It seems to have started off with the Daily Star (a site whose writing is one that should be taken with a grain of salt) reporting that Wii Fit had turned a woman ‘from Nintendo to nympho.’ What has resulted are numerous sites reporting this story, continuing in the sensationalism, and blowing up a story which pairs a company known for its family friendly focus and cultural cachet with a hodge-podge of sex, gender, ableism, and all the baggage that normally comes with such in tabloid-esque reporting.
Amanda Flowers fell off her Wii Balance Board, damaging a nerve, and resulting in a prognosis from her doctor that she had acquired persistent sexual arousal syndrome. The difficulty here is that apparently PSAS and hypersexuality (more often called nymphomania and sometimes satyriasis) are not related–which makes the choice of headline (‘Nintendo Wii Made Me Nympho!’) already strange. This all then seems even more odd in the face of the final paragraph on the Daily Star article:
Single Amanda, 24, from Harpurhey, Manchester, said: “With no cure I just have to try to control my passion by breathing deeply. Hopefully one day I’ll find a superstud who can satisfy me.”
The credibility of the story, already on thin ice, seems suspicious. Were Flowers to have PSAS, her concern would likely have less to do with finding a superstud, and focusing more on every day travel that might trigger her syndrome, or any of a number of hassles and obstacles she would face in every day life. She’s single, however, so the foremost concern is that she be paired with an appropriate mate.
At the same time, it is easy to see how this story has quickly spread and been reported by many in the exact same theme and sexual up-play. Our media seems to have a fascination with women who ‘break from the mold’ (most often to judge them). A woman who is constantly sexually aroused? She has to find a man to match her?
Gender essentialism dictates that women just are not as horny as men. In order for her to be so, apparently an accident must occur. Given our media’s focus on still seeing women as baby factories, this is hardly surprising. What is on display is a sideshow, a freak circus that posits that something is abnormal, and us default, normal folk would be shocked and entertained by the story.
However, the story continues. Most people have been reporting the story verbatim, continuing this trend. The one site I have read who is suspicious (Kotaku), seems to indicate it is better than were she to have fallen off and received a physical injury. Because orgasms only equal good, wanted or not. I warn you off the comments (hopefully a given), which posit that now she knows what it’s like to be a man (because all men are always sex-crazed, drooling idiots who can only think about their next orgasm–duh!). This story plays up the thought of undercutting the status quo by playing into all sorts of sexist assumptions.
If Amanda Flowers truly has this syndrome, I wish for her to find the best way to navigate her life, not for a ‘superstud.’