“Let’s be blunt: You’ll have to start showing your gonads when you go to the airport,” says Slate.com in Show Some Balls / Want to Get on An Airplane, Let’s See Some Scrotum. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound Delta #253 has ensured that your crotch is going to get unprecedented attention in future air travel. For some fun images from scanners already in use by America’s TSA (Transportation Security Administration) click here, for impressively clear close-ups of crotches, click here. Modern terror has ensured that we are now breathing huge sighs of relief that airport security can tell which way a guy is leaning.
What’s worse? The fact that technology will disrobe us whenever we fly or the good news that pat-downs are likely to include the groin with the advent of Abdulmutallab-style underwear bombing? Pat-downs are not only of the officially sanctioned variety. In Japan, more than 4000 men a year are arrested for groping on public transport. A survey cited by ABC news claimed that almost 64% of women in their 20s and 30s Tokyo had been groped on various forms of rail transportation in the city.
What is is about mass transit that guarantees smuttiness of one form or another? So far we’ve looked at involuntary forms. But what of the mile high club? Sex on board an airplane just never gets old. The allure of the act has been blamed on reasons ranging from lower-than-usual atmospheric pressure in-cabin, to the abundance of uniformed and attractive airlines crew members, to constant vibration enhancing the likelihood of arousal and the temptation to engage in something taboo while everyone else is sitting in cramped seats consuming stale peanuts.
The problem seems to grow in gravity directly proportional to available leg room. Singapore Airlines felt the need to publicly request its first class passenger not to have sex in its new Airbus A380 planes. Although they offer double beds in their private suites, they are not soundproof and, in the airline’s own words, “All we ask of customers, wherever they are on our aircraft, is to observe standards that don’t cause offence to other customers and crew…”
Happy New Year.