Creepy Clown and Porn Fears Combine to Spawn Clown-Porn-Fueled Sex-Predator Panic

We've reached a milestone in the Great Creepy Clown Panic of 2016, folks: the moment it morphs into a sex-predator panic. And, obviously, we have the British tabloids to thank for it. Here's the headline from the U.K Daily Star: "Rise in sick 'Killer Clown' porn craze sparks fears of UK sex attacks."

The basic premise of the story is that some men get off on women dressed as creepy clowns, they're causing a spike in clown-porn searches and clown-fetish requests at escort services, and soon their "sick fetish" may lead them to commit real-world sexual assaults "as the adrenaline junkies seek more 'extreme thrills'."

How exactly coulrophilia—that is, a sexual attraction to clowns—is supposed to drive people to rape non-clowns is unclear, but what the story lacks in logic it makes up for in references to "sex-mad sickos" and quotes from an anonymous escort-agency head. She allegedly told the Daily Star, "I've had guys asking for girls to dress as clowns and guys asking if they can be dressed as clowns during meetings. My answer is 'no' on both scores. This kind of fetish is a little beyond the wearing of a sexy uniform of some description. In my experience—30 years running an agency—guys who want this kind of service are trouble and possibly even dangerous."

For more sympathetic views of coulrophilia, see this story of sex-educator Sunny Megatron coming to terms with her boyfriend's desire to dress as a clown in bed and this tale about Jay, "a 33-year-old from Chicago and expert on the subject."

The Star also quotes a woman who counsels rape victims and worries that the "clown craze" provides cover to predators. Her theory leaves the poor clown-fetish folks out of it, suggesting instead that it's the normalization of creepy clown costumes we should fear. "Kids might think it is a laugh to run around scaring people but I think this will be used as cover for even more sinister acts by men."

Tabloids are gonna tabloid and all that, but the story is already spreading beyond British outlets like the Star and the Mirror. Popular millennial women's website Elite Daily published a clown-sex-panic story yesterday, warning readers that "the sexual deviants partaking in the madness are allegedly dressing up as clowns and experimenting with BDSM" and "those who are involved in the aggressive clown porn are potentially dangerous."