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Mardi Gras flashing customs - lewdness or idiocy or what?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by chevalier, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    The church does. The church doesn't believe that it's right to cheat on your partner or flash strangers when you're wearing a mask. There is no such thing as the legitimacy of the whole procedure.

    There is no approval of the church for the flashing and the kissing of strangers. Go ask the first Catholic theologian you find.

    There is no freedom of fouls in the Christian dogma. There is freedom of will and the consequences of one's choices.

    Indecent behaviour is never explicitly allowed by the Catholic church under any circumstances.
     
  2. Sprite Gems: 15/31
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    There is a world of difference between appearing in the background in a news programme about an event you participated in, and being presented as a character in an entertainment called "Girls Gone Wild". If a for-profit company used her as an extra in an entertainment production, they should have obtained her consent first, and paid her the standard guild rate for extra work. They owe her a fee, and they owe her damages for not obtaining her signature on a release form before using her image that way. Speculation about her morals is utterly irrelevant.
     
  3. ejsmith Gems: 25/31
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    I attended Marti Gras a number of years ago. Showing your boobs is tame. There were guys in my group receiving beads for showing their stuff to old ladies. And there are girls doing *far* more involved acts up on the balconies. Fairly harmless, unless you're considering all the un-protected sex and drug-overdoses (including alcohol). Stay with the crowd, and you're not going to get mugged or raped.

    The actual parade is very colorful. I'm sure Rio de Janerio is even more spectacular, but NO's little party is neat.




    But, Chev, I don't understand how Louisiana relates to Denmark...
     
  4. Blog Gems: 23/31
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    This event makes a interesting case study for psychology. This is quite typical for the behaviour of a crowd; individuals inhibit their own personalities and exhibit the spirit of the moment. She was no exception. With so many other people doing the same, she too followed suit. She just got unlucky and got caught on film.

    Despite this, I still believe it was her own choice... but it wasn't for the lousy beads. Her decision was made under heavy pressure. In normal circumstances, I'm sure your average cross-bearing woman would not flash for anything, definitely not for beads. But here, as part of the crowd, the encouragements from guys and the spirited atmosphere made her go with the flow. It takes some courage and will power to swim against the tides and deny what people are expecting. In the worse case, you get that clueless zombie that Chev mentioned with rolling eyes - she thought she had to. I guess Becky didn't have enough resistance in her either, which is her own downfall.

    But what's done has been down and now it's between her and the company, which I won't comment on because I'm more fond of the psychology than the politics and law.
     
  5. War Nerve

    War Nerve And it took me back to something that I'd lost

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    Good point, Blog, but I think it's more than just a blind follow-the-crowd case. Pressure was involved at the time, of course, but she's the one who took the initiative to place herself in the midst of that type of environment in the first place, well aware of what happens at Mardi Gras.
     
  6. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    It takes more than a suggestion and the surprise factor is removed because, as War Nerve points out, everyone is aware what happens there. I believe the problem is that some people don't just yield to pressure. They use pressure as an excuse. Either this or the clueless zombie that does everything what is told to do ("I did that because he wanted me to do it").

    Some guys seem to have no problem with it, but I would dump a girl if we were walking together and she bared herself for a stranger who offered beads for boobs. Same for French kissing.

    I agree that there's more exposure in Rio, but Rio is different in three aspects: 1) there's no flashing - what is uncovered is uncovered from start (although it's likely an exhibitionist streak in case of naked samba dancers rather than a question of comfort or innocent appreciation of a beautiful body as in beholding a sculpture) 2) there's no boobs for beads trade, which is a mild form of prostitution (look, nude beauty contest is just it - beauty contest, but flashing for beads is prostitution lite (tm)) 3) there's no custom of French-kissing strangers (alternative to flashing for some women at NO parades).
     
  7. CĂșchulainn Gems: 28/31
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    If those people believe Babylon was disgusting then I don't see much difference than Mardi Gras parades - I am not saying its wrong to go to Mardi Gras but having studied the Bible earlier in my life you cannot deny that Mardi Gras and Babylon sound very very similar!

    Funny thing is that its parade season and the Spanish and French parades were more tame yet Europe is considered the 'anything goes' part of the world!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/4236005.stm
     
  8. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    ejsmith, I am not sure but there is an art museum outside of Copenhagen named Louisiana.
     
  9. toughluck Gems: 8/31
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    Ok. If I say that 1=0, and say that it is logical, does that mean it is, in fact, logical? You're saying that logic, one of the most objective things, where EVERYTHING can be brought down to true and false, and ones and zeroes, is subjective?
    COOL! Does that mean I am legally allowed to kill a hundred people, and rape all the women and it will NOT be a sin or a crime?
    Oh, so now closing time in bars and playing music at 4AM are crimes? Logic, thy name is Iago.
    Oh, so saying things under a mask is a crime, except on Fasnacht? Good thing you have at least one night of free speech, but on the other hand, it's incredible how even that is limited to being under a mask. It's like polls, except you don't even know the representative group.
    I would love to see an example of how the church would preach against bars being open at night, music being played at 4AM, or expressing your opinions freely. Thing is, none of these things is a sin.
    No incosistency, true. But Fasnacht and its customs are completely irrelevant to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
    Normally, I'm not a psychotic killer, nor a rapist. Does that mean I can become one during Mardi Gras? This gives a whole new dimension to Sting's "Bourbon Street."
    Oh no you don't.
    Here, you have last year's news item:
    http://www.catholicworldnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=31713
    How about a bit from the Bible?
    1 Cor 10:31 KJV: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I cannot fathom how Mardi Gras "customs" can be done to the glory of God.
    Or from the Catechism:
    CCC 2339: "Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. the alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end." (Emphasis mine)
    (At risk of you telling me I'm wrong):
    CCC 2354: "Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. (...)" (Emphasis mine)
    Since baring is an element of a sexual act, I would say flashing is an element of pornography. It is, after all, called "softporn."
    Now about tongue kissing:
    CCC 2351: "Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes."
    Tongue kissing is pleasure, and is a sexual pleasure.
    What if I just proved that there is?
    Decent? Giving in to whims, doing things that are reserved for someone else, and you say you can feel decent afterwards???
    Quote the source. Where does it say. I've just proven that it is not, at least not according to the Catholic Church, and Mardi Gras is a Christian (esp. Catholic) celebration. Care to explain how it is allowed?
    OK. I'm normally an okay person. But, in a singularity, I decide to murder a hundred people around me. As you said, in a singularity, normal rules don't apply. So I should be decreed completely normal.
    And, it is not a singularity. It is repeated annualy. As such, it is a cyclic activity, definitely not a singularity.
    Officially? Where does it say so officially?
    But they cannot say they are not fools, and certainly not to expect to be treated like ordinary people! Are they foolish or are they responsible? You can't be both. And be even one foolish incident, you are putting your entire responsibility in question.
    WHAT RULES??? This is absurd.
    Show me the jester's licence.
     
  10. Hacken Slash

    Hacken Slash OK... can you see me now?

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    Interesting to me that the debauchery that is inherent with Mardi Gras grew up in stark contrast to the period of sacrifice and self-reformation that is supposed to begin the following day...Ash Wednesday.

    Those darn pagan traditions warping Christian holidays ;) .
     
  11. Darkthrone Gems: 12/31
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    It's good to see that we all entered into the new spirit of not bullying anyone in the AoDA/AoLS and ripping his posts apart, isn't it.

    *Sigh*

    toughluck, do you have any problems grasping the concept of carnival and how it developed historically? PM me so I can give you a few links to do some reading up... or rather... no, don't...
     
  12. toughluck Gems: 8/31
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    @Darkthrone -- I have replied to Iago. He stated, amongst other things, that the Church approves Mardi Gras practices, and I wanted to show that he is wrong.
    And about the concept of a carnival -- it's great of you to think that during a carnival, everyone can do whatever pleases them and everyone accepts that. See, I've made two generalisations that are wrong. What if I said: "I killed John Doe because he asked me to, and his wife and kids approved that." Would you take me at my word, or would you rather want proof?
     
  13. Lokken Gems: 26/31
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    Wow.. flashing, the world comes to a crushing halt. Personally I dont see it as either offensive or very spectacular, but maybe its because I'm not one of the regular boob-drooling monkeys.

    As soon as someone makes money on that girl flashing, I'd consider she'd have the rights to it, at least the few clippings of her in whatever material it might be. If people are displaying a public happening for free, well she was there and sometimes foolish things are remembered, tough luck. Just my 2 cents

    Considering the everything goes in europe, well, when everything goes its not exciting, thus no point in it. However I think most european nations have laws against nudity in public. As for how many actually cares, well I dunno.
     
  14. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Sorry, Darkthrone. Middle Ages have always been my specialty period in history and I've done some classics as well, if you're going to reach that far back. While you could claim that moral standards were officially unbinding on certain days in Rome or Greece, or Babylon, or ancient Sumer or Egypt, this will not hold for the ancient Israel or mediaeval Europe. At the very most, you will find people drinking, dancing, roaming the streets and having fun. However, adultery or even simple fornication has never been "allowed" in the Catholic church under any circumstances whatsoever and even when you're being raped, you're supposed to alienate yourself from the sexuality of the act and not experience the raw excitement of it. In this view, even if a single bishop or theologian allowed that, it would be an obvious exception. However, I can think of no such theologian or high-ranking ecclesiastic except a couple of heretics disavowed by the Church of Rome. Of course, you will find documented incidents of public nudity even among royals at their parties, but you will never find a document endorsing something which is normally considered a sin against the sixth. Indeed, mediaeval theologians seem to have had an obsession with sexual sins and the policies were much, much stricter than now.

    We could argue day and night about nudity without arriving at a conclusion. The point is, however, that flashing in NO isn't simply people losing their garments and playing around like children happy because of being liberated from their clothes. Perhaps sex is not implied in the very concept and the idea relies on girls showing bodies and comparing the signs of appreciation they have got from men. However, in practice, it's not about just looking the way you look on a nude sculpture or painting and then indicating the degree of your approval through the quality of the trophies you give. It's concentrated on obtaining beads in exchange for showing private parts. Essentially, the more private the parts are, the more lavish the beads. While we could argue that with a specific mindframe in a society, this doesn't necessarily have to be bad, as everything depends on the connection between nudity and lust, it stands a fact that lust typically lies at the base of it, that people who are not single are not supposed to bare themselves before other men or women, and that the purpose of it all is basically live soft porn.

    While we could argue that in some given cases it really looks somewhat harmless, I doubt many of us would agree that someone's girlfriend or wife showing her naked body in public or to specified strangers is harmless. Especially if it's done for pay, which resemble the world-old ritual "sacred" prostitution.

    As for kissing (and I'm not speaking of kissing on the cheek which is what the shy or more modest girls over there do), how is kissing a stranger going to be considered acceptable? If you're immediately attracted, like I don't know... love from the first sight? Maybe. But frenching random strangers for material pay? One can make various things of a simple kiss - it can be a sign of peace or friendship or non-erotic love. However, open-mouth kissing with tongue is hardly a sign of friendship, let alone peace, and while it doesn't have to be a thoroughly lustful act when it happens between people who are in love (I think), in this instance it doesn't stand for any feelings and as an empty gesture is simply a sign of poor conduct and likely a pretext to indulge in lust. It's not done within the frame of an abstract example of a culture in which tongue-kissing is equivalent to our handshake. Within the frame of our civilisation, it contradicts the twofold emotional and physical aspect of love (obtaining or providing the physical side for pay without an emotional bonding) and monogamy. Those are central in Christianity and that's why the frenching of strangers in exchange for gifts is hardly Christian.

    Perhaps the intellectual, emotional and spiritual attitude of a person towards an act can make the act something different from what it is for someone else, but an attitude of expected impunity ("come on, we aren't going to be punished" or "there's no Bible thumping priest around") is not really what makes it.
     
  15. ejsmith Gems: 25/31
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    The ritualistic showing of boobies is pretty harmless, Chev. When your wife (speculatively) hits 40, and she's going through that crisis thing, a bit of risque flashing and groping will help her feel 15 again. I can understand the no-kissing part.


    Anyway, back when I went, "body paint" wasn't much in style. There were some streaks and stuff on people's face, but that was about it.

    However, I recently came across some fairly interesting pictures, where a fairly young female was as naked as naked gets, with a shirt and shorts "painted" on her. It was very artistic, as the people walking near her didn't seem to notice much (the ones that did notice, were obvious). It was extremely creative...and, you know...naughty, too.

    I'd like to go back to Marti Gras just to see what they do with the body painting stuff like this.
     
  16. toughluck Gems: 8/31
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    @ejsmith:
    I will assume chevalier is similar to me, and has a similar taste in women.
    1. Accepting what comes with life and with age is a Christian virtue. When there is a crisis, it should be accepted and experienced, not artificially averted and there is no point in trying to avert it by doing stupid things
    2. There is always an alternative. There is really no need for living this crisis sulking, you can find a lot of uses for that build-up of energy.
    3. Flashing and groping would lead my fiancee to an actual crisis -- in this case, an identity and dignity crisis. And that is more important.
    4. Fifteen? It's great of fifteen year olds to flash and grope. I didn't know fifteens were actually like that. Oh, and my fiancee's example again -- when she was fifteen, she wasn't flashing and didn't allow herself to be groped. The conclusion -- flashing and being groped would not allow her to feel fifteen.
    5. 15 years of age is below age of consent in most countries. Fantasising about flashing fifteens borders on paedophilia.
    6. This one is perhaps stupid -- during Mardi Gras, everyone seems to get aroused by flashing, etc., but I think that is limited to young women. I doubt anyone would look at an older one, who's of their mothers' age. This would lead to acceptance crisis.

    Anyway, it would leave a very bad aftertaste.

    [Warning over the style of posts in this thread pending.] -Tal

    [ February 10, 2005, 15:02: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I think that Sprite brings up some excellent points. I think the main problem is not that her image is shown in the media, but that there is a company that is actually profiting from the use of her image. Not only is she contained within the video itself, but that her image is being used in the advertising of the product. Similarly, her image is being used in a billboard in Italy.

    Now as far as I know, the U.S. does not have jurisdiction over Italy, so any U.S. civil case she brings will not affect what billboard she happens to appear on in Italy. However, in the U.S. it is clearly illegal to advertise or make money off someone's likeness (or in this case actual person - not even a likeness) without their consent and giving compensation to that person.

    As an example look at the Folger's Guy. Folger's has used an image of a guy drinking coffee on the front of their cans for years now, and thereby indirectly profiting from this man's image. The man (years later) sued Folgers and won millions in court for Folgers using his image without his consent.

    So bottom line, when it comes to the "Girls Gone Wild" video, she definitely has a case. Somewhat off topic, the problem I have with the bead ceremony is a great many women participate, and many of them, you wish they wouldn't participate. For some participants I would gladly give them a set of beads if they put their top ON.
     
  18. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    I can't think of any time that any form of the media would not be attempting to profit from the use of any given image. The news isn't prepared for the noble purpose of educating the masses as to what is going on - it is run so that the people producing it can make money whether it is from selling copies of a newspaper, earning advertising dollars, or ensuring sufficient customers to continue to receive public funding.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Yes JSSB, networks are in the business of making money. However, in the case of the news, the profit they make is from the commericals they show, not from the contents of the programming. Granted, people don't tune in to watch the commercials, but the network can legitimately claim that they aren't profiting by showing someone walking down the street - regardless of whether or not they happen to be wearing a shirt.

    However, a commercial has a different point. Unless it's some type of public service message, the point of the commerical is generally to influence people to buy a product or a service. If the use of your image influences the person to purchase said product or service, they are profiting from the use of your image.

    I think a similar thing can be said for the print media. While there is a nominal charge for a newspaper (generally under $1), the majority of the money is not made from the sale of the paper (which is usually not even sufficient to cover the printing cost of the newspaper) but rather from the advertising and classified sections on the inside.
     
  20. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    @Aldeth: Here I agree, they have no right to profit from her image, although it's not really reasonable that she should be able to flash in public and then go to the court complaining someone has taped that. She obviously deserves a share of the profit, but, as I said, it could be a check to see what she does with the money: if she takes it and spends it on her own, she practically reconciles herself with the porn actress role, if unwilling. If she gives it to charity, it's different.

    @ejsmith:

    Glad we agree on kissing (to make my point clear with kissing: I can accept closed-mouth kissing in some circumstances, such as between good non-romantic friends, but open-mouth kissing is much different).

    But so far as flashing and groping goes, I have to reject groping outright. Groping is gross. And it is sexual, no matter how you put it. All sexual touching with strangers is unfair towards the partner or spouse unless under force.

    If plain nudity goes, I'm not really a bigot and I don't have a phobia or anything. I often don't really care, it's not like it moves me all so much. The point is, it's different for different people and during events such as Mardi Gras sexual context is a given. Depending on the person, I don't think I would make a hell on wheels for getting a nude portrait or going to a nudist beach, but flashing is sick. I can't come up with an example where it wouldn't be culpable for someone from a non-savage culture who isn't single, if done voluntarily.

    As for body painting, it can have a lot of artistic value and be a nice sight to watch for reasons other than raw excitement. But the raw excitement is a problem and the person showing himself or herself carries some responsibility for inciting lust in the lookers. If because of that rise in a perverted mind a person gets raped, the body pointing model carries some responsibility for the rape. How much I don't know and surely nothing close to par with said pervert, but still some. It won't hold in a court of law because it's too far removed and abstract, but it's still there. And what if the rape victim commits suicide? Would the flasher ever flash again after learning the story?

    Naughty is where I have the problem. Perhaps being a little naughty around people who won't give in could actually not be wrong, but during such revelries events are too closely tied together. Whoever publicly incites lust in such circumstances cannot disclaim a certain degree of moral responsibility for the abuse that happens. It also encourages other individuals to incite lust in a similar way and those will indirectly push perverts into abusing, as well as encourage further individuals to be naughty... It's an infinite string. An example is it moving on from giving or taking beads for showing breasts to better beads for more private parts. Then there's the "may I touch?" urge and from there tends to be a short road to petting, from where tends to be a short road to sex.

    I wouldn't make too much of body painting shown in civilised circumstances, but during a street revelry, it's what I said above. However, even if done in civilised circumstances, exposing oneself like that before random strangers still tends to appear inconsistent with considering oneself a decent person, or a good Catholic to me. I say appears because I don't know their hearts and it's not my job to judge them. It's not like I have all answers, either, but it still seems to me to be something more objective than simply my personal opinion.

    If a Catholic person prayed and meditated and after considering the problem in the light of proper doctrine decided it were proper for him or her to show himself or herself this way, I would try to rely on that person's conscience. However, amidst a drunken revelry reeking with gratuitous sexual content, I don't see a possibility of this reasonably happening.

    On to toughluck's points.

    I wouldn't really mind a cosmetic surgery to eliminate the visual effects of aging, but wanting to feel young and crazy is no excuse for irresponsible, indecent, let alone immoral behaviour. By this I don't mean it doesn't partly excuse the specific individual from guilt in the moral sense, but it doesn't make the act right and proper.

    That is correct and essential to consider. There is always an alternative. There is always a hobby, there is always the energy to be found in sharing one's experience with the young people, and there is the caring for the latter things for a believer. Heck, there's even that cosmetic surgery. One doesn't have to become sexually accessible to strangers.

    That is also correct. Engaging in licentious behaviour, whether full-on intercourse or just flashing and groping, makes the person an object, a sex object. Not a sexual person, but a sex object. That's an ancillary role and it's hard to expect it to bring about joy and self-fulfillment, let alone self-respect.

    That fifteen year olds could be partly excused because of their immaturity and lack of experience (which still depends on the specific individual), doesn't make it right and proper for them to act like that. It's correct that adolescents are curious and all and that without proper supervision, they might display promiscuous tendencies, but in proper development this doesn't happen. Or, more precisely, in proper development, adolescents don't give in to such urges. Does the world come to an end if a fifteen year old girl lifts her shirt? Well, no. But she does need proper instruction.

    The event being bent on arousal is the crux of the problem. If it were simply showing the parts of body which are normally considered private for the sake of even aesthetic visual pleasure, without the sexual context and in some spirit of respect, I would be the last person to whine or even care.

    Judging from what I've read on it, it's not exclusively limited to young women. It's supposed to be, but it isn't. And it's not limited to the most attractive of women, either. Here's the catch: it isn't porn where everything is ostensibly exaggerated and everyone knows the stuff is, well, porn (which is not to say porn is good, unless anyone asks). It's a live show (and not just show), it has real people and whatever happens is very real.
     
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