Working on yesterday's post, on bestiality-themed adult novel covers, had me pondering some sort of larger post on bestiality. Maybe I could address the seemingly 'co-ed' nature [PDF] of the desire for sex with animals? I'd seen Zoo and found that fairly interesting - in particular, the idea of a house or commune of sorts, dedicated to a sexual interest of near-universal disdain, was quite fascinating to me. Even the slow introduction of this taboo subject to the public imagination (gerbils in the butt, sheep jokes, Mr. Hands, Mr. Tombe, Mr. Spink) was worthy of attention.
The problem came soon after I began looking at links. I was forced to confront a basic, troubling fact: bestiality is something that, speaking personally, not only holds absolutely no sexual attraction for me, it actually squicks me out and gives me that peculiar, unpleasant sensation I rarely find anymore in my internet sex journeying.
Simply put, I was put off.
And this is difficult for me because I'd like to think I could get past any 'ickiness' and just examine the material without getting involved in it emotionally or in regards to my own tastes.
In an abstract way, I have no real problem with zoophilia; I can certainly imagine how an individual might find it pleasurable under the 'right circumstances' -- on a deserted island after a few lonely years, maybe -- but the reality of bestiality as a predilection, and all the things that go along with modern sexual interests - magazines, movies, toys, websites*, clubs, meet-ups... Seeing that, I find myself aghast. I am finally, it seems, square. I just can't deal with the nitty gritty details of the zoo world.
I do still find Bodil Joensen interesting though.
I guess she may represent a rare point of entry for a great many people into this normally-off-limits area - bestiality's only real cross-over star*, she had a certain picturesque beauty, a sordid life* in a rich zeitgeist and a tragic end; things combined which almost guarantee one some kind of infamy if not outright fame.
There isn't a great deal of information out there on Bodil's life; the best source available is Jack Stevenson's book "Fleshpot: Cinema's Sexual Myth Makers And Taboo Breakers" which features a chapter on both her life and her films.
From Stevenson's "Dead Famous: The Life And Movies Of Cinema's Most Exploited Figure, Bodil Joensen" --
A turning point in her young life came... when she had an enlightening conversation with a pervert/pederast who told her all about "men, animals and sex" - topics she had never heard about and that fascinated her. They just talked. The pervert never touched her. However, someone reported their meeting to Bodil's mother who called the police. They came and collared the pervert, searched him and found a bottle of chloroform which earned him a short prison sentence. Her mother beat her savagely when she got home from the police station, locking her away in the attic for several days and bringing food up to her. Assuming that she'd been assaulted, her mother judged her to be a vile slut who was not fit to dine with the family. Bodil reacted with shock followed by hysterical defiance. "I said to mama that when I grew up I'd fuck boars. I couldn't think of anything more naughty. She was so shocked that she thought I was allied with the devil."
After a period of near-respectability - when 1970's A Summer's Day famously won 'Grand Prix' at the first Wet Dream Film Festival - Bodil fell on hard times, became depressed, took up drinking, and survived thanks to, "a hectic routine of small scale live shows". By 1980, she had turned to prostitution and stated that, "in my position it is hard to turn down anything, no matter how disgusting... for me, staying alive in the hooking business is hell".
For a long time, what became of Bodil was a mystery. For many years, she was rumoured to have committed suicide some time in the 1980s; as part of his research however, Jack Stevenson was unable to discover any evidence as of mid-2005 of either her suicide or her death. The following year, the BBC presented "The Real Animal Farm" as part of its "Dark Side of Porn" series, and in this documentary a friend revealed that Joensen died of cirrhosis of the liver (brought on by alcoholism) in January of 1985.
Bodil has a grave in Denmark, which you can see here. She is buried beside her long-time partner Knud P. Andersen who died in 1997.