Sometimes I look at the world around me and I wonder why society seems to be so frigid about accepting kink and BDSM. I suppose it has this dark reputation and is viewed as being for those who are a little deviant or out there. However, other times I look and am confused by the double standards. As a teacher of sex education, I do know that here in stuffy old Britain, there is more on our compulsory curriculum about sex than in many of the US states, although I realise that it can vary a lot over there. We are teaching about sex and relationships and will inevitably end up covering the sort of misconceptions that teens are left with, when their most accessible source of information is often porn. Having said that, D/s remains a bit taboo and I have felt for a while that what we need to help our D/s cause is for a sophisticated celebrity couple to come out and endorse our lifestyle – maybe Will and Kate?
HisLordship and I rarely watch television, but due to a three day menstrual migraine, I have been able to do very little with my time. (If any fellow sufferers out there have a suggestion as to what might help it would be gratefully received as I am currently losing three to five days each month and nothing I try seems to work!) Anyway, health tips aside, our viewing options seemed a bit limited – we are currently not watching anything; The Handmaid’s Tale has finished and we are up-to-date with Game of Thrones. Sir found an ‘8 out of 10 Cats’ version of ‘Countdown’ so we snuggled up to watch that. The first surprise came during the adverts, when there was an advertisement for Love Honey, one of the online sex toy shops that we have used.
While sex has become a much more open topic, I have not noticed adverts such as this before and we were both quite surprised. I think that this is a good thing as it gets around that idea of these things being sordid and dark so hopefully the more open approach will be a plus. Following the end of the show, however, came the announcement for the next show – ‘Naked Attraction’ hosted by Anna Richardson. We have seen a few of the shows she has done, and from an education point of view some of these can be really interesting for me to watch, so we agreed to give it a try. It transpired that this was not a new show as it was the second series. The first was aired in 2016.
It seemed to be a sort of ‘Blind Date’ type format. But Cilla would be staggered by the twist, as this dating game show involved one clothed person choosing a date from six naked contestants. Their bodies are revealed from the feet up and the contestant and the host are free to go up and have a look. There seemed to be jiggling of penises on command and a variety of other gestures in order to help them decide who to eliminate. Once I got over the shock, I felt a bit sorry for some of the naked bodies, at the running commentary that was taking place about them. It was direct to say the least and possibly a little brutal in parts. But then again, anything for a minute of fame.
The show continues as more of the naked bodies are revealed and the contestant continues to eliminate based on ‘naked attraction’. Faces now seen and voices heard, it is narrowed down to two possibilities, upon which the contestant also removes their clothes so that we can all have a good look and the participants can also comment on what they see. A final selection is made from the two who remain and then they go off on a date, returning 6 weeks later to give feed back. There is an advert break – more sex toys, some perfume, a car, and a some healthy yogurts – and then we are back for a new contestant to pick from another six naked bodies. Odd was not really in it. I think it was more shock factor that kept us watching than the fact that the show bore any attraction, naked or otherwise, for us.
So this is what the real world has been doing while we have been chatting about Domination and submission and playing with some anal toys in the privacy of our own bedroom! It did make me wonder. Are things changing? Are we moving on? The last year has seen the airing of other shows ‘sex shows’ on terrestrial television such as ‘The Great British Sex Survey’ where they revealed and discussed Britain’s top 10 fetishes: Body Fetishes, Threesomes, The Sex Toy, Watersports, Humiliation, Cross Dressing for Sex, Material Fetishism, BDSM, Sexy Selfies and Uniforms. Not to mention ‘Sex Box’ where couples have sex with each other in a box during the show and then discuss it with a panel of sex experts afterwards!
I feel a little conflicted. I am pleased that things are becoming more open and that sex is not the dirty secret that it once was. But I am also unsure that the normalising of sex for the sake of it is a step forward. It all seems to focus on the thrill and leave the really important things undiscussed – back to the classroom for relationships education I guess. And now I have to unpick an even stranger set of misconceptions than the porn left for me! I think that was the problem with the discussion of Britain’s best loved fetishes; it looked at it in a clinical and factual way – this is what the fetish involves and here is someone doing it. That sort of presentation of anything ‘alternative’ is not helpful to allowing others to see what it can involve because it is not really normalising it, merely highlighting is as a bit of an oddity.
Sex, even sex in a box in front of a studio audience, a panel of experts and a film crew, will involve feelings. I imagine there will be quite a few conjured up following that particular scenario that you may not expect to have had and that is the problem with treating sex as a simple act, because the associated feelings are far from simple. Maybe if the wider public were able to see D/s in terms of how it makes you feel rather than in terms of what you actually do, it would be more generally accepted as being something positive rather than as being something a bit weird or odd. One can hope, I suppose, that we wise up soon and begin to delve a little deeper into some of these previously forbidden sexploits now that they are being given a little bit of mainstream television exposure. Anyway, now that I have got that off my chest, I wonder if there is time to flick on the TV and see what is on?