Surely we all remember the strange hyperventilating horniness of the Tom Hardy Venom
film back in 2018: What was meant to be an edgy superhero-ish action film lodged into the Internet’s collective libido as a gooey romance
, against all odds. The premise, essentially, is that an alien ball of ooze has decided to co-inhabit the body of a journalist (oh, if only), and then the two of them go on extremely muscular skintight adventures.
Why is this so sexy? Well, allow me to theorize, as someone who reports frequently on sexual subcultures and has asked that question about pups, furries, balloons, diapers, dragons, donkeyplay, pumpkins, hypnotists, tinglers, leather, clowns, and the lawyer whose camera made him look like a cat on a Zoom call.
The Venom stories have two intersecting preoccupations, both of which are prime triggers for certain readers: Renouncing control over one’s body and mind, and also getting extremely sloppy. It’s no surprise that some people are delighted by goo — such scenarios are adjacent to bodily fluids — but body and mind control are elements that appear in virtually every kink I’ve ever reported on.
It never fails (literally never) that when I’m reporting on a kink, and I scratch the surface of “why is this hot?” the answer is invariably fluctuations in power, control, and autonomy. (If you have theories on your own regarding the hotness of Venom and goo in general, please chime in on this Twitter thread.)
I have also noticed that a person’s sexual preoccupations often (not always, but often) align with their personal anxieties, and Venom is, to be sure, quite scary. And on that topic, he’s the subject of a new body-horror comic out this week; and I would encourage you to get to know yourself better by paying attention to the nature of your reaction to the book, and your balance of fear to arousal.
Thanks as always to Phoenix, who helped select this week’s top comics, and had no idea I was going to get so raunchy in my lede.
Continue reading »