Heaven is Here

I've spent far too much time today going over police reports on various murders and looking at crime scene photos.  Research.  I do that when I'm working on a manuscript, and since I don't write about pleasant things, I have to delve into stuff that some people would describe as "fairly sick shit."  At a certain point I started to wonder if I was doing research or just proving my thesis on humanity.  I think it's fair to say that it started out as research, but as photo after photo exposed new and amazing ways the body could be turned into art, it was my thesis at work.

Humanity, it seems, isn't worth crying over.

If you want to get a good look at what man (labeled in the most generic of ways) is capable of doing to his fellow humans, you don't have to look at the photos of body piles courtesy of Nazi Germany.  We all know that was bad.  War and genocide are by necessity ugly, mean-spirited affairs, and those who feign shock at what they see have not really looked into what war and genocide really mean.  The bodies stacked like winder wood aren't surprising.  What is surprising is that it doesn't happen more often.  We only think we are more civilized than that.

No.  If you want a shock, steer clear of tired old WWII photos and turn your gaze onto the two halves of Elizabeth Short.  The Black Dahlia.  (I won't reprint the pictures here.  Most of you have seen them.)  My research began with her, and hours later ended with her.  Full circle.  Fitting tribute.  You see, what was left in a vacant lot on 1/15/47 drained of all blood (except for one stray drop on the sidewalk), cut in two and mutilated something fierce was, by its nature, an act of passion gone awry.  The body wasn't hacked in two.  It was surgically sliced.  A tattoo taken.  A mouth cut wider in an insane grimace.  Breasts barely left.  Body put on display in a vacant lot, the two halves separated by a few feet, legs spread open as an invite.

This wasn't a robbery gone wrong.  This wasn't some rough sex that got out of control.  This was an act of passion.  Someone knew her.  She pissed someone off.  She was left to be found.  Larry Harnisch has an excellent and thoroughly plausible theory as to who did it and why.  It remains, however, one of America's most infamous unsolved crimes, and even by today's high standards of transgression it is brutal to behold.

You definitely didn't want to be the one to stumble upon her pieces on that Wednesday morning.  The woman who did was out with her child.  She found Short around 10 a.m..  I guarantee you that at 10 a.m. on any given morning you aren't expecting to find a body where the killer has cut out a tattoo.  You aren't thinking you'd stumble across a corpse where just above the vagina is an incision that looks like the killer was trying to make yet another vagina.  And you definitely wouldn't be expecting to find the tattoo and grass inside the body's vagina.  And if you delved deep enough, you'd find feces in her stomach.  Most people never expect to come across such a thing, but Betty Bersinger did, and I can only imagine her reaction.

The absolute insanity that was Short's murder, torture and display is a perfect example of what man is capable of doing.  It wasn't an act of war, genocide or terrorism.  If, in fact, you believe Harnisch's theory, the killer was a man who walked out on his family, had lost a son, and spent his free time with his girlfriend eating dinner and listing to classical music while watching autopsy movies.  Fairly mundane in the grand scheme of things.

Hours of pouring over police reports, death certificates, crime scene photos and more.  Watching a documentary.  Looking for links.  Research, I called it.  It was something more, though.  Man's inhumanity towards his fellow man.

In the box of Short's stuff that was sent to the media after the discovery of her body was an ad with the phrase "Heaven is here."  Yes, I suppose it is.


The Missing Limbs of Love

When it comes to turn-ons, everyone’s got one.  Rough sex.  Rose petals on the bed while the missus dons some sexy lingerie bought at the mall (on sale).  Irish girls experiencing the joys of bukkake first hand.  Female domination.  Your man doing your sister while you watch from the closet.  You name it.  If it exists, someone likes it.  Someone masturbates to fantasies of it.  Someone seeks it out.  Someone asks his or her partner to do it all while praying he or she won’t be thought of as a pervert.  It’s what separates us from the whales.  Our body parts get erect or lubricated over almost anything, and that includes the desire to couple with amputees.

Whose parents didn't have this painting in the '70s?
I first became aware of this fetish/kink/turn-on many moons ago when I was reading an interview with a man who had a fetish for women who were injured and in casts of one sort or another.  They could be on crutches, but a cast is what really got his little German soldier standing at attention.  He would seek these women out at malls or supermarkets, start talking to them and do his best to convince them to go on a date.  Standard mating ritual for anyone who hasn’t heard of Craig’s List.  He made a point of stating, however, that he wasn’t one of those “freaks” turned on by amputees.  Apparently he liked his women whole and only slightly injured.
"Planet Terror" masturbation material.

There are, however, men and women who seek out a partner based solely on the number of limbs he or she possesses.  Thanks to modern medicine and prosthetics, however, amputee lovers are probably finding the dating pool getting more than a bit shallow as of late.  Oh, to live back in the era when the destitute purposely disfigured themselves  in order to get more money while begging. (It happens today, too, but not nearly as much.)  You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting one of the limbless.  These days?  Not so much.  Of course, finding what few are left is a little easier than it was a few decades ago.  You don’t even have to go to the Middle East or some war-ravaged country to do it, either. 

Amputee lovers had ways to make connections before the Internet, but it wasn’t easy.  There were comic books, swingers mags and, of course, good ol’ word of mouth.  I read an interview with a female Asian amateur porn “star” who made the circuit for a brief time before disappearing into the void like most of her peers.  She was missing her right leg below the knee.  (Double kink! Asian and amputated! One shy of the Triple A of kinkdom [anorexia being the other].)  She said that one time her boyfriend took her out for a night on the town and men came out of the woodwork.  Men who were only interested in her for her missing leg.   She and her beau decided to use this to their advantage and screw each other and them on film.  Everyone was happy.   Now that the Internet delivers porn at lightning speed, things have changed a bit when it comes to finding that perfect someone, but it’s not always for the best.  The Internet may provide a gateway to every imaginable fetish, but it also cheapens them.

Third appearance of Robin.
I imagine some people may hop onto gimpsgonewild.com just to check out the photos and maybe masturbate to one or two.  They would never seriously seek out a stump to fondle or awkwardly insert.  And those who seek it out just for porn’s sake are hardly what I would call serious amputee aficionados.  They are curiosity seekers and people looking for the next weird thing to get them off after cosplay has lost its appeal.  I imagine some of the models and actresses aren’t even into the fetish for which they have become the objects of desire.   They are simply “paying the bills.”  Let’s face it, letting some sap snap a few photos or take a video or two is far more lucrative than working in an office.  The only problem is, if you aren’t really into being photographed for your limb status, a person can tell.

Back in the ‘80s I found a porn mag featuring a woman missing a foot (her right one, if I recall correctly).  She was doing a photo spread with another female.  (Another double kink – as if just missing a foot weren’t enough.)  The amputee was a dark-haired girl in her twenties.  The look on her face said she had done this before.  The other female was a blonde who looked about 19 or so.  She definitely didn’t look like she had done this before, but she did look like she would drool on demand and do whatever was asked of her if the money was right.  She kept a deadpan expression on her face for the most part.  One such photo showed her about to lick the oddly smooth stump where her partner’s foot had been.  Her tongue wasn’t quite touching the skin, though the amputee’s face registered pure, manufactured delight while the licker’s face was robotic at best.  It was the final, slightly out of focus photo in the set that got my attention, however.
Can you find the missing shoe?

In that photo, the raven-haired beauty was in full focus.  She had inserted her stump partially into the blonde’s vagina, or so it appeared.  Our amputee goddess’ expression said, “I will fuck you but hard.”  The other girl’s face was what was out of focus, but if you looked closely enough you could see it wore a look of disgust, as if reason had set in and she finally realized what she was doing for a few hundred dollars.  She was not turned on by amputees, but I imagine that for a casual porn fan this hardly mattered.  (Unless, of course, there was a third kink of humiliation going on there.)  For the devotee, however, this photo was a sin; it highlighted the disgust the un-amputated have with the amputated, and it brought home the marginalization of the amputee lover.

I’m not one to judge.  These poor men and women who like their lovers to have a few less body parts to wash are marginalized enough.  After all, while sitting in some employer-mandated training where people have to discuss what they look for in a husband or wife, few probably feel comfortable enough to say, “Well, first and foremost, she can’t have any arms.”  Few are probably able to tell their husbands that while they think they are fine men, they could be even finer if they lost a leg in a lawn mowing accident.  Hell, parts of society feel sorry for pedophiles (they must have been abused as children) and they can still easily find jobs as priests and Walmart greeters.  They may be stigmatized, but many of them can be open about it simply because of that sympathy factor.  (“Yes, I exposed myself to those children, but I have a disease.”)  Zoophiles have excellent documentaries made about them.  Put two girls and one cup together and you get an Internet sensation.  The one who lusts after the amputee?  No such love from the public.  The public says to them, “You desire something that is flawed … broken … and therefore you are flawed and broken.  We can understand pedophiles.  We can understand people attracted to animals, as anyone who has ever ridden a horse knows.  The two girls sharing a cup are bold, and America loves bold in everything from potato chips to sex.  You, however, are a lowly soul who seeks the incomplete.”  And if that shoe were on the other un-amputated foot?  Well, my guess is that anyone finding themselves newly delimbed would be more than happy to meet someone turned on by that, but chances are they would go for the artificial limb first rather than risk mass rejection.

Thar he blows!
Amputee lovers will tell you that the objects of their desire are like anyone else.  They have the same hopes and dreams.  They like long, hobbled walks in the park.  They want a family.  They love the Knicks and the smell of freshly baked cookies.  They are right, too. The objects of their desires are just like everyone else, but they have one thing going for them that many people secretly long for, yet won’t dare admit: they are sought out strictly because of their looks.  That “imperfect” silhouette.  Their physical stature is what is desired above all else.  What person doesn’t dream of being looked at in that way?  What person doesn’t want to be the object of someone’s lust based purely on their physical appearance?  Personality and intellect are moot points.  You are a prime specimen simply because you exist.  And maybe that is where the real scorn of society originates.  You, as one of those who ridicule, can’t understand why men or women don’t look at you that way while you are whole, yet they will go to the ends of the Earth to find that one special someone who has the audacity to be incomplete.  That’s what really bothers you and these other judgmental types.  You have nothing to offer these “obscene fetishists,” and we can’t have that, can we? 

It’s okay.  I’m sure you have a wonderful personality.