TV and Movies: Why All the Sex?

TV and Movies: Why All the Sex?

TV Movies Sex
I’m a guy, and as you know, members of my gender are genetically predisposed to preferring that which is visually pleasing. Ladies, if you don’t like it, take it up with God. In Hollywood, there are all sorts of females who qualify as pleasing. Therefore, sex scenes are just the natural extension of showcasing the beautiful, and combined with even a moderately good story, makes for better entertainment. Right? I’m not so sure.

For the record, I assert no moral authority in this discussion. I’ve sat through the multiple sex scenes in Game of Thrones, for instance, to be disqualified from taking the high moral road against sex in entertainment. My argument centers more on making stories good. What I’ve found is that sex scenes starring youthful, well-formed bodies (with the exception of Kathy Bates in About Schmidt — MY EYES! MY EYES!) aren’t necessary. You could remove the scenes entirely, or recut them to show implied sex (high-charged kiss and then fade to bedroom with characters almost entirely dressed, for instance) and maintain every ounce of the story. However, we know why they’re there, of course: To titillate and elicit a response from the audience.

Take 1992’s Basic Instinct as an example. Would the world have taken as much notice of the suspense movie had they not shown every inch of Sharon Stone? Yes, we’re all thinking about the interrogation scene now, aren’t we? Would you have liked the movie less–and would the studio have made all of its nearly $118 million worldwide–if the camera had been behind her?

Literature is hardly different. Fifty Shades of Gray is almost entirely sex, with a modest attempt at a story. In the story, young ingenue Anastasia Steele goes to interview young businessman Christian Grey and encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The naive and innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man, and she engages in a seductive and dangerous game with Grey that tests limits and desires. As the couple engages in a daring and passionate affair, Ana discovers Grey’s inner demons and explores her own dark desires. This book is intended for mature audiences.

Get that? We delve into Grey’s and Steel’s demons, which may give us a bit of entertainment as far as fiction goes, but can we not delve into personal demons without sex? It is not just sex, but explicit and very graphic sex that includes every detail? Are authors not that talented?

Perhaps we could use children as a metric. In other words, if you wouldn’t want your children watching a movie because of its sex scene, cut out that scene and see what’s left. I imagine most shows would survive. On that note, lately I’ve noticed I don’t mind letting my daughters watch certain R rated movies. Maybe it’s me being a dad of daughters, but I have less of a problem with them watching violent movies as I do anything involving sex. To me, as long as the bad guys lose and good guys come out on top, short of full, Tarantino-esque blood gushers, all I want to do is prevent them from seeing the tawdry. That, and the Cialis commercials while watching the Broncos. Thanks, NFL. Personally, I am not calling for censorship. I am calling on creators to be more creative.

Blog By Michael A. Cummings

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