Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Slaaneshi Daemons

Why aren't Slaaneshi daemons more attractive?

This is of course a potentially loaded question.  Sexuality, especially in the context of the female form, is often used as a vehicle for bias and suppression in our society.

By definition however Slaaneshi demons are supposed to be the object of irresistible sensual desire.  Games Workshop's lavender crab clawed models generally don't convey these attributes very effectively.  While shapely, the artistic renditions of these entities are generally designed to convey a stronger sense of horror and peculiarity than emotions of desirability. 

Why is this? 

One possibility is that Games Workshop is an English company, and English culture is more puritanical than average.  The Warhammer universe, while replete with violence and gore, is generally not a highly sexualized environment.  Space Marines are all male and generally do not exhibit any specific interest in female companionship.  Sisters of Battle are one of the few female factions in the game, and live a similarly ascetic lifestyle.

Is this stereotype of English culture accurate?  Perhaps.  A recent online poll indicated that England was the fourth country having the least sex.

Who was number one?  Japan.

Another possibility is that Games Workshop wants to be able to market Warhammer to children.   This may seem ridiculous  given the average price of models.  However even if most children may not have sufficient pocket change readily available to buy mini wargaming figures, their parents do.  These parents control the purse strings and are unlikely to be impressed by highly sexualized renditions. 

Also, as previously mentioned sexuality is easily abused, and perhaps the designers are aware of this danger.  Games Workshop may have in fact opted against hypersensualizing Slaaneshi demons because of an enlightened awareness that such sexualization would be inherently sexist and objectifying. 

Another intriguing possibility based in lore is that perhaps Slaaneshi demons are actually intended to be an acquired taste, which only a true connoisseur of extreme sensuality can properly appreciate.  The average dull minded hive drone such as you or me is sadly lacking in the proper imagination and palate to recognize their true beauty, and thus reacts with predictable horror to them due to his philistine lack of proper illumination.

A reader also commented that perhaps Slaaneshi demons have shapeshifting abilities, allowing them to hide the horror of their true form until after they have ensnared their prey.

It is also possible that Games Workshop needs Slaaneshi demons to be unattractive, because otherwise their audience might be sympathetic to them because there is nothing really inherently wrong or evil about strong desire.

Regardless, to the Imperium it is clear that the dangers of Slaanesh heresy are manifest to those that do not properly shield their minds and souls to temptation.

From If the Emperor had a Text-to-Speech Device - Episode 19: Warp Grumbling

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