I recently read an article on Michael Fassbender’s new film Shame – about a sex addict named Brandon and his downward spiral into guilt, helplessness and shame brought on by previous emotional scarring.
Apparently the film’s portrayal of sex addiction (I haven’t see the film yet) is realistic and focuses not so much on addiction to sex, but aversion to intimacy. (Which in my limited experience is closer the the root issue.)
In any case, the film is a realistic but not banal portrayal of sex and includes a few brief full frontal scenes. However, the film just received a NC-17 rating which shuts it out of many US theaters.
So we can easily see films destroying entire cities, or films with so many slashings that we lose count, or films with so much murder and mayhem; however, we are to be shielded from an adult, thoughtful portrayal of sex. I just don’t get it.
I especially liked Fassbender’s comment on the frontal nudity scene:
“Half of us have a penis and the other half have probably seen one, and so why should it be more normal to, like, chop people’s heads off and shoot people? Does that mean that that’s more acceptable or closer to us as human beings?”
Our culture is afraid of sex and fearful of penises. Harmful aggression is OK, yet playful aggression isn’t. No wonder men often don’t know how to express our sexual energy in a healthy way!