Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sex and the Serial Killer Part 3: The Foreplay

Due to the topic covered in this essay let me first note things may get a little graphic...both as I cover the average male and as I cover the killer who commits sexual homicide.  (Also, at the end of this essay, the serial killer George "The Reaper" Foyet's attack on FBI Agent Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner will be posted.  It, like much of this essay, is very much a spoiler for the season 5 premiere of Criminal Minds.)  For the average male foreplay will cover from that first kiss to sexual activity for the sole purpose of orgasm (as opposed to arousal).  For the killer it'll cover the moment he reveals his "true self" to the victim and the violent activity done for the sole purpose of killing the victim.

The Foreplay

Ah, foreplay, the beginning of measurable pleasure that can last a few minutes or even hours if paced right.  That is the main point in foreplay, to build up the arousal between (presumably) two get the juices flowing, so to speak.  Which "juices" flow and why however depend on if it's two lovers or a killer and his victims.

~ Average Joe ~

It starts, typically, with a kiss...that first kiss, accompanied by that first moan from his lover, is likely even to get the heart to start pumping.  Kisses, soft and sweet to start, quickly build into something more demanding from both lovers.  Hearts start to pickup their pace and breathing begins to grow heavy with anticipation.  Joe shrugs his jacket from his body as his female companion steps out of her shoes.  By the time they reach the bedroom shirts have been untucked and, as she lets herself tip back onto the bed, Joe goes to remove his own shirt.  He then moves to get on top his lover, return to kissing her and letting his hands explore her body.  His body heats next to hers and her reactions - the labored breathing, the moaning, that look of pleasure in her eyes - all work together to make Joe's blood pound through his body in excitement.  As more clothes are shed by both parties and more access to one another's bodies is allowed Joe may begin to feel himself getting further aroused, his member swelling and hardening with desire.  Noting his arousal, seeing it, feeling it, may cause his mate's own to increase to the point where she is sufficiently lubricated enough to allow him to enter her which, in turn, may increase Joe's and thus a cycle begins...a cycle that progresses with penetration and into the next stage, The Act.

Depending on the couple there may also be different methods used to arouse one another or simply to prolong the foreplay.  Roleplaying (with or without costumes), sex toys (vibrators and such), changing pacing or position of the lovers, and even just starting up only to stop, cool down, and start up again during intercourse are all possibilities.

~ The Killer ~

It starts, typically, with the killer revealing his true intentions....that first reaction his victim gives when she realizes she's made a terrible mistake in trusting him and her fear begins to show.  Like the first moan for the average guy the first gasp or tear from a victim can be intoxicating to the killer.  The killer's heart begins to pump faster, his breathing can grow labored, and his urge to get more fearful, more pained, reactions grows.  The victim's heart rate may also increase, her breathing may also labor, though obviously for very different reasons as she's progressing from scared, to terrified, to both terrified and in pain.  If stabbed the victim may begin to scream, cry, and moan in pain, all of which, including her blood flowing and looking up at her attacker in fear is likely to cause the killer to begin to feel himself start to swell and harden into a full-on erection.  At this point, depending on the killer, he may rape the victim or simply to build up his own lust (and her terror) by torturing her with increasing cruelty and depravity.  ...A word on rape:  For the killer committing sexual homicide rape is really just a means to an's just another way to increase the killer's feeling of power over their victim.

Depending on the killer certain techniques and implements might be used (rape, in sexual homicide, falls into this category).  Foyet himself uses a number of different things to manipulate, terrorize, and gain control over his victims.  He uses a costume, his "Reaper" appearance of all black and his mask that serves to immediately intimidate his victims, which often times is accompanied by a gravely voice (both are likely also used to avoid potential identification).  There are at least two weapons he uses, a gun and his knife, both of which are used for a few purposes during his killer foreplay - increase the fear in his victims, gain control of his victims, and cause his victims pain.  And, of course, there was also his offering of a deal which, in and of itself, was a way for him to exude power and control and get off at the expense of law enforcement.

In Foyet's attack on Hotch the comparison between normal foreplay done by two lovers and the twisted version a killer may engage in with his victim is really driven home in a number of ways.  He strips himself from the waist up, proudly showing Hotch his scarred chest and asking the agent if he liked them (the scars)...though a great deal of this reads as a man showing off his body to his lover during normal foreplay.  Also, rather than find a position that might make his stabbing of the agent easier, Foyet chooses a far more intimate one by straddling and laying over Hotch's body as a lover might.  The stabbings themselves (outside the first two which seem more to subdue) are slow, purposeful, and rather clearly intended for Hotch to feel every inch of the blade.  Each time Hotch's body is seen tightening enough that he arches some (different circumstances this would appear as a sexual act, one lover arching his/her back while the other enters them) and Foyet studies the agents face seeming to drink up the looks of pain.  When Foyet speaks, more often than not, he is using a smooth, low, and almost disturbingly soft voice - one a man might use as he whispered those "sweet nothings" into his girl's ear.  As the scene progresses both men begin to develop a sheen of sweat and have greater difficulty breathing; Hotch from physical strain and Foyet, presumably, from his growing arousal.  Clever little deviant that he is Foyet himself brings up the fact that profilers believe stabbing is a substitute for the sex act and that done when a killer is impotent then suggests that this attack will change the way Hotch profiles before going to stab the agent somewhere on his body that is off-screen (presumably around or below the waist) giving a soft grunt as he does.  At this point the scene cuts out and nothing more on the attack is shown but there's been great speculation as to what happened next.  Let me say now that I have my own theories (some of which I've already shared) but, in the end, it hardly matters...Foyet is shown to be rather clearly aroused in some way during the attack and that alone makes it a sexualized attack and, should Hotch have died, it would've qualified as a sexual homicide.  But, instead, Hotch did not and, I'm sure, Foyet will continue his twisted foreplay with Hotch for as long as he can - even if only vicariously (by forcing Hotch to send away his family, his son) or from afar (he's disappeared again, but I'm sure he'll keep tabs on Hotch).

The attack as it was filmed on the show (courtesy of CBS via YouTube):

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