Who knew that the cave sex of Game of Thrones' boringest sexy couple evah, Jon Snow and Ygritte, would spawn so many think pieces about virginity and sex (with Mad Men and Girls thrown in for good measure, which sounds a lot like our Damsels in Discussion podcast series, but I digress...)
First, a look at talking about male virginity on TV, getting away from the gotta-lose-it-by-college model, to celebrate inexperience:
Jon Snow's deflowering at the hands of Ygritte offered a fresh spin on what's usually depicted as a frantic rush to become sexually experienced. Snow, who took a vow of celibacy upon joining the Night Watch, showed reticence about losing his virginity due his celebacy vows, and presumably, his growing feelings for Ygritte. Similarly, Ginsberg's Mad Men confession about his virginity was rather poignant as it was spewed forth on a first date – not exactly winning dinner conversation.
Not to mention last week's Mad Men which gave us Don/Dick's 'how I lost my virginity' story, which at this point does anyone really care about? But really, isn't the trope of the tender male youth being shown the ways of the world pretty common? And isn't there something really off about the idea that once you do it once you're suddenly 'experienced' and all the secrets of the universe are revealed, as opposed to a long process of getting comfortable with and better at sex?
But we're all for more talk honest talk about sex, and this IndieWire story praises TV addressing all the most squirm-inducing bits head-on:
Laden down with judgments, motives and manipulations, it's no wonder that we've become so alarmist and squeamish about something that should be a natural and powerful part of human expression. The subjects that TV is addressing through explicit sexual depictions is prompting exactly the kinds of discussions we should be having on the subject. The talk of Adam's ejaculate on "Girls" encouraged an examination as to whether or not he was a rapist, based on the grim starkness of the coupling that preceded it. [...] And while it often does so in a horrifically uncomfortable way, the subtle commentary on sex and power in "Game of Thrones" -- both the shadow side of the act, and in purity of self -- reveals an entirely new prospective on the subject.
The New York Times has a story on the search for a pill to increase female desire, a controversial quest that gets little support from folks who care about the medicalization of female sexuality. For one thing, they point out that environmental factors are rarely considered when talking about female desire, and so often the conversation descends onto evolutionary psychology (men=hunters who need to spread seed, women=passive nurturers looking for Mr Right) But here's an especially disturbing tidbit from the story from the researcher conducting the study:
“You want your effects to be good but not too good,” Andrew Goldstein, who is conducting the study in Washington, told me. “There was a lot of discussion about it by the experts in the room,” he said, recalling his involvement with the development of Flibanserin, “the need to show that you’re not turning women into nymphomaniacs.” He was still a bit stunned by the entrenched mores that lay within what he’d heard. “There’s a bias against — a fear of creating the sexually aggressive woman.”
At least they're not claiming that all women fantasize about being prostitutes, which is what filmmaker Francois Ozon believes.
[Photographs from New York Times story by Jake Chessum for The New York Times]
In other news, the ever-repellant virginity showman Justin Sisely strikes yet again with another reality show scheme?? I can't believe how much publicity this guy has gotten before he's ever shown even one minute of this reality show (I realize we're part of the problem)
The idea to extend Virgin Wanted to Virgin Wanted 2 came after Sisely received a large number of emails from potential bidders looking for virgins all over the globe.Last year, amidst controversy, Catarina Migliorini auctioned her virginity to a Japanese man at a staggering cost of USD 78,000...
The story has one bright light or common sense:
However, several people have raised serious questions over the entire affair. Medical experts have raised doubts over the claims that there are tests that could prove whether someone is a virgin. A Brazilian attorney general, Joao Pedro Saboia Bandeira de Mello Filho has said that if the deal between the Japanese man and Migliorini goes through, Sisely could be inviting sex-trafficking charges over himself.
One can only hope...
A quick shout-out to the Finding My Virginity blog, which we liked so much we put its author ('a Christian feminist living outside the Virgin/Whore dichotomy") in our film! And thanks as always to eagle-eyed virginity correspondent @j_aallan.
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