Far too much of the Internet is currently experiencing morality-induced convulsions over “mamading.” In case you haven’t read the Gawker, BuzzFeed, Vice, and Daily Mail articles or haven’t seen the now-infamous video, let me have the pleasure of dropping some unwanted and trivial knowledge on you: Mamading is a new “trend” of young female tourists performing several, fast-paced blow jobs in exchange for alcohol on the Spanish island resort area of Magaluf.
If that trend sounds awfully specific, it’s because it is: there’s only one documented case of it. Some articles claim bars in Magaluf are promoting mamading more and more “as a way to temp youngsters in,” and Vice quoted a bar owner claiming it has been “going on for a couple of years, but it’s definitely getting worse.” (The link to the article appears to be down.) Yet these fears largely stem from a single filmed incidence of a blond British girl performing oral sex on 24 men to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” for a three-euro bottle of Cava at a bar in the tourist destination on the island of Majorca. This lone video has reportedly prompted the local mayor to publicly denounce mamading and to order an investigation into the practice. Oh, the lucky municipal officials who find themselves on that assignment.
But really, what is all the fuss? Perhaps I am too jaded and cynical because I grew up well aware of—but never in the presence of—the mythological “rainbow parties.” For those uninformed, these social gatherings of urban legend claimed adolescent girls would wear different lipgloss and perform oral sex on their male peers to create a technicolor stream on their genitalia. A decade ago, rainbow parties confused and horrified parents as the New York Times and The Oprah Winfrey Show gave too much credence to a sexual practice sometimes discussed by young teens but rarely, if ever witnessed (feel free to correct me on this one, Millennials). In fact, most of us probably only knew about rainbow parties because our parents were so busy freaking out about us having them.
For this reason, I am extremely skeptical that mamading is, in fact, a trend, and I am certainly loathe to buy into the hysteria surrounding it. Maybe you don’t exactly have to be a card-carrying pearl-clutcher to be taken aback by a video of a woman giving two dozen blow jobs for a $4 bottle of Spanish wine. Yet, relative to the massive amount of attention, shock, and criticism, I can only muster a shrug and a plea to chill out. Yes, I can (sort of) understand why this video went viral, but I fail to comprehend the stream of moral outrage and high-strung panic.
Any video that involves a young, attractive blond woman and public displays of oral sex is going to garner a fair number of clicks. Yet, it is still a bit of a wonder that a video so deeply unsexy managed to earn so much attention when the world wide web offers a treasure trove of porn, let alone television and movies with legitimately titillating sex scenes. That a shoddy, two-minute clip of beat-the-clock fellatio in a loud, Daytona Beach-esque bar wins the Internet is somewhat of a head-scratcher.
But what is even more baffling is the moral hyperventilation in response to mamading. I don’t want to make too many assumptions from a questionable video that offers little actual information about the participants but the woman in it appears to be over 18 and to be performing the sexual acts voluntarily. If these two facts aren’t true, the clip becomes extremely upsetting. Yet, none of the outrage is over these concerns. Rather, the moral panic is over the fact that a woman would perform sexual acts in public, that she would perform these acts on multiple men, that she would do it for the prize of alcohol, and, perhaps most disturbing to many, that she would do it without a gun pointed to her head.
Guess what? If this is an adult woman’s way of cutting loose on her vacation and she and all the male parties are of age and consenting, this shouldn’t be such a cause for concern. That’s not to say said woman may not regret her mamading, though she may just as easily relish her memorable moment of exhibitionism on a crazy vacation. Either way, it doesn’t deserve the stream of hypocritical censure or, for that matter, a police investigation. In fact, the former is only likely to stigmatize a woman who so many people claim to spew their high-minded outrage in the name of defending.
Already the all too predictable slut-shaming has begun. Twitter offers far too many examples of how a single woman becomes the target of moral outrage rather than the 24 men receiving oral sex in public. One female user tweeted that the woman in the video “is vile and seriously needs her head looking at!!” (she kindly added that woman has “Shit extensions too!!”).
Ultimately, the moral outrage over mamading is a thin excuse for people to vent paternalistic, unfounded beliefs about how adult women are supposed to behave sexually. If people are actually concerned about mamading increasing as a sexual practice, do not freak out about it. Almost everyone who heard about it didn’t even know it existed 24 hours ago. It’s only thanks to self-righteous, moral hysteria that mamading is on everyone’s lips (figuratively).