It’s raining men

Question 1

Sadomasochism inherently is the partaking/enjoyment of sexual practices that are characterised by both sadism and masochism. In simpler words, participants of sadomasochism engage in fantasies that involved humiliation and pain. Participants generally agree on a ‘safe word’ prior to indicate the immediate cessation of whatever the other partner is doing. Before going into the nature of the ‘safe word’ it is imperative to understand why the word ‘no’, which in other conventional situations would imply the stopping of activities, cannot be used. In sadomasochism, ‘no’ is not taken as an explicit ‘no’. Rather it is taken as preliminary opposition to the idea that would follow with submission to the idea which is taking a s sexually pleasurable. The dominant partner would not be able to achieve sexual pleasure if without such submission to power by the submissive partner. Also, in sadomasochistic scenarios it is ideal that the ‘safe word’ is inconsistent or incongruent to the situation at hand. This would make it clear cut that the submissive partner is tapping out.

Therefore, in the case of Julie and Mike in question 1, it is likely that their ‘safe emoji’ would not explicitly indicate a ‘no’; in view to stop whatever either partner is doing. Their ‘safe word’ would also have to stand out from context. I believe the ‘safe word’ to be the mike emoji. Of course, this could change depending on context.

Question 2

The men’s locker room is conventionally looked upon as the fortress of honour and centre of brotherly bonding. Seen pervasively in Western cultures and movies is the notion that only the best, the most sporting, the manliest and the most capable can get into the locker room and be part of the football team. It shown as a place where such athletes can ready themselves for competition, coaches give their tactics, preparatory talks and where they go to celebrate after they win. Being a sport fanatic, I assure you that it is seen as an enormous privilege it is a privilege to have a peek in there. To the athletes themselves and the onlooker, it is almost as if the locker room is a shrine.

Generally, the happenings of a locker room are kept in the locker room. This is wide ranging, from the tactical plan of a coach to gossip. In this sense, the top 3 entries in the UrbanDictionary do capture the ‘secretive’ nature of ‘locker room talk/banter’. The UrbanDictionary entries also suggest that the ‘locker room talk’ takes place amongst similarly gendered individuals. This is also congruent with the idea of a locker room where sports that have these locker rooms are those that are played by men or women; never mixed teams; think soccer or football. In these sense, it seems that the UrbanDictionary has captured what ‘locker room talk/banter’ is.

The first and third meanings in the UrbanDictionary go on to specify that ‘locker room talk/banter’ is only for men. I believe that it may be conceived this way due to the fact that there is still inequality between men and women in sports (take for example, baseball which is only played by men at the top level). However, I would like to dispel this notion. I believe that in the present day, ‘locker room talk/banter’ has literally and figuratively come out of the locker room in specific the ‘men’s locker room’. I believe it can be unilaterally applied regardless of gender to conversations held in private between like-minded individuals. It is conversations that are held between like-minded individuals, be it banter or otherwise, that they cannot have in the open. These may be things such as racist/sexist jokes or crude language.

One who engages in such banter may or may not be racist/sexist but merely engages in it for banter or to reinforce social bonds within a group or become a member of the group. Therefore, ‘locker room talk/banter’ plays a key social function. It has been suggested that criticism and gossip of people who aren’t part of the group functions to affirm and reassert the groups commitment to social norms. One could say this is similar to the situation in single gender institutions such as fraternities.

In conclusion I feel that the UrbanDictionary’s second meaning is closest to grasping what ‘locker room talk/banter’ stands for. I also feel that ‘locker room talk/banter’, unfortunately forms crucial social and interpersonal functions in society as it is used almost as the primary manner by which social bonds/ relationships are built and reinforces.

From the UrbanDictionary:

  1. The crude, vulgar, offensive and often sexual trade of comments guys pass to each other, usually in high school locker rooms. Exists solely for the purpose of male comedy and is not meant to be taken seriously.
  2. Any manner of conversation that polite society dictates be held privately – with small groups of like-minded, similarly gendered peers – due to its sexually charged language, situations or innuendos.
  3. Racist, sexist, and crude language most men use towards immigrants, minorities, and women, when they are with their fellow male chauvinistic pigs.


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