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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and Publishing Are Rated G-String




Does Pop Culture Pimp Too Much Sex?

She willingly, almost desperately,  allowed her clothes to fall off of her perfectly curved body, as if the material posed a burden to be anywhere next to her smooth, tanned skin. Her 24-year-old knees collapsed onto the carpeted floor as she leaned forward with her outstretched arms. A rugged-looking but well-groomed man stood behind her perfectly arched bottom. She could hear his zipper come out of place and suddenly she felt his strong hands spread her cheeks apart, as if he wanted to separate her body into two pieces. She was poised to absorb his next move, a forceful thrust of his manhood into her swollen love fruit, penetrating not only her body that had moistened with anticipation, but her shrinking sense of self. With each thirsty push and teasing withdrawal, done with commanding force and at a pace just slow enough for his domination of her to become complete.

Scene from a porn movie, you ask? Nope.

It’s the type of thing we regularly see on HBO, Showtime, and Starz. It’s the type of activity we read about in mainstream novels. It’s the kind of moment you may see in half the big-screen movies out there.

The mainstreaming of sex, sexuality, and erotica has increasingly been in the public’s eye this past decade. Really, for the past century, between film, TV, magazines, and artful expressions, we have seen an annual pushing of the envelope. We moved from censoring words or ideas to showcasing every base fantasy and passing it along under a creative license that is no longer so creative, dependent on nudity, beauty, and porn-like themes to excite people.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a liberal and am all for the artistic world to dish up more images of sex and beauty. The problem with it, however, is that it’s running out of ways to push the envelope. The gap between the legit world and the adult sex industry is closing fast.

Further, the issue of protecting impressionable minors from watching or reading such adult material is challenging. The last thing I want is for my kids to watch gratuitous sex on TV.

But our entertainment economy runs on sex. Call it sexonomics. You know what I’m talking about. Sex is used to sell everything, thank you, Madison Avenue. Victoria’s Secret knows this. So does Toyota. And so does the media.

USA Today had a hypocritical front-page story recently about how entertainers feel pressured to use sex to further their showbiz careers. Meanwhile, USA Today sought to sell papers by talking about sex, right?

The thing about sex is I don’t believe the country will reverse course and start using unattractive models, creating movies without nudity, or writing books that don’t titillate.

So, where does that leave us?

Society needs to be open about sex and sexuality. If it means Hollywood leads the way, so be it. But our writers, actors, publishers, museums, and all those who further our image of sex, the human body, love, power, lust, and beauty bare a responsibility in making sure they contribute to creating a healthy perspective on such matters.

Otherwise we’ve reduced the world to something less than the excitement, desire, and wonder that rightfully attaches itself to libido and human connections.

That said, sex is not just about love, nature, making babies, and passion. It’s also linked to energy, violence, aggression, power, control, and revenge. Sex can be a tool or weapon, and it can be as destructive as it could be constructive. Sex, like money, could be used for goof things -- or bad.

Perhaps our views on sex and how we come to experience it are shaped by our books, shows, and movies. What message are we getting today? I’d say it’s a mixed one, and certainly a prolific one at that. Sex is everywhere.

As a writer, how will you address the most powerful facet of human nature?

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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