Stripped of Clothes, Hair and Dignity

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I think I spotted one or two girls with an inkling of pubic hair in the 160 pages of Inamorata: The Art of Michael Manning. What the hell is it doing in ER’s Hair issue, then, when its black-and-white BDSM illustrations parade a string of shaved and waxed torsos, legs and genitalia, in both sexes?

Well, for starters, ER’s October issue is the Hair issue, not the Pubes issue. From afro curls and microbraids to neat bobs and punk dykey crew-cuts, Mr. Manning’s art offers much in that department (there are even David Gahan-like goatees on the few clearly masculine non-hermaphrodites that show up here and there).

But that’s not the point. In fact, Michael Manning’s shaved privates may be the most significant addition to that most serious of debates, the to-shave-or-not-to-shave controversy.

As exhaustively represented in Inamorata, Manning’s art is an extensive investigation of submission, servitude and humiliation – in a nutshell, of dehumanizing sexuality. Sex slaves of both genders fulfill their life purposes as pets, horses (gotta love those ponytail butt plugs) and even furniture. In other words, they’re more downgraded in their kinky exploits than Mediterranean credit ratings.

What’s that got to do with hair, you say? Why, everything. Compare BDSM fetish with more vanilla erotic imagery, like interracial gang-bangs and nymphet bukake. Is there a reason for men and women to be shaved and waxed in porn, other than making dicks look (even) longer and keep penetrations as unobstructed as possible for those long, overlit close-ups?

In BDSM art (and in Manning in particular), it makes perfect sense. When dehumanization is the name of the game, no opportunity to strip a slave of his humanity must go to waste: faces demand replacement by impersonal masks, voices and choices must be neutralized with gags and blindfolds, nimble appendages provided by nature for escape purposes need to be duly cuffed and spreader-barred. A body hair ban is only a natural progression in that rationale – another exuberant sign of humanity that must be denied submissives in order to nullify their identities and fully achieve their transformation into sex objects. It’s dehairification as dehumanization, for the delectation of the depravation of the nation.

On second thought, I take it all back. Porn has as many reasons to shave body hair as fetish art.

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Want to get a closer look at Michael Manning’s callous fantasies of human ponies, body-piercing suspension (ouch!) and inhuman fornication?

Read our

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of Inamorata: The Erotic Art of Michael Manning, with an accompanying

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in issue 114 of Erotic Review.

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