immediately struck me as being symbolic of how an animal might view this world that they live in: their sight is not as important to them as their feel of the world, so rather than the game allowing us to focus on each individual detail of each individual leaf, we're instead shown patterns, basic ways of interpreting trees and grass and mountains, even the fur patterns of our character's young.  This, and the lack of UI, and the use of auditory rather than visual cues for many challenges the games present really places the player in the mindset of the animal better than others with quadrupedal protagonists.

Of course the games aren't without their shortcomings, mostly technical, but I didn't want to make this post a full review, simply a recommendation and brief analysis of the feel that the Shelter series invokes as a whole.  I think if there's anyone, gamer or no (because they are very easy games to pick up), has found themselves curious about the simple but brutal world of wild animals, or considered the possibility of seeing existence through the biases of another species, or just wants a game that's simultaneously uncomplicated, challenging, and emotionally trying, do try these out.  They're inexpensive and available on Steam and on GOG.  And next month, a fourth game in the series, Meadow, is in the works and will be released next month.  You can bet I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Security, Photographic Evidence, and Not Being a Loon

Recently I've been having more and more conversations with a wider variety of zoophiles, and of course as we're coming more out of the woodwork, and more of us are caring less and less about our privacy as the internet becomes more ingrained into our lives, the conversation of what is and is not good secure online practice came up frequently.  This especially arose when discussing organizing for things such as help groups or more public interface.  The different risks towards zoophiles who are expressing themselves online are, I would say, twofold, with one of these risks divided into two parts.

The first risk is the most obvious and the most universal: Other people, and our social lives.  The individuals with whom we share our local and global communities can make our lives hell for us.  I have heard of people who have been fired from their jobs on account of a word-of-mouth report from a stranger.  This happens particularly those in certain states of the US that allow such employment practices.  That having been said, there is nothing stopping someone from doing the same to you even if you are not sexually active with animals, or even a zoophile at all; this gossip is given and acted upon without any evidence at all, so the general security rule to avoid this sort of thing is to not be a dick.  If you're going to be talking about your zoophilia outside of zoophilic circles, make sure it's with people that you can likely trust to be mature about it, even if they aren't entirely accepting, and work on your social skills!  I have never had anyone respond negatively to my paraphilia because, if I might say so myself, I am a good speaker, an even better writer, and I know how to put my opinions and facts forward without making people too grouchy with me — or at least, if they are, they don't feel so empowered that they might strive to exercise that power in harming me.

The second risk is, as I said, twofold, but rather because one part is the imagined risk, and one is not.  The imagined risk is in the law of the land, which has always been incredibly stringent by word against zoophiles.  The days are gone when we were hanged along with our lovers, but there are still places in the first world in which the maximum sentence for intercourse with an animal is life.  Simply saying so on the internet would technically be enough for an investigation, but here's the issue: some studies have the rate as high as 30% for people who have sexual interactions with an animal at some point in their lives, and of course the internet is rife with furries saying they'd like to have sex with animals, wish they had the guts to play with the family dog, real zoophiles quietly discussing these things amongst themselves, and naturally trolls acting as if they do it just for the laughs.  It's chaos here and no one has time to go for the small fish.

What are the big fish, then?  Well, in every single news article I've ever seen, there has been visual confirmed evidence of the investigated and tried 'bestialist' having sexual intercourse with an animal — that is, no one has ever been investigated and tried simply for discussing these things on the internet.  Even if someone is already being noticed by law enforcement, they don't make a move until said person of interest posts an image of them spreading their female dog's vagina, or a film with his member in a mare.  In one instance, an individual was only investigated because they were posting (and eventually following through with) Craigslist ads through which they were looking for a horse to have intercourse with.  Of course, the ones who eventually answered and had to deal with their very explicit phone calls, and then meet up with this individual after they drove halfway across the country to see them, were the police.

And it doesn't particularly matter if it's legal in your state.  If you create and publish this media, and then move elsewhere, yes, you did not technically break the law, but you have just given anyone who would like to know visual confirmation that you ought to be watched by anyone who might want to catch them some evil bestialists.

I don't want to go too long on this, but in conclusion, I just want to confirm:
  • You are generally fairly safe.  Don't go giving out personal information (ie your name, your exact location, birthday, intimate things like that), which is generally good internet practice no matter what your sexual preference.
  • Learn to communicate.  Don't be a weirdo!  If you can't have civil conversation, don't have conversation at all.  Don't 'ragequit' halfway through a chat.  This is far more important in near anyone's eyes than your zoophilia.
  • Don't publish evidence of your acts online.  This is so basic, and it astonishes me how many people just publish their naked butts conjoined with those of dogs willy-nilly, but just don't do it.
Just be smart.  Don't be a loon.  The way you present yourself, and the ways in which you don't, are going to mandate your security far better than your use of Tor or the toughness of your online passwords.  Not only will presenting yourself well keep you safer, but in time, as we start to come out of the dark recesses of the internet and into the public eye where, if justice were ever to prevail, we ought to be, you and all of us will be in better shape.