Going Out In Style

What more can be said about a bunch of Ole Pharts not only having sex in public, but a guy letting his 85-year-old wife pull the train?  (I’m guessing about the last part, but it wouldn’t surprise me, nowadays.)

And who knew that dogging had come to Connecticut (state motto:  “Like Massachusetts, only with less class and charm”)?

Goddamn Baby Boomers… couldn’t they just have had an orgy at Happy Hours Retirement Village, like all the others do?

Public Morals

South Korea has banned the importation of sex dolls.  From the article:

While sex dolls are not illegal in South Korea, government customs agencies had blocked their import under a law that restricts materials that “corrupt public morals.”

And:

However, the Seoul High Court said in January that sex dolls were for personal use and should be treated differently than pornography, which is heavily restricted under South Korean law. That decision was upheld by the supreme court in June.
The ruling has sparked a backlash, with one petition filed with the presidential Blue House gathering more than 237,000 signatures. The unidentified author of the petition argued that an influx of imported sex dolls could lead to an increase in sex crimes.

I’d love to see the supporting statistics for that last statement.  Except, of course, there aren’t any.  Someone just had a hunch.

What really surprises me is that pornography is “heavily restricted” in Korea.  That doesn’t seem to jibe with conversations I’ve had with people who’ve been there.

Cheater’s Penalty

I read this report with sadness:

A man has sued his unfaithful estranged wife after discovering that he is not the father of her eight-year-old son.
The man wants the woman to return ‘every penny’ he spent on the child he thought was his but was actually fathered by someone she had an affair with.
He also wants damages to compensate for distress and wants her to reveal the name of the other man.

My sadness is because of the effect all this will have on the child.  For the cheating ex-wife?  Not a smidgen of pity.

In the old days, a child born within the marriage was assumed both legally and morally to be the child of the husband — and it made a great deal of sense.  Nowadays, with morality in tatters but with scientific tools such as DNA testing, that old standard is unnecessary.

In fact, I believe that all babies should get DNA-tested at birth.  If the baby is born to a married couple and the husband is found to be not the father, then the actual father should be identified and forced to pay child support.  If the woman is unmarried, of course, then the same should apply.  (If she doesn’t know who the father is, then everything that follows is her own fault.)

Adultery that results in pregnancy should carry a penalty of some sort.  The husband should not be penalized for his wife’s infidelity and carelessness.  Good grief:  if sperm donors  are being forced to pay child support (as is beginning to happen in Europe — pure foolishness), then Roger The Lodger should have to face the same consequence.

Less Is More

The best-selling author Alistair MacLean was once asked why none of his novels contained any sex scenes, and I remember his answer as though I read it yesterday:

“It slows down the story.”

He added:  “”I like girls, I just don’t write them well. Everyone knows that men and women make love, laddie – there is no need to show it.”

I’ve never forgotten that maxim, although I haven’t always followed it in my own writing.  Basically, I believe that reading a book can  allow for a little slowdown in the story — unless it’s a breakneck-paced thriller (like those of MacLean).

Movies, however, are a different matter altogether.  Even in love stories, I’ve found the sex scenes to be a pace-killer, and unlike books, where you can take as long as you like to get through them, a movie has to be consumed pretty much in one go.  And unless the movie is all about sex (straight porn or an art movie like Gaspar Noé’s Love  or the depressing 9 Songs ), sex scenes are pretty much unnecessary.  You want the actors to have sex?  Show them together in a bedroom, or near one, have one start to undress the other, and then cut to the morning, showing them still together.  They had sex, we get the point, thirty seconds, tops (Cary Grant and Eve-Marie Saint on the train, in Hitchcock’s North By Northwest ).  Now get on with the story.  Others, of course, may disagree with me — like SFGate.

I know it’s a San Francisco media outlet, but really?

Sex is disappearing from the big screen, and it’s making movies less pleasurable

Ummmm… no.  Oh sure, when you’ve been watching some tired plot rerun from every movie made since 1920, why not have (say) Katherine Heigl bonk Keanu Reeves for five minutes or so?  (Because a. they all use body doubles for the close-ups and b. see above for why a movie shouldn’t need a brake pedal.)  SFGate continues:

Today, whether it’s in “Long Shot” or “Rocketman,” the sex scene has been reduced to a shorthand, an instantly recognizable grammar that begins with some jokey or flirtatious foreplay, cuts to some flesh (tasteful enough to honor the actors’ no-nudity clauses), then discreetly cuts away when things get real. You know what happens next, the camera seems to tell us. Do you really want me to spell it out for you?

Well, yes.

Well, no. But let them continue:

When you deprive audiences of a really good sex scene, you’re depriving us of what was once one of the greatest enjoyments of going to the movies, a part of classic cinematic grammar that, when choreographed with sensuality and sensitivity, can be memorable as genuine entertainment – maybe even great art – and not just a lascivious clip on Pornhub.
What’s more, you’re pretending to build a world grounded in realism that is completely devoid of one of the core elements – and joys – of the human experience. It’s as if Hollywood – fixated on families, teenagers and global markets – has given up on American adults as anything more than arrested adolescents interested only in revisiting the distractions of their youth.

Frankly, I can count maybe a dozen really fine sex scenes I’ve seen in movies, but scores more that have actually made me laugh out loud or exclaim in disgust.  Those  scenes — and let me be very clear about this — have occurred in movies that are aimed at “families, teenagers and global markets” —  in other words, where sex scenes are not part of the plot, and therefore completely gratuitous.

And here’s the basic problem.  When the word “adult” became a synonym for “pornographic”, we lost a perfect description for a movie type, aimed at adults per se, that could  contain a decent sex scene — e.g. The English Patient  or A Good Year — and said movies have, over the years, almost disappeared from the studios’ offerings.

What’s also disappeared is the directors and writers who could create a decent sex scene.  Instead, we’ve ended up with cretins like Michael Bay and Jud Apatow, who taken together couldn’t do something that could coax a semi(-woody) from a randy twenty-year-old, let alone from an actual adult viewer (like, say, me).  Considering that I have only watched one Marvel movie (the first Iron Man, and that only because of Robert Downey Jr.), none of the Transformers and ditto the Guardians of the Galaxy, you may consider me well outside the mainstream — and not for the first time, either.

What I want is to watch true  adult movies — as I said, aimed at adults, not porn — with grownup stories, mature actors, (not necessarily “old” — another piece of modern terminology which gets up my nose) and realistic conclusions.  And if a sex scene is an integral part of the story, fine — but it doesn’t have to be graphic.  A good example is the sex- and nude scenes between Alex Baldwin and Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated — a howlingly funny and accurate depiction of sexuality in an otherwise silly movie which was integral to the plot but which, thank goodness, involved grownups and took less than a minute of film time.  (And thankfully, you don’t get to see Meryl’s nude body, but — and this cannot be left unsaid — you do  get to see Baldwin’s horrible hairy ass.  It is very definitely part of the plot, however, and it’s hysterical.)

As with so many things, they used to do it better in the old days — think of any sex scenes in the black-and-white era involving, say, Gary Cooper or Robert Mitchum and their various female co-stars, and you’ll see what I mean.

What we did not need to see was a scene of thrusting buttocks involving James Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s A Wonderful Life  — and thankfully, we never did.  It was all left to our imaginations… even though the two above were, in the terms of today, totally hot.

Much better in our imaginations, I think.

Not Interested

If I were to list things in which I am totally disinterested, it would be a long list indeed.  Items that seem to entrance other people just leave me cold.  Such items would include Anything Kardashian, the new H&K or Glock pistol, the latest fashion trends, the new Marvel movie (because I’m not eight years old anymore), any Hollywood divorce, who won the latest Britain’s / America’s Got Talent, the latest Ed Sheeran / Taylor Swift song, new developments in iPhones, why women masturbate, who’s banging who in show business, how much money some rich fart makes per month, etc.

Wait, go back… what was that bit about why women masturbate?

Apparently, this is of some interest to people:

The research, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, reveals the majority of women do indeed masturbate.
A total of 94.5 per cent of women have masturbated at least once in their life, with most doing so for the first time at 14.
More than a quarter (26.8 per cent) masturbate two to three times a week, with a similar amount (26.3 per cent) doing so once a week.
Almost all of the women (91.5 per cent) reported masturbating while being in a relationship.
For the 5.5 per cent of women who have never masturbated, the two main reasons were: ‘I hardly every feel sexual desire’ and ‘sex is a partner-only thing’.
The reasons for masturbating ranged from sexual desire to relaxation (44 per cent) and stress reduction (22.6 per cent).

…and so on and on, until the eyes start to droop.  (I should point out that the above study was conducted among German women, so any conclusions should be taken with a giant pinch of Salz.)

Among the many mysteries of life (for me, and I suspect most men) is that of women’s sexuality — and to be quite frank, I’d like to leave it that way because, as far as I can see, the difference between male- and female sexuality is somewhat more complicated than this pictorial example:

…because although I think it’s missing a couple dozen female controls, it’s still a valiant attempt at explanation.

And that’s sexuality in general;  start parsing that into sub-functions like masturbation (as the above study attempts to do), and all the individual combinations and permutations that push a woman to self-pleasure would cause a Cray to give up after a millennium or two.

It’s NOMB.  Let the female of the species get on with it, and mine not to reason why.

I didn’t see that  reason in the study, but whatever, sweetheart.

Dog Bites Man

According to !SCIENCE!, all these “new” apps are making it easier for hookers:

Apps like Facebook and Tinder are fuelling the “soaring industry” of online prostitution and sexual exploitation, according to a worldwide study published by a French anti-prostitution group on Tuesday.
Prostitution has moved “from the street to the Internet”, where pimps recruit young girls via Snapchat and Instagram before prostituting them in apartments rented on Airbnb, said anti-prostitution group Fondation Scelles.

No shit.  Here’s the DUH! statement:  every time technology improves, one of the first beneficiaries is nookie.  Always.  A couple of examples should suffice:

I have no way of proving this, but I bet that Photographer #3, back in the 19th century, took some nudies of his girlfriend.

And we all know how long it took before the old Polaroid cameras were used to take nudie pics, right?  (Rough guess, about 15 seconds after the things went on sale.)

Moving from static- to motion pictures:

…and I’m not even going to mention home movies.

Next, when the Intarwebz came along and made in-home porn just a click away, and cell phone technology made it portable, I think my point has been made.

So of course  modern apps have made things easier for the porn industry;  and if it’s easier for porn, it’s easier still for prostitution — and we sure as hell didn’t need any studies to tell us that.

Speaking of technology, as sexbots improve and (inevitably) go down in price (so to speak), even prostitution looks like becoming passé.  But that’s a topic for another time.