Sunday, February 8, 2015

Unnecessary Sex Scenes.

You've nestled in with your significant other to watch a film that you've been eager to see. The popcorn has been popped. Your blanket is warm. You've clicked play on the movie.

And twenty minutes in, there's breasts and butts and genitals just flying all over the screen.

Sadly, you've fallen victim to watching unnecessary sex in cinema.

Isn't it annoying, and not to mention awkward, when a television program or movie inserts a completely superfluous sex scene? I can't even begin to count the number of times this has happened to me. The biggest issue I have with unnecessary sex scenes is that they add nothing to the plot. Why do I need to see two fictional characters grinding against one another, making silly noises and pretending to intermingle their jiggly bits? Very rarely would I consider a sex scene important enough to be inserted into a movie.

Mind you, I'm no prude. People can carry out their sex lives in whatever manner they see fit. Whatever gets your motor going, I say go for it (just as long as animals and kids aren't involved). Neither am I for censorship -- nothing should be censored. Adults should be able to make their own decisions as to what forms of media they ingest.

The presence of a sex scene in a film or television program does not automatically make it art. In fact, I find it insulting that many programs and films expect the viewer to appreciate the sex and comprehend its supposed nuance.

You know what I really think?

I think film makers and television producers are inserting dispensable scenes of intercourse to appeal to the lowest common denominator of audience possible. These individuals know that sex sells. Thereby, they cheapen the art of film making and resort to parlor tricks of a provocative nature. 

I also believe sex scenes are used as filler when there is terribly little content to be had in the film or television show. The plot is thin and the characters are dull -- why not have them bump uglies?! The crowd will love it!

Many of you are surely fans of Game of Thrones. I admit that I watched the first four episodes of the program to see what it was all about. When the program was about to premiere on HBO back in 2011, the teasers and commercials previewing the program looked interesting. Typically, I'll watch anything with Sean Bean in it. Sadly, I was let down by the program. Instead of a well-acted war epic, I was delivered a pitiful soft-core pornography dressed up as a fantasy program. Not to mention, the plot was abhorrently messy and extraneously convoluted for the appearance of density. There might have been a plot there, but it was so hidden by absurd moments of sex that it totally detracted from the content.

Game of Thrones is far from the only guilty party. There's more examples than I care to remember. 
  • Watchmen
  • The Matrix Reloaded (one of the very few issues I have with series)
  • The Devil's Advocate
  • Knocked Up (a film I generally loathe all around)
  • Demolition Man
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall (a film I otherwise quite like -- at least it has some full male nudity included to be fair)
I could go on, but what would be the point? If I tried to compile a list, I'd be writing until I died an old, wrinkled man.

On the flip side, at least there's a film that understands the absurdity of sex scenes in cinema and flips the script -- Team America: World Police. Leave it to the creators of South Park to illustrate how silly sex scenes are on film!

At least actual pornographic films don't pretend to be something they're not!


  1. While I do believe that sex scenes are necessary in some cases (the producers of Game of Thrones have actually provided a reasonable rationale - they allow the script to get through boring exposition in a visually exciting way), I do feel that the explicitness is at times unnecessary. And I also do find it feels at time that the writers and producers seem to feel it is an obligation to introduce sexual elements into any show that is made for cable or streaming simply because they can, not because they should.

    The first episode of Sense8 has such a moment. The show is sexually based in many ways, so the depiction of sex is understandable. But without going graphic, there is a moment that lasts 1 second in the first episode of this Netflix series where a sex toy is shown after use; there is nothing related to the plot that required them to do show a bit of detail that is usually saved for porn films. It was just there to turn on some viewers. Which is fine of you're producing a piece of erotica, but Sense8 is supposed to be a deeper series. The latest season of Girls had a few moments. So did Orange is the New Black.

    What gets me is how actors and viewers are accepting this as par for the course now. I'm of the opinion that we're only a couple years away from the drive to be edgier and edgier leading to actors being forced or coerced into filming unsimulated sex for some TV series. We've already seen it happen with some movies. And Nymphomaniac apparently used CG body doubles to make it appear as if actors were engaging in sex when they weren't. (Similarly, a recent episode of Game of Thrones used CG to allow a pregnant lead actress to undertake a non-pregnant full frontal nude scene).

    I'd like to see an adult SF series, made for cable or streaming, (or a series of any genre) where you don't have to deal with sex scenes every 5 minutes. But it seems as if the only types of shows allowed to put sex to one side (as well as extreme violence and language, which have their own overuse problems) are things like Doctor Who that get dismissed as "kid's shows" because you don't see the Doctor having explicit sex with his companions once an episode.

    It's a heck of a thing for something like sex to be called a cliche. But the way it's being treated by TV shows (I'm not even getting into movies) really makes it come off as being one.

    1. I couldn't have surmised your point any simpler -- sex has become cliche. I greatly appreciate your perspective. It's nice to know that I'm not the only television and film viewer whom finds that most sex that's inserted in the plot is purely for titillation... with little regard for the actual story itself.

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