How Did Sex In America Lose Its Sex Appeal

I offer the jury two exhibits in my case that sex in our times has lost its sex appeal: (1) Hollywood love scenes (2) Music concert performances.

Over the last 50 years, each has ruthlessly sucked the sex out of sex. They have gutted moments of magic, and replaced them with grunts of gratification. Here, let me present the court my evidence:

(1) When you watch the old flicks on nighttime television, most love scenes play out in one of three ways: a discrete fade to black; or a music-fueled series of lyrical closeups of faces, arms, shoulders; or a dramatic cross-fade to some metaphorical scene like white stallions stirring in the moonlight. In those pre-1970 years, audiences were allowed — no, invited — to use the rich resources of their libidinous imaginations to fill in the visuals.

By today’s standards that was dishonest. unrealistic. failed to let the camera capture the full drama of human love making. Instead, I would argue to the jury the drama of human love making has now been reduced to animal intercourse. Note how today’s cinematic scenes focus on the raw energy of writhing bodies, males in grunting dominating positions, females in submissive gasping positions, all accompanied by the same sweat and sound you find in barnyards during mating seasons.

A lot of sex, but little sex appeal.

(2) In each music concert season the latest here-today-gone-tomorrow pop star gets a chance to make a few tawdry headlines. It doesn’t take musical talent, simply tasteless bravado. But the media can’t resist its knee-jerk response, so the bravado gets a few here-today-gone-tomorrow headlines. However, here’s the point. How can the gimmicky bravado compare with the sex appeal of a stunning performer? a mesmerizing voice? an on-stage personification of the desire of every member of the audience?

Again I say to the jury, today’s go-for-the-gimmick performances are anything but sexy.


Maybe I’m much older than you, but sex hasn’t changed. It’s still a powerful experience in all our lives. My case is simply this: Why look for ways that literally drain the power out of the experience…?

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