Article Feature: Why Dismembered Dicks Freak Me out: Flesh Toned Dildos, the Uncanny and the Abject (by Hopeful Honeydew)

With the amount that Emmeline Peaches has reviewed within her blogging tenure, it comes as no surprise that she has one hell of a sex toy collection. (We’re talking several ‘over flow’ boxes stashed in the eaves folks). I have spent some time exploring this vast collection, and being shown them by Emmeline, who becomes the most adorable magpie showing her precious shinies when one mentions them. In these explorations I have come to one uprising conclusion:

Flesh toned dildos freak me the hell out aaaand I want to write an article about it.

So, please, pull up a chair and listen to my tale, as I try to use surface-level psychology to explain why.

The Psychology of the Abject

NO THANKS!

The first reason I which to muse upon involves the theory of the ‘abject’. The abject is a theory created by Kristeva in the 80’s. But what is the abject? Samantha Pentony wrote this awesome essay where she defines the term by quoting Barbara Creed:

The place of the abject is where meaning collapses, the place where I am not. The abject threatens life, it must be radically excluded from the place of the living subject, propelled away from the body and deposited on the other side of an imaginary border which separates the self from that which threatens the self.

To surmise, the abject is anything that reminds us of our own mortality or our own bodies, particularly in regard to that which is inside us (that shouldn’t be on the outside).

In terms of horror films, for example, this might be blood, infection, feces; Basically the human centipede is an abject fest. However, this also can extend to grotesque injuries, malformations and amputation or disembodiment. Basically, humans don’t like to be reminded of life’s nasties, and to some extent, flesh colored dildos remind me of this.

I find the disembodied phallus unsettling. There should be a body attached to it, it shouldn’t be disconnected, disembodied. Certainly I don’t want this dildo and its ghost body near me during sex. Sex can leave me feeling vulnerable enough, I don’t need to bring the notion of invisible suitors into the mix!

Foxy Fucking Brown

I must admit, and warn readers of a more sensitive nature to skip this paragraph, that my abjection in this regard may partly be impacted by my sixth form film studies. We did a module on 70’s ‘Blaxploitation’ films, this included the film ‘Foxy Brown’ which not only gave me my slight discomfort with coat hangers, due to a certain scene; but also a shock scene of phallic mutilation.

To get revenge on the woman who killed her lover, Foxy castrates her partner, and delivers her the severed penis in a jar. I shall always remember the moment when the jar is dropped, shattering on the table, and for the briefest of moments we see the detached member collide with the table and slide from it.

Being in a class of mostly teenage boys and hyper curious girls, we naturally watched this scene multiple times frame by frame. I still to this day have the images burned into my retinas, and, when confronted with flesh colored dildos I cannot help but be reminded of that grizzly disembodied dick, and understandably the mood is not just killed, but viciously stamped out of existence.

However, the theory I believe holds most weight in my dildo dilemma is the theory of the uncanny, mostly coined by the psychological heavy weight that is Freud.

The Uncanny Dick

Freud’s work can be extensive and at times I feel convoluted, so I’m going to keep the definition as simple as possible, using a short section of Freud’s description:

on the one hand it means what is familiar and agreeable, and on the other, what is concealed and kept out of sight.

To clarify, the uncanny centers itself within duality, similar to the idea of the doppelganger; it speaks of something that is familiar, yet not. Something that the brain recognizes as one thing, but further information tells it otherwise, causing an uncomfortable mental battle of wills.

The most clear example of this is the Uncanny Valley by Mori. Pertaining to robots it speaks of the dip in comfort between simple robots and AI.

If you want to challenge your perception of the ‘Uncanny Valley’ (check out this great Youtube vid for more info on the effect).

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, how does this feed into my dildo disgust? Well, often, the skin tones aren’t quite right. This particularly depends on the finish of the dildo, but often they seem flat or matte. Therefore my brain is recognizing the item before me as a penis, but also recognizing that not only is it clearly disembodied, it doesn’t look alive. Thus leading to a mental back and forth which isn’t conducive to a lustful or romantic setting.

Detail Matters

The more realistic dildos have a similar effect, and can sometimes be more impactful. My brain is even more convinced that the sight before it is a penis, this time it even looks real! But….where’s the body? Oh f*ck, Foxy Brown Flashbacks…

Textures can also be just as unsettling, I am naturally very tactile, and do enjoy typical a less hard more…squigey texture. However in regards to flesh toned dildos, it makes the whole uncanny/abject experience *so* much worse. Now my brain is not only bombarded with the visual proof yet not proof of reality but now the textural proof, this could almost be flesh, but also it feels synthetic, but it looks like a penis, but oh god Foxy Brown, ghost dick, Foxy Brown, *hyperventilates*

You Do You

Now, please don’t think I’m bashing anyone who loves their dildos au naturel, I can see how such realism can feed into and enhance fantasies or how for some unnatural colored or designed dildos can be just as frightening. But for me, they’re just a no-go.

However, I don’t see this as a downer or a negative, I’m a fine art graduate, and lover of bright colors, so, there’s a whole world of dildos for me.

My current favorite is the Coral Reef Dildo. I love the design, its literally art, all the detail, it also has the squidgy texture I desire and the colors are just, well look at them! However, sadly it seems this item is no longer available, so I’m left looking at other and colorful and interesting dildos and hoping for a similar substitute in vain.

So there you have it, Hopeful Honeydew becomes Haunted Honeydew when flesh toned dildos are near. I hope, if you’re the same as me, this article has offered an insight as to why you feel the same. However, if you have a distaste for a different reason, or you have a love of au natural dildos and want to hoist that banner high, then please, speak to me in the comments section!

Thats all for now,

Stay Sweet,

HH x

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