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Pop Sex

September 10, 2012

No “cut scenes” here.

Remember the days when the camera used to cut away from sex scenes, leaving it to your imagination to fill in the blanks as to what was going on? The cut away scene may still be alive and well on TV (thanks FCC), but cable networks have brought pleasure to the screen in more ways than one. Because of this, and the increased exposure of boobs, butt, and full frontal nudity (man, still can’t shake that scene from Walk Hard from my brain) sex and sex toys have moved from being taboo subjects to cultural norms.

This increased exposure, via our entertainment, has managed to change the mindset of current 30 and 40-somethings, as well as the generations that follow. While decades ago, everyone was hush hush about their bedroom antics, recent studies show that 15 billion dollars are now spent every year on sex toys and 1 in 2 women now own a sex toy. So you can pretty much bet your money that if you don’t own one, your friend certainly does.

Sex toys have moved beyond the bedroom and now penetrate every angle of pop culture.

Remember these sex toy cameos?

TV and Film:

  • The Rabbit, an infamous vibrator shaped like a rabbit, can thank Sex and the City for its widespread popularity. SATC dedicated an entire episode to the power and effectiveness of the Rabbit and since then sales haven’t looked back. The Rabbit is still the best-selling vibrator on the market and that episode aired 14 years ago.
  • You can find movies like American Pie and The Ugly Truth celebrating sex toys. American Pie was a little unconventional, as they exploited an unsuspecting pie, but The Ugly Truth shows what can happen when you wear vibrating panties to a company dinner.

Kandi Burns from Real Housewives of Atlanta has a new sex toy line.

Celebrity Endorsements:

  • You knew it wouldn’t take long for a Real Housewife to come up with some sort of sex toy or movie. My money was on Kim from Atlanta, but Kandi (also of Atlanta) beat her to it. She teamed up with OhMiBod and created an entire sex toy line, complete with lubes, vibes and lingerie.
  • Rhianna can always be found promoting sex. She is well-known for her song S&M, a song celebrating sadomasochism and is also frequently seen shopping for sex toys. Sex and music have always marched hand in hand, even before the sexual revolution. Donna Summer’s Love to Love You Baby, Starland Vocal Band’s Afternoon Delight, and Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy all grace Billboard’s list of the 50 Sexiest Songs of all Time.

Books:

  • Literotica has exploded in the reading world (ahem… I know you are reading or know someone who has read Fifty Shades of Grey).  The book that took this summer by sexual storm (proving once and for all that men watch porn, women read it) has reportedly increased the sale of ropes and zip ties in hardware stores nationwide. Ben Wa Balls have also seen a spike in sales. Now, the question on the mind of every hot and bothered woman in the world, who will play Christian Grey in the movie?

Mimicking Pop Culture:

  • Dude, when I discovered this I don’t know if I was slightly turned on or confused. Remakes, knocks offs and spoofs have always ruled pop culture. Sure, you can dress like your favorite celeb, but why not just take your love of Jersey Shore all the way?  Yup, you can now pick up your very own Guido Sex Doll, complete with abs and a spray tan. Being that The Situation has licensed everything that isn’t nailed down, I’m actually stunned his name isn’t on it.

Finally, amateur film.

  • Some celebrities owe their stardom to scandalous sex tapes they have made. It seems like a good sex tape is part of the new celebrity PR manual for fast word of mouth these days. Which celebrity is going to leak a naked photo or film next. Any bets?  Where would Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton be without their sex tapes? These celebutantes have taken their sex tape PR boost and turned them into multi-million dollar ventures and brain-rot TV shows.

While some celebrity involvement with sex toys can be a little strange, they have definitely played a key role in building a more sex positive culture. Our moms and dads were secretive about what happened behind closed doors. Today, the door is wide open and we can speak freely about what satisfies us sexually and how to be safe about it by preventing pregnancy and STDs. So if you’re feeling frisky or just want to check out what hot new sex toy/pop culture crossovers are out right now, you should head over to Adam and Eve.

Time for me to do some shopping and indulge in some formerly “scandalous” behavior!  After all, it is election season. 😉

Freddy Krueger and Sex

April 10, 2012

So, after two years of boycott here I am — sitting watching the Nightmare on Elm Street remake on Cinemax. Why boycott it? Well, I just couldn’t see anyone but Robert Englund in the iconic role of Freddy Krueger. It just felt wrong — for example, the new Freddy is much beefier, with a deeper voice, dispelling any brain play about the child molester turned dream-side serial killer being gay. The new Krueger is just too macho.  The one thing I feel the remake has gotten right is the deep sexual undertones of the originals.

I’ve always wondered if others shared my interest in the sexual undertones of the epic horror franchise. Even in the remake, Freddy is often seen mounting his victims, cuddling alongside them in bed, ripping and shredding the bedding.

Today, I found a research piece written about Freud and how some of his theories align with my feelings of sexuality in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.  It’s an interesting read. What do you think?

Or maybe horror movies just turn me on…

An introductory look at Freud’s writings on female sexual development in regards to Wes Craven’s 1984 hit horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

This brief analysis is aimed at the original 1984 version of A Nightmare on Elm Street starring Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp, as the events are slightly different in the 2010 remake. However, the main themes are the same. Furthermore, this analysis does contain information which could spoil major incidents in both films.

Wish-fulfilments and Repressed Sexual Desires

According to Paul Brians, in Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of Dreams (1900),Freud argues that ‘dreams are wish-fulfilments’ and that those wishes are the result of ‘repressed or frustrated sexual desires’. He says the ‘anxiety’ surrounding these ‘desires’ turns some ‘dreams into nightmares.’

Essentially, looking at the film in terms of a Freudian psychoanalysis, it can be suggested that Nancy’s (Langenkamp) nightmares revolving around Freddy Krueger are in some way representative of ‘repressed or frustrated sexual desires.’ Ultimately she has reached the point in her life where she is having stronger sexual urges than before and they are confusing and frightening her.

Freud laments that in ‘the first phases of erotic life, ambivalence is evidently the rule.’ Freddy is that mysterious, wild and dangerous figure that Nancy’s subconscious desires. It is similar in traditional fairytales. Freddy is like the Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood or the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. That part man, part animal creature (his metal claws are similar to those of a wild animal) who the young girl is frightened of and yet subconsciously seeks out regardless.

Meanwhile, Nancy’s boyfriend Glen (Depp) is the complete opposite to Freddy. He is caring, softly spoken and even playfully bullied by his friends. He is a far weaker male figure and his death reflects this. He is bloodily engulfed by his own bed, which mirrors the female’s menstrual bleeding after sex.

Nancy’s libido is seeking out a stronger male figure, not one easily overpowered by her own sexuality, like Glen. Freddy bursting through the spandex-like wall and her bed-sheets and his clawed hand emerging between her legs as she falls asleep in the bath are all subtly sexually charged. They represent the powerful breaking of the virginal menstrual she subconsciously desires.

The Mother and the Oedipus Complex

Freud says that it is the mother who ‘takes up her duty of guarding her daughter’s chastity.’ In the film it is Nancy’s mother who, disregarding the idea of the ‘Freddy nightmares’, attempts to protect her daughter by barring the windows and bolting the doors. But this simply makes things worse when Freddy escapes the dream-world and Nancy is trapped in the house with him.


The Oedipus complex refers to the daughter’s ‘turning-away from her mother’, which Freud argues is an ‘extremely important step’ in the course of a young female’s development into a woman. This repression of her desires by her mother (Nancy being trapped in the house with Freddy) only leads to a ‘fear of being killed by her’. This, Freud says, then brings on a subconscious ‘death-wish against her mother’, represented in this case by Freddy, who, having entered the real-world, kills Nancy’s mother, ironically, as she sleeps.

The Individuation of the Heroine

Individuation is essentially the child finding its own path away from the parents and, as Carl Jung says, ‘becoming a single, homogeneous being.’. According to Marie Louise von Franz, this was once closely associated with the life of Christ, but in modern times it has changed. She says, ‘we are healed, fulfilled, and made complete when our physical instincts are normal, especially the sexual instinct.’

She further argues that Freudians believe the ‘root of all evil is sexual repression; if the amatory functions take their natural course, then everything is resolved and in order.’ In the film this is obviously represented by Freddy, who, as a symbol of teenage sexual repression causes ‘evil’, so to speak, when he is unfulfilled.

Neither of Nancy’s parents succeeds in protecting her from her own sexual development, shown metaphorically in the film by the fact that Nancy is most at risk from her own subconscious (or nightmares) where they cannot protect her. It is Nancy alone who must learn to control and fulfill her desires, which she does by confronting Freddy at the end.

However, the final twist reveals that Freddy is still alive and it becomes uncertain as to what is subconscious dreaming and what is reality. Ultimately this suggests that as humans we can never fully control these desires, especially during maturation, and they can never be fully explained.

Sources:

Brians, Paul, Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

Freud, Sigmund, The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud ed. James Strachey and Ann Freud (London: The Hogarth Press, 1961)

Jung, Carl, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ed. Aniela Jaffe (London: Collins Clear-Type Press, 1963)

Von Franz, Marie Louise, Interpretation of Fairytales (New York: Analytical Psychology Club, 1978)

Zombies: The CDC Responds

March 15, 2012

Well how about THAT! The CDC actually responded to me in regard to my inquiry about zombies — my tax dollars at work!

Here is what they had to say –

Thank you for your submission to CDC-INFO. In response to your comments regarding information about zombies appearing on the CDC website, we can provide you with the following information.

Zombies are huge in pop culture right now and garner a lot more attention than our regular preparedness topics. We are using them as a metaphor, though, for serious events like floods, hurricanes, and other disasters that people dont typically talk about until its too late. The purpose of CDC’s blog post was simply to get people thinking about emergency preparedness and the basic concepts: get a kit, make a plan, be informed.

Editorial Note: Due to the paragraph above, I fully believe there is an anti-apostrophe conspiracy in our government.  Pass it on before it’s too late.  The oxford comma could be NEXT!

Websites may link to cdc.gov or any part of the website without permission.

As a Federal agency, CDC rarely links to commercial (.com) websites. Each link to a commercial site must be approved individually. Links are not approved just because a commercial site links to CDC.

CDC links to other Federal government agencies and to non-profit and educational organizations and state government agencies that partner with CDC on specific initiatives.

For more information about emergency preparedness, please visit the CDC website:

Emergency Preparedness and You

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/

We appreciate your interest in our messages and materials and look forward to assisting you again in the future.

Thank you for contacting CDC-INFO Contact Center. Please do not hesitate to call 1-800-CDC-INFO, e-mail cdcinfo@cdc.gov or visit http://www.cdc.gov if you have any additional questions.  

CDC-INFO is a service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). This service is provided by Vangent, Inc. under contract to CDC and ATSDR.

Was it a response to my question about the airborne zombie virus? Did they ACTUALLY answer the question? No…

Were they pretty clear that they wouldn’t be linking to MY blog? Yeah…

Was it all I’ve come to expect from our government? Of course… what’s a little zombie metaphor between friends if it means being prepared for disasters we currently KNOW about?

The CDC’s zombie awareness campaign, let’s just call it “The Metaphor” now, is extensive.  They have a Zombie Task Force and a Preparedness Challenge (Links below in the photos if you are interested)

Here’s an excerpt from their Web site.

Never Fear – CDC is Ready

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/cdc/orgs_progs.asp

To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit:http://emergency.cdc.gov/

badge with creepy face peering over top, text: "become a member of the Zombie Task Force! Order t-shirts through the CDC Foundation by clicking here."External Web Site Icon.Join the CDC Zombie Task Force! The CDC FoundationExternal Web Site Icon., a non-profit partner of CDC is offering Zombie Task Force t-shirts (click on the picture to find out more).  Proceeds go to benefit disaster relief efforts and other important health programs. Get yours before they’re gone…

Are you prepared? Tell us…
are you prepared? video contest badgeHave you begun preparing for a zombie apocalypse? Or maybe you have been preparing for a more realistic threat like hurricanes or the next flu season? Tell us about what you are doing to prepare! Enter our video contest here: http://prepare.challenge.govExternal Web Site Icon.

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