Readers react to "The Twins Thing."

Published June 3, 2003 7:45PM (EDT)

[Read the story. ]

Thank you for voicing my disbelief and confusion regarding the typical American male's blindness when it comes to the fact that sex with twins is, in fact, incest! I am an identical twin in her mid-20s, and, over the years I have conducted an impromptu survey of male friends and significant others about the twin, three-some fantasy. The responses I received were similar to those voiced in Shari Waxman's article. The incest angle had never occurred to any of the men to whom I spoke! I find this cultural hypocrisy of acceptable versus unacceptable incest fascinating. Thank you again..

-- Rebecca

I find it somewhat ironic that the Coors organization, famed supporters of the Republican cause for decades, would allow the use of incest-suggestive advertising for their products. From Rick Santorum on up, conservatives never stop ranting about what evil anything that departs from missionary sex for the purpose of procreation within heterosexual marriage is.

But given the recent revelations about Bill Bennett, perhaps these kinds of double standards are not so surprising.

All I would like to know is how the sanctimonious hypocrites that lecture the country and the world at large, continue to command respectable platforms for their self-serving and controlling views. Another excuse to further deregulate an already unquestioning media, I suppose.

-- Mervyn Duddy

The author might be right that men are pigs, but off base in her analysis of incest taboos (as based in biology). From a reproductive fitness perspective it doesn't make sense for a guy to start producing children with his sister or mother or any other relation. But it makes complete sense for men to wish to reproduce with two superb physical specimens. Incest is about avoiding the genetic minefield of producing offspring with your own family. Do the math. Two women, alone, will never produce a child. No taboo. The men fantasizing about the threesome are also in the clear. No reason for an incest taboo about banging two related family members -- as long as they're not yours.

The author should take an animal behavior class to understand why men are pigs. Of course understanding, and approving of, are two completely unrelated items. If this is confusing, read Stephen Pinker's "The Blank Slate." At least she wouldn't have to create fantastical psycho-babble about four tits instead of two to explain away a pretty normal phenomena.

Dream away guys, it's OK.

-- Andrew Bates

There are a number of reasons why hot twins are fascinating to the male psyche -- without involving incestuous threesomes.

To begin with, there's increased availability. In our relatively monogamous culture, this is highly desirable. Insofar as their personalities are the same, you get twice the opportunity for relatively the same product (if you'll pardon the term).

The other thing -- and credit to the ad agency if they had this in mind -- twins are literally freaks of nature, but if they're hot, then they represent a template of genetic perfection. Imagine talking to a hot stranger at a summer barbecue, and getting a little flustered. Now imagine talking to two of them at once, freakishly the same, but absolutely gorgeous.

Beer companies know that most people do not consider themselves the kind of suave, swinging people portrayed in their ads. Many ads capitalize on that by presenting a fantasy where the viewer can pretend he is that sort of person. The "Here's to Twins" ads participates in that somewhat, but with a twist. They are an affirmation -- and an approbation -- that we do like to fantasize. We do dorky things (burritos at 4 a.m., spending entire Sundays watching football), and we get a sickening feeling in our guts when a beautiful woman in a short skirt walks by, or contemplating the hot twin cheerleaders at our high school. We love that sickening feeling as much as we loathe it. It's what makes us guys, and that's really what the ad series is about.

This is not an apology for the ads, which I dislike. I have to admit that they are effective, though not effective enough to get me to drink Coors beer.

-- Neil Banman

Ms. Waxman is apparently surrounded by SNAGs (sensitive new age guys) who will tell her what she wants to hear (so she might sleep with them). Fantasies are usually built around the unattainable and often the forbidden. Most men I know get an extra shiver with the added incest factor. Anheuser-Busch should retaliate with the Dahm triplets.

When I purchased the Playboy with the Dahm sisters my wife was puzzled, as I haven't bought a Playboy in 20 years. When she asked me why, ever truthful my response was: blond triplets!! She of course called me a pig.

-- Rich Reiss

Finally, someone addresses one of the most prominent questions among intelligent women everywhere: What is the deal with guys and twins?? I mean, I always knew that guys dug the idea of two women together. But try as I might, I couldn't begin to fathom what would be appealing about identical twin sisters going at it with each other. From Playboy spreads where naked twin sisters grope each other, to the tamer (yet equally puzzling) Coors ads, it seems that this is a mainstream male fantasy. Like the author, I didn't get it and naturally assumed that the men in my life could explain it to me. When I asked my guy friends, my dad, my brother, all of them seemed equally confused and unable to grasp the simple question. Leave it to a woman to be able to answer the question better than a man ever could! Thank you, Shari Waxman, for finally setting us straight.

-- Jillian Derscheid

In Shari Waxman's article about men's fantasies regarding twins, I think the focus on the incest aspect of the fantasy is misplaced. The purpose of these two sex bombs who seem so into the pleasures of the flesh is to allow men to relax their anxiety so that they can become excited (and hopefully, buy beer, too). It doesn't have anything to do with the reality that these women are sisters. In fact, being exact replicas of each other actually makes them seem more like objects, like dolls. In the fantasy, these women don't even have real lives. They are two gorgeous, identical female bodies who love sex and don't have any emotional needs.

She ends her essay with a quote from a male friend that says "Men are pigs. You should be glad you don't understand our psychology." I find this simplistic and untrue. I think the more we understand the psychology behind sexual fantasy, the more we understand each other as human beings.

The purpose of sexual fantasy is to create a safe mental environment in order to become aroused. A fantasy involving two beautiful, identical sex objects servicing a man or joyfully partaking of him is an innocent fantasy that allows a man to relax. By not having to take care of the emotional needs of these women, he doesn't worry he will disappoint them. Because they are joyful and exuberant, he doesn't feel guilty about being exuberant as well. And because they are so sexed up, he doesn't worry he won't please them. Why is this considered pig behavior and why should anyone feel guilty about such an innocent fantasy? Don't we all enjoy a break from the reality of attending to and caring for others in our lives by fantasizing from time to time?

Yes, our culture objectifies women, is obsessed with heterosexual coupling and is in many ways infantile. My point is simply that there is nothing shameful about sexual fantasies that involve letting go of one's responsibilities to others and that the more we understand how men's and women's minds work psychologically, the more we can have compassion and love for each other -- and sexual understanding and better sexual relationships, too.

-- Patricia Collins

By Salon Staff

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