This week I had the questionable pleasure of staying at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas. In and of itself a modern hotel with all sorts of neat amenities, it left greatly to be desired in the good taste department, even by Vegas standards.
The main impression I got from the hotel was of an expensive bordello. There were pictures of female bodies everywhere, frequently headless or revealingly "dressed" in suggestive poses and lighting, catering to the straight male gaze and making it clear to me that I was not the intended audience.
Statues in the conference hang out area had female forms arching their backs and thrusting their breasts forward. A large picture on the wall of the hallway leading to my room for example had more or less disembodied legs of a woman wearing patent leather red high-heel pumps, with another 2-3 pairs scattered around. "Fertility symbols" of the big-breast/wide hips type displayed in the showcase along the conference center hallway. And the list goes on.
The whole hotel was made in the style of what Jersey Shore cast would think as high-class chic. Marble and shiny metal everywhere you look, coupled with bold geometric patterns and objects'd'art looking like they came straight from a Pier 1 sale table. Who cares that sharp edges hurt? We'll even make our spring loaded door handles rectangular so that you can really feel them cut into your hand each time you want to go take a piss.
Speaking of which, even the bathroom wallpaper had reclining ladies for a pattern. Because you can never have enough naked female bodies for decoration. It's like anal sex and lube. Just when you think you used too much, it's about right.
The french restaurant that hosted an evening reception on the second day of the conference, had "chalk" paintings on the wall, as if on a blackboard. That was really neat, they had wine, food, and portions of the swine pictured. Aaaaand... you guessed it! -- more neckid ladies. To be consumed (by straight men) with the rest of the food and beverages. Nothing like a bit of objectification to go with your food.
If you know me at all, you know that I am actually not at all against raunchy sexy things. I love them as much as the next man or woman, but it has to be in context. If I come to a professional conference, I really don't hope to be bombarded by sexually suggestive imagery from all angles, all the time.
I may write to the organizers of the conference, but I am having a distinct feeling that they won't care.