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Less Sex These Days

We used to have a sub-genre called the rape and revenge story. Over the years, the rape has dropped of until you can pretty much call that sub-genre the revenge story. The rape has, more or less atrophied and vanished. Yes, there are vestigial remnants, but it’s mostly gone leaving only the tailbone or the threat of rape these days.

I think the reason for this is feminism, but not in the way most people would think. It’s not feminist complaining, or writing essays about how women should be portrayed or any of that. Let’s face it, some writers will deliberately write a rape scene just to annoy a feminist and will use the fact that the book sells to say they were right. So I don’t think feminism is directly responsible. They are to credit, but not to blame.

I’ve noticed that a lot of rape is used in literature by writers who, over all, are fairly insecure about sex as a whole idea. They’re unsure about what goes where, they’re uncomfortable about who does what to whom and how often, and they’re sort of scared of the idea of women on the whole. When society was a lot more repressed, you got a lot more rape stories, both directly violent and indirectly threatened violence. But then the Women’s Movement came and brought with it an interesting dichotomy. Suddenly there were women who A) Weren’t going to put up with this shit any longer and B) Were willing to get their tits out on occasion. The freeing of female sexuality, and the rise of sexually aggressive women, allowed a lot of men to discuss their own sexual urges and longings in honest ways that they weren’t able to do before. As a result, the confused expression of sexuality has become slightly more informed.

I think this is one of the reasons nudity dropped off in movies as well. In the 70s, when nudity was new and all the boobs were firm ones, movies went a little nuts with the whole thing. There was a period of about 5 years where every movie had a nude scene, whether it needed it or not. Hell, Clash of the Titans has nudity in it. Not the new one, the original. That’s how far the nudity trend went. But then, something happened, and the demand for T&A dropped off. You could claim the internet, but it dropped off before then. You could claim the MPAA became more tyrannical, but that doesn’t do it either because R rated movies don’t have as much sex now either.

Nope, once again I’m going to the feminists. They’ve freed up our sexuality and we don’t really need vicarious sex anymore. We don’t need the shower scene, enough of us have made our own shower scene. More people than ever have just plain fucked. Not made love, not had sex, not experienced something lovely with a partner*… FUCKED! They got down and dirty with someone and humped until they’d forget their name if their partner wasn’t screaming it. This is also why so many people think they’re god when they do it. As a result, we don’t get that unnaturally excited about sex anymore. We’re no longer as scared, confused, repressed, hiding, or alone as we used to be. Even if you’d like to dress up like a squirrel and fuck someone dressed a badger, there is an entire sub-culture for that. Even better, if you want to dress up like and squirrel and NOT fuck in it because that fursuit cost thousands and you don’t want lube and fluids on it, most the community understands and also doesn’t want fluid on their fursuits.

My point is that we’re not as scared about sex as our forebears used to be. We’re allowed to be more expressive and the vicarious need to see these things in fiction has dropped off lately. I think this is why violence in movies remains pretty steady. We’re still scared of that, as we should be, and we still want it to happen to someone else. We’ll probably never come to grips with violence the way we’re coming to grips with sex. In a way, I hope we don’t. I’d hate for violence to become such and everyday thing that we don’t need to see it on the movie screen where it’s completely divorced from us and reality.

So yeah, we’re cooler with sex now, and our fiction doesn’t need to include it in quite the same way as it used to. We’re still not there yet, but we can just about see if from here and that’s something.

*Or partners, more people have tried group sex now than ever before.

October 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment