Sex on the television – or a table…

April 5, 2012

in Miscellaneous, Personal

Sex on television is different. I don’t mean from sex on the table or the floor, I mean from other things you watch. I may be peculiar but I always find it a bit voyeuristic and embarrassing. This means it leaps out of the ‘text,’ as it were, as a particular – and maybe peculiar ? – interlude.

I imagine it’s supposed to tell us something about the relationship in question. Does it? Or does it tell us that kissing is very awkward and involves too many sucking and slobbery noises to be risked in public? Is television public? Do you like watching people  sucking, slobbering and squirming with your friends, partner or children alongside?

Why do we never see that amazing kiss (usually the first!?) where your lips just barely touch and your whole body turns to fire? All delicacy and near fainting rather than a prelude to a major grapple?

Does it tell us much about the relationship? Are we connoisseurs of visually ‘reading the sex act’ as viewers? If we are, then we’re likely to be experts in reading professional sex rather than the more private kind. Are there perhaps more telling ways of communicating just how a couple are relating to one another?

A whole erotic film is different. I can settle down to the particular mind frame and pleasure that involves. It’s the discontinuity that disconcerts.

I know it’s all been part of breaking down the barriers on television – about what can be shown and placed in the public arena. For this reason it’s great that we see women kissing women, or men kissing men, for example,– it normalises.

But I’m not at all sure I want sex – or that other thing which has begun to be shown – toileting, normalised as a public act.

See this too = “Why sex doesn’t sell”

Janet Stewart April 9, 2012 at 12:52 am

Sex sells is the message I get, it’s everywhere, it’s like they believe if it’s not included then people won’t watch it.

I’d definitely not be comfortable watching sex scenes with my parents or younger people, in fact not really with anyone.

Sex scenes used to be gentle affairs now they’re much more raunchier and graphic, it’s possibly down to the fact that today’s generation are more visually influenced than imaginative, everything has to be seen whereas before it could be implied.

Amazing kisses seem now only to belong in period dramas (as though it no longer exists in today’s world) and imply love whereas sex is in the here and now and is based on lust.

I would imagine there are other ways to of communicating how people relate to each other but that would make for a longer show and they’d be in danger of losing the audience.

Not sure if it adds or tells us much about the relationship other than sex is inevitable and if a relationship doesn’t go down that route then there’s something wrong with it.

anne April 9, 2012 at 9:22 am

*sighs*. Well put.

John April 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Maybe I’m prudish but whilst the kiss and cuddle (irrespective of whether it’s man/woman, man/man or woman/woman) can move the plot along, there’s something to be said for the mystery of the bedroom (or the bathroom, kitchen table, rug in front of the fire, back seat of the car, middle of the shrubbery ….). And how many of the “bedroom scenes” are realistic? Come on, admit it folks!

And read somewhere that in Spartacus they’re all falsies! Phew! Can relax in my normality 🙂

anne April 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Most of us …now, how to say this…experience sex rather th…no…*retires defeated….*

Sue Beesley (@suebeesley) April 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Go on, finish the sentence properly….

anne April 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Well, I was going to say ‘from the inside’ and it just felt too open to misinterpretation….I meant something like we really don’t much know what it really really looks like!

anne April 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Wot!??? (what have you done, saying that??!!)

anne April 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Yes, both those are true. The skill involved in including relevant and quality sex scenes has got to be a little hard to find. Sad it seems to be across the Atlantic…

Eleanore Piper April 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Hate it!

Can’t think of anything more uncomfortable then watching ‘actors’ performing Hollywood style gratuitous sex scenes for no reason. If I’m honest, bores me senseless, can’t wait for it to be over.

You can see it coming a mile off *yawn, makes tea, fiddles with cushions*

My sister on the other hand loves Spartacus, (full of wild sex and willies apparently) settles down to watch it with her hubby. I wonder whether they have a slave and gladiator thing going, but I’d rather not think about that too hard!

Three years studying Media has made me a bit of a cynic :/

Paul Steer April 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Ok, Sue would agree with you about the embarrassment factor, but she insists that I like watching ‘Montalbano’ on BBC4 for example, because there is regular undressing and the flashing of mainly female flesh. I would argue it is the storylines and humour that grabs me…but….. Oh dear typical man….I do confess that the sex does stir long lost memories of something pleasurable. Sorry ladies.

anne April 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I thought it might be different for men. Charles said he wasn’t going to comment on this one!

Sue Beesley (@suebeesley) April 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Apparently there is a fairly new phenomenon in TV drama, where the plot is ‘moved along’ using the mechanism of relating dull, but vital bits of narrative during sex scenes. It’s always jarring, because either the sex seems to leap out of nowhere, or the dull plot line doesn’t fit the emotion or the action.

I agree, unless the scene is pivotal to the story or throws light on a relationship in some key way, sex scenes usually seem somewhat gratuitous.

anne April 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Weird.But if it’s in silly things we don’t watch, it don’t matter. It’s the ubiquitous thing of it being in everything, (like sugar) that makes it matter..?

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