The Disappointments of Cinema Sex: Take One, Lack of Male Expression

March 7, 2012 § 1 Comment

Is anyone else deeply disappointed by the sexual content in art?  Sarah Waters, aside, I wonder if I would still think myself potentially asexual based on how excited I get about sex in film, and even books.  There’s a lot to complain about, but today I am going to focus on one, tiny point of contention that’s driving me crazy.

I am deeply bored of men in movies who have sex while looking like they’re modeling for a bowflex ad.  It doesn’t have to be this boring to watch the scenario male-top-facilitates-short-round-of-passionate-kissing-then-unprotected-PIV-with-female-bottom over and over again.  Not this boring.

Seriously, why can I rent any of a choice of films where a man kills dozens of other people in new and “exciting” ways but can’t rent a film where a man makes noise or an affected face while having sex?  Every since Jonathan Rhys-Meyers went HBO, I can’t get excited about representations of male sexuality in mainstream media.  I just don’t believe them.  The only representation of male sexuality I’ve seen in ages that felt real is the character Tommy in Never Let Me Go, and if there is any flaw in that film (which there isn’t) it would be low sexual content.

You know why the sex in BBC’s adaptation of Fingersmith is so hot?  Not because it involves two women.  Because both people look like they’re having an experience of equal passion, equal pleasure, equal response to one another.  Even though one is on top and one is on bottom, they are both responding to what is happening. I’m going to send Hollywood a letter that says, “Dear Hollywood, Topping is having sex too.  Love, Claire.”

Haven’t any filmmakers had sex with expressive men, including themselves?  Am I so lucky and unique?  Come on, folks, entertain me, at least.  Or better yet, move me with your depictions of sex.  Please!


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§ One Response to The Disappointments of Cinema Sex: Take One, Lack of Male Expression

  • chandlerswainreviews says:

    Sexual matters continue to frighten Hollywood, and it wasn’t too long after the dismantling of the Production Code in the late 60’s that the studios veered away from the path to adult candor and maturity in screen subject matter and went the way of Lucas-Spielberg pubescent fantasy. A pity. It seems as though sex in film is regarded as yet another conquest for the testosterone fantasies of young men, and therefore not healthily depicted as a part of an shared emotional expression. I don’t think it’s any mystery that the most proficient director working today in film when it comes to the intelligent consideration of sex is a woman- Catherine Breillat- though sometimes even her films can be rightly regarded as a bit cold and academic. The only time I recall the subject of male sexual zombieism being outwardly confronted was in the 1991 film “Frankie and Johnny” where the male had be coaxed to give at least a vocal expression of release during sexual climax. Then again, for all of it’s sugar coated trappings, that was one of the rare Hollywood films that was in great part about characters of both genders in a desperate search for intimacy,

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