I was at a dinner party this weekend and we were talking about the HBO show, Game of Thrones. As soon as it came up, one of the husbands got aggravated and said he hated the show because there was so much gratuitous sexuality and nudity. This led, predictably, to a divide of those who said that the sex was the only reason they watched it and those who thought it went too far.
To each their own. But what struck me is that, while 3 people there had a moderate to high issue with the level of nudity, no one mentioned the gratuitous violence. This is a program where a leading character is explicitly decapitated in the first episode (or near first – can;t remember).
This bothered me. Personally, I am ok with both sex and violence on TV that is intended for adults, but I understand the people who like neither. I do, however, have a bit of a hard time with those who see nudity and sexuality as completely unacceptable, but violence as just fine.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the damage we do to ourselves, our relationships and society by stigmatizing sex in the way that we do. To treat sex as dirty, impure and inappropriate and taboo is to vilify our most basic desire. I will blog more on this in days/weeks to come, but what I want to think through and share is how society could be improved if e turned our views on sexuality and desire on its head and started to treat it as natural and positive instead of evil. I am going to try to be objective and consider the pros and cons, but intuitively, I think we would be far better off. We’ll see.