Desire’s First Expression: So What’s With All The Sunglasses?

Posted on April 4, 2010


Does anyone else remember Desmond Morris’s The Human Animal? You may not remember the series but, if you were anywhere near a TV in 1994, odds are you remember the episode, “The Biology of Love.”

Why? It’s probably the first and last time you saw explicit sex on primetime television and a glorious full color money shot to top it all off!

The Learning Channel got away with such scandalousness because The Human Animal is a BBC production, it was shared in the name of science and education, and the really naughty bits are filmed with a heat-sensitive camera and the money shot is seen from the inside. Way inside. Like cervix deep inside!

Thanks to the miracle of You Tube, I can share with you the glorious culmination of this fine piece of scientific investigation (not work appropriate). I can’t find a clip that shows the whole sex scene so you will need to content yourself with the grand finale:

Other than the inside-the-body money shot, the other thing that stuck with me from this episode is the claim that bold eye-to-eye contact is the touchstone for all future courtship.

Which nicely dovetails with yesterday’s holiday thoughts about sunglasses.

I don’t care what your Grade 8 health teacher told you, smoking always makes you look cool. And so do sunglasses. And because looking cool is inevitably about attracting a mate, it seems odd to me that sunglasses impede our ability to make eye-to-eye contact.

I’ve come up with three plausible theories (the third is inspired by Nadine’s comment on yesterday’s post).

  1. Perhaps, the large dark lenses reference large dilated pupils — a sure sign of arousal.
  2. Perhaps, covering the eyes more easily creates the illusion of bold eye-to-eye contact. For more confident wooers, covered eyes always means that all eyes are on them.
  3. Perhaps, sunglasses create an opportunity for a ritual of intimacy: the eyes are uncovered only for those who really deserve that level of intimacy.

What do you think? What role do sunglasses play in the your mating rituals? And does anyone else have any fond memories of the first time they saw “The Biology of Love?”

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