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Architecture Will Make You Go Blind

Fleshlights, A Study

Section. Sex-tion.
Sex can be projected onto nearly anything, even (maybe especially) architecture. And this is not simply a product of perpetually having our minds in the gutter; often the innuendo is less than subtle. Towers, solid-void relationships, the earlier works of Gage/Clemenceau Architects (to name but a few of many culprits) all provoke thoughts of genitalia and deviant sex acts with little to no effort.

Projecting architecture onto sex, on the other hand, is a more trying task. In the heat of the moment, architecture is the last thing that most people would think of. That said, some of us just can’t help it.

Most of us would be content to accept the Fleshlight for what it is: an oddly proportioned flashlight whose bulb and battery chassis have been replaced by a silicone vagina; sex toys, after all, are not primarily intended to provoke critical thought. However, after mining a catalogue of over 48 internal textures, one cannot help but recognize the Fleshlight’s overt use of architectural innuendo. Poche. Enfilade. Though these architectural tropes are not immediately recognizable, they are made abundantly clear in section.

Out of context, one might mistake the Fleshlight’s section for a plan of a baroque palais. Reminiscent of architectural poche, the Fleshlight is made up of a series of shaped chambers that are seemingly carved from the thickness of the device’s silicone sleeve. Like an enfilade suite, the opening of each chamber is aligned with that of the next. Running along a single axis these chambers create a formal procession from end to end.

Stop. Just Stop.
As architects, we continually do this. We confuse architecture and sex: we think that architecture, like sex, can be projected onto anything. This is most certainly a product of perpetually having our minds in the gutter (the more serious architectural one, unfortunately). Suffering from a nearsighted masturbatory compulsion we have a great deal of trouble realizing that serious architectural dialogue does not belong everywhere; we see architecture in everything and feel compelled to take note of it in the most long winded of ways. And it is to our detriment that we do this. In our preoccupation to over-think and over-theorize we overwhelm the subject matter with issues that it was never intended to get involved in. As a result the subject’s most remarkable features are often left overlooked.

This is not to oppose serious architectural dialogue – it is a necessary form of tribal interaction; it is only to remind ourselves that we do not need to take everything so seriously. Sometimes it would behoove us to enjoy things on their own terms, not ours. Otherwise, we may just ruin the mood.

Alfie Koetter