February 10, 2015

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I”€™m not sure if it’s connected with the whole “€œgates of hell”€ thing, but you have to credit”€”if that’s quite the right word”€”the Catholic church for accomplishing the previously unimaginable:

Having first made sex bad, they”€™ve since made it boring.

Of the former, surely no explanation is necessary. As for the “€œboring”€ bit, that’s a more recent development, one few could have considered even remotely possible. That is, until Pope John Paul II delivered his “€œeat your spinach (and nothing else!)”€ Theology of the Body lectures.

As you”€™d expect from a virgin writing about sex, JPII depicts the act as far more sanitary, solemn, and sanctified than it so often is in real, dirty, awkward, “€œAre the kids asleep?”€ life.

(This contrasts, quite weirdly, with the church’s only approved method of “€œbirth control”€”€”it doesn”€™t call it that, naturally”€”which I stopped reading about when I got to the word “€œmucus.”€)

The idea that every time I do it, I”€™m “€œgetting in touch with God”€ or whatever is clearly meant to be a solvent for eonic strata of guilt and shame. But frankly, that daunting concept is a far more effective method of contraception than NFP. It’s bad enough worrying about whether or not I”€™ve shaved my legs …

Anyhow, the Internet has managed to top the Vatican in terms of upending widespread convention. Thanks to the Web, sex no longer sells.

“€œThe Internet has managed to top the Vatican in terms of upending widespread convention. Thanks to the Web, sex no longer sells.”€

I don”€™t pretend to understand the ins and outs of the porn industry; I leave that to vice beat specialist Susannah Breslin. But we all know the bare facts: whereas an unholy trinity of shameless, savvy guys once cornered the billion-dollar dirty picture market, today’s glut of amateur web porn lets you get the cow, the milk, and the whole dang farm for free. Soon, with their business model getting more stubbly and saggy every day, “€œlegitimate”€ pornographers might have to come up with a more accurate expression for “€œthe money shot.”€

Business at premium BDSM site Kink.com, for instance, was going gang-banging”€”I mean, “€œ-busters”€”€”right up until the minute it wasn”€™t. You paid your subscription and got submission, on demand (as it should be).

Only now they”€™re rebranding, and not with hot pokers.

“€œWhile they were very popular,”€ insists Kink.com’s press release, “€œwe have decided to move away from some of our more extreme products. This entails ceasing to shoot Public Disgrace and Bound in Public, which incorporate audience members and extras, and rebranding HardCoreGangBangs as FantasyGangBangs.”€

There follows a lot of stuffy, intentionally inscrutable business speak, but I”€™m pretty sure “€œwe”€™re aiming to become a lifestyle brand“€ is corporate code for “€œstart updating your resumes.”€

At least the “€œstars”€ at Kink.com and similar enterprises get paid. (Female “€œstars”€ make more than men, and not as much they could demand even a few years ago.) But they”€™re undercut by the endless stream of ordinary folks willing to get it on gratis.

Take the cast of a new reality TV show, The Sex Factor. Like its musical namesake, the program pits eager amateur performers against each other for the chance to win $1 million”€”except instead of melisma, there”€™ll be mutual masturbation. And that grand prize is the only money on the table. None of the losers will have earned a dime for their time.

I hope they know that, because not all the contestants seem clear on the concept. “€œI”€™m not here because I want to have sex with random people,”€ said one.


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