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More CON prattle

Something that I always have liked about the convention is the Saturday night party cruising and the exposure of much more sexy female flesh than I am usually privvy to. Very often the costumes can be revealing of much more than I'm exposed to under most circumstances, and because it is intentional, I feel free to look and admire and appreciate without being untoward. I'm sure that I'm not alone in my sentiment, as I think most mens heads will turn when there is an "accidental" flash of ass flesh or the occasional bit of milky breast that peeks its head out from the folds of cloth that would normally bind it away from the light. And sometimes the costumes are something that would be more at home in a BDSM flick or a sexy lingere catalog, or possibly a catalog for a thong-and-electrical-tape distributor-- again, no complaints here, I'm all for exhibitionism, and I'm a willing participant in my role as observer.

But I noticed something this year that I haven't caught in years past: this same costuming behavior in underage girls.

There were no less than three different girls this year that I noticed that were dressed beyond provocatively; one in particular wearing a see-through dress with a thong and electrical tape who was seriously flirting with guys in their 40's.

I found her lack of pants disturbing.

A rather attractive young woman friend thinks I'm a prude for being disturbed. Her take on it is that the age of consent is sixteen, so as long as she's at least that old, there is no problem, and that the girl is probably wanting a man who actually knows what to do with a woman. Said rather attractive young woman friend is also a wet dream waiting to happen, but I digress.

I'm split. I'm obviously tittilated (which is the point), and moreso because of the forbidden nature of the fruit in question, but I'm also concerned because I know that although I do have gobs of social skills and a decent amount of self-control, this is a convention where there are a fair number of men who have never touched a naked woman in their lives and who have the social skills of a wombat on quaaludes. Plus there is alcohol.

I'm all for alcohol and scantily-clad women. But alcohol and scantily-clad underage girls is a powerful dangerous combination in my head.

There was also a girl who was certainly not even sixteen-- I'd say probably fourteen-- in the hot tub at one point, wearing a skimpy bikini top that wasn't particularly willing to contain her breasts, and she was nipples-to-the-wind on enough occasions that I have to think it weren't no accident. I don't know-- they may have been new enough to her to still be unruly, or the bikini top may have been new and she not used to it, but she sure didn't seem embarrased or even particularly modest.

Part of me is prude, yes. In the intellectual sense, they are simply nipples, and nudity is pretty much okay in my book, even with kids. But there is a difference between being nude in a place where nudity is accepted (like a nude beach or a resort) and flashing bits of usually unseen flesh with the intent to tittilate.

And you know, I'd even be okay with that if it werent for the worry in the back of my head that all it would take would be one inebriated horny geekboy with no self-control, and there would be an incident. And before you say that there wouldn't be any such thing as a horny geekboy with no self-control, consider that that is how most geek babies are made.

I've seen some underage girls at previous conventions wearing (or not wearing) provocative clothing, but it's usually been something simple and quick, and I've pretty much written it off as chance weirdness, or teenage hormones, or... well sheer luck. But this year it seemed like all pretense of accidental was gone. There was purpose behind it, definite intent.

I don't have kids. I don't pretend to know what goes on in their heads, nor do I know how to parent. I know that teenagers are sexual beings, and I remember the power of puberty. And maybe I'm just too old for the newness that is the society of today, but I have to ask where the parents are in this whole process? Is there some obliviousness that creeps in when both parents have to work and their daughter resorts to flesh-baring and flirting to get attention?

Or am I out of touch? Am I too attached to matters of the flesh that this disturbs me?


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
As the dad of a pre-teen girl, it certainly made me slightly uncomfortable. I actually made my daughter change out of a pair of shorts that I thought were too short before I would let her leave the hotel room this weekend.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
I think there is a distinction between pre-teen and teen, though I may just be a fluff-head. I've seen pre-teen girls in skimpy clothes doing sexy dances and stuff, but it's always to me seemed more to be emulating what they see on TV/movies/media rather than having any sexual connotation.

At least that's what I tell myself.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
Well, being even older than you and pretty religious, I should be even more disturbed but for some reason I am not. There seems to be a social contract at cons, that "we are playing." The thing that does bother me is two fold,
1) The taking for granted that older guys will not abuse the trust
2) That some less perceptive guys will conflate flirting with inviting and commit statutory rape.

Jul. 11th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
I think I'm in the same boat. I'm okay with playing, and I'm positive about safe play for teens, and I do think that CVG is a pretty safe environment to play, BUT with over 2500 people attending, the chance of inappropriate/offensive/abusive behavior is a real possibility. Even if it was just one guy, it's one guy too many.

Of course, that nothing actually did happen (that I know of) does make me feel pretty good about the folks at the con.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
I don't think you're the least bit prudish.
Nothing against sixteen-year-old maturity. I understand that sixteen-year-olds believe that they know what they want, what they are doing, and believe that they are equipt to make choices and bear the consequences.

To a certain extent, they are correct.

But you are correct as well. Oh yeah, I remember how much I thought I knew what I was doing as a kid. I remember how much I resented the adults around me treating me like a child (especially this one REALLY cute college boy in my Karate class that I REALLY liked, and who treated me like a kid sister).

Big deal, we've all been there. Doesn't change how real it feels to them, and how dangerous, short-sighted and immature it looks to us.

The cold hard facts are, kids will be kids, and it's up to decent people to shelter them from the non-decent people, or they will get hurt. We shouldn't have to do it, but there you go. They won't like it, they don't have to. They have the "right" to act like dumb kids, and we have the responsibility to act like mature grown-ups. It might be "agist", but it stands the least chance of damaging someone.

Jul. 11th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't think you're the least bit prudish.
I've known some 16-year-olds that had a lot more maturity than many adults, and I fonly remembering hanging around with a certain group of teenage girls when I was in college that was actually a lot of fun and formed some pretty long-lasting friendships. Then again, I didn't see most of them naked.

Well, except for that one...
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
when I was 14 or 15...
I wore the most daring things I thought I could get away with. These days, girls dare A LOT MORE. It's what they see every day on tv, posters, & the internet. On AVERAGE sites, not even R sites. So yeah, they're going a lot further & yeah, it's deliberate. They still trust the world not to hurt them, even though, in a sense, they're daring it to.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Re: when I was 14 or 15...
I suppose with the internet and wide availability of peer groups it's inevitable that there will be escalation. I just want it to be safe.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
Such is the culture we live in. I just finished reading "Female Chauvinist Pigs" which addresses this kind of behavior. Those kids are the products of their environment. They see sexualized images of women and girls all the time so that's what they emulate. They act the part without knowing the role, and they can get seriously hurt as a result.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'll accept that for the most part, but in at least one case, there was deliberateness that leads me to believe that it was not unknowing.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
As one who got flirted with, I have to admit that I ended up feeling confused.

I was flattered that I was a flirtee, but wondered what I would feel like if this was GothTrooper doing this with a strange man in six short years.

In the end, though, I just chose to appreciate the experience. If the sixteen year olds chose to dress in teddy's and thigh-highs, I was going to look at them...which was, I suspect, the entire point of the aforementioned teddys and thigh-highs. I would be respectful, of course, but appreciative.

What you left out were the people who dressed in very provocative outfits who, when a compliment was offered, sneered as if to say "Don't look at my plunging neckline and exposed-to-the-nipple breasts!" Now that I found weird.
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
The "don't look" behavior I only caught from the over-21 crowd, so I pretty much can write that off. If you're a legal adult and you wanna show off your petulant breasts, who am I to complain?
Jul. 11th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
I'd get that if these people were, oh, forced to dress that way, or if the compliments were rude rather than, say "Wow, fantastic Wonder Woman/Cat Woman/Plumber Woman costume!" as they actually were. It was just odd.
Jul. 12th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)
From an XX point of view.
I had just entered menarche when I started actively looking for a male I could trip. I wasn't successful until I was 15, but after that it was no-holds-barred - I was a girl on a misson. I dressed, walked, tossed my hair and applied lip gloss with a very *clear* intent - that of enticing a male.

I was first sexually harassed at 16 - and told him if he didn't remove his hand RIGHT NOW he was going to draw back a bloody stump.

Females aren't as sexually vulnerable as men have sometimes been led to believe, or as some males would like to believe.
Jul. 12th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Re: From an XX point of view.
Your ability to defend yourself is admirable, but not a constant among teenage girls. And I really don't want to have to explain to parents that their daughter was harmed in any way by some freak of nature who can't keep his pecker contained, whether that was harassment or something worse, not to mention the legal liability issues that would come crawling out of the worm can.

In all honesty, I'd really rather that CVG be a place where teenage girls can get nekkid and flirt with old geeks to their hearts (or other organs) content without any risk of harm.

But I consider things like T-bucket, or the many-years-ago-now Connie-bot girl, and I am skeptical.
Jul. 12th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)
Re: From an XX point of view.
Ah - so your perspective is from 'let's protect the girls *and* the Con' as much as feeling odd that girls under 18 are actively searching for sex partners among males over 30?
Jul. 12th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Re: From an XX point of view.
Well, though I feel something that some girls under 18 are seeking men over 30 (it's sort of akin to hope and disbelief, much like buying a lottery ticket), it is more from a protection standpoint.

I know that there are girls out there who can kick my ass six ways from Sunday, but they are kind of rare. And as Trees pointed out, many teenagers think they know everything, and what may seem to them like harmless fun and flirting may turn out otherwise.

I'm a firm believer in the No Means No school (or more that not yes means no), but I know that that concept is not universally held, and turbogeeks are good at rationalizing.

Maybe I'm out of line. Maybe I'm hunting for bear where there are only chipmunks. Or maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety, and seeing my friends kids grow up and hitting close to those years makes me take a second look.
Jul. 13th, 2006 04:57 am (UTC)
2) That some less perceptive guys will conflate flirting with inviting and commit statutory rape.

Just as parents should be teaching their kid boys how to be respectful of a woman, and treat a lady.

They should also be teaching their girls how to flirt.

There are definitely different styles to this. There are the girls you can flirt with that you know it's not going anywhere. You're both just exchanging word games, and some mental brain candy for later.

Then, there are the girls that imply that a flirtation 'may' lead to more. Which is where someone who may not be as socially adept as others can get confused.

Boys should be taught about lines, which ones not to cross and why.

Girls ought to get taught about lines, which ones to draw and why.

All relationships are based on give and take. Even those where there is no 'actual' relationship, but a view from across the room.

If you are providing the view, be prepared for instances of others wanting to do more than just look.

Flirting is a good thing for both sexes.
Learning how, is a more difficult proposition.

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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