LoonersPosted: May 30, 2011
A while back a friend asked me if I had ever heard of “looners.” I hadn’t. He went on to explain that ‘looner’ is short for ‘ballooner’ and was code for people who had a sexual interest in balloons. I still don’t know much about ‘looner’ culture other than the fact that whether or not it is acceptable to pop the balloon(s) during or after the ‘deed’ is a very controversial issue within the ‘looner’ community (yes, there are anti-popping and pro-popping factions) and typing ‘looner’ into google image search will turn up tons of images of naked people with balloons (It seems the looners buy lots of porn — a slightly more publicly acceptable sample of ‘looner’ porn can be seen at right).
I’m not against ‘loonism’ (if that is a word). It is certainly kind of bizarre and I doubt I would be able to prevent myself from laughing if I caught someone ‘looning,’ but, honestly, it seems harmless enough (unless you happen to be a balloon I guess).
One of my first questions about ‘looners’ was, “What did these people do before balloons were invented?” My friend rolled his eyes heavenward and said that such strange questions were ‘typical’ of me… but I really do wonder if the fetish for a particular object can predate the object. I’m not sure when rubber or latex balloons were first invented… but if you were a ‘looner’ who had the misfortune of being born in a time before the inflatable objects of your desire were available, would you wander the world, unhappy without knowing why? Or would you transfer your feelings of affection to some other object? The ancient Chinese apparently had silk bags which were sent aloft by flaming material suspended underneath— would the early ‘looner’ have desired a floating, fiery bag of silk instead of a squeaky latex balloon? I read that the ancient Romans used to inflate the bladder of a slaughtered animal and kick it around for fun — were there Roman ‘looners’ who took the sheep bladders home for more private amusements?
I don’t know if there is an answer to these kinds of questions… I just feel compelled to ask them. Any ‘looners’ who happen to read this, please respond.