Seeing as it was Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d watch something romantic. This of course led me to the Babestation channels – three whole channels devoted to late-night onanists, lonely shift-workers and widowers. Once, the graveyard slot was filled with thieving idiots posing under the banner of ‘quiz show’. Quizmania and The Mint would have you believe that the system was fair and the nation’s most depressed and amnesiac would rattle around their houses, listening to kind kid-presenter voices whilst being fleeced for every single penny from their account.
However… and quite rightly, these shows were effectively outlawed, leaving a gaping hole in the weird world of twilight television. Now, it’s been replaced by the unashamed robber of the sex-line. Yep, in what amounts to little more than a mucky phone-line/webcam beamed directly into your living room… on the very same screen you may have watched a touching World War I documentary or film about a talking dog… is a factory’s worth of women jiggling their buttocks for the amusement of jaded colonels and factory workers not sated by sticking their flaccid members into lukewarm Pot Noodles.
For their pleasure, they get to see an ageing Lindsay Dawn Mackenzie talking on a phone that was the wrong way round and humping fresh air. Meanwhile, the ‘action’, is broken up by a voiceover woman putting on her sexiest voice whilst reading out the terms and conditions of a glorified webcam.
It makes for astonishing television, it really does.
In the bottom left corner, next to the phone number and the declaration to Call Us Using UR Creditcard is a spinning icon that is CENSORED, which is clearly a video cam… which is obviously going to be some grainy image of a customer furiously yanking at his scrotum in a bedsit in Rotherham whilst demanding that a complete stranger gets her knockers out whilst simulating fellatio on a cordless phone. One lass listlessly rolls around on a bed clearly under the instruction to dribble down her own chin.
The girls are obviously only allowed to show so much and we can’t all hear what they’re saying… obviously, the draw of the thing is to spend a lot of money on speaking to them on the phone, leaving the casual passer-by the strange spectacle of watching a girl cock her leg up like a dog-gymnast, muted out by Casio keyboard music, demo setting three, thrusting down on an imaginary man. It’s like a sex version of Give Us A Clue (mercifully without Una Stubbs… and the less said about those rumours the better).
It’s even odder when you flick between the three channels (there’s Babestation 1, 2 and Xtra). You begin to get the impression that everyone silently gets roughly taken from behind by invisible humans and you’re in fact weird for sitting on a couch fully clothed. At one point, my suspicions were nearly confirmed as a couple rang in together to hump each other loudly whilst talking to one of the Babestation babes. We know this because someone decided to unmute the whole thing, leaving me to unwittingly listen to some couple humping in a terraced house somewhere. I nearly blushed.
That said, it isn’t all bog-standard moaning and groaning. You also get to see some of the strange requests from the British public. One lady who goes by the name of Tiffany Chambers (who “can’t wait for your dirty bad calls”) sticks the phone between her breasts, dribbles spittle from her tongue whilst pretending to play castanets – yodelling. She then seemingly checks her boobs for lumps. She is then, presumably, asked to dangle her foot in front of the camera and tickle the lens with her toe.
It’s far from over. Then, she seemingly shouted something down the phone, between looking a bit confused, only to jump to her feet and pretend to shoot the viewers, wild-west style. She then laughs at what I can only assume to be the ‘finishing’ noises of the caller who I bet gurgled like someone unblocking a backed-up grid.
The whole thing was so staggeringly non-sexual that I forgot about any liberal leanings at the exploitation of women and how degrading the whole spectacle only to end up glaring down the tube at the most peculiar spectacle in recent history with a mixture of amusement and blankness.
So odd is Babestation that it made Michael Jackson’s funeral look as pedestrian as someone absent mindedly scratching their nose.
Not that any of this foxes fans of the show. On a forum dedicated to the girls of the show, one scamp slates ‘Kandi’ saying: “I caught her on the black couch and I must confess I was disappointed. She seemed to regress back to her “locked in syndrome” days. She could at least lie on her right side occasionally to add a bit of variety.”
Another poster pines about a former Babestation starlet, saying: “I know the day had to come but it still doesn’t make it any easier. Dionne is the ultimate babe channel babe. The first time i saw her i was mesmerised by her beauty. No woman on any of the channels can smoulder like dionne does. Dionne made me laugh when she was chatting on the mike & really looked like she thoroughly enjoyed the show. Her legs are mindblowing her lips are the most kissable but i will miss her dreamlike eyes the most. The lady is an absolute goddess, a proper woman & in my opinion go down as the number 1 legend of all time. I’m off to cry myself to sleep” [sic]
Quite why anyone would tune in at a premium rate for this stuff is beyond me. I mean, they’ve heard of the endless filth on the web right?
Watching Babestation is hilarious and depressing. It’s a peer into how bored women really look at the other end of sex chat lines whilst almost constantly reminding you of the loneliest people in Britain. For each amusing visual that hits your eye, there’s the nagging, immovable notion of someone on the end of a phone, violently tugging their genitalia raw whilst you watch, desperate for the affection of a woman charging £1.50 a minute.
If you open your window, you can almost hear an orchestra of embarrassed climaxes from balding men with their undercrackers round their ankles. All the while, what seem to be sweet and presumably smart girls, tweak their nipples over and over until it begins to turn into a battery farm of titillation.
You almost want to give these girls a consoling hug and promise them something better… and then it hits you. Our onanist chums who have been ringing them up clearly feel the same way and want to take them away from this life they’ve made for themselves.
This is why some of them get emotionally involved with the girls. Suddenly, all those sneers and laughs feel a bit hollow. You’re essentially laughing at the business of mutual loneliness and mutual exploitation.
Frank Lloyd Wright once said “TV is chewing gum for the eyes”… he clearly never watched Babestation because TV is clearly the spent condom for the depressed remote control.