Exploitive grahic sex - pornography by any other name -
is now imbedded in our culture,
just another spectator sport
on the entertainment landscape.
TV PORN NOW MAINSTREAM
One recent Webdreams TV show profiled a fat gregarious gay man
who makes a living by filming gorgeous gay men having sex
and then downloading it live on the internet.
Looking for porn? Just turn on your TV
by Shelley Fralic, VancouverSun, Jan 20, 2007
There was a time, back in the 1960s, when the raciest moment on television was the scene in which Rob and Laura Petrie retired to their suburban bedroom at day's end. That would be the bedroom where the Petries - portrayed so memorably by Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore - slept in separate twin beds, strategically spaced a few feet apart, so as not to ruffle the temperance feathers of the day or, even more scandalously, suggest the happy couple might actually have sex after dark. Fast forward to 2007, and be grateful that The Dick Van Dyke Show is history, for Rob and Laura would now surely be fornicating the night away. That's because the sexual propriety that once was governed so closely by netwerk censors has surreptitiously given way to what is best desribed as the new TV pornography.
This is not the cheesy soft-core porn served up on the soaps, nor the mildly shocking sexspeak and nudity that punctuated Sex and the City and Queer as Folk. Nor is it the violent murderous sex - rape, bondage, mutilation - we're inundated with on network hits such as CSI, or even the simulated sex acts so pervasive in music videos. No, the world of television - and, clearly, its customers - has decided that real pornography is now standard television fare, available to anyone in possession of a TV set and a cable outlet. Pornography, it seems, has gone mainstream.
Canada's Showcase channel, for instance, works hard at being salacious with its titillating Friday night lineup, giving us regular programming of "sexumentaries" such as Kink, which films people engaged in acts of S & M [sadism and masochism] and B & D [bestiality? & depravity?], and Sin Cities, featuring a geeky guy who travels the world to partake of the most debased sexual practices he can find. Recently, the host tried "smothering", in which a big-bosomed naked woman sat directly on his face until he couldn't breathe any more.
And then there's Family Business, another Showcase reality series in which protagonist Seymore Butts, single dad, porn star and adult filmaker, lets a camera tag along as he runs his lucrative Los Angeles business and laments about his lack of an old-fashioned love life. In one recent show, Butts - in real life, he's Adam Glasser - goes on a blind date, but not before interviewing a new roster of perky breasts, and erect penises, a debasing scene which has him sitting in an office asking wannabe porn stars to undress so he can photograph their assets. And then there's Webdreams, another Friday night offering, or "docu-soap" as the channel calls it, as if to legitimize or lend credence to pornography as a suitable television topic. One recent Webdreams show profiled a fat gregarious gay man who makes a living by filming gorgeous gay men having sex and then downloading it live on the internet. Our subject himself gets in on the action a bit, and viewers are treated to him fondling and kissing his young charges, all the while ensuring his boys are well-oiled and, well, up for the task.
Not a darn thing wrong with these shows, of course. Not if you're a consenting adult, as the saying goes. The problem is that their accessibility, through television's apparently ungovernable pervasiveness, is now universal. Gatekeeping, in fact, is limited only to the basic nudity/sex disclaimer that would work just as well for Two and A Half Men.
So there you have it. No longer do you have to go looking for porn in a dark alley, or log on for porn from your home computer, or order it up on a special channel in your hotel room when you're on a business trip, like the good old days. Just turn on your TV. Where once pornography was the erotic purview of discerning adults, it has now been deftly layered into our most ubiquitous entertainment medium, the doors to the porn parlour flung wide open for all and sundry, including kids.
Yes, it's easy enough to turn off the TV. Yes, parents should be educating their children on appropriate choices. But we don't. And they don't. And so exploitive grahic sex - pornography by any other name - is now imbedded in our culture, just another spectator sport on the entertainment landscape.
Telus cellphones to offer pornography (mobile users spent US$400-million downloading porn last year) & Redneck Calgary wants gay tourists (worth US$65-billion in USA). Canada.com, Jan 26, 2007
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~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~