Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Legend: A man lured by the promises of a barroom temptress submits to being tied naked to a bed, then receives a surprise backdoor visit from Batman.
Thought you were smartThough at first blush this urban legend appears related to the Too Late the Hero legend, their only shared motif is one of the participants' being dressed as the Caped Crusader. If anything, this legend has more in common with the Ether Bunny (a tale in which a non-gay victim is drugged and sodomized by his roommate).
Bought a heart
Then came Batman through the dark
Instead of fucking that stupid slut
You got eight inches up your butt
Saw Batman the buttripper
I'll rip your butt like a canopener
Batman the buttripper
I'll use your butt like a canopener man!
On rare occasions a version surfaces in which robbery is the only objective of the woman and her accomplice:
[FOAFTale News, June 1996]In 2007 we happened upon a version that positioned the victim as the groom being feted at his bachelor's party, which is held at a sex club in Amsterdam.
A 55-year-old man in Burbank, California, put an ad in a sex magazine catering to sadomasochists, and was happy when a woman responded to his offer of a blind date. When she arrived at his home, he allowed her to strip him, handcuff him, and strap him to a proctology table he had in his "playroom." Then she put a hood over his head and REALLY went to work: she and an accomplice robbed the house. The man wasn't found until the next day, when the mailman heard him calling for help.
[Collected via e-mail, 2007]In that telling, the assailant is not dressed as a superhero, yet the other elements key to the legend are there: the victim willingly places himself in jeopardy on the promise of casual sex with a woman he barely knows, he cooperates with being stripped and tied down, then the woman departs and a man arrives who anally assaults the victim.
Man goes to Amsterdam with friends on stag night. While in a live sex club, the nude woman on stage asks if anyone wants to have sex live on stage. Groom to be goes up after coaxing from friends. Woman ties up man securely to a table, exits stage, and is replaced by heavily built black man who rapes the groom to be.
Groom returns home mentally disturbed, wedding cancelled etc etc.
The "raped groom" version does unfortunately have a real life counterpart. In 1997, a man out with his friends for his stag night in Cork, Ireland, was stripped and tied by them to a park railing then left there for half an hour while they went off in search of a takeaway meal. During that interim, the groom was indecently assaulted by a passerby. Subsequent to his assault, he disowned his "pals," cancelled his wedding, and sought professional counseling.
The legend about Batman bursting from a closet to assault a hog-tied victim could be seen as a typical expression
On the other hand, this legend can be viewed as a male rape fantasy in which the victim has thrust upon him that which he cannot quite bring himself to seek out. The woman who lures him into this compromising situation serves as his plausible deniability; he was there to have sex with her and thus is no queer. (One has to wonder what he's doing tied face down then; very few guy/girl positions feature the man presenting his back to the woman.)
The symbolism of the Batman character bursting out of the closet (he's never lurking anywhere else, you'll notice) can be interpreted as the "forbidden wish" of those who mentally project themselves in the role of the victim. They too yearn to "come out of the closet" but aren't yet ready to star themselves — even in their own fantasies — as the aggressor.
And it's no coincidence the attacker is usually costumed as Batman. Much has been made in recent years of the undercurrents swirling through the Dynamic Duo's relationship. (A ongoing cartoon spoof on Saturday Night Live titled "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" makes light of this by showing Batman and Robin-like characters tooling about in a penis-shaped, flesh-toned Batmobile and engaging in horseplay bordering on expressions of physical affection, while other characters in the cartoon openly speculate on the duo's sexual orientation.) But there's more to it than that: unlike a number of other superheroes, Batman wears a cowl that obscures his features. By this device of costuming, the victim is kept from the identity of the man assaulting him
Barbara "denial: the mask of sorrow" Mikkelson
Last updated: 10 May 2007
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