Even in ‘classy’ TV dramas, dull but vital
background is often relayed in a sex scene or in a
strip club. Is this titillation a harmless thrill or
a way to cover bad writing? They come under the rubric
‘Gratuitous Sex Scenes’.
As I write this, a pneumatic young couple are writhing
in the shagpile behind me. It’s all grunts and groans
and bodily fluids. By the time I’ve explained what
I’m actually writing about, it will have turned into
a full-blown orgy. But you’ll be gripped.
Make a Sex Scene
You’ll stay for the explication, because you’ll
be transfixed by those golden bodies, entangled
and unconstrained. That, in a nutshell, is
“sexposition”: the art of outlining all that tedious
plot against a background of no-holds-barred sex.
“Sexposition” was first used to describe the many and varied
scenes in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones played out
against a backdrop of sex and nudity.
It’s something more than gratuitous or ample sex
and nudity in a show. It’s using that sex to
divert the audience or give the characters
something to do in scenes that involve a big
download of information or monologue.
Game of Thrones was by no means the first. The Sopranos scenes
in the Bada Bing, with strippers on the pole while two
characters discuss plot points, or Deadwood, when Al Swearengen
delivered long monologues to a whore who was fellating him.
Actually, sexposition goes back further than that, but there’s
no doubt the US cable channels that specialise in long-form
dramas requiring a serious commitment of both time and mental
energy have raised the bar. Long before The Sopranos, cop dramas
(especially in the cinema) would routinely feature someone
being questioned in strip clubs.
The definitive piece of Games of Thrones sexposition, in which
the Machiavellian palace fixer Littlefinger engages in a long
soliloquy, interrupting himself occasionally to offer
direction to the pair of prostitutes whom he is instructing
in the art of putting on a lesbian sex show.
Classy. But actually, it’s an example of how sexposition
can work to inform us about a character, too. The Littlefinger
sequence is an interesting one in that it has clear thematic
implications on his view of power, on the idea of Littlefinger
as the prostitute [of the government], always able to convince
others that they are in control when it’s really a charade.”
The problem comes when you can’t get through an episode
without seeing stiffened nipples during a discussion of statecraft.
The individual scenes make sense and are justifiable, but far
too many, to the point that it becomes shtick. Relying on it
too much kind of insults the audience, suggesting they need
to look at tits to keep interest in what is a very sophisticated show.”
Salacious content is
full of juicy details
full of juicy details
They’re the kind of raunchy, lusty, dirty
details you probably do/don’t want to hear.
Implying a certain kind of moral looseness,
salacious is often used to describe nasty
gossip, obscene reports and sex-driven stories.
An example of salacious material
is a porn magazine or website.
The tabloids are frequently filled with salacious content.
strong sexual interest or desire.
feelings of lust and lechery.
arousing sexual desire in others.