4 Reasons Why the Merging of Pop Culture and Porn Culture May be Affecting You

I’ve been researching and writing about sexualized entertainment for over four years now. One of the most frequent responses to my articles goes something like this: “Nudity and sex scenes don’t bother me.”

While I’ve addressed this argument before, Speculative Faith asked me to write a more thorough rebuttal:

In just the last few years, some of our most popular fantasy stories include material that at one time would have been considered porn.

These include films such as Passengers, Blade Runner 2049, and The Shape of Water, as well as TV shows such as Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Altered Carbon.

Concerns about content like this are often raised in relation to children and teens, whose emotional and physical development make them more impressionable. When it comes to adults, however, we find little concern expressed.

In fact, a lot of people claim to have no issues watching films with explicit sexual content. The material doesn’t affect them—or so they say.

But is this true? And if so, should it be true?

Let’s give a little pushback and look at four considerations.

The issue, of course, isn’t limited to sci-fi and fantasy. Many genres have been influenced by pornographic filming techniques. The question becomes this: how much of a negative effect is second-hand porn having on us? Are we completely unscathed (since mainstream entertainment doesn’t technically classify as pornography), or are we being influenced in ways we aren’t even aware of?

What was originally supposed to be one article developed into a two-part series. Part 1 explains the first two considerations, and Part 2 develops the third and fourth considerations. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

photo credit: Ubé via flickr, CC (This photo has been cropped.)