We may roll our eyes at the "kids today" who freak out for seemingly lightweight loves like, I don't know, the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus. But there's no denying that, in some form or another, we've all been there, done that. We've all had the pin ups on our walls and the ridiculous fantasies.
I haven't. I haven't been there or done that, I don't have the T-shirt, and quite frankly, I never understood all you people who went and did.
My teenage bedroom had one poster in it: Tiffany. And she didn't last long, maybe a few months. I'd got it into my head that kids my age had pinups everywhere and I figured if I put one up it would give me some small feeling that I fit in somehow. That was my motivation for pretty much everything I did in those years. And like pretty much everything I did, it didn't work.
This in particular didn't work because, as I said, I'm an alien. My body is humanoid, but my mental makeup comes direct to you from Altair-4. I didn't know this as a teenager (though I was beginning to suspect it). Further proof of my essential inhumanity: I had not the slightest idea what I was supposed to do with that Tiffany poster, once I put her up there. Gaze lovingly at her? (Make that lustily: I may have come from Altair-4, but I was raised as a healthy human boy.) Naw, it couldn't be that. How could someone feel lust for a person they'd never met and were almost certain never to meet? (I'd ask anyone under 20 who may be reading this to remember: this was 1988. We didn't have, couldn't even imagine, the Internet.)
I just liked Tiffany's music, especially "Could Have Been", which appealed to my uber-romantic and hopelessly virginal teenage ears. I didn't even find her image all that attractive, to be honest. But she was probably the only female pop idol candidate for my bedroom wall.
I have never understood the common human trait of idolizing celebrities. And sexual attraction to same is right off my personal bizarre-o-meter. Particularly actors. Not only are you never going to meet George Clooney, you don't even know him...you only know his characters. Are you seriously going to tell me you're busy fantasizing about a fictional character? I mean, hey, whatever floats your boat, but sheesh, why not a real person? What about that woman in the corner office or that hot mechanic who fixed your car free of charge? Don't you humans get considerably more spark out of a fantasy if you can convince yourself hey, this could happen?
See, I do. I get absolutely zero out of a fantasy that's so far removed from my reality. Perhaps that's a failure of imagination, I don't know. But I'll tell you this: it's a short, short step from convincing yourself hey, this could happen to imagining it happening. Whereas it's a quantum leap to put myself in a position where I could conceivably get to have sex with Kate Winslet. That's so patently obvious that I knew it at 16, when Kate Winslet was named Tiffany.
This is one of those questions I've asked people over and over through the years, looking for insights. Several women have told me that they fantasize about celebrities (or really, their personas) precisely because they are so far removed from plausibility. If it's impossible, this line of thinking seems to go, you won't attempt it. Whereas (I guess) if you get to thinking about your hunky neighbour, you might not be able to stop thinking about him, and before long you'll be acting out those naughty fantasies, and what will your husband do then?
(Maybe he'll want to watch. Ahem. Did I type that out loud?)
All joking aside, this kind of attitude suggests a few things. If you think this way, you're probably not very good at compartmentalizing your fantasy life. Maybe you have very powerful fantasies and you're a wee bit frightened of them. Also, you may not realize or appreciate that reality almost never lives up to fantasy.
Trust me on that. Fantasies are lovely, clean ephemeral things with defined beginnings, middles, and ends. You can turn them on and chop them off at will. Reality is often messy--the nice candlelit scenario you imagined can wind up by turns harshly lit and dark and shadowy.
But that's no reason to turn off your fantasies just because they're realistic, is it?
The few guys I've broached this subject with say, pretty much to a man, that it's not so much the person that they fantasize about, but what they fantasize the person's doing with or to them. Which tells you all you need to know about the male sexual response: it's as simple a mechanism as Nature allows to exist. We're dogs: ring that bell and we're salivating all over the place.
Incidentally, guys will talk until their faces fall off about their fantasies, and we'll use all manner of disgustingly crude references...but women, take heart: we're much more private about our realities than you are about yours. The few times a woman in my life has let slip some detail she's told her best friend, I'm appalled.
" She knows...THAT?"
"Yep, she does, and boy did she laugh. Oh, wait, have I said too much?
"Well, you wouldn't believe what her husband did..."
"SHUT UP SHUT UP LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!"
Why do you women DO that? And yes, I've asked that, and I get "what's the big deal?" in response. The big deal is...is...oh, hell, I don't know, I just don't feel comfortable seeing my private life laid bare, as it were, with all its foibles.
"You haven't told your friend about the time we..."?
"NO! Why would you think he'd want to know that?"
See? Alien. At least I know that in this respect, my Altairian male mind lines up perfectly with the minds of male human beings everywhere.
But as far as celebrities go, I'm living on another planet.