Barbie Naked Sex Party

Surely I’m not the only one who played with my dolls this way

I presume that you have seen and enjoyed the Barbie movie by now.

I also presume that those who of us who grew up playing with them share a major criticism.

Namely–it could have used about 1000 times more sex.

I don’t mean coy references, like the film’s references to the amount of time Kate McKinnon’s “Weird Barbie” spends in the splits, or Ryan Gosling’s Ken desire for a sleepover with Margot Robbie’s Barbie, to what end he’s not sure.

I’m talking same sex naked bellyfloping onto a waiting pal, joyfully calling out, “Whee, this is fun!”…

Scissoring so vigorous it sounds like you’re beating a wooden spoon around inside your grandma’s empty Tupperware…

An explicit, ecstatic reenactment of The Bacchae, slowed only somewhat by the logistics of the director having but two hands.

My mother didn’t want me to have Barbie.

Illustration: Ayun Halliday

Unlike some of her peers, her objections had nothing to do with feminism. She found Barbie’s In-your-face T&A vulgar, and felt strongly about restraining her only child’s imaginative play to the realm of baby dolls, as depicted in the 2001: A Space Odyssey homage that opens the film.

I loved that scene, but if the 9-year-old me were writing the screenplay, those little girls wouldn’t have wasted time dropkicking their doll babies.

They would’ve scaled Margot Robbie’s monumental thighs like crazed chimpanzees coordinating efforts to denude her of her iconic black-and-white bathing suit.

Not so they could dress her back up in an evening gown or skating outfit.

Mindless clothes changing was the sort of childish activity I enjoyed when I had just one Barbie, a brunette 1970 Twist ‘N Turn, given to me by my mother’s defiant best friend.

Shortly thereafter, Malibu Barbie, Malibu Skipper, 2 Malibu PJs, and Quick Curl Kelley entered our lives, thanks to a birthday party to which every girl in class had been invited.

I also got a Malibu Ken.

A total submissive, his only garment was the pair of orange swim trunks he came in. They peeled off handily, unlike Barbie’s many tight sleeved wedding gowns, which reeked of the mildewed basement to which my mother’s sensibilities banished my entire collection.

That wound up being a stroke of luck. There, I could play with my Barbies as I saw fit. The creaky stairs offered plenty of warning if my mother was headed down to do laundry or scoop the kitty litter.

I basically invented queer sex.

And group sex.

And The Aristocrats.

I’d have invented the Mile High Club, if Barbie’s Friendship United Airplane had had a bathroom.

Her Malibu Country Camper‘s side popped up into a claustrophobic, quickly ripped vinyl tent, but frankly, the potential for dirty sex was so much more exciting in the dank plein air of my subterranean Barbieland.

I wound up selling my Barbies for a few bucks in my grandma’s yard sale, long before my first kiss.

But if director Greta Gerwig’s looking to collaborate on the sequel with someone who’s not longtime partner, Noah Baumbach, I have notes.


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Ayun Halliday

Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.

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