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March 17, 2014 | by  | in Opinion |
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Weird Internet Shit

I’ve got around nine tabs of CuteDeadGuys.net open when I realise that this may not be the most legal thing in the world. I scroll to the bottom of the forum, past the “where deaded dudes RAWK!!!!” banner, in search of some kind of legality disclaimer. Nothing. I type “necro porn legal” into Google, then delete it, worried that this may just make it worse. This is not a great way to spend your evening.

CuteDeadGuys.net is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a forum where people (mostly dudes) share and discuss photos of good-looking male corpses. While this appears to be the core of the site, it also features an “alive guys” section (“guys who would make the perfect corpse”), a “dead guys in movies” section (“**Handsome fit soilder got killed and dumped.. HOTTTTT**”) and your garden variety off-topic and personal sections – although the latter features a few more “seeking castration” ads than the Saturday paper.

Now, of course this stuff exists. Rule 34, there is a fetish for anything, the whole shebang. What surprised me about Cute Dead Guys (CDG?) was the tone. Everyone on the site seems utterly pleasant. I’ve been locked from viewing any more threads without registering, which I am really not doing ever, but what I did see suggested a healthy and helpful community of 33,000+ members. A smiling admin, ‘Meatpie’, seems to mostly compliment other posters on their jokes, detail his culinary skills in the off-topic boards, proclaim how hot different corpses are, or help newer users learn their way around the site. It isn’t just him either: I didn’t see a single insult throughout the entire forum. They call each other “my friend”. One user’s signature read: “BLOOD, SPUNK & BUNNY WUNNIES!” Every emotion of each user – arousal, disappointment, hope – seemed both shared and understood.

Have I found the white whale? An online community where everyone is nice to each other?

To be clear, if you get off to images of non-consenting corpses, you are a despicable human being. From the descriptions of the threads that I didn’t click on, a lot of the content was at least sold as found work – i.e. real-life corpse photos leaked from morgues, crime scenes, or simply by bystanders to the event. That makes most of the users horrible fucking people, so why are they so pleasant?

I guess once you get to this level of depravity, there isn’t much dignity to lose. You can’t insult a guy who whacks off to the same corpse that you do. Without any real power dynamics, there is no reason to be anything but helpful.

Clearing my history, I gathered up the courage to google around. Photos of corpses, while distasteful, seem to be mostly legal, although generally for journalistic or educational purposes. As bad as it got, I didn’t stumble upon anyone interacting with corpses; just a few hastily hidden photos of white faces and messy injuries. I’ll need several episodes of The Simpsons before I get to sleep, but I probably won’t wake up in jail.

Is that all I should worry about, though? Has 15 years of internet use conditioned me to simply scroll past what I find distasteful? Have I been complicit, simply by viewing the site, in non-consensual sexual gratification, in the theft of scientific images for the worst possible use? Has writing this piece – complete with wacky references and a link to the fucking site – trivialised something incomprehensibly horrible? I think I’ll write about a guy who reviews wallets on YouTube next week, thanks.

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