Bayonetta (2010)

I sometimes have to ask what’s wrong with the internet. Can’t a man pirate music, movies and games in peace without having to get through dozens of porn ads? It’s not that pornography is any kind of new phenomenon; there are Ancient Greek murals that give a delightfully Hellenic portrait of man and woman in carnal harmony, and I have to suppose, man and man as well. In fact, if you get the chance, I highly recommend you to check out what they have on the island of Lesbos. Still earlier, you could probably go to the Stone Age caves and find a crude insect-blood drawing of a cavewoman with comeda breasts included.

It’s getting to extremes now, though. I never thought I’d have to write and edit the words “gaping anus”, but that’s the only way to describe what I saw in a short video, where someone summarily putted a golf ball right into it. I wonder did it horseshoe a couple of times before they nailed it? The recording, I mean. Anyway, initially I was almost going to be in awe of such a talent, but when you look at something like this, you can almost palpably feel another little part of your soul die. There is nothing to be applauded, celebrated or indeed enjoyed in any form about pornography, or in a more crude manner of speaking, taking dick for money. What we have now is an online society with the most unimaginable thirst from males, giving a scene not unlike that Jennifer Connolly scene in Requiem for a Dream.

Except now, the shame has been removed, and online displays of nudity are celebrated, even seen as something to aspire to. Yet more of my soul died when I read that a pornstar had taken ownership of a castle – a literal castle – worth millions. The headline and comments were disgustingly sycophantic about this. The latest avenue of depravity here is OnlyFans. This app is the latest step in the culture of vapidness, fame-for-nothing, where ignorance and plastic faces are valued above all. Thick women with low self-esteem, famous purely because they are or used to be good looking, having exhausted all other possible sources of income, finally giving in and letting desperate virgins also wrapped in that culture pay them money on the monthly.

We can only hope that OnlyFans represents the final stage of this deepening sexual crisis, although I think we both know, from those very same online ads and sites, that nothing is ever so degenerate that it can’t get any worse. There will be people out there who fund this low behaviour, which has now become a protected term called “sex work”, which is funny because I seem to recall that it was the oldest profession in the world. These same people who pay for this and who really should be on some sort of list will straight-facedly turn around and genuinely wonder why society is in the pan. Really?

Perhaps I’ve shocked you a bit with that and gone in too hateful. I’m just joining the new advertising trend, you know? The old mantra in advertising used to be “sex sells” which I’m sure everyone knows about. But now that’s become combined or even superseded by the idea of “hate sells”, the more enraging and aggravating the headline, the better. Hence you’ll read about pornstars buying castles while you rot and slave away hoping for an extra day off next year. If that doesn’t bring the hate rising to the surface then I don’t know what will.

Sex sells will always work as a selling point then, especially given how thirsty we’ve all been getting. It’d probably be a mistake to say that sexuality was more innocent in 2010, when Bayonetta came out for PS3, but it’s worth pointing out that this was before OnlyFans, Instagram, Tinder, TikTok and their ilk came about. I missed out on Bayonetta in this original release, but later picked it up for the distinctly unsexy Wii U, where all I knew about it before going in was that it starred a glasses wearing sex goddess (also called Bayonetta, like my local domme – funny coincidence that) with legs that went on until closing time. I suppose at some stage there’d be a bit of gameplay, in similar fashion to how you used to get the occasional articles in the almost-more-innocent Playboy magazines, a kind of contractual obligation.

But blimey, crikey, golly and bloody hell, it was all going on. Right at the start of the Wii U version of the game, you’re given a choice about which outfit you want to dress Bayo up in. I realise how hypocritical this all is, but I thought, in for a penny in for a pound, I’ll take up the game’s offer to dress her up in Princess Peach clobber. Men out there may judge, but tell me you haven’t had fifty tabs of increasingly depraved filth open on your browser before finally succumbing to the one that speaks to that deepest recess of your porn-addled mind? Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get all specific on you.

No sooner had I pressed Start to begin the wildly Japanese religious story delivered through posh British accents than Bayonetta was performing all sorts of anatomical aerobics, spinning and jumping and flipping, jiggle physics, extreme booty closeup, the lot. It was probably the closest thing I’ve had to porn on my telly from an actual video game, and I sumply must thank whatever oversexualised deity exists in this game that nobody walked into my room at that precise moment, or pretty much every moment after that. Again, I know that titillation in games is nothing new, but how many of you were hopelessly unlucky enough to actually own a copy of Custer’s Revenge?

The thirsty simps, as the internet calls them, would probably tell you that underneath this mountain of tits and ass exists a great game with wonderful lore, excellent gameplay, top-notch music and a funny script that satirises sexualisation of female characters in gaming or something. Well, if they like it then that’s their lookout, but all I found Bayonetta to be was a fairly perfunctory beat ‘em up hack ‘n slash, fight against enemy vague shapes and mash the buttons until you knock them over, trying to randomly get a combo to trigger if you can, except instead of being a humdrum male fighter like Dante or Kratos, you’re there pirouetting around on your six-foot legs, all wetlook and booby and flirtatious. Here’s a hands-on tip for you (oo er) – the action is probably too fast to play with one hand, much as you’d want to. And I’m counting you manner(?) out there in that, by the way.

Bayonetta herself actually wasn’t so sexy anymore when she opened her mouth. How sexist is that? But I mean she had a British nanny, slightly younger Mary Poppins voice where I might have expected one of those two porn mainstays, the ridiculous baby voice, or the even more ridiculously overblown American accent. You see how these things get a grip on you? I don’t generally advocate clean living to anyone. That might make you a sandal-wearing, bike-suffering vegan, and we bloody well don’t want that. But I do think men in particular ought to really consider putting their hands down their pants a lot less, going on these types of websites a lot less, and cutting out these damaging apps altogether. And you can probably give Bayonetta a miss as well, for at least two reasons I can think of.

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