Every Monday, adult superstar/OC girl Tasha Reign gives us her thoughts on life, sex, politics and everything in between. Today, Tasha weighs in on America's acceptance of Hollywood violence and hatred of Hollywood sex. Enjoy!
Last weekend, my date took me to Pain and Gain, a film based on a true-crime series that originally appeared in OC Weekly's sister paper, Miami New Times. Going to the movies is one of my favorite hobbies, and I'll watch anything, from action to comedy and even girly chick flicks.
What a unique and disturbing movie! Pain and Gain was pretty fabulous–at least the parts I was able to see, given I had my eyes closed through most of the film, especially during the brutal and gratuitous murders reenacted by Mark Wahlberg's character, Daniel Lugo. The movie (centered around bodybuilder friends who went on to murder, kidnap, extort, and torture) was simultaneously funny, sad, disgusting, violent, entertaining and brutal–a film that definitely deserves its R rating.
In between the chuckles and the violence, I began thinking of the hypocrisy America has toward filmic depictions of violence and sex. We love, love, love cinematic violence–everyone seems to be thoroughly entertained by it. We don't bat an eye when taking kids to The Hunger Games, a film where the plot centers around children killing one another in a gruesome manner. We tolerate the destruction and mayhem in the Marvel films and other action movies. But God forbid people over the age of 18 see too many breasts in a Hollywood production, let alone an erect penis–let alone any type of penetration whatsoever.
I took a film and cinema course last year at UCLA and learned a great deal about what censors allow in mainstream movies, what such censoring does to a film's rating, and how said rating affects the production's revenue. No film will ever receive an R rating if there is actual video footage of intercourse for even a second. But you can sneak in the on-screen killing of someone in a PG-13 film–heck, construct a whole narrative around multiple killings of teenagers. Which do you think is more ruinous to society?
I'm not criticizing fans of violent cinema, or filmmakers who love to focus on gore, blood and fictional suffering–if you like that stuff, go for it. What I am questioning, however, is the wide acceptance of cinematic violence by a society that at the same time completely and utterly condemns sexuality on film.
When I was growing up, my mother never allowed for me to watch violent imagery of any kind. I might've protested as a kid, but I'm glad she did it, because that meant I never became numb to bloodshed. When I'm at the movies with my friends, I'm the one jumping around and screaming whenever there's something violent. My friends? Entertained, interested, and indulged in the spectacle, but numb, unchanged, and passive to the blood.
Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking–watching too much sex on film is like watching too much violence, and the numbing effects are just as dangerous. I get you. But what exactly is wrong with viewing nudity and sex, and getting familiar with and enamored by a natural human function? Consensual sex is a beautiful thing, and films that provoke passion and curiosity are even better. You gain nothing with violence; you gain so much more with learning about what makes you aroused. Parents should definitely guard against their children watching on-screen sex, but why are they so vigilant about that yet so much more accepting of cinematic violence?
So tell me, readers: what is it about cinematic sex that brings down society's condemnation so quickly, a society that'll then turn around at yawn at the casual murders and fights that are de rigeur nowadays in Hollywood (and forever, if you know your Westerns)? Is it the possibility of homosexuality that is alarming? Is it the roughness and wildness? Is it the screaming orgasms or possibility of not being monogamous? Or is it the monster-sized body parts? Or is the sex without hopes of procreation? Between sex and violence, one subject sure seems less harmful than the other. I will let you decide which one I think is which 🙂
Follow Tasha Reign on Twitter: @tashareign