Selling (Smarter) Sex

April 11, 2008 at 8:43 am 2 comments

The YPulse guest post on media and marketing’s role in sex ed is a timely one, and I’d say it’s about time the commercial media industry shaped up.

As I mentioned in a comment to one of my classmates, I can remember quite clearly being shocked as a teen the first time I saw a condom in a movie. I wasn’t shocked to see the condom–I was shocked to realize I’d never seen one before, at least not in a mainstream film. (The movie in question was Love and Basketball, which I recall enjoying at the time.)

I can also remember watching various episodes of Nash Bridges in middle and high school, and being so confused by the fact that the title character would have sex with women first, then get to know them better. Isn’t that backwards? I would think. I didn’t have any personal experience at the time to compare to, but the more mainstream movies and television shows I watched, the more I got the sense that everyone had it backward. Sex almost always came first in all the depicitions I saw–before the second date, before a relationship, certainly before marriage.

Interestingly, the show that best integrated regular condom use (at least that I’ve ever seen) into storylines was Queer As Folk.  There’s even an episode with a conversation between two main characters on why to always use a condom. And nobody’s even making babies in that show! (Well, except the lesbians. But that’s sort of another story.)

I’d love to see safer sex practiced in movies and TV, but I hesitate to call for condom manufacturers to be in on the deal. There are so many sexist and degrading condom ads floating around (see here, here, and here for examples, but don’t say I didn’t warn you–they’re not entirely safe for work, and may be triggering) that I really wonder what would happen if Trojan or Durex were paid to insert their products into (ostensibly) non-commercial media.


Entry filed under: Education. Tags: , , , , .

You know you love it. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian Alexander  |  April 11, 2008 at 9:14 am

    It would go further if they made it seem “normal”

  • 2. Linda  |  April 13, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Hmmmm, I think part of the problem is that writers don’t know how to integrate this content into TV, movies, etc. without coming off preachy and didactic. That’s an excuse of course, but there’s a tension between reality and TV and good writing. Does that make sense?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Blasts from the Past

%d bloggers like this: