I don’t travel nearly as much as I would like. Maybe if I did, I wouldn’t have been so completely stunned by the beach towel pictured here. I suspect that no amount of traveling would have prepared me for seeing the dozen different topless beach towels I saw hanging in a store in San Juan.
I have always been interested in crass tourist items for sale. San Juan didn’t disappoint. You could be walking the aisles; innocently looking at figurines of pirates and snow globes containing beaches, when all of a sudden there would be an entire shelf dedicated to copulating frog statues.
When I see stuff like this towel, my brain goes into erotica writer’s mode: “Ah! Since I have seen 4 different stores that sell this towel, they must sell well. Therefore, towels with tits and a hint of pubic hair must be what the people want!”
Then my sense of taste kicks in and I ask myself, who buys this shit? I am imaging one of those college kids you seem to trip over in San Juan. The same kids who slam the bar at the hotel when they are giving away free cups of Pina Colada. The same kids who are most likely reading my blog until they realize I am a guy and not a woman with tits. I bet they buy these towels.
The reason I bought the towel is because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I laughed at it the first day but then on my second day of vacation I went back and bought one. As a sex blogger and writer, I am intrigued by what works when people try to sell things with sex. I mean, here is a towel you can’t really ever use in public, and if you hung it in your bathroom, you are not going to impress any girls but yet, here it is. It is also huge, about six fee long. It’s a towel destined to be folded up in someone’s closet.
Interesting fact, the vast majority of towels were of blonde white women, the kind you don’t see a lot of in Puerto Rico. I thought that was an odd choice for an item that is allegedly meant as a souvenir for visiting a Caribbean island. That is when I knew what the towel really represented. It was a sexual ideal of what Puerto Ricans thought tourists would think was sexy: A lot of color, big tits and a tiny ‘Puerto Rico’ label on the side. It is an artifact about one culture trying to guess another culture’s sexuality.
Considering that I bought the thing for 20$, they must have been right.