Sex On TV: So That’s Why They Call It The Boob Tube
Greetings, Tumblees! I may not be as funny as Danny Rouhier or as sex savvy as Lena Chen, but there’s one thing I’m pretty damn good at: watching television. And after many tedious hours of forcing myself (okay, “forcing myself”) to watch episode after episode of sitcoms, dramas, reality television, and the occasional home shopping network program, I’ve discovered something rather groundbreaking. At any given moment, night or day, Law and Order is playing on some channel. 456 episodes over 20 years. Makes sense. But that’s not the headlining news. What I did learn was that television shows love to make their characters get busy. You know, vertical jogging. Making whoopee. Schtupping. And they like doing it a lot. (Arguably, not so much on the Home Shopping Network, but I think we can all agree that there’s something fishy going on with that Shake Weight thing…)
So what’s my vested interest? Growing up, I learned everything I know about sex, love, and relationships from television. I think I entered the scene with 7th Heaven. Since Lucy started dating when she was 12, I figured it was about time to put on my Limited Too training bra and look for the side of boys that didn’t have cooties. During my OC phase, seeing Marissa date Ryan, the bad boy, made me start peering over the proverbial train tracks, just to see what I was missing, ultimately realizing that I was much more interested in the Converse wearing, comic book reading, coffee-cart-proclaiming Seth. Then came college nights spent in Gossip Girl land, yearning to date a guy like Dan—perfectly scruffy, perfectly witty, and perfectly situated in a gorgeous loft in Brooklyn. I’m chronologically regressing somewhat as I now spend my Sunday evenings at Downton Abbey, but no one can exude aching lust in a longing glance like Lady Mary Crawley.
Whether it’s awkward, creative, boring, or ridiculous, television just isn’t the same without sex. After all, what’s more entertaining than watching sex? Well, I guess having sex. But it’s the humanity of it all: sex yields life. Literally. (Unless, of course, you’re using effective birth control.) It can elicit pretty much any human emotion, whether it’s knee-slapping laughter, heartwarming love, or need-to-leave-the-room discomfort. Sometimes, all in the same episode.
This is not a completely brand-spankin’ new venture. You may recall the days of occasional “Sex on TV” postings on the now obsolete SexReally.com. Not ringing any bells? What about this? Yeah, more of that. Probably less snark (but no promises).
So that brings me here, blogging out all the good, bad and ugly news that’s fit to print about boning on Bones, smashing on Smash, and plowing on Ice Road Truckers (Ew. I’m sorry, I had to). I will take one for the team, watch all the shows and ignore all of the distant rumblings of “those who can’t do, teach.” It’s actually my job to watch sex on TV, kids. Beat that.
Lauren Mann works in The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s Entertainment Media department. She’s been blogging about sex, love and relationships among twenty-somethings since she first joined the Campaign as an intern in 2009. Check out her personal blog at whatjewtalkingbout.tumblr.com.