This is about to be a seriously Generation grannY post. Heavy on the granny. You’ve been forewarned.
Can someone please explain to me when it became the social norm to talk about sex on the news as though it’s as casual as discussing healthy lunch options? Or why no one seems at all uncomfortable seeing endless boobs and explicit sex scenes on HBO shows (coughGOTcough)? I don’t think I’m a major prude or anything, but there’s no way that I’m the only one who would just rather not watch two people bump dirties. Or listen to news anchors discuss why “no one wants a car with miles on it.”
As seen by the fact that I have this blog, I am not the most private person in the world. I’d like to think that I successfully walk the fine line of sharing enough to make my writing interesting, but not divulging the kind of information I tell my girlfriends over
copious amounts of wine. You guys really don’t need to know the inner workings of my relationships or what I wear to bed. With that in mind, I don’t understand why sex has gone from a private affair to something people do and discuss publicly.
This is not a slut-shaming post. I am not stating my beliefs about sex in terms of right vs. wrong, mostly because people are not going to change their minds about having sex just because someone tells them they shouldn’t. This includes with who, how often, and in what stage of life. People are going to do what they want based on what they believe, so I won’t waste my breath in explaining how I feel about that can of worms.
Instead, I just want to say that I wish sex was still something that held some sort of intimate mystery. Today, I watched a national news show with a panel of three women and two men who reported that Wednesdays are the most common days for marital unfaithfulness. Hump day. Pun intended. The anchor reading the prompter was clearly embarrassed when she was apparently instructed to sing a little ditty from “Afternoon Delight” before revealing the percentage of men and women who have affairs during their lunch breaks. I don’t think she was embarrassed because of the singing. It was almost like she was surprised at what she was reporting as the words unraveled. I could pretty much read her thoughts: Am I really having to discuss daytime sex? Now I’m immediately picturing daytime sex because that’s what people do as soon as you say ‘sex.’ Now I’m turning red. Stay professional. To make matters worse, the anchors all started asking each other what they thought about the fact that X% of men say they cheat because they want to try different sex positions and X% of women cheat because they want to remember that they’re desirable. After playing a game of verbal hot potato, the same anchor who sang “Afternoon Delight” cleared her throat and said, “Today, the Taliban released a video…” SMOOTH transition.
I felt bad for these talking heads. Sure, they’re supposed to be able to talk about any topic and remain professional, but did sex statistics really need to be thrown in there between stories on the Bergdahl hearing and the VA scandal? I felt like this was the news version of when sex scenes are thrown into Game of Thrones right after the audience has to sit through a boring conversation between yawn-status Stannis Baratheon and that god-awful fire lady. Like producers went, “Here, look at these two naked people because we’re sorry that you had to sit through that. Please stay interested!” No! Just cut to what happens to my boo Tyrion Lannister, please. Similarly, when it comes to the news, if you want a light break from politics, just report an interesting story. Tell me about the 91-year-old who just ran the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon or about the Japanese clothing company that uses “fat” as a sizing label (WHAT).
The blatant discomfort of these news anchors wasn’t unwarranted. Sex is meant to be a meaningful, private deed, so of course it’s natural to flush when speaking of it so nonchalantly. These days, people tell you you’re close-minded or immature if you can’t have an open conversation about sex or if you get all squirmy during steamy scenes, but I refuse to feel like something is wrong with me- or those anchors- for wanting to keep sex talk/acts to a public minimum. Privately, steam it up. With your friends, divulge as much detail as your little heart desires. But on the news, report legitimate stories- which can even include sex if it’s about the alleged prostitution ring at Fort Hood or the Queens high school teacher who slept with her student. Just keep a little dignity by reporting an actual story, not creating a discussion about Afternoon Delight and the need to try new positions. Or on TV shows, at least leave a little to the imagination. The more we dumb down sex into something that is casual and undervalued, the more our real-life sex lives will become undervalued and subsequently suffer. I’m pretty sure nobody wants that.