Dirk and various Utilitarians had a long discussion about the manga YKK. By the by, Dirk wrote this brief discussions of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls.
Indeed, Lost Girls itself strikes me as a reactionary work of art. Moore clearly approached its pornographic goals from an almost Calvinist left-wing-Anarchist perspective that viewed the enormity of sex through an inflexible set of rules and dogma that would have made any bondage disciplinarian proud. He further piled all of the sexual imagination’s strawman-style villainies upon the characters who Don’t Share Our Values — the bit about soldiers secretly wanting to fuck each other wasn’t exactly what I’d call a nuanced observation. Lost Girls seemed less like an exploration of Dionysus than a series of checklists ticking off the Various Correct Ways To Think About Sex, intent on bringing order to chaos with a determination that Cotton Mathers could only dream of maintaining. Modern porn and its appeal to our baser instincts — this is the future that Moore fears, and he damn well means to roll it back. You could practically feel his anus clench as he plotted Lost Girls out.
Unfortunately, your average Buttman video is almost certainly a far more accurate vision of the libido — certainly the male libido — than is Lost Girls. Sex isn’t a series of wholesome, socially liberating poses; it’s the monkey part of our brain in its purest essence, with all the good and bad that this entails, which is precisely why we have so many taboos surrounding it. Lost Girls had no sense of surrender to the Animal Inside Us, a necessary component of good erotica/porn, as well as an essential part of the explanation for why men and women alike so often do things in the pursuit of sensuality that strike others as utterly insane.
Lost Girls had all the eroticism of a Presbyterian sermon on the joys of the marriage act. Nevermind the catalog of kinks and positions that Moore assembled; the story’s biggest flaw is that his sense of imagination never left the missionary position. Lost Girls is a retreat into rigid dogma, which makes it reactionary regardless of the fact that said dogma is left-leaning in nature.
(Adding insult to injury, Lost Girls is also a virtual catalog of unquestioned assumptions once you stepped outside of Moore’s need to present sex correctly. I especially loved the way that Dorothy fulfilled every hick-farmgirl stereotype available to Moore at the time. Kinda dumb? Check! Jacked off a horse? Check! Fucked her dad? Check! I’m surprised that she didn’t come right out and state that her mom was also her dad’s cousin before marching off to lynch her some neegruhs while she was at it. I’d call Lost Girls any number of things, but “progressive” is the last term I’d use.)