The evolution of the sex commercial

Ed
Ed Smith
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For those of you over 40, it's a whole new world, folks. When I was a child, no one ever spoke to us about sex. It was the great no-no of our time.

Teach sex in school? Are you crazy? Next thing people will want is the abolition of denominational schools. Teaching children about sex is the parents' job, just as teaching them about religion and practically everything else, is the responsibility of the churches.

The view from here - For those of you over 40, it's a whole new world, folks. When I was a child, no one ever spoke to us about sex. It was the great no-no of our time.

Teach sex in school? Are you crazy? Next thing people will want is the abolition of denominational schools. Teaching children about sex is the parents' job, just as teaching them about religion and practically everything else, is the responsibility of the churches.

The day will never come, they said when I was in my 20s, that the churches won't run the schools. It did, but the day never came when parents talked to their children about sex. Not for most children.

We talked about sex when I was in my 30s, but it was a very private thing usually consisting of "wink wink nudge nudge" stuff. Even the movies stayed away from what they liked to call full frontal nudity.

Films such as "Last Tango in Paris" were considered depraved. Come to think of it, "Last Tango" was - at least for the times.

Brigitte Bardot's "And God Created Woman" (this was before her seal hunting days) was thought to be the essence of eroticism because you could see buddy's hand moving slowly up her thigh. The hand never got past the halfway mark but even that was enough to drive a 15-year-old crazy.

Today, no self-respecting 15-year-old would bother to turn his head to look at such tame stuff.

Today, the movies one sees on primetime television would make both Marlon Brando ("Last Tango") and Brigitte Bardot scurry for cover. It doesn't matter the time of day. Some time ago when I was confined to bed for a while, I innocently turned on a movie entitled, "Lie With Me." I said, "Innocently." It was 3 p.m.

I thought it might even be some kind of biblical epic. "Lie with me" is, after all, the language of the Bible. You don't expect some young fellow walking a girl home to whisper in her ear, "Lie with me." That's biblical phrasing.

"The Ten Commandments" it was not. It was more along the lines of Madame Potiphar when she said to Joseph, "Come lie with me." I think pure porn might be a little more graphic than "Lie with Me."

As Maxwell Smart would say, "Missed it by that much."

I'm no prude, heaven knows, but most of these movies leave me cold. If you removed the f-words from the dialogue, the actors would have nothing to say. If you removed the "sexual situations" from the plot, they'd have nothing to do.

Nothing to do and nothing to say. Apply that analysis to "An Affair to Remember" or "Casablanca." Leave it to the television commercial to go one better.

When Viagra and Cialis first came on the scene, the advertisements were tasteful, funny little things. Men came hurtling out of their driveways in high gear - that was before they even got to the car.

Couples connived injury as an excuse to get out of curling so they could go home and presumably go at it. Couples got to church just in time to hear the benediction, but hey. We knew what they were at and why they were looking so smug.

Two things always interested me about those commercials. The first was that Viagra would certainly do the job for the man. The assumption was that the woman was just as interested in getting it on as he was.

What if he took a couple of these little pills just as she came up with a splitting headache? Wouldn't he then have to walk around exceedingly uncomfortable for the next several hours, a reminder of the hours you spent in the backseat of that old car? But you don't see that in the commercials.

The other thing is that the commercial always showed the main characters either before or after the "event." They were either trying to find a way to get to it, or obviously coming from having just done it.

But lately we have a whole new dimension. Now we have a shot of the couple before they become active, and another shot immediately after. While they do look sort of bored with each other at the beginning, they do seem to exhibit a kind of satisfaction with the world at the end. It's called the Viagra Intermission.

In other words, we now have the three essential parts of the plot unfolding before our very eyes. We are introduced to the couple who are the main characters in this mini drama. We have a period of time in which we know they are going about resolving any issues or tensions in their lives. And finally we have the third element, the happy ending with both characters looking supremely satisfied.

There's just this one thing missing: the filling in of the static line across your television screen which is the intermission itself.

The length of that intermission would make a couple of rabbits look like the slow-motion lovemaking of a couple of octogenarian turtles.

Approximately 4 seconds, if that long, after intermission begins, the lovers are back on the beach or wherever they were when the whole thing started, looking as though they'd had a couple of hours of afternoon delight and another hour or two to rest up. Amazing.

There's only one conclusion to draw from all this. While the male of the species may need a little pill to help him rise to the occasion, it is quite obvious that the female does not.

The further and ultimate question is how much longer will she, the female, be content to wait upon our medications and pills before she realizes she doesn't need us at all.

My guess is not long.

Ed Smith lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is edsmith@nf.sympatico.ca

Geographic location: Paris, Springdale

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