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  1. #1
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    Default Sexuality in the media: a distraction?

    Sexuality in any media always seems to have this negative effect on people that leaves them unable to focus on anything else. Whether they're turned on or not, they seem blinded by anything remotely sexual.

    What I'm getting at, is this: let's say a porn star tries to have an acting career outside the porn genre. People might not be able to take said porn star seriously as an actress/actor, ever. All because they're a porn star. All because people can't get that image of said porn star doing something sexually graphic, out of their mind, or rather, because they can't help but think said porn star doing something sexually graphic makes her/him...filthy. Disrespectable.

    Why does sexuality prove so distracting to some people that it can spoil their fun? It's never been a problem to me. Skimpy outfits don't stop me from respecting a character. Of course I like said skimpy outfits, but I don't find myself thinking of such a character as nothing more than a piece of meat.

    Prostitutes, porn stars and strippers are vilified for making money off their bodies. What exactly is wrong with that, as long they choose to do so willingly, and aren't forced into it? I actually respect them. It must take a strong stomach to have sex with repulsive losers, and to pretend to care about them.

    I'd really like to know what makes sexuality something so wrong and distracting to some people, than whenever a non-porn movie features so much of it, makes them complain and say "if I wanted sex I'd just watch porn", confining sexuality to a single genre, and one that's treated as filthy, at that.

  2. #2
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    I think it's more of an American thing even though I might be wrong. Putting sex in a dirty box or making it something to be punished for (horror movies) is a part of our culture. I think it has alot to do with self hate, if you think you're a pos you're gonna hate how you got here.

    As far as a bias against porn stars, honestly outside of porn most aren't good actors. In terms of prostitutes having strong stomachs I don't know about that, I think cocaine is just a helluva drug.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffHanger2 View Post

    As far as a bias against porn stars, honestly outside of porn most aren't good actors. In terms of prostitutes having strong stomachs I don't know about that, I think cocaine is just a helluva drug.
    Even if most porn stars are lousy at acting, I'm sure than even those with more acting talent than Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver combined wouldn't be accepted as "legit" actresses/actors. Or if they were, there'd be an insane effort to keep their pornographic past under wraps. Some would ask why they even became porn stars in the first place, if they were that talented.
    Last edited by DS1; 07-19-2014 at 09:35 AM.

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    Veteran Member CSTowle's Avatar
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    Kim Kardashian has built an empire on a sex tape with some guy I'd never heard of who was related to a famous guy. Maybe this prudishness would have been the case 30 years ago, but in today's world if you know how to keep eyeballs on you (and whatever else you have to say about the Kardashians, they can do that) you'll be in the public eye. If they're decent actors they can get into the business.
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    A requirement for most porn actors and actresses is a certain ability to not give a damn what anyone thinks about you. This clashes with the image consciousness of mainstream media, where you have to constantly be aware of how the public perceives you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DS1 View Post
    Even if most porn stars are lousy at acting, I'm sure than even those with more acting talent than Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver combined wouldn't be accepted as "legit" actresses/actors. Or if they were, there'd be an insane effort to keep their pornographic past under wraps. Some would ask why they even became porn stars in the first place, if they were that talented.
    The chick playing Tyrion Lannister's gf/prostitute used to do porn before she started acting. I wonder how she does in the future.

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    Sylvester Stallone has done well for himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CSTowle View Post
    Kim Kardashian has built an empire on a sex tape with some guy I'd never heard of who was related to a famous guy. Maybe this prudishness would have been the case 30 years ago, but in today's world if you know how to keep eyeballs on you (and whatever else you have to say about the Kardashians, they can do that) you'll be in the public eye. If they're decent actors they can get into the business.
    Agreed. Sasha Grey wasn't great, but she wasn't terrible during her time in Entourage season 7. If they never mentioned IN the show that she did porn, I honestly would not have known cuz I had never seen her stuff.

    I also don't find overtly-sexual displays in comics, TV or movies to be all that distracting.
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    When I first saw the title of the title of the thread, I thought you were going to be talking about fan-service. Like gratuitous panty shots, Ed Benes art, female cops on detective shows that look like runway models etc.


    But, uh...as far as the example you bring up with porn stars...there's been a small handful of individuals that have crossed over into "mainstream" success. But you've got to remember that a lot of people have all sorts of moral, religious, and political reasons for being anti-porn. It's seen as a terrible industry by some and if you're a person that works in it willingly you're tainted. More mainstream outlets might sell tittilation, but they still don't want to be associated with "those people." They'd rather take a chance on an untalented actress that looks good than an adult film star that might have some skill. Most would rather not risk any negative publicity that might occur.


    I don't know if you remember the TV show Growing Pains, but star Kirk Cameron actually got an actress kicked off the program cuz he found out that she posed in Playboy.

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    Porn is a built in distraction within modern media, it's an easy angle for untalented hacks to write/blog/tweet about, and is dimestore click-bait. Modern Media makes it a distraction in media because it allows the publishers to hire people who can't make it as real journalists whom they'd have to pay a proper wage/rate.

    Porn and amateur net articles have something in common: they exist because of the greed for cheaper and quicker publishing systems going for the same ad revenue, since they ride on the back of non pro writers, much simpler/cheaper to deal with than even a fiction writer making $10 per page for an indie start up comics company.

    It's just like how Jersey Shore and reality TV is cheaper to make and the craptitude of the production teams and the "writers" on those shows are hidden behind boobs and sex scenes with "contestants" and "real people living together" so these elements can distract from the fact that nobody with any talent or merit is involved. This stuff has been a major topic of contention with my W.G.A. pals.

    Pulchritude is the same. Millions turn to porn when they cannot score acting/dancing careers, so that also is a big stigma. "They couldn't make the grade so they take off their clothes".

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    When I first saw the title of the title of the thread, I thought you were going to be talking about fan-service. Like gratuitous panty shots, Ed Benes art, female cops on detective shows that look like runway models etc.


    But, uh...as far as the example you bring up with porn stars...there's been a small handful of individuals that have crossed over into "mainstream" success. But you've got to remember that a lot of people have all sorts of moral, religious, and political reasons for being anti-porn. It's seen as a terrible industry by some and if you're a person that works in it willingly you're tainted. More mainstream outlets might sell tittilation, but they still don't want to be associated with "those people." They'd rather take a chance on an untalented actress that looks good than an adult film star that might have some skill. Most would rather not risk any negative publicity that might occur.


    I don't know if you remember the TV show Growing Pains, but star Kirk Cameron actually got an actress kicked off the program cuz he found out that she posed in Playboy.

    Well, this thread also covers some of the fan-service you're talking about. And female cops that look like supermodels, etc, again, do not distract me and ruin anything for me. I didn't struggle taking the character of Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3 seriously, just because she wore a tube tope and a skirt. But a design like hers certainly got the whore word thrown at her, even from guys who supposedly aren't sexist and believe in gender equality.

    As for porn, I don't even like it myself, but not because I'm a prude. The anti-porn people I'm talking hate it precisely because they're prudes. They're the kind who are distracted by all forms of sexuality in the media. I doubt they even hate porn because they think it's sexist towards women (a more legitimate reason to hate most porn) as I think many of these prudes are misogynistic themselves, but just because it's sexually gratuitous.

    Every examples in this thread of porn stars who found success outside porn proves one of my points. Barely anyone in the mainstream crowd knows they used to be porn stars. How many are talking about Sylvester Stallone's past as a porn star nowadays? Hell, I doubt most people knew even back in the 80s.

    Getting back to over-the-top sexy designs, to me, the designs themselves aren't the problem, but rather, the perception of them. Some people immediatly think of them as degrading, even if the sexy character isn't portrayed as an idiot, or abused, or anything truly negative, behaviorally speaking. That I have a problem with. Because you see, even if a female character wore practical, conservative outfits, if she's treated like crap, it won't make much of a difference, if at all. Just look at women in most of the middle east, and tell me if you think being fully covered is automathically empowering.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    I don't know if you remember the TV show Growing Pains, but star Kirk Cameron actually got an actress kicked off the program cuz he found out that she posed in Playboy.
    Yeah, but Kirk Cameron also went nuts after he found religion. Writers from that show have said he sent scripts back because he believed that children should always obey their parents, and and refused to do the rebellious teenager part that way anymore.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DS1 View Post
    Well, this thread also covers some of the fan-service you're talking about. And female cops that look like supermodels, etc, again, do not distract me and ruin anything for me. I didn't struggle taking the character of Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3 seriously, just because she wore a tube tope and a skirt. But a design like hers certainly got the whore word thrown at her, even from guys who supposedly aren't sexist and believe in gender equality.

    As for porn, I don't even like it myself, but not because I'm a prude. The anti-porn people I'm talking hate it precisely because they're prudes. They're the kind who are distracted by all forms of sexuality in the media. I doubt they even hate porn because they think it's sexist towards women (a more legitimate reason to hate most porn) as I think many of these prudes are misogynistic themselves, but just because it's sexually gratuitous.

    Every examples in this thread of porn stars who found success outside porn proves one of my points. Barely anyone in the mainstream crowd knows they used to be porn stars. How many are talking about Sylvester Stallone's past as a porn star nowadays? Hell, I doubt most people knew even back in the 80s.

    Getting back to over-the-top sexy designs, to me, the designs themselves aren't the problem, but rather, the perception of them. Some people immediatly think of them as degrading, even if the sexy character isn't portrayed as an idiot, or abused, or anything truly negative, behaviorally speaking. That I have a problem with. Because you see, even if a female character wore practical, conservative outfits, if she's treated like crap, it won't make much of a difference, if at all. Just look at women in most of the middle east, and tell me if you think being fully covered is automathically empowering.
    When I see a woman who's playing a soldier or a cop wearing high-heels and a tube top I don't take them seriously. Not because they're women, or because I'm "against gender equality", but because it's ridiculous and it is fan-service. Any real soldier/cop would never wear heels or a top that will most likely fall when they go to chase someone, unless they're off duty. There's no story reason for it at all, it's only to please those paying customers who want to see pretty women in skimpy outfits. Who care less about what that character is thinking and what their goals are, and more about what their breasts look like in a tube top and how their bum looks angled up with those heels.

    That's not being for gender equality, that's about objectification. It's pretty common in all forms of media (our comic hobby and video games perhaps being the worst offenders). Despite all of that, it takes me out of the story a bit when I see a woman who looks like Jessica Alba playing a scientist and getting no comments on her looks or turned heads. You don't see this as much when it comes to my gender. There are dozens of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill types. I can't name many females who can get away with that look. The closest that comes to mind is Melissa McCarthy, but she's just big. She's cuter than your average woman (imo). There's a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with gender equality. It has to do with old attitudes about how often a woman should be seen, and how often she should be heard. Championing tube tops and heels for gender equality sounds a bit like old politicians who championed segregation for the good of black people.
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    @CSTowle

    You not being able to take female characters in over-the-top sexy outfits seriously is your problem, not mine. You let those designs distract you. I don't care if there's no reason for a character to wear such clothes, storywise, as it's fiction. I care even less what real soldiers would wear because, well, I don't care much for the military, anyway. I still very much care about both story and sex appeal, even if you want to believe otherwise, and that it's all black and white. I like having it all.

    And why wouldn't any female scientist look like Jessica Alba? Talk about stereotyping.

    Just so you know, I'm all for sexualizing men in the media more, since I believe in gender equality, and I'm a straight guy, FYI. All these practical, "respectable" outfits men often wear in the media often make them look boring next to the women. I loved the banana hammock outfit in Dead Rising 3, and Chris Redfield's sailor outfit in Resident Evil: Revelations.

    To conclude, this whole thing about only caring either for sex or story, people who use that argument always seem to think you really can't have both. I don't just mean that they think they're incompatible, but even if the story was good, and the characters compelling, they'd let the sex appeal spoil it for them. They refuse to think that any media that strongly feature sex can be good for anything other than that. I should know, because I've rarely, if ever, seen a movie, or a game, or a comic, that was praised both for the story and the sex appeal, unless the story was about sex (and they gave it a chance).

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    Veteran Member CSTowle's Avatar
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    My only problem is with someone trying to pass off the fact that they like to look at scantily-clad women whether a story calls for it or not as some sort of enlightened championing of gender equality.
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