6 Pop Culture Icons Nobody Admits They Were Attracted To
As a child of pop culture, it should come as no little surprise that most of my psyche was formed by various cartoon and film studios and is tragically underequipped to manage real life, even to this day, which is why you can only find me on the Internet, as I tend to shun the sun like some kind of eyeless deep-cave newt.
While you can easily rely on film to teach you how to deal with everyday situations like terrorism, dinosaurs and hangovers, the sad truth is that the formation of one's sexual identity is probably something best not placed in the hands of Bruce Willis or National Lampoon. I mean, I think.
As it happens, my sexual awakening was a slow, shameful thing spurred by a handful of pop culture icons that, for one reason or another, stirred something vaguely confusing deep inside me, and will now be used to stir something vaguely off-putting in all of you.
I wouldn't start with this entry normally, save for the fact that I'm trying to work chronologically as best as my memory will allow. My memory is terrible, incidentally, something to do with hiding in plastic bags as a kid. But I do have one image, a flash burned into my brain, that comes with a vague sense of physical awareness of myself and where I was at the time, and how I felt. That image was Minnie Mouse, her back to me, looking over her shoulder and showing some mouse panties. It looked like she wanted it. Is that sick? That's probably sick. I'm going to be honest, I don't give a shit. What is Minnie, like 80 years old now? I'm normal, man. You're the one with the problem.
Oh Mickey, I got that junk in the trunk!
This was 1980s Minnie -- she was a little more haughty than today's Minnie, but also a little more lascivious. Just a touch. The difference between Britney Spears in the "Baby One More Time" video and Britney during that period before she went crazy when she looked like she'd probably do you if you could just find a way to make her stop crying for a few hours. Probably by giving her some ham salad. Chicks dig that.
I have no idea what the video or cartoon was in which this scene was located, though my brain tells me it was some kind of music video in which Minnie was singing to Mickey. But I remember that scene and I remember thinking "huh." Now in my adulthood, I'm just so disappointed in myself for knowing this happened to me, but that "huh" was a prepubescent precursor to it moving. Which is to say, it didn't move, but it was thinking about it. And it was thinking about it because I got a flash of animated mouse ass and a bit of a slutty mouse expression.
The Boob Tree
I think I may have been 5 or 6 the first time I saw the movie The Last Unicorn, so none of this is my fault. As a kid, you're always mere inches away from Forrest Gumping into something amazing, or getting your head stuck in a banister. It's the luck of the draw, and your choices mean nothing because you're a kid and you suck. Anyway, look at this:
That's a scene in which the magician Schmendrick makes a tree come to life and it turns out to be rocking some F cups in which she encases the poor Jewish wizard. Being smothered by massive oak boobies seemed like an awesome idea to me when I was a kid, so this was always my favorite scene of the movie. Honestly, even now, the theory behind my love of this still seems sound. I would do this if I thought I could get away with it without anyone knowing. Plus, you know, I'd need wizard skills. And, in fairness, if I had wizard skills I could probably find any number of more satisfying ways to use them, but we're not here to poke holes in my shameful fantasies.
The thing about being a kid is that tree titties are appealing even if the tree itself seems to be the wooden version of Angela Lansbury, which should be enough to put anyone off no matter how busty it is, but whatever, I probably ate paint and stuff back then, too, what did I know?
I'm not insane, Cheetara was naked in the first episode of Thundercats, right? Look at this:
Not even a Thundernip.
But then what are those crotch lines? And where do new Thundercats come from if they have no Thunderjunk? And why was I still inexplicably attracted to Cheetara even though she had no female parts? Was it just the idea of her femininity? Her wily, sexy, feline femininity? Chicks who can kick your ass are hot, especially if they clean up afterward by licking their own crotch. I think. I certainly thought so back then. Like not explicitly -- I think it would be weird for a 7-year-old to be actively wishing to be sexually brutalized by an anthropomorphic cat lady -- but there was something there.
Most female characters in cartoons were vaguely useless even if they were heroes -- what the hell was She-Ra's deal? She had a voice like a tubal ligation, and I'm not even sure that means what I think it means, but it really doesn't matter because she sucked. She brought He-Man down.
Cheetara, on the other hand, was all leapy and fighty, and her voice was like a librarian who didn't give a shit about you. In retrospect, perhaps I'd been damaged by a female authority figure at some point, but in any event, for a cartoon cat lady, she had some nice curves.
This story is much more of a tragic romance than the first three, so maybe get yourself some tissues. Like different ones from the fapping tissues. Like any normal boy, I watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and, of course, had plans to be one, which would afford me a luxurious lifestyle of pizza and kicking ass while chilling in a shitty sewer. It would be a fairly simple transition from schoolboy to ninja turtle, and it would be mostly facilitated by my knowledgeable rat master. There wasn't much to worry about. And the big upside to this was April O'Neil, intrepid reporter and super hot redhead who took it upon herself to wear a skintight yellow jumpsuit every day of her life. Meow.
I never want to stop watching cartoons. Not ever.
When I got word of the existence of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie back in the day, I was of course stoked. This was pretty much the defining moment of my life up to that point, because I was an idiot and my parents didn't really enjoy my company. The room under the stairs was lonely save for my Ninja Turtle sticker books and a bust of Gary Busey that chastised me for not setting fires. Nonetheless, I was all about overlooking the jarring presence of Corey Feldman's voice and immersing myself totally in this movie. And then I saw April O'Neil.
My adult self will start out with an apology to actress Judith Hoag, who I am sure is just a super lady, but my child self wanted to push your ass off a cliff into a pit filled with sharks that were swimming in glass shards and Fresca. Ms. Hoag, you were no April O'Neil. My one-time happy feelings brought on by the prospect of cartoon naughty were dashed like a melon under the hammer of the callous and cruel Gallagher at the presence of this unbusty, unyellow-jumpsuit-clad non-humptastic reporter. April O'Neil was like underdeveloped boner Miracle-Gro and you were a turd on a tulip. Fuck.
The Golden Girls
Don't you fuckin' judge me! I don't want anyone running off to Twitter talking about how Ian Fortey got his first boner thanks to Bea Arthur, because that's a half truth at best. Unlike the other entries in this list, it wasn't so much that there was a particular Golden Girl who my addled, child brain had somehow rationalized into a sex symbol; even when my body was devoid of all male hormones completely, I wasn't that insane. It was just that, and I don't know if you noticed this, The Golden Girls was the nastiest damn show on TV. And it featured a bunch of grandmas, so no one seemed to give a shit that right in prime time every episode was about a bunch of post-menopausal sluttery. And good for them for being strong female characters in charge of their own sexuality and yadda snore zzzz, but there were even episodes in which Sophia got her nasty on. Sophia, who was so old that her vagina could only be opened by a team of skilled men led by Howard Carter and is rumored to have killed half of them with a terrible curse as they excavated it for the gold and ancient treasures hidden therein by long-dead pharaohs.
Will cause boners to flee like peasants from an angry volcano god.
Every episode of The Golden Girls, every single one, had at least some storyline devoted to sex, generally focused on Blanche, who was "the sexy one" (which, as a description, would be on par with lining up four turds and picking out the most appetizing one). With all that degenerate, retiree dirty talk going on, it was nigh on impossible to not develop an ability to wield sexual euphemism with the skill of Bea Arthur, and make no mistake, that woman could toss out a nasty joke. I wouldn't have thrown a shot in her, but I would have been proud to do it in the room with her cheering me on.
Thanks to The Golden Girls, I was aware that it was possible for a woman to have sex with a football team, or an entire boat on shore leave, or a new man each and every day for literally 100 years. Nowadays we have pop stars who can do that, but back in the day, no one who was under 12 knew anything about that kind of thing if they didn't watch the show.
To this day I would do Peg Bundy so nasty, I should be ashamed of myself. But of course I'm incapable of shame, which is why I write Internet comedy. Married With Children was one of Fox's big hits in the realm of raunch and was a flagstone in the curious dichotomy of ultra conservative news coverage vs. ultra lowbrow comedy, as though neither was aware the other was on the same network.
Back when I first saw Married With Children, I'd never seen a mom character like Peg before. She wore skintight pants and had giant red hair and was always horny. Honestly, I couldn't fathom anything else I would ever need in life. A lot of guys may have been infatuated with Kelly Bundy, but I was a hardcore Peg fan.
Thinkin' about our future together? Yeah, me too.
I have vague memories of being in my early teens and thinking that the wondrous simplicity of a woman who wanted to eat bonbons, watch TV and bone was like some kind of paradise on Earth. Plus she seemed to have fairly stately cleavage at a time when there wasn't a ton of appealing boobs on TV that I could watch without drawing suspicion. In point of fact, I was constantly afraid that any boner I got would set off some kind of silent alarm and alert my parents, friends and teachers to its presence. And worse, maybe it was happening wrong, so everyone would look at it and it'd be incorrect in some way. Like maybe it was really supposed to be a spiral and mine was all dipshitty and wrong. I didn't know. Shut up.
Point is, Peg Bundy was probably the first and most appropriately named MILF. Don't go to the comments and tell me you wanted to screw Edith Bunker, I don't give a shit about your mental illness. I'm just saying that before Peg, not a lot of TV moms were overtly sexual in a way that could warp a young mind, so she deserves credit for that.
For more from Ian, check out The 10 Worst Places to Get Caught Having Sex and History's 7 Most Astounding Sexual Resumes.