cognition

arvan's picture

Psych Ops of the Sexual Kind in an Army Barracks

I would like to talk about a psychological experiment I conducted on my fellow soldiers, involving sexuality and beauty.

When I was in the Army, I was every bit the smartass that I am today, if not substantially worse.  My tastes in politics, arts, music, food and just about everything else did not fit the the 'culture' and mindset of my fellow ranks.  I grew up in Chicago, NYC, NJ and was into punk rock, new wave, tattoos, piercings, literature, art films, science, reason.  I was a smartass who had a chip on his mental and physical shoulders.

So many people in the military give the impression that they are all from some town in Alabama where the cultural hightlights include: Jack Daniels, bass fishing, NASCAR, strip malls, pickup trucks and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Even people who were not from such places seemed to adopt the mores, values, likes and dislikes of that demographic.  It was often very hard to find any original ideas, tastes or opinions.

When it came to talking about women, most conversations were no different than chatter in a high shool locker room.  A chorus of juvenile, unoriginal fantasies of strippers combined with farmer's daughters bandied about with alcohol induced bravado and inexperience.  I did my best to avoid such conversations by either leaving the post or drowning the roar of the amateurs with headphones and alcohol. 

In the service, as in locker rooms - guys like to talk about what a bad-ass they are.  In reality, most of these guys had been with only one or two mild-mannered girlfriends and probably only when both parties had been completely drunk.  It was enough of a hell to be stuck on a post in the middle of nowhere, but to listen to a bunch of low-speed Romeo's chattering about sex they'd never had - was too much. 

It is very common for men to hang a pin-up girl on the inside of their lockers.  That tiny wall space is all that most of us have to display anything.  It's always milquetoast and usually consists of a famous swimsuit model in a wet bikini.  Mass produced and mass consumed, these images are the elevator music of erotica.  The world is full of billions of individual people, unique, special and beautiful.  To look at the lockers around me, you would think that the planet has less than 10 women - each wearing all-american-girl outfits or a bathing suit.  Blecch.

I was fairly certain that most of them didn't know the first thing about sex or beauty.  So, I set out to test my theory.

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