The Thoughts Of Selina II : Violence Good. Sex Bad

Following on from my Opinion on the present state of the Erotica genre I wanted to explore a little further a particular theme surrounding that.

I absolutely love Star Wars but fun fact after watching the entire saga you would have witnessed the death of trillions of people.

But that’s okay because it’s never really gratuitous. Sure genocide occurs, millions of people wiped out but it’s ‘oh well. When they going to start shooting stormtroopers again?’

The body count for The Fast and The Furious franchise runs into the hundreds. The violence in those movies are undeniably gratuitous, they add nothing to the storyline and only serves to makes those scenes more action packed.

But gratuitous doesn’t mean explicit. It’s comic book violence and is totally acceptable. Plus a lot of them were bad guys and deserved to die.

Yet movies such as Kick Ass and any Tarantino film contain gruesome scenes of violence. They are depicted in such a way that it leads very little to the imagination.

Indeed often they are both gratuitous and explicit. Yet these movies are lauded as being fantastic works of art, scoring highly on Rotten Tomatoes.

These random acts of gratuitous explicit violence are not limited to movies and are also a plot device in both comic books and literature.

But these are harmless action and adventure stories. We don’t need to know the socio-economic reasons which led a particular person to become a henchman for some evil bastard. He speaks with a foreign accent , he’s got a gun, he deserves to die.

That’s right isn’t it? It’s just a bit of fun. These scenes are infrequent and whilst not necessary they are, after all, exciting…..Lighten up it’s escapism.

And I would agree. There are far more qualified people around to comment on the reasons for our desensitisation to violence and it’s not the point of this opinion.

My point is, if it’s okay with violence then why don’t we have the same attitude towards sex?

Romance or chick lit stories often opt for the ‘Star Wars Implied Genocide Method’. We lead up to the sex but never really see it.

Just as we never saw all the kids playing on Alderaan before it was obliterated or witness janitor Clive’s final day before retirement on the Death Star, dreaming of spending more time with his grandchildren before Luke blew him up.

In a lot of thrillers and chick lit the main character may be having frequent gratuitous sex. But that is still okay because it’s not explicit, right?

Yet the moment you describe in detail the natural act of lovemaking and dare to mention words like ‘cock’ or ‘pussy’. The Erotica label is slapped on it and you are banished to the corner.

(Well that’s not exactly true – if you are an independent author you’ll be punished. The differing attitude towards mainstream authors is a whole other story.)

Look I get that some readers don’t like sex scenes. But that’s not the point. I don’t like Thomas Hardy novels, it doesn’t mean I’m advocating banishing all his work from ever being found on internet searches.

We all have our own preferences and tolerances of what we read and watch. Yet as previously discussed Erotica is automatically labelled as wrong. Dirty. Disgusting.

You want to watch a guy kill hundreds of people (including scores of collateral damage) then grab a beer and settle down. You want to watch people have sex then please leave town you depraved monster.

There is a continuing movement to push ‘porn’ further into the dark recesses of the web. If Governments get their way it will become more and more difficult to watch porn. Those who write under the erotica category are and will continue to find themselves caught up with this apparent cleansing of the internet.

However, on the likes of YouTube all the gratuitous explicit violent scenes from these mainstream movies are just a click away.

Sorry Explicit Sex Scene is blocked but you may wish to watch Top Ten Best Gruesome Action Movie Deaths Of All Time.

Violence good. Sex bad.

Yet sex is the most natural thing in the world. As I write this people are having sex. As you read this people are having sex.

Whilst I accept that there are also acts of violence being carried out at the same time, what is so wrong with escaping to a place where people are having sex?

Why is it fine that you can freely and without judgement enter a world where non-descript prostitutes are murdered as a cheap plot device, yet to explicitly describe the growing sexual relationship of a couple is disgusting.

And if you dare make that couple the same sex….Boy, have you crossed a line. Away with you must go, you purveyor of absolute filth.

Well written ‘erotica’ explores something that can’t be achieved by implied sex – how that person feels at the time.

Whether it be positive thoughts of desire, lust, happiness and passion or more negative concerns such as disgust or regret, they form part of the story. It maybe explicit but it’s not gratuitous. It is an exploration of their character.

If it’s justified to show explicit violence to further a plot then the same courtesy has to be extended to sex scenes.

Whilst some will include an explicit sex scene just to simply evoke arousal that cannot be said of every story that features an explicit sex scene. Yet the likes of Amazon will, for the sole reason it is simply explicit, banish it to the dark corners of it’s site.

The truth is everyone thinks about sex. People are rightly curious about sex and well written ‘erotica’ can provide some comfort, offer some answers; Rather than send them down the rabbit hole of depravity it can help them process their own emotions and attitudes towards sex. It is a positive thing.

Being positive about our sexuality is something that should be encouraged and not hidden away in the corner.

At some point in our lives we will all have been curious about sex. The same cannot be said for being curious about standing on a moving bus and taking out two vehicles with a rocket launcher.

If you are curious about that then you really need to be having sex.

1 Comment

  1. As sad as it sounds, I suspect much of humanity is capable of emotional disassociation from violence particularly if it is wholesale violence. It is not personal to them.
    OTOH, sexuality is intensely personal and central to all of our experiences as humans. Because we can see, feel, smell and touch sexuality in our own minds it is something we can better wrap our psyches around. When a hack movie script calls for the obliteration of a few billion people on a planet, that simply falls so far outside of individual human experience (unless you’re a holocaust survivor) that our natural defense of disassociation gets activated. We (globally) can get excited or repelled by that which is personal to our experience more than we can to mass-murder directly or indirectly depicted in films because one is more “real” to us than the other.

    If you read any histories of the T-4 program or of the “final solution”, their planners and organizers were greatly facilitated by their people carrying out the dirty ground work feeling disassociated from violence and dehumanizing their victims. That is frightening. Alfred Hitchcock was once asked what truly frightens him. “A man in uniform”, was how he replied.

    BTW, I am also appalled at the double standard applied in our western culture towards the issue of sexuality versus violence.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.