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  #1  
Old 09-26-2000, 03:26 PM
Honesty Honesty is offline
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Ok, riddle me this.

Why do they never, ever show a man naked in a sex scene on television? I've had HBO, for around three years. During sex scenes, they'd show a woman's breasts flopping about and their vagina fully exposed. But a guy usually has something covering his penis up. When it isn't something covering it up, then the camera suddenly shifts upwards.

So what is the deal? Why do they show women fully in the nude all of the time, but never men?
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2000, 03:31 PM
BobT BobT is offline
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This is known as a double standard. They exist in this world.

Did you see "The Crying Game"? That should keep you satisfied.
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2000, 03:31 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Double Standards -- even on HBO! Maybe they think the sight of naked men will freak men out. This isn't confined to cable TV, though -- how many penises do you see in Playboy, for instance? (I know they're there -- but there are a LOT fewer than you would expect. Even when they show a "naked" man he's usually either turned away, or something is covering it up.)
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Old 09-26-2000, 03:37 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Two reasons:

(1) it's not really fair to compare the male penis with the
female breast in this regard, since the female breasts are
a secondary sex organ. They are widely and fondly thought of by men in our culture, I think mainly because they are
symbolic of the female and because we're not allowed to see them in public.

Maybe men's buns would be a better parallel as a secondary sex organ, and you do see those in the same shows where you
see breasts.

(2) Unfortunately there does seem to exist an attitude that
men's bodies are inherently uglier than women's. Well yeah,
I'd rather look at a woman any day, but are women really not
attracted by us men in the same way as you attract us at all? And understand, I'm not talking about fat slobs here.
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2000, 03:45 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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I have a private theory, so to speak, that at least part of the prohibition here comes from actors. After all, women can exercise and have augmentations and such to improve their bodies, but the penis pretty much is what it is. It could be that actors are somewhat reluctant to put it all out their for the judgement of the world. Of course you could use a body double, but what if the word got out that you had? It would be just as humiliating.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2000, 03:46 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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out there, I mean. Put theirs out there.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2000, 03:47 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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What shows on HBO are showing a woman's vagina? Wouldn't that require spreading of the legs and lips? Or do you mean to say they show the outer parts of a woman's genitals?

R-rated movies are allowed to show a non-erect penis, I heard they tried to put one in the movie 'Sliver' but they had to take it out to get an R. I can think of many films that show the mans penis (The Terminator, Boogie Nights, Bad Lieutenent, The Pillow Book, even Gattaca (PG-13) had one in silhouette), but none that show more than a woman's pubic hair (I couldn't see much in that much-talked-about scene in Basic Instinct).
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2000, 04:31 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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And therein lies the biggest reason for the discrimination: the penis is a sexual organ, and is thus just plain inappropriate for all but the X-iest of films. Breasts, while attractive, are not sexual organs, nor is pubic hair, which is all that's typically shown in a female full-frontal nude scene. The secondary reason, of course, is that the standard of beauty in this country is the female; even women like looking at beautiful women.

Furthermore, it seems to me that all you normally see in HBO/Cinemax-style sex scenes is nothing more than what Bill Hicks called a "hairy bobbing man-ass". Oh joy.

Still, if you just gotta see a tallywhacker, go rent Wild Things and take a gander at Kevin's Bacon. You'll also get a glimpse in Hollow Man. Kevin's trouser snake is becoming so exposed, soon it'll need its own agent.
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2000, 04:35 PM
Wrath Wrath is offline
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A naked woman standing (or laying) normally does not reveal her genetalia. A man doing the same DOES reveal genetalia.

The art school I taught at had a policy of models not showing genetalia when posing. A male model was required to wear some kind of covering (like underwear), but a female had to be fully unclothed (but never to spread her legs before the class).

It does indeed seem sexist, but that's the logic.
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2000, 05:06 PM
Honesty Honesty is offline
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<<The Terminator, Boogie Nights, Bad Lieutenent, The Pillow Book, even Gattaca (PG-13) had one in silhouette)>>


Ugh, are you sure about Terminator and Boogie Nights? I saw Boogie Nights, well most of it, just had a bunch of women flopping about swooning over Mark Wahlberg. Was this scene in the beginning of the movie?


I'm not presumptuous enough to say that they don't exist in television. Heck, HBO has a series called OZ that shows a penis almost every episode. The problem is that when I see sex scenes, I wanna see it all, not just some woman flailing about naked. What irks me is that the cameria is conveniently positioned above the man's navel, that's what drives me insane.

There is a point that women just have pubic hair down there. But more than not, I do see that crease in there that is definitely a vagina. Besides, I find the male figure alot more eye-pleasing than a woman's but then again, I'm biased.

Thanks for the replies. I do too think it is just a double standard.
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2000, 05:12 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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All the above posts distinguishing between a fully naked woman and a fully nake man, genitalia-wise, are the standard justification for the double standard; that doesn't change the fact that it's a double standard.

The real reasons are all about power. To expose the woman entirely but allow the man some cover is perfect metaphor for the power imbalance between the sexes in our society. Trust me, if women had more power, they'd be the one to retain some dignity and the men would be the ones laid out like a formaldehyded frog.

The other power-related issue has been mentioned again: the dick you don't see is much bigger than the one you don't. When leading men finally have to show it all, it'll be like the advent of talkies: many careers will crash and burn, not to mention Tom Cruise specifically . . .

And BTW, they did not show no dick in Boogie Nights, except in the sense that they showed aliens in Close Encounters.
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  #12  
Old 09-26-2000, 05:25 PM
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Bob, of Bob and Margaret bared all on Comedy Central. I know he is animated, but I was surprised nevertheless.

I have a theory, that this society worships the Penis god and since you are not allowed to look at the face of god, you are not supposed to look at penises. You may look directly at a penis only if acting in worhip of said penis. As a society, we greatly value phallic things, because they embody some godlike characteristics. We also tithe to the penis by paying more to penis bearers. We tend to value non penis bearers only if they are sponsered by a penis in some way, as being a wife etc. A non-sponsered non-penis bearer doing the same activities as a sponsered non-penis bearer will be vilified and perhaps punished.
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  #13  
Old 09-26-2000, 05:41 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by lee
. . .I have a theory, that this society worships the Penis god and since you are not allowed to look at the face of god, you are not supposed to look at penises. You may look directly at a penis only if acting in worhip of said penis. As a society, we greatly value phallic things, because they embody some godlike characteristics. We also tithe to the penis by paying more to penis bearers. We tend to value non penis bearers only if they are sponsered by a penis in some way, as being a wife etc. A non-sponsered non-penis bearer doing the same activities as a sponsered non-penis bearer will be vilified and perhaps punished. . . .
This is absolutely beautiful. I'm having Tshirts made.
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  #14  
Old 09-26-2000, 05:43 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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oops

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Originally posted by lissener
The dick you don't see is much bigger than the one you [do.
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2000, 05:49 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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There were no penises in Terminator-nor in the sequel!

The Pillow Book-that's Ewan McGregor, right? I'm renting, who wants to come over? Bring popcorn!
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2000, 06:01 PM
handy handy is offline
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So quit watching stuff about leabians & watch some gay male flicks, youll see plenty of penis.
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2000, 06:01 PM
Nanook of the North Shore Nanook of the North Shore is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Honesty
<<The Terminator, Boogie Nights, Bad Lieutenent, The Pillow Book, even Gattaca (PG-13) had one in silhouette)>>


Ugh, are you sure about Terminator and Boogie Nights? I saw Boogie Nights, well most of it, just had a bunch of women flopping about swooning over Mark Wahlberg. Was this scene in the beginning of the movie?
Its at the very end of the movie. Thought to be technical its not really Mark Wahlberg's penis, its a prostethic(sp?) to simulate the size of the person the movie is based on.
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  #18  
Old 09-26-2000, 06:11 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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There is so one in Terminator! It is near the beginning, when the guys are watching Arnold Schwarzenegger walk towards them, naked. Though it is not a close up shot and it is poorly lit, you can definitely see his penis swinging back and forth.
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  #19  
Old 09-26-2000, 06:13 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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Quote:
But more than not, I do see that crease in there that is definitely a vagina.
Get out your anatomy books and look up what part is actually the vagina. It is the sheath, within the labia minora, that the penis goes up into. You can't see it unless you spread the lips.
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  #20  
Old 09-26-2000, 06:13 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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"Swinging" is overstating it a bit. I'd say "jiggling."
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  #21  
Old 09-26-2000, 06:14 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Badtz Maru
Quote:
But more than not, I do see that crease in there that is definitely a vagina.
Get out your anatomy books and look up what part is actually the vagina. It is the sheath, within the labia minora, that the penis goes up into. You can't see it unless you spread the lips.
Ewww! Enough! There's gay men in here!
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  #22  
Old 09-26-2000, 07:24 PM
Homer Homer is offline
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More, more, there's straight men in here!

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  #23  
Old 09-26-2000, 08:05 PM
lucwarm lucwarm is offline
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For what it's worth I agree with the people who think it's a matter of preference. More specifically, it's a question of economics. People who make TV shows are trying to get people to watch. I suspect that a lot more men are interested in seeing naked women than there are women interested in seeing naked men.

Why should that difference exist? Well, sorry to sound like a sociobiologist, but, if you consider the popular theories on mixed reproductive strategy, it makes a lot of sense.

I wonder if there is a similar assymetry in non-HBO watching cultures . . .
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  #24  
Old 09-26-2000, 09:19 PM
Honesty Honesty is offline
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<<So quit watching stuff about leabians & watch some gay male flicks, youll see plenty of penis.>>


Heh, I'm gay, but I'm not gay.

I've watched gay flicks and it was promptly thrown in the trash. I want something as dramatic as the movie Ghost but with lil penis showing -- you know? Seems gay flicks contain nothing but mindless sex, no storyline, no substance, just sex sex sex.

I like HBO becuase they attempt to mix the two. For example, they have this wonderful show called "Sex and the City" where you have a group of women who go out and have sex. I know it sounds like a trashy show, but I kid you not, it is quality programming! They have yet to show one single penis, despite the fact that the show pratically says the word a gillion times during the storyline.

<< What shows on HBO are showing a woman's vagina? Wouldn't that require spreading of the legs and lips? Or do you mean to say they show the outer parts of a woman's genitals?>>

Actually, they have a series called "Real Sex." Which in actuality, shows the spreading of legs quite alot. I wish there were other HBO watchers would step forward, I'm not making this up.

But for the most part, they show the outer genitals, which I still consider the vagina. You show that woman prancing around on the HBO series to any man and they'll be more than likely to tell you it is a vagina or a pussy. I doubt they'll refer to it as a labia or the outer pubic region.

<<"Swinging" is overstating it a bit. I'd say "jiggling.">>

I laughed so hard when I read this.


<<And BTW, they did not show no dick in Boogie Nights, except in the sense that they showed aliens in Close Encounters.>>

You got me back this statement. Elaborate?

Thanks for the replies gang, this is really interesting and entertaining thread.
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  #25  
Old 09-26-2000, 10:15 PM
evilbeth evilbeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Honesty
[B<<And BTW, they did not show no dick in Boogie Nights, except in the sense that they showed aliens in Close Encounters.>>

You got me back this statement. Elaborate? [/B]

What the poster meant was that the penis at the end was not actually Mark Wahlberg's penis--it was a prosthesis. Allegedly, the special effects guys said it was the scariest thing they had ever worked on including all their years of making props for horror movies.
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  #26  
Old 09-26-2000, 10:39 PM
Odesio Odesio is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Honesty
Ok, riddle me this.

Why do they never, ever show a man naked in a sex scene on television? I've had HBO, for around three years. During sex scenes, they'd show a woman's breasts flopping about and their vagina fully exposed. But a guy usually has something covering his penis up. When it isn't something covering it up, then the camera suddenly shifts upwards.

So what is the deal? Why do they show women fully in the nude all of the time, but never men?

HBO just shows bush so far as I know. And no I don't mean George W. You don't actually end up seeing the genitals. Once in a while on their television show Oz you'll see a penis flopping around.

Marc
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  #27  
Old 09-27-2000, 10:14 AM
handy handy is offline
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There was a computer flick in the 70s, The Forbin Project ?? and the computer had this really big penis & they showed it too. Also, the Boob Tube, another 70s flick, had a talking penis.
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  #28  
Old 09-27-2000, 10:22 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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handy:

No penises, talking or otherwise, in The Forbin Project. You might be thinking of Demon Seed, in which a self-aware computer with the voice of Robert Vaughn impregnates a woman. But, to tell the truth, I don't recall a penis in that one, either. (It's based on a Dean Koontz novel -- I think it's the first adaptation of his work). There have been other picturs since that show science-fiction penises. I've seen a clay animated film set in a toy shop with cklay penises on Ken dolls an the like, and a purple forked penis on an alien. There's alsoo an animated "Mother Goose" film with an x-rated "Jack in the Beanstalk" segment featuring a giant penis.


But these instances are few and relatively recent (even the Mother Goose cartoon I cite usually covers up the penises), and I agree with the folks above who call this a double standard. Guys don't seem to like the idea of showing penises flacci or erect.
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  #29  
Old 09-27-2000, 12:19 PM
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They show more than enough penises on tv here in the UK (if you watch at night, of course) -- but never erect, and often in a relatively non-sexual context, e.g. nudist camp docudramas, naked game shows, strange European competitions, and the like. (Needless to say, these are penises most of us don't really want to see!)
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  #30  
Old 09-27-2000, 12:26 PM
Johanna Johanna is online now
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Quote:
the outer genitals, which I still consider the vagina. You
show that woman prancing around on the HBO series to any man and they'll be more than
likely to tell you it is a vagina or a pussy. I doubt they'll refer to it as a labia or the outer
pubic region.
The word you're all looking for is vulva. Vulva is a great word, an excellent word. It's fun to say. I want to get everyone to say "vulva." I love vulva!

vulva! vulva!! VULVA!!!
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  #31  
Old 09-27-2000, 12:26 PM
labdude labdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CalMeacham
handy:

No penises, talking or otherwise, in The Forbin Project. You might be thinking of Demon Seed, in which a self-aware computer with the voice of Robert Vaughn impregnates a woman.
The movie Saturn 3 or Saturn 5 (i forget) has a robot penis that has sex with Farra Faucet (sp).
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  #32  
Old 09-27-2000, 12:29 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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Talking about robot penises or cartoon penises just proves the OP's point.
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  #33  
Old 09-27-2000, 01:24 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Yow!

How could I forget the cult classic Flesh Gordo, with the infamous rotating robot penises?
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  #34  
Old 09-27-2000, 01:26 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by lissener
All the above posts distinguishing between a fully naked woman and a fully nake man, genitalia-wise, are the standard justification for the double standard; that doesn't change the fact that it's a double standard.

The real reasons are all about power. To expose the woman entirely but allow the man some cover is perfect metaphor for the power imbalance between the sexes in our society. Trust me, if women had more power, they'd be the one to retain some dignity and the men would be the ones laid out like a formaldehyded frog.

The other power-related issue has been mentioned again: the dick you don't see is much bigger than the one you don't. When leading men finally have to show it all, it'll be like the advent of talkies: many careers will crash and burn, not to mention Tom Cruise specifically . . .

And BTW, they did not show no dick in Boogie Nights, except in the sense that they showed aliens in Close Encounters.
Your analysis undoubtedly applies also to the way men and women dress, generally. When's the last time you saw a man
wearing a sleeveless bare-midriff top, and what did you think of him when you did? Women's casual fashion, with all its skin-baring approaches to near-nakedness, bespeaks
vulnerability and perhaps childlikeness. This is usually thought of as a negative, but in a way it's positive too, as women have the freedom to dress that way if they wish, or more conservatively if that is their preference. Don't get me wrong.
As a man, I think women look teriffic in that type of clothing. It's more the sexual dichotomy which I criticize. Men's casual shorts/shirts just keep getting
baggier and longer to the point where they're hardly shorts at all; our other clothes are equally body-concealing: we might as well be Moorish women.
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  #35  
Old 09-27-2000, 02:18 PM
warinner warinner is offline
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Max Torque wrote:

Quote:
Still, if you just gotta see a tallywhacker, go rent Wild Things and take a gander at Kevin's Bacon. You'll also get a glimpse in Hollow Man. Kevin's trouser snake is becoming so exposed, soon it'll need its own agent.
And bring a whole new dimension to the Kevin Bacon game.

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  #36  
Old 09-27-2000, 05:43 PM
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You mean the new "Kevin's Bacon" game?
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  #37  
Old 09-27-2000, 06:56 PM
manhattan manhattan is offline
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Actually, I think the reference is to the exciting new game "6 inches of separation."
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  #38  
Old 09-27-2000, 09:19 PM
kethle kethle is offline
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Re: oops

Quote:
Originally posted by lissener
Quote:
Originally posted by lissener
The dick you don't see is much bigger than the one you [do.
How big is the one you do?
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  #39  
Old 09-28-2000, 11:47 AM
don willard don willard is offline
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There seem to be many theories here, some about power, and some say women are more exposed and some say men! And there are these power reasons. Another explanation for the customs of bodily presentation (exposed, unexposed, which parts are shown, and all adornments including tattoos) is the one apparently ordained by at least some structuralist philosophers: namely there is no rational reason and no power reason, ON THE WHOLE. There is no REASON at all.
There is no meaning to this phenomenon anymore than there is any meaning to anything else we do: we are just all practising variations of baboon hind end display and monkey head-with-banana-draped-on-it behavior. Such things occurWHEN THE PRIMATES INCLUDING US HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO (IE., HAVE TOO EASY A LIFE), much like even a bored dog eating its excrement or the draperies. It all starts the way this one ape tribe was observed starting a behavior: primatologists peering at a tribe noticed that one day a female took her banana down to the local seashore and swished it around in the waves and then ate it. A few other monkeys followed suit and eventually most of them were doing this, and PASSING IT DOWN THROUGH THE GENERATIONS. As you can see, there is no point to it at all. See also my entry on the horsemeat thread. Somebody wore his cap backward one day and now look what we have on our hands! Recently I observed a person sitting in a group and he had A WASHRAG ADORNING THE TOP OF HIS HEAD. This may or may not become the next big fashion, but remember you read it here first.
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  #40  
Old 09-28-2000, 11:59 AM
lissener lissener is offline
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Well first off let me say, don willard, that I want some of whatever you're on.

Second, thanks for clearing it up for us: if you put a million monkeys in a room, they'll end up naked, with the males shielding their penises from view, and the females "taking their bananas down to the local seashore and swishing it around in the waves," if that's what the kids are calling it these days.

And what a relief to know there's no reason for anything we do. I can stop wasting so much of my time on SDMB.
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  #41  
Old 09-28-2000, 12:21 PM
Shaky Jake Shaky Jake is offline
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As far as the OP, I think it may have something to with a prohibition on displaying "frank arousal" - i.e. an erect penis. I suspect this is one criterion for distinguishing what may fall into the category of "pornography". Women have no reliable, readily-apparent, external signal of arousal. An erect penis is a giveaway for men. If there is indeed a prohibition against erect penises, then one is faced with two options: don't show a penis, or show a flaccid penis. In a scene of supposed passion, a flaccid penis wouldn't do.

As has been said, the female nudity I've seen in mainstream movies is of the pubic hair/mons Venus variety, as opposed to the labia/vagina/open crotch variety.

Flaccid penises have made appearances in movies. Harvey Keitel's way-too-purple member making an appearance in "The Piano" comes too readily to mind.

I agree, however, that there does seem to be a preponderance of female nudity over male nudity. Quite often, the female nudity does not seem particularly germane to the plot; in fact, it often seems a contrivance in order to instill some female nudity into the scene.

Shaky Jake
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  #42  
Old 09-28-2000, 05:02 PM
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There seems to be a fairly complex set of "levels" of porn on cable. On HBO they only show movies with "brief nudity" (although the one episode of "Sex in the City" I saw had a plethora of realistic-looking dildos).

On Showtime and Cinemax they show "soft core" flicks which consist of several-minutes-long nudity/sex scenes scattered throughout the movie, but the sex is faked.

"The Spice Channel" on pay-per-view has virtually nonstop nudity and sex--and the sex is real--but they still take pains to hide the guys' penises. You might call this "medium core".

Finally (my girlfriend gets bootleg PPV and at 10pm they switch over to...) "The Hot Channel", which shows everything and is thus "hard core", but I think even they draw the line at showing ejaculations.


I'd be interested in seeing what the actual written guidelines are covering all this.
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  #43  
Old 09-28-2000, 06:02 PM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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Does the Spice Channel really show non-simulated sex? I have it available on my PPV but my wife says it's just the same old stuff you see on late night Cinemax (she's not trying to deceive me either, we have real porn on tape).
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  #44  
Old 09-29-2000, 08:31 AM
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"on the show Oz you'll see a penis flopping around"?
All by itself?
AHHHHH! its alive!! Run!!!!!
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  #45  
Old 09-29-2000, 04:59 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Betwixt My Ears
Posts: 11,203
Quote:
Originally posted by vanilla
"on the show Oz you'll see a penis flopping around"?
All by itself?
AHHHHH! its alive!! Run!!!!!
Now, now, don't get cocky or someone will be tempted to give you the shaft.
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