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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Violence vs Sex

I am not terribly fazed by violence. Bloody news stories and stabbings barely make me bat an eyelid. Murder and fights in movies and TV shows make me laugh. I have become immune to blood, knives and ripping of flesh. (Maybe that's why I self-harm, she says darkly).

Growing up, my parents were open-minded enough to allow my brother and I to watch films for adults as well as comical cartoons. I watched Bruce Lee’s Enter the dragon at the age of five; my brother was three. My dad encouraged us to watch Crimewatch. We got to watch Prison Break and 24, and The Sopranos in our mid-teens. All were to encourage us to be aware of the harsh realities of life, and because these were well written movies/shows with entertaining stories. My parents let us watch people get slaughtered to death and shot without a problem.

But not when it came to sex scenes. Sex scenes had to be forwarded. Look away. Embarrassed coughs. Someone would leave the room. Two people lying on a bed making love is considered worse than watching a terrorist shoot five people. Even today if I watch a film with my mum and there’s a sex scene I feel uncomfortable.

I don’t blame my parents for any of this. I wasn’t raised religious. I blame society, and its attitude to sex. Some people (particularly feminists and fundamentalist religious people) are against porn. I love porn. I’m not a child; I know it’s all a fantasy. I like getting off and I know they’re just actors fulfilling out stuff.

In Orange is the new black, Taystee says to Crazy Eye ‘this is America. Violence is all good and fine but SEX?!’ Crazy Eye (one of the inmates) writes an erotic play which she wants performed in drama, but is told it’s ‘too explicit’ and ‘inappropriate.’ Meanwhile, another inmate got to perform a play that showcased ‘heads popping off and organs coming out!’ In Britain the attitude is about the same.

There is something very wrong with a society that normalizes violence but views sex as inappropriate. My experience of sex education was about pregnancy and STDs. I remember seeing explicit photos of genitalia with gonorrhoea and herpes. There was nothing about sex being a loving way to connect with your partner, or homosexual sex, or the female clitoris. Yes, people would still have been immature and laughed but at least they’d have been learning actual sex ed rather than ‘if you have sex without protection you’ll get pregnant!’ My first full sexual experience was horrific. It made me feel like I knew nothing about the emotional side of sex. Fortunately through being the guy I'm with now I've come to grasp that much better, and see sex as mutual enjoyment rather than something women do to please men (which is how I always saw it growing up).

I watched this movie a friend recommended to me called Battle Royale. It’s supposed to be this sad horrific film with a lot of slashing and murder but I laughed through most of it. I’ve never beaten up a person or stabbed them, but I feel like if I had to kill a person to save my life or someone else’s I would. I would become cold and hardened and apathetic enough to do so. And I find that scary. That apathy I have towards violence yet confusion and fear I grew up with towards sex feels wrong.

Sex is what creates all of us. We are all products of sexual reproduction. Sex breeds life. All animals procreate through sexual reproduction; through the contact of another member of their species. It should be beautiful and celebrated, not pushed away behind closed doors and computer screens. I've kissed guys and felt nothing, but have watched people on TV get killed and felt mirth.

Some articles/forums on the topic:

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