It seems every new day comes with the dawn of another horrifying trend; another godless cultural craze that grips our consciousness and newsfeeds with unshakeable omnipresence.
And today? Today's unsavory, humanity-defacing trend is none other than everyone's least favorite water sport, semen-flinging.
You know, semen-flinging. The act of hurling the thing your body made when you thought of Grandma's rose perfume at an unsuspecting audience for your own special satiation.
Of course, semen-flinging is categorical sexual assault, but that's not stopping a confusingly high number of people from doing it. Recently, the practice went from latent, semi-rare occurrence to full-on trend following a rash of incidents a Portland police press release is calling a "semen-tossing spree."
According to Portland's KATU news station, several area women have reported being unwittingly pelted with semen in public locations, only to find that the source of said semen had disappeared into the ether. However, yesterday, police arrested 47-year-old Manuel Banuelos-Alcala of Beaverton, Oregon for the crime, doing so in the parking lot of a Safeway where it is suspected "that he likely committed another lewd act of throwing semen on an unsuspecting female customer."
KATU reports Banuelos-Alcala had been throwing his cum at people since January 2016, but had recently ramped things up this spring. One woman told the news station she'd been hit with it twice. "Ever since it happened the first time, you're always on high alert that something's going to happen," she said, "but I did not expect it a second time."
No one would blame her! I, for one, don't exactly walk out of my house expecting a Category 5 semen hurricane to be launched into my eyes, and I'm pretty sure you don't either. So, it's not surprising that the woman was unaware she was only one of dozens of semen-flinging victims in recent years, all casualties of the rising trend.
It all started back in 2011 with what Providence's Brown Daily Herald called an "inexplicable months-long masturbation spree." One target, Anita*, told Broadly she was "walking home from a college event when a man in a white sedan appearing to be in his 20s drove up beside her to ask directions."
"I really couldn't see much into the car, so I didn't know that while I was giving him directions, he was jerking off," she said. "By the time I finished giving him directions and started to walk away, he flung something at me. I had my hands full, but kind of hid my face behind the box; my reflexes were not fast enough and some of it got on my leg. Almost immediately after he drove away, I was just like: What the fuck did he fling at me?"
When Anita looked at the substance, she "wanted to gag and die. At first I sort of started wiping it off with some papers I had, but then I thought maybe I should save it for the cops. They didn't even care about it."
Justice was eventually served, though. Days later, a suspect was arrested after trying to throw come at her again, in broad daylight, as if he was petitioning the universe to become someone's longtime prison boyfriend. This time, Anita snapped a photo of his license plate and reported it to the police, who confirmed it was him through the extraordinarily magical process of semen testing.
But then, in 2013, it happened again. A Delaware man was arrested after he threw semen — which he initially claimed was snot — on a "hot" woman at a Walmart. Next a January 2015 incident saw veteran NYPD sergeant Michael Iscenko get charged with third-degree sexual abuse for tossing his ejaculate on a female co-worker in an elevator. Later, it came out he had crush on her, which, apparently, he thought could be quenched by sexually assaulting her with his homemade man seed. Not sure about you, but that's definitely how my parents fell in love.
Anyway, in the Portland case, Banuelos-Alcala was identified and arrested after security camera footage proved he was the same person who followed a 27-year-old woman and her two children into a Kmart, lobbed a cup of semen at her, then ran away. He was charged with two counts of sex abuse in the third degree, although he plead not guilty to the charges.
Of course, these incidents aren't even close to the first times men have assaulted women with bodily effluvium. Men have a pathetic and sordid habit of demonstrating either their disgruntlement against, or adoration for women in juvenile — but often traumatizing and violent — ways. Just last year, two women in Manhattan were pelted with the poop of some loser who threw his own feces into one of their faces and shoved another bag of it down the shorts of the other … and that's not even the first, or worst, time something like that happened.
What is wrong with us?
Why must we live in a world where semen-flinging and poop throwing are things we do to each other? Why do we have to take it there? Why can't we just stick to fidget spinners and Harambe and other less assaultive trends? The fact that this is even a story in the news, let alone a repetitive one, is just proof of the gross place culture's at right now.
It's easy to chalk it up to psychosis or even men's nubile attempt to grasp at the patriarchal dominance slipping away from them as today's empowered, independent women take the stage, but … it could also just be that some people are just human worms who give reporters like me some new, awful thing to alert you about so you can, I don't know, wear something other than your Grandma's antique lace wedding dress to Safeway … unless you've got an epic dry cleaner. In that case, make Grandma proud.
Here's to hoping tomorrow's trendiest trend is something like "consensual sex" or "not assaulting people with your sperm." Kinda makes you long for the forest clown days, no?