Jowita Bydlowska

The Addictive Pornography Of Cute

Tickling “Sonya The Slow Loris

“But everyone has seen it already,” said my partner when I told him I wanted to write about “Slow loris loves getting tickled” video. This particular YouTube link has had — at the time of writing this — 1,715,794 views. I have seen it at least a dozen times. One time I had a fight with my partner and in that super awkward, right-after-the-fight time – when you can’t talk normally yet – we watched the slow loris getting tickled. We watched and we laughed and reenacted the arms going down, the sorrowful eyes looking accusingly resigned, the same eyes looking resigned and satisfied when the tickling resumed.

It was an innocent time for us. It was like relaxing with a glass of wine, a little puff, a little line to make you breezy; it worked.

The slow loris is a little nocturnal primate with “slow, deliberate movements,” giant eyes and humanoid paws. This animal is a cartoonishly delightful interbreeding of a sad Russian man, a plush teddy bear, a monkey and a vampire that is a baby. The video of this creature getting tickled while her owners are giggling in the background is beyond adorable. It is so aww-adorable it is perverse. It is the porn of cute.

I am sorry I just wrote “the porn of cute.” I am sorry that I made you look at the petite tickling hand disappearing in that softest fur and those melancholic, resigned eyes in that way. It’s just a little animal being tickled and I feel a little animal inside me when I watch it: I want to tickle this furry thing, squeeze it, kiss it and eat it. Posses it. I have a physical, instinctual reaction to it and it’s not to fuck it as you might’ve misunderstood because of that word, porn. My reaction is that I just want more of it.

Sometimes I think that we are simply not supposed to see certain things – like a slow loris getting tickled – and that we see so much and so much of everything, thanks to the Internet videos, that our minds get confused. We become oversaturated with images, some of us end up with the minds of addicts, dissatisfied, always looking for the bigger hit – bigger cute, bigger perverse, bigger amazing – to fulfill the exponentially expanding need for visual satiation and mental stimulation.

My partner was right: everyone has already seen it. And if some of you have the minds of addicts, that slow loris getting tickled was like taking your first hit. Afterward you Googled “slow loris” and “cute” and “cute video” and “cute animals”… you Googled and Googled: You needed more and more.

– Jowita Bydlowska

Ryeberg Curator Bio

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Jowita Bydlowska was born in Warsaw, as in Poland. She moved to Canada as a teenager. That hurt. She got over it eventually and now she likes it in Canada. She's the author of "Drunk Mom," a memoir, "Guy," a novel, and "Possessed," also a novel. For fun she takes weird pictures, usually of herself, because she and herself are on the same page most of the time so it's just easier that way. More from Jowita Bydlowska here.