Sex as a Weapon

If Americans could just be comfortable with getting laid, we might have some semblance of peace in the world. I swear to Godso much of our aggressiveness comes from the fact that we're a nation that sells sex half the time and spends the rest encouraging people to punish themselves for doing it. Despite its salacious reputation as a sin peddler, much of our popular culture has its sights set on keeping us hot but very bothered. What other supposedly modern country would produce something like last year's Unfaithful, a movie that lets you get off on the sight of Diane Lane getting royally boned by some really hot French guy and then lectures you about how she's ruined her marriage to that mainstay of American fidelity Richard Gere?

Why does everybody insist on pretending we're all good boys and girls? It's 2003, and one look at television will tell you it's still important to bring home a mate who won't threaten June Cleaver. I've made no qualms about my love/hate relationship with dreck like Elimidate, yet I'm consistently terrified by the hypocritical sexual attitudes that play out with such wild abandon on it and other "reality" dating shows. Mark my words, you get some guy who has to choose between four girls at a bar, and he'll enjoy three of them simulating blow jobs on him in a hot tub before choosing the wet blanket who's been bleating, "I don't do sloppy seconds," for the past 24 minutes under the guise of having "class." Few things are as bizarre as listening to one whore call another whore a whore.

I know I shouldn't turn to the Fox network for respite, but flipping through its incisive slice of teen life The O.C. the other night, I found myself in anaphylactic shock. Here's a show in which droning, twentysomething, 80-pound runway waifs and thick Abercrombie and Fitch models portray teenagers and deliver lines like "But MomI'm only 16!" as though it's taking all of their energy just to wait for their next methadone dose. Yet a recent episode found starving good girl Marissa tormented by the fact thatthe horror!she'd allowed beefsteak boyfriend Luke to take her virginity; she thought she'd exact some revenge, having recently caught true love Ryan, the rebel from the wrong side of the tracks, romping with a big-boobed blonde. Returning to her house after the Deed, looking traumatized and disheveled, Marissa sees a yearning Ryan looking dolefully at her from his driveway and sobs, "You're too late."

Now, aside from the fact that I used to live in Orange County and never once heard it referred to as "the O.C.," I have a hard time believing not only that thin, rich, attractive high-schoolers in their 20s are virgins, but that they'd even hesitate to hide the salami with their fit, rich, attractive male-model boyfriends. Furthermore, I'd like to debate the notion that said attractive high-schoolers in their 20s, arriving home from aforementioned boink, would not turn to the brooding, attractive, wrong-side-of-the-tracks male model in his 20s living next door and simply say, "Hop on, cowboyLuke just broke me in."

I hate it when soap operas pose as touchstones of morality. You give me Gary Busey and Stockard Channing as ersatz lovers, finekeep the sex to yourself. But you foist dim-witted supermodels on me, things better get cooking. And that's reality.

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