We've really turned the meaning of "boob tube" around these days! There are boobs all over the place! And lots more than that, although penis is still generally elusive. Nonetheless, sex is making great inroads on television these days, and not just sneaks of skin. This week's Sex Stories We Love talks TV, past and present.
Sex and the City Succeeded
Depending on your perspective, it is either hard to believe that "Sex in the City" debuted 20 years ago this month or it's really hard to believe that people still think and talk about that show so many years later. People seem to fall into one of those two camps when it comes to appreciating the adventures of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. You can probably guess where I fall. Despite my personal misgivings, "Sex and the City's" legacy cannot be denied. It offered a view of women never shared before! They were confident, sexual and expressive. The main characters owned and lived their lives, with the sexual aspects being, arguably, the most important contributions to their enduring appeal. And, well, thank goodness they didn't air this scene or the show might have been cancelled early on!
Queer As Folk Flourished
While "Sex in the City" turned the world on to the idea that women have sex and talk about sex, "Queer As Folk" brought the same mainstream attention to queer sex. Through both the British original and later American version, television audiences were treated to a depiction of queer life that was never considered palatable enough for TV before. But it was. Absolutely. People tuned in for the beautiful bodies and delicious sex. The show wasn't a one-trick pony, either. "Queer As Folk" tackled many different issues affecting (mostly white, male) queer life. It certainly could have done with better diversity and inclusion of characters and issues. How do you think a reboot would go over now? Would you watch "Queer as Folk" 2018?
The Deuce Debate
Fifteen years after surprising the world with "Secretary," Maggie Gyllenhaal brought sex to the fore again with her starring turn in "The Deuce." Just as she turned heads in the iconic role of submissive Lee Holloway, Gyllenhaal swung the sexual pendulum the other way with her portrayal of Eileen "Candy" Merrell, a sex worker breaking into the porn industry. Based in 1970s New York City, "The Deuce" is a gritty view of sex and porn, but Gyllenhaal sees some real-world comparisons right up to the present day. Do you agree with the idea the Golden Globe nominee offers here about sex as a conversation starter?
Sense8 Signs Off
This past week saw the release of the series finale of the sexually-groundbreaking "Sense8," an audience-darling that, despite being cancelled, was brought back for a conclusion to appease a rather rabid fan base. Not many creators are allowed to bring their shows back for a creative conclusion. The Wachowskis definitely created something special with "Sense8," and this opportunity was well-earned. It is too bad that the show didn't gain a wider foothold. Not only did it feature the hottest, most broad offer of sexual content on television and a delightfully diverse cast, but it offered a different kind of message. It offered the idea that family is who you connect with, that the world is both big and very small, that we are a central part of life for others, and that we can be there even when we can't.
Vida is Vital
Even when influential shows come to an end, there's always hope for the future with new and exciting offerings in sexual TV land. One of the most important shows to come along this year is "Vida." This groundbreaking series is centered in the Latinx experience and features the community more fully realized than ever before on television. "Vida" includes significant depictions of both straight and queer sexualities. There's never been a show that so fully realizes Latinx life in a way that includes sex and sexuality. The creators (featuring a full Latinx writing team) embrace and break open conversations about queerness as well. "Vida" is definitely one to watch.
Finally, maybe all of this hot and important sex on television is what keeps the Russians stuck to the tube instead of stuck to each other. Just a thought ...