With a looming busy academic and traveling schedule—papers, exams, shopping, flying, and all that—let us just horse around a bit and have some light fun tonight.
My recent fascination with centaurs all started with an innocuous question from a friend, 2DT, “Do you prefer your centaur girls to wear skirts over their entire horse rumps, or just at the end of their human waists?” In a follow-up tweet, 2DT identifies the core of the question: whether centaur private parts ought to be treated with the same social decorum as human private parts.
When 2DT asked the question, I had just started reading this adorable manga, Centaur’s Worries. Centaur’s Worries goes into incredible depth of a mythical world populated by a hodgepodge of various “humans” ranging from centaurs to angels. The themes that arise and are discussed within each chapter are surprisingly intelligent, and can often be allegories for issues we face. Sexuality—and how young women deal with it—is one of those.
Below is my response, inspired by Centaur’s Worries, to the curious question of centaur wardrobe. The discourse assumes that the fantastic centaur culture is integrated into a global culture similar to our own.
Centaur fashion should extend toward the entire lower body not only for aesthetic reasons, but for social, ethical reasons as well. At the surface level, our instinctive fashion sense—shaped by centuries of design and culture—dictates that a complete wardrobe often includes skirts, pants, shorts, lingerie, and other items for our lower bodies. Why should centaurs be deprived of those garments? Even a compromise at the waist precludes far too many styles. For example, it would be difficult to imagine a gorgeous ball room gown that halves its own silhouette and cuts off any sense of flow. Or, if we were to look into traditional and cultural attires, we would sorely miss the styles of Victoria, Southern Belles, qipao and kimonos. Gone too are those sexy pencil skirts or that tight-fit little black dress with stockings. These are but a few sacrifices to fashion that come with such limited, close-minded clothing.
Sexuality is jeopardized as well. Fashion enriches sexuality. In the simplest sense, clothing draws our attention to sexuality by clothing the reproductive organs. The garments over a woman’s breasts and buttocks are signs that those parts of her—and sex—are not for everyone nor for any situation. It precisely that sense of mystery—the taboo, the forbidden zones—that titillates.
Moreover, fashion builds context, which in turn influences how fashion shapes sex. Lacey lingerie and bikini have vastly different sensual meanings because of the environments they are worn in and what they do to the atmosphere. More brusquely explained, a bare vagina in a biology textbook and a glimpse of a woman in an erotica are not the same. Thus, without a proper social context—one that covers centaur vagina—we dehumanize centaur sexuality to mere reproductive functions. In fact, in a culture where fashion is so integrally tied with sexuality, when we deny centaur women clothing for their buttocks, we strip them of their sex appeal, and, worse, their sexuality. On the other hand, a fashion sense that gives centaur girls choice in how and when to display their sexuality is empowering.
This distinction between workhorse sex and centaur sensuality is not trivial, nor is the implication of the fashion attached to each. If we consider public attire to be a signature of civilization, then clothing the equine private parts has relevance regarding speciesism. It says that centaur ladies are not mere half-beasts, that they are an equal part of society, and that they are no more or less vulgar than any other species. Although a point can be made about our conception of vulgarity, that is a separate argument. For now, we live in a world that associates refinement, class, and beauty to not flaunting one’s privates. As such, fashion should not be so discriminating as to hold a species to a completely separate, bestial standard. That is, revealing her vagina should be a centaur girl’s personal choice only—as it is for any other girl—and not a centaur-specific wardrobe statement resulting from speciesist pressures. Further, just as it would be degrading to saddle centaurs—voluntary pony play enthusiasts excepted—it is degrading to expect centaurs to bare their genitalia. After all, centaurs are not horses.
I should preempt a few things that might arise in the comments. Yes, I think centaur girls can be adorable. No, I am not attracted to horses or horse buttocks. And, no, I am not into bestiality, although the moral arguments surrounding bestiality is far less cut-and-dry than one might suspect. If a chance to discuss bestiality ever comes, remind me to write about it. Also, remind me to talk about pony play.