Sex, Sex, Sex
I know most of you who read the title are thinking that this post will be pornographic in nature (and those of you who know me well enough would be completely justified) but NO, this is actually about three films I saw this past weekend- all of which had S-E-X as the main theme: "Sex: the Annabel Chong Story", Spike Lee's "She Hate Me" (thank you Nick the Greek) and everyone's new favorite gay cowboy movie, "Brokeback Mountain" by Spike's little Asian brother Ang Lee. Don't ask me how this happened- all that sex in my weekend cinematic experience, but it did and I'm now traumatized......ok not THAT bad, but it got me thinking.
Sex for most of us is a recreational activity that we are more than happy to engage in. Every now and then we get this little tingle inside of us that MUST be satiated or else blood suddenly rushes to certain parts of our anatomy forcing growth and/or swelling- and eventually causes a near complete shutdown of mental faculties. Eventually you find yourself walking around in circles mumbling odd commentary about tacos, salad and car parts.....or is that just me? There's hardly ever a real reason behind that little tingle, it just happens, you feel like having sex, then you have sex.....or do something to mimic it. Hey, we all do it. We don't know why, we just do it, smoke a cigarette and then go to sleep.
The interesting thing about these movies is that sex is not used as the catalyst jumpstarting the typical Hollywood romance story that ends with the two lovers riding off in the sunset. Sex in each of these films is actually a harshly destructive force that set the characters down courses they weren't expecting to be on- and couldn't get off (no pun intended).
Movie #1 Sex: The Annabel Chong Story- (sex as income)
For the young and intellectual Annabel Chong, sex became a career- an easy way to earn money while getting through grad school. She made the comment that she was doing it for free anyway- so why NOT get paid for it. Her claim to fame is that she had the first major gangbang in human history (251 men in a 10 hour span- including the infamous Ron Jeremy) - all captured on film for posterity. Her payment for the amazing/idiotic feat (depending on your view) was a whopping $10,000 that she never collected due to "contractual difficulties". In other words, the producer fucked her too so that number should be bumped up to 252 don't you think? Later she says it was the experience, not the money that compelled her to engage in this activity- that the money doesn't matter to her. After seeing the agony in her face during the few scenes from the act featured in the documentary, it may have been worth it to pursue that money! In the end, we see how she just about self destructs due to her failing relationship with her mother, drug addiction, low self worth and eventually she quits the porn industry (but only temporarily). By the way, can anyone tell me why it's legal to pay someone to have sex on film but illegal to pay someone to have sex on the street?
Movie #2 "She Hate Me" (sex as reproduction)
Most of us can think of 10 or more movies off the top of our heads that have erotic sex scenes set to entice us into spending our hard earned money on the movie instead of spending it on bills. In fact, some scenes are SO steamy that they can even make you watch a bad movie again and again JUST for the T&A. I mean, Basic Instinct was a shitty flick, but who cares when you can watch a nasty naked bisexual get freaky! On the other hand, it's RARE that you'll ever see two people have sex onscreen for the sole purpose of making babies, in fact I can't think of ONE movie where babies are the reason the onscreen characters are gettin' busy- that is until "She Hate Me". This film is about a corporate whistleblower/scapegoat who finds himself locked out of his bank accounts due to a scandal at his pharmaceutical company. Soon thereafter, he gets apporached by his now lesbian ex-fiance and her fine ass girlfriend with an offer to impregnate the two of them for a large sum of cash. They soon bring their baby-wanting lesbian friends into the mix to help the lead character make ends meet. Sounds like a great plan right- getting paid ($10,000 each) to have unprotected, worry free, no-strings attached sexual trysts with women of all shapes, sizes and races? WRONG. He soon finds his family on his back asking him to get his shit together, the cops using his new baby making career against him in court (19 kids!), he gets tied up with the mob, ends up wanting his unavailable ex-fiance even more than ever and to top it all off.....he can't get it up anymore. What a tangled web we weave.....
Movie #3: Brokeback Mountain (sex due to boredom)
Disclaimer: I am not homophobic. But this shit made me a bit uncomfortable....
It's amazing how much hype goes into a film before it hits theaters. I remember the "Oscar buzz" regarding Monster's Ball before it even saw the light of day. "Halle this, Billy Bob that" and the only thing I REALLY remember from that movie was Halle Berry's fine ass naked body- "Make me feel GOOD!" Brokeback Mountain was no different. I think I actually heard Oscar talk well before any notion of gay cowboys came to my ears. The weird thing was that I had to actually prepare myself mentally to watch it. I am embarrassed to say that I found myself cracking little horribly snide jokes to myself, "Are there any titties in this movie?" and "Can someone turn on the subtitles, I don't speak gayspeak." I didn't mean any harm of course and saying things like that are completely out of my character, but for some reason I had to get it out of my system. Now, as the movie progressed, we see these two country roughnecks out in the mountains watching sheep for a couple months, Nu-in ta do but drank whiskeee watch sheep n durt n snow n mountains......until late one night......they get it ON! Apparently I wasn't the only one who had to crack a few jokes. Mid-way through the film Shari made the comment, "Why didn't they just fuck the sheep!" (let's see......hump a dude or hump sheep......that's a tough one!) At that moment it occurred to me that they could have had some kind of prison-like syndrome. Most of the men who go to prison weren't having sex with other men BEFORE they got 30 years in the joint and probably wouldn't have even thought about if they never went to prison in the first place. I suppose boredom can drive people to do some unusual things and the two characters in this movie were no different. That endless boredom on the range forced these men into each other's arms and eventually caused them severe heartache in the longrun. One loses his family, the other resorts to male prostitutes.
I've always said that a good movie will make you think- a great movie will make you reconsider HOW you think and it's been a long time since I've seen a truly GREAT film. This weekend triple screening really messed with my head. It caused me to see that sex can be COMPLETELY detrimental to you if it gets too out of control. The folks in these films were all bound to their situations by their sexual activities and their lives were forever changed- and not necessarily for the best. It's hard to believe that one act that feels SO good can cause people (even fictional ones) so many problems. Then again, it also made me appreciate the good things from it that enhance our lives. The emotional bonds formed, the intimate moments that you remember for life, the freaky things you never thought you'd do. But the greatest thing about sex is not what the activity entails, but what comes out of it.