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4 Reasons Why Our Entertainment Is Getting More and More Sex Soaked

Getting it hot and heavy: plots and sex in popular entertainment.

by
Sarah Hoyt

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January 15, 2014 - 11:00 am
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I have nothing against sex in a plotline.  I have problems with all sex and no plot, though.

I have nothing against sex in a plot. I have problems with all sex and no plot, though.

A PJM colleague, who can out herself is she so chooses, posted on Facebook about how Call the Midwife is doing well while Downton Abbey‘s ratings are going down and how this was possibly due to the fact that Call the Midwife doesn’t have plots centered on sex.

I’m the last person to write about TV shows.  I rarely watch TV (or movies); when I do, it’s usually because I’m exercising and it’s something that’s available for free on Amazon Prime.  I know my husband watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey and enjoyed it, but I figured the historical aspect of it would drive me batty, particularly as I’m right now researching that era with a view to writing a mystery series set then.

My colleague made some comment about how we seemed to be increasing the sex in our entertainment exponentially (or perhaps I just read that into her posting), and we had an exchange over what was causing the more and more sex-driven plotting in all our entertainment from TV to books.

Again, I don’t know anything about the internal process of TV and movie plotting. What I see as similarities to the fiction writing field might be completely spurious, and the result of my projection. I do see the same creep in movies and TV, though, as well as a certain amount of repetitiveness and lack of originality.

To make it clear, I don’t have anything against a sex-driven plot in its place — which is mostly, I would assume, in erotica. (Yes, there can be sex-driven literary works — Romeo and Juliet comes to mind — but usually the whole point is not getting it on.  There is a deeper exploration of the human condition.)  And I don’t have anything against sex in books.  Some books need a sex scene or two to advance the plot.

I do have an objection to sex-drive plots, when that seems to be the only thing the writer finds interesting about his characters.  And I’ve been seeing more and more of that in my fiction and — by report — in TV and movies.  I noticed this creep myself in sitcoms, back when I watched a lot of them right after 9/11. (I went through about a year; that’s all I was good for.)  Compared to the last time I’d watched a lot of sitcoms (mid ’80s), all of a sudden every joke/situation/motive was about sex or implied sex.

So what do I think is driving this creep?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Expect to see more of it.
And don't be surprised if we begin to see other sorts of "edgy" productions. If sexual conduct of any and all kinds is no longer "edgy", and that to include polygamy, polyandry, group gropes, bestiality, and necrophilia, , why not "snuff films"? Live gladiator contests, to the death? What?
This is pretty clear evidence of a decadent and dying culture. It may - or may not -- stagger on for another generation or two, or may collapse next month.
Not sure, but I think that one sign of this (as if we need more) is the virtual absence of silence and quiet. We see people who get amazingly upset without constant stimulation of the ears. Not in offices, nor commercial establishments, walking down the road, in the car, in restaurants, even in bed. Constant stimulation, and it must be new all the time.
Decadence. Death. Rot.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've noticed similar recently. The writing on TV has become, not sex-soaked so much as just vulgar. I guess middle school idea of sex-soaked. Little nuance or subtlety. But that is not all, the writers just don't seem to be informed or educated anymore. The plot points reveal no knowledge of world realities.

The season premiere of 'Justified' was irritating when they used sugar smuggling from Cuba as a plot device with no awareness of the particular problems of smuggling from Cuba given its embargoed status. Worse, then they had the Cuban trying to escape back to Cuba in a dingy from Miami. Apparently, the writers had heard Cuba was close to Florida and then just made a bunch of assumptions about reality. No doubt these writers matriculated at some of our most famous universities, which explains their ignorance of the real world.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
RE: The editors are younger. Well that explains it. The grammatical errors, the misspells, and the rest of the other nuggets of ignorance I find sprinkled throughout today's offerings. And when they aren't writing about someone being HUNG as opposed to HANGED, if they are British they are Thatcher bashing, or if American, Republican bashing. Like all totalitarian societies, everything in America is now about POLITICS.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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There are some people who don't like sex scenes in books or other media, at least not in the explicit way they are depicted today. There are also some who won't be forced to add them or some gooey relationship to their stories, which probably doesn't help aspiring authors get published.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The squad of writers, directors, producers and actors that populate the "entertainment" division of the productive world are the grandchildren of those whose lives were not spent in affluence and not lived in a society where every whim was granted. This collective group has about as much experience in the real world as the rest of us slobs know it as one of my dogs. With only juvenality to rely upon as source material, the garbage with which that they saturate TV and movies is tiresome and boring.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's a better and much simpler reason. People want to read about and watch sex. The TV producers, writers, etc. are giving people what they want. If you want to blame someone, blame the consumer, not the creator.

And, don't forget, sex is the single most important thing in all of human history because we wouldn't exist without it. Its also the single most pleasurable activity in all of humanity.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. Which is why ALL human entertainment EVER is only sex scenes, with no plot or reasoning behind it, right? I thought so.
Appropriate name, btw.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Expect to see more of it.
And don't be surprised if we begin to see other sorts of "edgy" productions. If sexual conduct of any and all kinds is no longer "edgy", and that to include polygamy, polyandry, group gropes, bestiality, and necrophilia, , why not "snuff films"? Live gladiator contests, to the death? What?
This is pretty clear evidence of a decadent and dying culture. It may - or may not -- stagger on for another generation or two, or may collapse next month.
Not sure, but I think that one sign of this (as if we need more) is the virtual absence of silence and quiet. We see people who get amazingly upset without constant stimulation of the ears. Not in offices, nor commercial establishments, walking down the road, in the car, in restaurants, even in bed. Constant stimulation, and it must be new all the time.
Decadence. Death. Rot.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>And don't be surprised if we begin to see other sorts of "edgy" productions.

we already are. While stopped momentarily on the "family" channel, a commercial was advertising a show about a foster family where the foster kids are "romantically involved". I don't think I'm being tinfoil hattish when I conclude that this is opening the door wider to "incest is best" acceptance.

we are products of propaganda and what better way than to indoctrinate kids while malleable?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is sort of off-topic, but the most irritating thing in movies/TV for me today is the annoying trend of bringing the "background" music to the foreground & overshadowing or obliterating the foreground dialogue. This practice makes it next to impossible to completely follow the story line. What happened to the "Sound Editors"? Were they all fired, downsized, their job outsourced to India?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Three things, among several, I've noticed in TV shows and motion pictures that disturbing to me:

The continued use of "between he/she/they and I", despite the obvious incorrectness of the phrase

The obviously force 'drive-by' sex scene - woman on top

The obligatory vomit/puke/upchuck scene - once never shown, now a 'must' for some reason

The three are - it seems - a feature of every tv show or film whether drama, comedy, western, horror, etc
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't forget the agenda, Sarah. They're (the MSM) mainstreaming activities that they want more of. This specifically includes the gay agenda & radical feminism.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
From your keys to God's RSS feed. I'd far rather have more sex than lots of other things that the media seems to encourage.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Charlie -- I'm ill, truly. I don't mind (sometimes like) sexual content, but I INSIST on plot. I just object to sex-instead-of-plot. That said, yes, they could go on about a lot of other things... that are worse.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've noticed similar recently. The writing on TV has become, not sex-soaked so much as just vulgar. I guess middle school idea of sex-soaked. Little nuance or subtlety. But that is not all, the writers just don't seem to be informed or educated anymore. The plot points reveal no knowledge of world realities.

The season premiere of 'Justified' was irritating when they used sugar smuggling from Cuba as a plot device with no awareness of the particular problems of smuggling from Cuba given its embargoed status. Worse, then they had the Cuban trying to escape back to Cuba in a dingy from Miami. Apparently, the writers had heard Cuba was close to Florida and then just made a bunch of assumptions about reality. No doubt these writers matriculated at some of our most famous universities, which explains their ignorance of the real world.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Speaking of Justified, the two episodes that have aired so far this season have both had the obligatory violence, language, and nudity warnings at start. And in both the nudity was IMHO thoroughly gratuitous rear end shots of young ladies having nearly nothing to do with the plot or serving to advance the story line. Seems the writers (or someone) simply inserted what apparently is now a mandatory titillation scene for late evening cable viewing.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...thoroughly gratuitous rear end shots of young ladies having nearly nothing to do with the plot or serving to advance the story line."--Uncle Liar

You're describing Baywatch circa 1989.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
RE: The editors are younger. Well that explains it. The grammatical errors, the misspells, and the rest of the other nuggets of ignorance I find sprinkled throughout today's offerings. And when they aren't writing about someone being HUNG as opposed to HANGED, if they are British they are Thatcher bashing, or if American, Republican bashing. Like all totalitarian societies, everything in America is now about POLITICS.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not just politics but politics from the leftist point of view.

I've seen comments boards about shows and even children's cartoons where every little thing is considered from a political point of view, by liberals anyway. Characters aren't just individual characters to them but HAVE to represent some larger social commentary. That is to say a character HAS to represent some group and can't simply be a stand alone individual with no political meaning.

By the same token they want all stories and plots to be more blatantly political (liberal) and whine when that doesn't happen because "the corporations are afraid of alienating those nasty Conservative viewers." If only that were so, show might begin to improve.

It's like a sickness really. I know some Conservatives are the same way, but liberals just can't seem to help but seeing everything politically as described above. Perhaps there is so much sex on TV because they is the only thing they can related to in a less political way?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
On blog posts and other informal media, I am not too picky about grammar, spelling and punctuation. If, however, you are writing professionally, I find errors unacceptable. Your reader should not have to figure out what your proofreader missed.

As for books, I rarely read any novels that are not at least 50 years old. I rarely watch movies and TV shows that are not at least 35 years old. Even then there is political bias, creating a silly caricature and unconvincing arguments for one side of an issue, while using very likeable representatives with sophisticated reasons for the other side of that issue. We aren't all so stupid that we can't see through the propaganda. I've been watching old Doctor Who episodes recently. It is interesting, but it is political, through and through.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The lowest common denominator we've always had with us. The difference nowadays is that Hollywood's target audience consists of little else. Also, even that audience is beginning to dwindle; anyone who knows how to work an internet search engine and doesn't like the current offerings for whatever reason can always go mine the past six decades (or more!) for more suitable entertainment.

As for that dwindling lowest common denominator still willing to shell out half the price of a DVD to be uncomfortably seated in front of a huge screen and all 50 speakers turned up to 11 with overpriced food and drinks and no way to pause the movie for a bathroom break, I recall an entry in a photo-shopping contest that summarized what kind of movie is most likely to appeal to them:

http://www.blogcdn.com/blog.moviefone.com/media/2008/02/boobviolence.jpg

Technically, the theme was "2009's Oscar Winners If The 2008 Writers' Strike Hadn't Ended" but it's a pretty adequate description for most of what's up on the screen these days. Anyone who's not into "Boob Violence" has pretty much moved on already.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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