Sex is used to sell everything from perfume to food and everything in between. We can’t turn on our TVs or laptops without having some woman’s tits or arse shoved in our faces (never a penis though – funny that!).
We’re used to seeing half naked celebrities (again, usually women) dancing provocatively and simulating sex in a bid to sell their products (and sometimes to hide the fact that doing so is their only real talent). Reality TV shows are a hot bed (eh hem) of sexual nonsense; Katie Price, Jodie Marsh and others started their ‘careers’ as glamour models and every year men spend millions of pounds paying strippers to take off their clothes and prostitutes to have sex.
Sometimes sex – or even just the idea of it – can pay the bills.
For those people for whom this is true, good luck to you, but may I suggest that some of you be honest about it instead of hiding behind crap excuses like ‘feminism’ and ‘sexual freedom’. These arguments may fly if the person doing the ‘twerking’ is some chick from a repressed state somewhere, where women are only allowed out of the house for an hour a day, however, in this society women have had elements of sexual freedom for a while now – yes, even before Madonna.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your wealth) we live in a capitalist society that isn’t very kind to people who can’t pay their bills. We also live in a society where sex is enjoyable for many and no-longer viewed as a sinful act punishable by thousands of ‘Hail Mary’s, so when you put the two together it’s only natural that some enterprising souls will use sex to make money. Some people may be uncomfortable with this, a few more probably wouldn’t do it themselves and a whole load of us wish we didn’t have it forced down our throats (sorry) every time we watch an advert, drive past a billboard or open a non-pornographic magazine, but it is what it is and this writer has made her peace with it.
What is baffling though is publicly advertising one’s sexual exploits and not getting anything in return for it!
Clearly we live in quite hedonistic times where people are all about doing what feels good regardless of the consequences. The rise in social networking sites has made it easier for us to act on these urges publicly, but what do people get in return for these, often embarrassing and inappropriate public displays? Strippers, prostitutes, celebs, models, porn stars… they all get paid – some of them very well. They have houses, cars, savings, holidays etc to show for their exploits.
What do some random couple get for posting a nasty after-sex selfie? And who is their audience for crying out loud? What kind of people are they hoping to attract to their social networking pages?
Is this another fad that those with a FOMO (‘Fear Of Missing Out’ for those of us over 25) will jump on today and regret tomorrow, or are these people trying to make a statement? If it’s the latter, what exactly is the statement they are trying to make?
When I was at university I remember one of the photography students completed a project that was comprised of photos of people mid-orgasm. I remember thinking that it was pretty cool, if somewhat weird, because, at the time it was a unique idea and very ‘artistic’. For some reason though, I don’t feel the same way about after-sex selfies. It feels scummy, desperate and a little bit sad.
However, if the purpose of art is to hold a mirror up to society so we can examine ourselves closely then perhaps these selfies are art after all. They show modern society – or an element of it anyway – for what it really is: vain, indiscreet and self-obsessed and perhaps it’s this, and not the actual selfies themselves that makes me feel uncomfortable.