Y’all really wanna bang Pennywise?


Jocelyn Moreno

Y’all really wanna bang Pennywise?

By Erin Dickson

While scrolling through Tumblr, Maisie Smith-Walters, a social media journalist for BBC, stumbled upon photos of Pennywise, the clown from the 2017 remake of the horror film “IT.” 

The comments on the photos, including, “The best carnival ride is riding Pennywise’s d–k,” made her realize she was not alone in finding the clown and his twisted smile attractive. 

Smith-Walters said she views creepy villains as more than just horrific figures. She and hundreds of others have recently taken their fantasies to social media where they could express their sexual desires together.

“This is not a new phenomenon, but with the internet it is more prominent because [of] fanfiction [and] memes that is why it has become more obvious,” Smith-Walters said. 

Smith-Walters also expressed her lust for The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” and Jared Leto in “Suicide Squad.” 

“He is not monstrous, but he is still that villain that is really scary [and] psychotic,” Smith-Walters said. “Something about it is just attractive; it is like Bonnie and Clyde syndrome. You fancy something that is dangerous.” 

Most horror movies are strategically designed and filmed to explore taboo subjects that lure audiences into different stimulations, according to Brendan Riley, an associate professor in the English and Creative Writing Department.

“Hollywood likes to play with that temptation of the seductive horror figure,” Riley said. “There are a number of films where there’s overlap between the murderous and the attractive.” 

Ewelina Beardmore, a psychotherapist and clinical manager at Innervoice Psychotherapy and Consultation, said after seeing an explicit movie, the body undergoes an experience. The brain translates the physical reaction into an emotion, such as fear or sexual arousal. 

“Our brain’s going to associate emotions with the physiological reactions,” Beardmore said. “Based on the context that we’re in, we’re going to label the emotion a certain way.” 

Cultural backgrounds and what a person assigns as sexual are both going to elicit a different reaction in each individual. Clowns can either be seen as disgusting monsters or funny entertainers, Beardmore said. 

Seeing a horror movie and being sexually aroused both get a person’s blood rushing, and emotions between the two different feelings could be misinterpreted, Smith-Walters said. 

Smith-Walters added that the attraction to a horror movie character can be exciting but can be dangerous when the line between fiction and reality blurs. 

“Harmless fun on the internet, saying you want to have sex with a clown, is fine,” Smith-Walters said. “But if you are writing letters to someone who is incarcerated for murdering a whole family, then it is an issue.” 

As an avid fanfiction reader, Smith-Walters said it was intriguing that she was so invested in the dangerous but exciting stories about Pennywise that she started to imagine herself in the stories with the creepy and monstrous characters.

“The idea of a clown being dangerous and embodying everything you’re scared of is a turn on,” Smith-Walters said.