Censorship drives perversion. Always and everywhere. When we drive sex out of the mainstream we guarantee that all sex is, by definition, deviant.
– Chris, of Atomic Cinema, http://www.cinebizarre.com/essay_eroticphil.htm
While I don’t necessarily agree with the whole of the thinking of the author of this quote, I agree with the observation made in it.
The problem we have, aside from the stunted and psychologically backward thinking of those who want to bury anything to do with sex in a public sense, is the expression of sex in our public media.
In movies or television programs–ones rated for a general audience–sexual intercourse is portrayed in ways that may be titillating and provocative, but would be impractical and insulting in the real world of our personal lives. In a soap opera, for example, two people rip each other’s clothes off to engage in coitus as quickly as possible so that the act doesn’t take up too much time in a half hour of programming that amounts to 22 minutes of show.
Ripping each other’s clothes off amounts psychologically to mutually agreed upon rape. It’s a way to release accumulated hormones. It allows nothing for gentleness, for caress, for the buildup of interest by each person for the other, for the tenderness that makes sex the wonderful experience it is rather than a few moments of climax.
It certain says nothing about love, which is seldom portrayed in a genuine way. Television and movies teach sex, not love.
Our visual media show two people about to engage in sex as hunter and prey. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish which is which because both want to be the hunter and the hunted.
I have not done a careful study, but my impression is that of all the people we could see engaging in sex on television over the period of one day, most are oversexed, sexually repressed and/or promiscuous. If that’s what narrow minded people want to drive into obscurity, I applaud them.
Sex sells, so the saying goes. So sex is used to sell TV drama, comedies, music shows, even sometimes the news as well as products in commercials.
I don’t have a problem with that, in principle. The problem I have is that adolescents growing into adults who want to take their place as sexually healthy members of society use movies and television as their main sources of information about sex. That is unhealthy.
In practice, we need to give our young adults information about sex in the form they most prefer it, visually. Porn doesn’t satisfy that need, but it’s used as a substitute for visual information about sex because better information is hard to find.
Nothing improves by driving a publicly popular habit into the position of being illegal. If the problem is lack of good visual information about sex, then those who complain about bad sex in the media should encourage film makers to produce something good. Until they receive encouragement to produce good stuff, they will continue to grind out crap that appeals to the lowest common denominator, which is why most television networks have lost audience and movies have become more extreme in the first place. Not enough people demand better of the producers.
When we produce television programs and movies that best suit perverts–in terms of matching wants with product produced–while not providing better material for the majority, we get visual products that deserve to be driven from the marketplace.
Censorship is not the answer. Except for the lazy people who want to do nothing more than to control the behaviour of others by harping and bitching.
Our visual media produce little that we can be proud of as a society. Let’s tell them we want to be proud, not embarrassed.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for teachers and parents who want to grow emotionally and sexually healthy children for tomorrow’s world.
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