Sex etc.

There are only a few things that are certain in the modern world. Kerry Katona will get fat again, cry about being a coke addict, snort the ashes of one hundred thousand crushed Atomic Kitten CDs and die, leaving nothing in her wake but a five page epitaph in the Daily Star.

We will always care more about Kerry Katona eating sushi than we will about Cleggmania, SamCam and that rabid Scottish bulldog, no matter how hard Rupert Murdoch tries. McDonalds will make you fat. Burger King will make you fat. Nick Clegg will make you fat. The Andrex Puppies will make you fat. Gok Wan will tell you that you’re fat but you’re fabulous, or something, and make you expose your stretch marks in front of your grandma and The Nation. Everything on TV is for and by The Nation, an anonymous group of twats who spend their Sunday afternoons masturbating to Racing on Channel 4 and deciding that Joe McElderry is now the voice of The Nation because he’s cute. Or something.

More than this, we all know that sex sells, apparently. Whenever anything vaguely sexual comes on TV, there will always be some pillock nearby who wants to justify the sudden awkwardness in the room with an oh-so witty anecdote about the economy of sex on TV. Say ‘sex sells’ enough times and it becomes about as monotonous a drone as the white noise that will forever leech onto my null and void collection of analogue TVs. Except the white noise isn’t quite as self-righteous as the lager wielding, Times-reading sofa commentator.

I’m not exactly the most clued-up person on the economics of television, and I am sure that TV programs with lots and lots of fucking in them make lots and lots of advertising revenue for lots and lots of television executives. And good for them, truly! But does every single TV program need to be reduced to a base, sexual level?

I’m not saying that _Newsnight_ has become a late night haven for Paxman fetishists waiting for the closing five minutes in which he strips down to his off-white Y Fronts and performs a disturbingly erotic dance, but there is definitely a misplaced emphasis on sexual attraction and seduction across the entire sorry spectrum of TV shows.

There are, of course, overtly sexual TV shows. There have been for a long time. _Sex and the City_ ploughs on with its second movie coming soon, and I’m sure that scenes of menopausal women having their way with barely post-pubescent boy toys will be titillating enough, but in comparison to the bawdy romps of the TV show, the new _Sex and The City_ will always pale in comparison. _Sex and The City_ is reflective of how standards of sex on TV have gradually disintegrated from people fucking to make a point to people fucking because there needs to be a sex scene in every single post-watershed program. The once perky labia of your TV set is drooping lower than a fat man sleeping in a loosely strung hammock.

Every taboo has already been broken. _Queer as Folk_ introduced rimming to middle England at the start of the millennium. Joan Collins’ character in _Footballers’ Wives_ had sex with her adopted Brazilian football megastar son. Channel 5 ran a documentary about a man who has sex with his car. Rebecca Loos masturbated a pig on _The Farm_. Kinga made sweet sweet love with a wine bottle on _Big Brother_. Every single combination of midgets, obese prostitutes, eighty-year-old male strippers and inanimate objects have all cheated on each other on some godforsaken daytime chat show.

Sex can be innovative and inspiring in the right context. The rimming worked on _Queer as Folk_ not because it was shocking but because it made gay sex beautiful. _Footballers’ Wives_ worked because it was campy and kitsch and the weird sex scenes were so extreme that they became cartoonish. Rebecca Loos’ indulgence in bestiality was just shocking, crude and inappropriate.

And then there’s TV’s obsession with sexualising the seemingly innocuous. Children’s TV presenters seem to know the score, and it’s almost a rite of passage for every female ex-_Blue Peter_ presenter to appear in the glossy pages of FHM.

Perhaps _Bob the Builder_ will turn into _Bob the Rent Boy_ soon enough to increase ratings. _Dora the Explorer_ has already been given a more revealing outfit. Heck, in a desperate move, the final series of _Big Brother_ could bring back Moira Stewart to perform lap dances.

Sex on TV is ridiculous and worthless. Expect to see David Cameron awkwardly writhing in dirty underwear in a desperate attempt at quelling Clegg-mania in Thursday‘s debate.


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