When the weather in San Diego warms up — as it will this weekend — many residents opt for a wardrobe change. From gents in tank tops to ladies in short shorts, the flesh displays ramp up as the temperature rises.
In a word, it’s all about skin. And as the cladding gets more scanty, some curious ethical dilemmas arise:
Is it cool to flaunt one’s body parts? When others flaunt, is it okay to look?
As a man, there’s one flesh display that I find especially confusing: cleavage, meaning female breasts, or more specifically, the space between them.
Like a lot of men, when I register cleavage in my peripheral vision, I feel an urge to take a better look. I’m not sure if it’s a learned behavior or an instinctual reaction.
But for me — and many other men, I suspect — a carefully constructed boob display is like the OB sky during a beautiful sunset: so visually compelling that it almost hurts not to look.
A few years ago, I spent three weeks in a largely Muslim country, where cleavage was nowhere to be seen. But as I waited in the customs line at LAX upon returning home, I once again saw cleavage all over the place. If America is a Christian nation, it’s also one where many lady citizens like to show off their boobs.
But what would Jesus Christ think about cleavage? Would the son of God avert his gaze?
Religion aside, is it okay for a man to look at cleavage? Or when it’s coming at us, should we cross the street and walk the other way?
If a man takes a look, does it have to be brief and discreet? Would it be offensive if he complimented what he saw?
Last September, Canada’s National Post described how a female politician’s cleavage was edited out of some versions of her official photo. This raised a lot of questions, including about the ethics of the cleavage displayer herself.
Are displays of cleavage crass? If a woman believes her breasts are among her most attractive features, is it wrong for her to show them off?
How do women decide whether to show cleavage? Is it a conscious decision to gain attention from men?
Readers, whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re pro-cleavage or prefer more modest upper-body garments, if you have any thoughts on these issues, please share. Enquiring eyes want to know…
— click for MP3 of Dirk on KOGO975 The Voice of Merrill Apr19_2012 —
Sex in San Diego, a column appearing every Thursday here at The OB Rag, explores topics related to sex in America’s Finest City. To encourage openness while still respecting privacy, most authors will use pseudonyms.