I feel like I know a surprisingly large number of people who claim to be afraid of clowns. I think some folks I know only get uneasy if they go to the circus or something and some get full-on nightmares about being chased by axe-wielding harlequins or crushed to death in a small fuel-efficient vehicle with too many clowns inside. Coulrophobia is the technical term for extreme fear of clowns (in case you were looking for a vocab word of the day.)
Of course, by corollary, if there is something which makes some people crazy, I will also know people who love that thing largely because of the maddening impact on others. So I know a surprisingly large number of people who claim to be turned on by clowns. The extremely fabulous sex educator Dr. Ducky DooLittle even has a Knockers the Clown performance art character she does and I admit just last week I came across film proving I once bought a cake for the sole purpose of seeing Ducky stick her ass in it (a la pudding on MTV’s The State.) Entertaining though Ducky’s performances all are, I can’t say I am kinked for clowns.
People often take their children to circuses where there are clowns or invite clowns to perform at kids’ parties. Sad clown makeup used to trouble me, but it did not frighten me. I never found clowns remotely funny or scary as a child. I was going to say most physical humor misses me, but I find comedians like Steve Martin and Chevy Chase hilarious and there is a certain amount of physicality to what they do. So I guess I am just kind of unmoved by clowns specifically.
So I was looking at this half naked photo series of model Apnea for Apneatic and Deviant Nation which featured clown makeup and balloons and other tropes of soubrette clowning and it brought the vital question to mind: Are clowns scary or sexy or are they sexy because they are scary?