sex, taboo, culture, media

I’m a PBS watcher, and NPR listener, and a National Geographic reader.

A reason I prefer nerd media is that popular media so often presents sexuality in a way that either objectifies women, reinforces dangerous stereotypes, is factually incorrect, or just totally misses the point of sex. PBS in particular does a darn good job of presenting sexuality in a mostly (mostly) healthful, accurate way.

I was disappointed with National Geographic’s Taboo. It tried – I could see it trying – to be sciencey. Debunking myths. Embracing cultural relativity. Interviewing people who genuinely know what the fuck they’re talking about. These are good things.

And yet. Notice the music? Notice the timbre of the narrator’s voice? I imagine a roomful of producers and technicians and conversations like, “This anthropology is all very well, but make it… I don’t know… taboo!!” Because sex in the context of non-monogamous relationships isn’t sufficiently interesting unless the narrator leers and salivates.

I have a similar feeling about HBO’s “Real Sex.” Surely there’s a way to present various kinks without making anyone seem ridiculous and without flashing images of naked sweaty women. Surely there is a way to present sexuality in the media in a way that isn’t stupid, degrading, deliberately provocative, or prurient.

I’ll let you know when I find it. And you let me know when YOU find it!