May 01, 2010

Sex etc.

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There are only a few things that are certain in the modern world. Kerry Katona will get fat again, cry about being a coke addict, snort the ashes of one hundred thou sand crushed Atomic Kitten CDs and die, leaving nothing in her wake but a five page epitaph in the Daily Star.

We will always care more about Kerry Katona eating sushi than we will about Cleggmania, Sam Cam and that rabid Scottish bull dog, no matter how hard Rupert Murdoch tries. McDonalds will make you fat. Burger King will make you fat. Nick Clegg will make you fat. The Andrex Puppies will make you fat. Gok Wan will tell you that you’re fat but you’re fabulous, or something, and make you expose your stretch marks in front of your grandma and The Nation. Everything onTVis for and by The Nation, an anonymous group of twats who spend their Sunday afternoons masturbating to Racing on Channel 4 and deciding that Joe McElderry is now the voice of The Nation be cause he’s cute. Or something.

More than this, we all know that sex sells, apparently. Whenever anything vaguely sexual comes on TV, there will al ways be some pil lock near by who wants to justify the sudden awkwardness in the room with an oh-so witty anecdote about the economy of sex on TV. Say ‘sex sells’ enough times and it be comes about as monotonous a drone as the white noise that will forever leech onto my null and void collec tion of analogue TVs. Except the white noise isn’t quite as self-​righteous as the lager wielding, Times-​reading sofa commentator.

I’m not exactly the most clued-​up person on the economics of tele vision, and I am sure that TVprograms with lots and lots of fucking in them make lots and lots of advertising revenue for lots and lots of television executives. And good for them, truly! But does every single TVpro gram need to be reduced to a base, sexual level?

I’m not saying that Newsnighthas become a late night haven for Paxman fetishists waiting for the closing five minutes in which he strips down to his off-​white Y Fronts and performs a disturbingly erotic dance, but there is definitely a misplaced emphasis on sexual attraction and seduction across the entire sorry spectrum of TVshows.

There are, of course, overtly sexual TVshows. There have been for a long time. Sex and the Cityploughs on with its second movie com ing soon, and I’m sure that scenes of menopausal women hav ing their way with bare ly post-​pubescent boy toys will be titillating enough, but in com par i son to the bawdy romps of the TVshow, the new Sex and The Citywill always pale in comparison. Sex and The Cityis reflective of how stan dards of sex on TVhave gradually dis integrated from people fucking to make a point to peo ple fuck ing be cause there needs to be a sex scene in every single post-​water shed program. The once perky labia of your TVset is drooping lower than a fat man sleeping in a loosely strung hammock.

Every taboo has already been broken. Queer as Folkintroduced rimming to middle England at the start of the millennium. Joan Collins’ character in Footballers’ Wiveshad sex with her adopted Brazilian football megastar son. Channel 5 ran a documentary about a man who has sex with his car. Rebecca Loos masturbated a pig on The Farm. Kinga made sweet sweet love with a wine bottle on Big Brother. Every single combination of midgets, obese prosti tutes, eighty-​year-​old male strippers and inanimate objects have all cheated on each other on some godforsaken daytime chat show.

Sex can be innovative and in spir ing in the right context. The rim ming worked on Queer as Folknot be cause it was shocking but be cause it made gay sex beautiful. Footballers’ Wivesworked be cause it was campy and kitsch and the weird sex scenes were so extreme that they be came cartoonish. Rebecca Loos’ indulgence in bestiality was just shocking, crude and in appropriate.

And then there’s TV’s obsession with sexualising the seemingly in nocuous. Children’s TVpre sen ters seem to know the score, and it’s almost a rite of passage for every female ex-Blue Peterpresenter to appear in the glossy pages of FHM.

Perhaps Bob the Builderwill turn into Bob the Rent Boysoon enough to in crease ratings. Dora the Explorerhas already been given a more revealing outfit. Heck, in a desperate move, the final series ofBig Brothercould bring back Moira Stewart to per form lap dances.

Sex on TVis ridiculous and worthless. Expect to see David Cameron awkwardly writhing in dirty underwear in a desperate attempt at quelling Clegg-​mania in Thursday‘s debate.


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