Sex and soccer  TIM CARMODY  ·  JUN 06 2014

For the World Cup, the managers of Mexico, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Spain, Germany, and Chile have all banned players from having sex for the duration of the tournament. France and Brazil's players have to slow down, too:

Usually normal sex is done in balanced way, but there are certain forms, certain ways and others who do acrobatics. We will put limits and survey the players. -- Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari

Intriguing but creepy! (What does "survey" mean?)

Athletics and abstinence have gone together for seemingly forever, but scientific studies suggest that sex as such doesn't impair athletic performance.

The bigger worry might be the cultural connection between sex and sports, particularly soccer in Brazil: Adidas withdrew two purportedly World Cup-themed T-shirts with the slogans "Looking To Score" (with a woman in a bikini and a soccer ball for the O in "Score") and "I <3 Brazil" (with the heart drawn to resemble a woman's rear end in a bikini). That's not creepy, that's being a creep.

There's a weird dehumanization that happens in sports and sports fandom. Athletes get reduced to their performance, which is usually understood in abstract terms: statistics, salaries, wins and losses. Everything around the game, from families to fans to the ordinary women and men whose lives intersect with the players, is measured in terms of how it affects competition. This in turn justifies all kinds of intrusions into people's lives, whether from coaches or fans or media, but never for its own sake.

It's almost as if when you start to think about sex as an act with ethical dimensions, it disrupts (in a good way) the shallow ways we usually consider people's bodies for the purposes of both work and commerce. When nobody is disposable, it throws the whole system off. That's a kind of acrobatics that sports just can't seem to handle.

("Normal Sex, No Acrobatics" via @webbmedia)

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