Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Towards a Sex-Positive Utopia

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  • George Darroch,

    a male singer marketed to teenager *girls* as aggressively masculine. There must be some

    I'm thinking Usher, early 2000s.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Danielle,

    Not that he wasn't hot, in a 'I will eat fried eggs off a hooker's ass' kind of way,

    Teh awesome.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    perfect skin

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Well, not if moppetry is what’s being actively marketed to them, no. I’m struggling to come up with a male singer marketed to teenager *girls* as aggressively masculine. There must be some.

    Not all that many -- Elvis would be the outstanding example, but he was pretty too. But 13 yo boys aren't exactly hairy-chested beasts either. Maybe that's just what girls are comfortable with at that age.

    BTW, I had a Twitter conversation a while ago with a teenaged trans-man (who I'd mistaken for a lesbian) who was sporting both a Justin Bieber haircut and a Justin Bieber t-shirt. That was quite meta.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m struggling to come up with a male singer marketed to teenager *girls* as aggressively masculine.

    While I'm not exactly an expert on the subject, weren't most boy bands of the last 20 years carefully constructed to include at least one "bad boy" alongside the pretty ones? Not so much a square-jawed Clutch Cargo stereotype of robust mature masculinity, but at least a less unthreatening quasi-rebel in the James Dean/early Brando mold?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Sacha,

    > what would happen if this semi-fulfilment was deconstructed?
    Occupy?

    Which did actually have its share of young teenagers hanging around gazing wistfully at people. There was also a certain amount* of youthful hormone-driven behaviour in the older teenagers.

    I'm torn between the idea that teenage silly-sexuality is a product of our recent prolonged childhood, and that it's inherent in being that age. I suspect how it comes out is much more socially affected than whether it exists, but I'm not sure.

    * lots

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Russell Brown,

    BTW, I had a Twitter conversation a while ago with a teenaged trans-man (who I’d mistaken for a lesbian) who was sporting both a Justin Bieber haircut and a Justin Bieber t-shirt. That was quite meta.

    Beautiful. Existing in that wonderful meta-zone, bebians are an ironic meme.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Beard,

    at least one "bad boy" alongside the pretty ones?

    Scary Spice

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    We know that in families and countries where sex is openly discussed and less taboo, teenagers have sex later, rather than earlier.

    As one such teenager, I can honestly say that part about it really sucked.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    ^correction: biebians.

    I suspect that much of the bile that gets sent the way of Bieber is in part because he doesn't act out the narrow definition of what a successful male (at even a young age) is supposed to fit.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    We know that in families and countries where sex is openly discussed and less taboo, teenagers have sex later, rather than earlier.

    My mother cruelly told me that sex was much more enjoyable when you loved the person you were bonking. I missed out on much meaningless cheap sex because of that!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Mass hysteria, whatever the focus, makes me fucking uncomfortable.

    Oh I dunno. I recall being one of many in a frankly fucking awesome Violent Femmes gig in Wellington (1992?). The energy in that crowd was incredible. All singing along ... they'd hold off on a line, we'd sing, they'd laugh, the crowd was euphoric.

    I don't understand others obsessions, but I can relate to the experience.

    Not that this has a great deal to do with the topic of this post ....

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Aidan,

    The energy in that crowd was incredible. All singing along ... they'd hold off on a line, we'd sing, they'd laugh, the crowd was euphoric.

    Yeah, but you'd sing, right? You weren't screaming so hard you couldn't actually hear any of the music.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Aidan,

    the crowd was euphoric

    dancefloors

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Our culture is still adjusting to decoupling sex from reproduction, and it has a long way to go yet. The project is only 50 years old, after all. Two generations. My parents were the fourth generation out of England and still called it home.

    "My mother cruelly told me that sex was much more enjoyable when you loved the person you were bonking."

    Call me old fashioned, but I still find that's true, all other things being equal. The key word is "more", however. I'm not dissing sex without love, but there's a helluva lot more to sex than just physicality and love adds spice (as do some other things). So why did your mother say that this notion justified waiting for love before dispensing with your virginity?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Sorry to jack your thread. Back to Roman-porn...

    I like the idea of a utopian, inclusive, sex-positive society (even if I quibble over some of the details), but I'm not sure how we get there. A series of thousands of minor steps, or a sexual revolution. The former seems more likely, but then I think about how far towards a society that accepts queer and other sexual practices we've come in just a few decades. These are long decades, of course, and we're a very long way from where we need to be. But in the scope of human history (thousands of years), rather rapid changes.

    I'm looking forward to male hormonal contraception being widely available. While I don't think it will have anywhere near the effect of female contraception - which I hold responsible for invigorating the great majority of post-1950 change - I think it will further our ability to reconceptualise sex. Other technologies which reconfigure the body, such as gender reassignment technologies (surgery, hormones, and others) are further expanding our scope. I'm not a techno-utopian by any means, and the Romans certainly made do without, but different things change the pressures felt by different members of society.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Call me old fashioned, but I still find that's true, all other things being equal.

    "All other things being equal" is a pretty bloody big caveat though, isn't it? And doesn't it basically make that statement both impossible to disagree with and basically meaningless?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to George Darroch,

    but I'm not sure how we get there.

    I am seriously considering moving on to this next week. I have some ideas. So, I'm betting, do you guys.

    I'm looking forward to male hormonal contraception being widely available.

    The best birth control in the world is for men. But yes, it's not available yet.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Emma Hart,

    It couldn't possibly be true without the caveat, otherwise we're signing up to a "love trumps all" argument, which is doomed. Bart's mother was right, but she left a lot out, and delaying sex in order to wait for love wasn't a logical conclusion. In my view the "wait for love" argument hails from a time when sex carried a high risk of pregnancy. She would have been better to add something like, "Use contraception until such time as your relationship is so tight that you and your partner agree to have a child. In the meantime, enjoy yourself".

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Gee, in reply to Jolisa,

    If we can combine that with a socialist utopia in which everyone gets paid properly & protected in their work environment, and those with specific needs who can't otherwise afford it are taken care of via government vouchers, it'll be perfect!

    +1

    I'm struggling to come up with a male singer marketed to teenager *girls* as aggressively masculine. There must be some.

    Kurt Cobain? Trent Reznor? Axl Rose? tho admittedly both aimed at boys/men too...
    maybe Anthony Keidis and Flea? Or was that just me?

    Canada, eh • Since May 2011 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan, in reply to Sacha,

    dancefloors

    squeegee-mops

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Mass hysteria sexual mashup:

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Yeah, but you’d sing, right? You weren’t screaming so hard you couldn’t actually hear any of the music.

    The music was very loud.

    I've tut-tutted with the best of them about stupid teen obsessions, but it occurred to me that one of the most memorable experiences in my ever-lengthening life was that concert, and the group dynamic was very much part of that.

    Maybe that shared experience thing is what they're in it for as well?

    Random obligatory anecdote: my aunt told me she went to see The Beatles in Wellington (50s?). She screamed and she didn't really know why, at the time, or 40 years later.

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    The Beatles in Wellington (50s?)

    22nd & 23rd June, 1964. :)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • John Armstrong,

    There would still be sexually-explicit imagery. There always has been and there always should be. I just don't know if you still call it "pornography" when it's not stigmatised.

    I have a genuine question. In a sex-positive utopia, would the content of pornography be any different?

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2007 • 134 posts Report Reply

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