I mean, I REALLY stop.
So a new study in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology claims that owning cats could make you kinky.
…Okay, trying to take a deep breath here…
Are you fucking kidding me with this ridiculous, bunked-up study?
Are you REALLY trying to treat being kinky is a disease we caught because we like cute, cuddly things? Stop trying to sell your fake-as-fuck snake oil science seeking to demonize or denigrate us.
Anecdotally, I’ve been into kink since I was a child. I can’t say that it made me kinky—I personally don’t think that sexual orientation works that way—but I found a picture book in my library of “The Seven Swan Princes” that had kinky imagery all over it. We’re talking an extremely sadistic Queen, looking Dominant as fuck while she luxuriates naked in her bath, as the equally naked, submissive princess is tortured in the background, all the while with a transcendently serene look on her face. I went to the library early to read that book for months. I went scouring for other fairytales that had similar themes in them. For years. I don’t think that book made me kinky; I think, because I’m kinky, I gravitated to that book. Even as a naïve six-year-old.
In the same way that I gravitated to liking cats—and dogs and all things adorable—LONG before I owned my first cat, years later, in middle school.
So, please, tell me how cats made me kinky. Or, maybe, I’m just precocious and my cat-loving brain knew it would one day be full of parasites, so it just jumped on the kinky train a little early.
Don’t believe me? I mean, I’m just one person. Okay. Let’s really break this crackpot shit down, shall we?
According to this study that looked at 36,564 people in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, they found that “a common brain parasite from cats, Toxoplasma gondii, which causes toxoplasmosis, is linked to sexual arousal by fear, violence and danger in humans” because, supposedly, “infected subjects are more often aroused by their own fear, danger, and sexual submission.”
Golly gee wilikers, that sure does sound scary.
But does it sound even remotely true?
Toxoplasmosis, oh-so-charmingly referred to as “the Crazy Cat Lady Syndrome,” does not work the way these people think it does. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Toxoplasmosis may cause flu-like symptoms in some people, but most people affected never develop signs and symptoms” and “If you're generally healthy, your immune system keeps the parasites in check. They remain in your body in an inactive state, providing you with lifelong immunity so that you can't become infected with the parasite again.”
So why is pseudo-science trying to freak us out over what they Mayo Clinic calls “one of the world's most common parasites?”
Why don’t we look at that charming moniker they gave it?
The Crazy Cat Lady Syndrome
Not that long ago, there were stories running rampant around the internet about how cats were making women crazy. That toxoplasmosis was the reason why we cat-lovers everywhere adored these stereotypically fickle and assholish creatures. Couldn’t possibly be because they’re cute as fuck, easy to take care of, and a literal cuddly plush toy come to life. No. Of course not. Don’t be crazy, ladies, it’s only because parasites are taking over your ladybrains and making you think those things.
Seriously, evo psych, you’re going to try to gaslight us like that?
Never mind that there are scores of other, more common ways you can get toxoplasmosis, like not washing your food well enough or not cooking your meat right.
Never mind that, with the number of cat owners in America, if this were true, one would assume we’d see more cases of this kind of tragic toxoplasmosis that, according to this kind of scare-tactic science “might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”
Never mind the alarming number of feral cats that roam the streets, that should account for even MORE cases of this parasite that apparently “contributes to car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia.”
Never mind that the rather recent spotlight that 50 Shades and Dragon Age and other media of its kind have shone on kink and BDSM is more likely the cause of why so many of your respondents are suddenly interested in kink than their pet preferences. Otherwise, why don't we see more of a correlation between the societal swings in sex-shaming and sex-positivity and cat ownership?
Funny how all those facts don’t quite fit your little theory there, evo psycho, huh?
Could it be that you just wanted to shame women and continue the oh-so-beloved belief that all women are crazy and can’t be trusted with the care and control of their own bodies and desires?
And, if you think this kind of study is just coming after women, boy, are you wrong.
Look at what this study has to say about men who suffer this so-called affliction: “What’s more, the researchers discovered that people with Toxoplasma have a ‘higher attraction to bondage, violence and, in men, to masochism and raping.’”
Seriously, are you FUCKING kidding me?
So, not only do you use your fake science to try to discount women taking ownership and power over their own sexual desires, you trot out the two most common fears vanilla people have about kinky men? That BDSM either turns them into crazy, abusive sex-monsters or weak, feminized sissy-boys? Could you at least try to be original in your made-up, offensive bullshit?
I’m sorry, but the term “evolutionary psychology” has become synonymous with shoddy-as-shit science. I’m sure that there are some legit studies done under that umbrella, but they need to find a different name cause most of evo psych is racist, sexist, pompous, self-congratulatory confirmation bias.
Think that Western-based gender roles are natural, evo psych will contort itself trying to explain how hunting and gathering has shit all to do with who should run a board meeting and who should raise children. Want to explain away your racist assumptions, evo psych has got your bigoted back. Think non-traditional, non-straight, non-vanilla sex is icky, oh yeah, evo psych’s got scads of uninteresting, easily debunked theories just for you.
Instead of trying to explain the world by examining it as it is, instead of trying to seek the truth, evo psych too often tries to prove its own ridiculous assumptions through sketchy methodology that produces sketchy results and gets published in sketchy journals. Which, apparently, is easy as hell!
So can we stop pretending like it has anything legitimate to say? That this isn’t just moralistic fear-mongering about sex and people they find yucky?
Trust me, evo psychs, if you’re afraid that our big, bad Dominants are going to rape you or attack you or turn you into our obedient, baby pain-sluts, PLEASE don’t. Believe me, if you believe this kind of blatantly bigoted crap, kinksters aren’t interested in you. We don't want to have our kooky, kinky, crazy cat-lady sex with you. I wouldn't touch your ignorant ass with a ten-foot crop.
And, really, isn’t that your biggest bitch?
That kinky women don’t want to have boring sex with you?
Guess what, kitten, the sex with you isn’t boring because you’re vanilla; it’s because you think it’s a virtue to not know things. You think you should be rewarded for regurgitating the same-old, same-old crap that’s made for unhappy and unsatisfied women for generations. And not just in the bedroom (but, don’t mistake me, also VERY MUCH in the bedroom). That’s why kinky women, who tend to be smarter, more empowered, and psychologically healthier than the average, don’t want to have anything to do with you.
Not because the sex is boring.
But because you are.
So, sure, thanks, evo psych bro, for trying to give me one more reason to love my cat.
But I really didn’t need it. I’d choose his furry, little face over yours any day.
And the Inevitable Follow-up:
A new study looked at nearly 5,000 people in the UK who were born between 1991 and 1992, following them until the age of 18. It concluded that, after having controlled for potential confounding factors, "The message for cat owners is clear: there is no evidence that cats pose a risk to children's mental health. [...] In our study, initial unadjusted analyses suggested a small link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms at age 13, but this turned out to be due to other factors. [...] Once we controlled for factors such as household over-crowding and socioeconomic status, the data showed that cats were not to blame. Previous studies reporting links between cat ownership and psychosis simply failed to adequately control for other possible explanations."