As a newcomer to Netflix, I was addicted yesterday. I watched until my eyes bled tears into the morning. I found it to be fantastic entertainment but unfortunately also a metaphor for our society’s explicit and implicit sexualisation of underage girls.
Life, for many, is going to work and returning to watch Netflix (which is ironically both the escape from work and avoidance of the dissatisfied lives worked for). It’s understandable that people are hypnotised.
My takeaway spaghetti thought concerns sexuality, nature versus exploitation. Thoughts on movie thumbnails and a French movie led to my discomfort.
Netflix can be more heroin than heroines.
Thumbnails of beautiful women are Netflix’s clickbait, especially as you dig deeper into their extensive catalogue. As with social media and glossy magazines, it emphasises that male heterosexuality and female bisexuality/vanity are advertising’s biggest target.
Before I returned to the Western Cape, I kept a movie diary. Without conversation during the covid lockdown, I spoke to myself; an exercise in writing, a word photograph for memory, and as a possible too-long letter to a mate I hadn’t seen in a long time. I named it an ‘Absurdist’s Diary of Moving Pictures’. Maybe this sex blog is its insane continuation. But the point is that, in that diary, I had previously pondered on the movie ‘Cuties’. I’d buried a seed for today’s questionable flowering.
‘Cuties’ experienced a controversial backlash for its poster that was accused of sexualising tweenagers. Ironically, the movie is a drama against that exploitation and climaxes with little girls humping the floor as a dance move. Sexualisation is one of the reasons why we now call preteens tweenagers. The necessary slow rite of passage has been destroyed by commercialisation. As a society, we are obsessed with things. Consequently, our children become products, a manifestation of our misguided worshipping of money and fame.
The fact is that the French are far more honest about the obvious than those of us who’ve inherited British prudity through colonialism and misguided missionaries. Conservatism is a hindrance to the necessary conversation. It’s probable that if 10 people read this, at least half would pass unfriendly judgement on me.
Last night, I initially and thoughtlessly skipped past the ‘Cuties’ thumbnail. I must have started over 50 movies last night, but ‘Cuties’ stabbed back when I began ‘My Perfect Landing’. In the first half a minute of the movie, I thought, “WTF”, restarted and paused it to see a younger than tweenager girl’s ‘camel toe’. I despise that description but it’s the most-used term.
Why aren’t there ‘liberals’ protesting sweet movies like ‘My Perfect Landing’ which are more likely, through subtlety, to introduce sexuality too early? ‘My Perfect Landing’ makes films such as ‘Cuties’ necessary. If I hadn’t watched that 30 seconds, this blog wouldn’t exist, and I’d be writing about politics instead. But maybe sex is the politics of capitalism.
DAUGHTERS ARE SCARY
I’ve no children nor the desire for them. I’m thankful for that. A toddler’s laughter may compete with the sea as my favourite sound, but I would be too paranoid to have a daughter grow-up in our society with misplaced values. It’s become more difficult to be a good parent but even the best are in a constant tussle with peer group pressure.
I may be conservative in action but less so in thought. It’s easy to be clear-cut about a child but less so when they’re older. The fact is that they all develop and get laid. It’s the natural order. Christians may deny it but that’s the only way the Bible’s Mary, probably underage, got pregnant.
Movie stars are like strippers, popular in their youth. We may grow with Nicole Kidman or Zhang Ziyi, but it’s more likely they’re part of our culture because they were young when we met them. I’m writing as a middle-aged male, but, for the most part, using actresses as an example often applies to an attraction from men and women (though the latter may find vanity being bigger than lesbianism or bisexuality). However, hetero females can replace or double-up my examples with Sean Connery, Tom Cruise or whoever.
Sex is complicated, and celebrity culture has made it more so. Somewhere, right now, underaged boys and girls are masturbating to pictures of Chris Hemsworth (37) and Johnny Depp (57).
Millions of years of evolution meant that sexuality was normal until recently. Defining the age of consent is necessary but almost abnormal It’s a conflict of opinion expressed through variations around the world. Generally, it’s 16 to 18 but only 9 in Yemen, 12 in Sudan and 21 in Cameroon. It becomes more confusing when the legal age is different for males and females in the same country. And ridiculous when homosexuals have to be older than heteros.
As a blunt example, if a 17-year-old girl screwed 6 guys, why should a 27-year-old go to prison for being her 7th, a possible anti-countdown from the ‘predator’ status he’d be labelled with?
Conversely, the sex-obsessed USA is the clear winner for expressing abhorrent male behaviour. Sure, the treatment of women in some Islamic countries is horrendous but the USA makes it obvious.
ME TARZAN, YOU JANE
That brings me to the Netflix documentary, ‘Spring Break’ a.k.a. ‘Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution’.
I’m not denying anyone their freedom or equality but the horror of ‘Spring Break’ is the “Hoo-ja” jock being king. More than the joy of seeing a woman in a bikini or a mini-skirt, I was disturbed.
I’m not an alpha male so you can criticise me for not liking my opposite. I’d rather read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a sub-titled movie than scream at soccer players kicking a ball.
When I was a DJ, contrary to my belief in intelligence over brawn, I witnessed the loudly narcissistic guys getting the most casual sex. Even intelligent women would screw them as if the primordial soup was the tastiest. “Me Tarzan, you Jane” becomes a psychological state of dysfunction in ‘Spring Break’ where women feel compelled to do what they wouldn’t normally do. So much so that they’ve accepted being the lesser sex.
Sex has infinite fantasies. Despite my faeces phobia, I’d never outlaw coprophagia in the privacy of one’s home (where I can’t see it). One women’s nightmare may be another’s wet dream. If you want to be gangbanged or publicly groped, go for it. But ‘Spring Break’s’ normalisation of men’s utter disregard for women’s consent is the foundation of our lives cracking.
Nowhere more is the Roman Empire falling than in the USA. It’s important because so many people, including my fellow South Africans, want to be American. They wear baseball shirts without playing baseball. They want to be greater than they need to be.
SLUTS, SAY THANK YOU
I’m not against porn and I accept that there are dominants and submissives. But how did we get to where we are now, where derogatory sex is the most prolific and popular?
Why are almost all women in porn “bitches”? Why must she have “SLUT” written on her breasts before she says “thank you” to the camera? Why must a too-big dick be inserted into a too-small arsehole and then into the victim’s mouth?
Is becoming that kind of entertainment for your friends and future employers worth the $500?
‘Hot Girls Wanted’ is a documentary about the negative effects on some women after having briefly been in porn. Sure, some are more blasé about it. Some pay their studies, buy a house, get famous, and can treat it as just another job. But the sex industry relies upon are turnover which means the lifespan for most is only a few months. Without getting rich, they return to normal, judgemental society that will never forget their movies.
I used to, more often than not, encourage my downward spiral. When I felt depressed, I followed the mood until Dante was my companion in a lower circle of hell. Although it hurt me, it helped me understand the world better and be creatively expressive. Although I’ve rarely done that the past decade, I fleetingly did so with ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ last night. I paused on the face of the main character – pretty, hopeful, fun. I jumped to the latter half and paused again – painful, dejected, not seeing tomorrow.
As I type this, I don’t think I’m going to get back to the light by the end of this page but I can, at least, go from darkness to grey.
I’m in love with sub-titled movies. They allowed this poor writer to travel the world and learn about different cultures. The most I’ve seen are from Korea. If you haven’t been thrilled by ‘Lady Vengeance’ or smiled at the quirky ‘Castaway on the Moon‘, then you’re missing out.
The Korean Wave has wet the world. The movies are amazing but I haven’t bought into the other components which are K-drama (soapies) and K-pop.
I’ve general distaste for pop, specially manufactured charts. Hip-hop has become forgetful and there’s no justification for Taylor Swift being considered Queen. There are always song exceptions, such as Lenka’s ‘The Show’ and Miley Cyrus’ cover of ‘Jolene’ (incidentally, Cyrus isn’t a victim, she owns her sexuality). But they’re rare, a million years away from the genuineness of the 80s. Now, the genre causes me to shudder. Atop the garbage are boy and girl bands, created by record labels intent on squeezing every dollar out of the life of music. Consequently, I was unexpectedly appreciative of Netflix’s ‘Blackpink – Light Up the Sky’.
Blackpink is a Korean-made band with two locals, one Thai and a Korean brought up as a Kiwi. They’ve got 3 videos each with over 1-billion views on Youtube, and their latest album sold 590,000 in one day. They are also, as expected, fucking hot. Before I dig into that dilemma, there are others.
‘Ice-cream’ is perfect eye-candy with insipid lyrics (as much of their music is). The problem with this millennium’s songs is that they can reach #1 without becoming classic. Maybe the problem with ‘Ice-cream’ is it that looks like a kiddie’s playground, a lot of fun until I thought more deeply about it. Their guest star is Selena Gomez who looks more like a teen than her 28 years. She’s reinvented, a sexy ‘virgin’, no longer the sacrifice of the hack that shared her nudity with the world.
But as with all their videos I saw, the cinemaphotography is spectacular. The colours pop in your head. If you want more of that bubblegum flavour, check out the changes in ‘How You Like That?’.
Sexuality is part of my ongoing inner dialogue. Of course, here, I’m a middle-aged man thinking that these 20-year-olds are prettier than any famous painting from the Middle Ages. I question my voyeurism but don’t feel guilty about it. After all, Phoebe Cates is 10 years older than me but she will always be 19 in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’. And the faces of these Korean ladies are more like the beauty of sunrise than sex.
We live in a world that ‘applauds’ working hard but that bugs me. I consider figure skaters to have amongst the most graceful and beautiful bodies. But then I saw several short documentaries on how they’re trained from as young as 4. It’s so brutal that it can be considered as child abuse. On the other hand, the few that make it live what others dream of.
That catch-22 applies to Blackpink who were part of a factory of children that are trained for as long as 10 years. Blackpink was the first girl band from that company in 7 years. They trained 14 hours a day, 13 out of 14 days. How many kids and teens who didn’t make it lost their family relationships whilst the record label made a fortune?
But I feel immense admiration for the effort these ladies put into their work. I appreciated the interviews. That makes this documentary definitely a lighter shade of grey than the earlier darkness I led you into.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN?
Sex is a primal urge. We’re so successful at it that we are the rulers of our planet. Sex is never going to stop and the genie, so to speak, is out of the bottle.
Porn doesn’t have to be evil but the consequences can be. Just like getting married young. The fact is that the brain doesn’t stop developing until the approximate age of 23. That’s when we become more hesitant than reckless, when we are more likely to acknowledge that driving a car too fast can have consequences.
The solution to almost all our ills is education, especially for girls. I wouldn’t allow my imaginary daughter to go to Cancun for ‘Spring Break 2021’. But if our society successfully taught positive sex and self-respect, I would be accepting of her being a sexually active teen who probably would choose to not go to places like that.
I’m not condemning Netflix. In fact, I encourage you to watch the documentaries I mentioned above, as well as ‘Christiane Amanpour: Sex & Love Around The World’.
Also see Mobi’s avant garde, plot-twisting fiction, ‘Antiporno’.
Please wear a condom whilst reading my blog 🙂