The Influence Of Sex On The Screen English Literature Essay

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The sexual life has been depicted and described since the emergences of art. The art of The Ancient Greeks is an art of a hidden erotic. There was a hint for sex but never an obvious display of it. The religions of the ancient civilizations proof the importance of sexuality in their daily life. Priapus is The God of fertility and male genitalia for the Ancient Greeks ,Eros is their God of sexual love and Aphrodite is the goddess of sexuality and love. According to the Latin mythology Venus was the goddess of love and the sexual health and the one who guarded the vices. Venus is always naked and often depicted by the artists the most famous one is The birth of Venus of Boticelli. Plenty of the masterpieces of our civilization were products of sex. Gauguin used to have sex with his models. The patriarch of Bulgarian literature Ivan Vazov died in a woman's bed and left 50 volumes of literary works. My classmate Maria says that sex inspires her and after it she is able to sing, write poems, paint, and cook and even sew. In the movie "The notebook" the main heroine stops painting when she is separated from her beloved one and then starts when they meet again. [i] 

Julius Caesar used sex as a diplomacy method and his partners were not only women. Then he became victim of Cleopatra's sex techniques, as well as his successor Mark Anthony. How could a woman control such a powerful men? In order to one should watch Monica Bellucci in How much do you love me. There is such a magnetism in the way she is dressing her coat off that no men could stay tranquil while watching. [ii] I suppose that Cleopatra had the same manners. Sex could be manipulative but it is this does not make it less exciting experience.

For virgin teenager girl sex is a scary experience but for teenage boy it is something that he definitely should do in order to be cool. This is the reason why Diliyana would not answer me at all and Dragoslav and Rymen would be convinced that sex is something incredible. The sex is a secret , which not yet revealed urges a multiple of fantasies in a virgin mind. This notion is exemplified in the Bertolucci's movie Stealing beauty with Liv Taylor where an young girl finds her way to love and sex. [iii] 

My girlfriend claims that sex is of no importance if there is no love. Sex for the sex's sake is incompatible with her romantic soul and morality. According to her sex is an expression of love and mutual trust. She thinks that there can be a love without sex but a sex without love is an animal behaviour. . Her examples from Bulgarian literature are Peyo Yavorov and his first love Mina Todorova who have never even kissed, but there are beautiful verses and letters written from the poet for her. In the film A walk to Remember there is no sex scene but still it is a touching love story. [iv] Another more popular example nowadays is The Twilight saga where Eduard and Bella have not made sex yet but still this vampire love urges thousands of girls to dream about Robert Pattison. One week ago when I was looking for posters it was difficult to find one of Che Guevara but that vampire face was almost at every poster. [v] 

Sex as Elica states is a "private" activity or if I should be honest it used to be. Sex in the capitalistic society is a product that sells well, billboards with something that resembles to vagina, a pictures of cars with a half-necked woman on them.When you open a newspaper you are likely to find a title like this "Ronaldo girl is £2k hooker" [vi] .Sharing secrets from your bedroom Is not a taboo anymore the best example is the TV series Sex and the city and the those cafés full of girls talking on the same topic and comparing themselves to Samantha, Carrie, Miranda or Charlotte.

Hristina is a fan of Sex and the city; she loves Samantha's lifestyle and behaviour. Sex is not a consequence from love but it could be a reason for love if it is good enough. Samantha's opinion when she understands that Charlotte has not had sex with her future husband is : 'Honey, before you buy the car you take it for a test drive" [1] This metaphor reveals the fact that only 80 years after the emergence of the "flappers" women start treating man as something that has to be tested. "What if he is terrible?" continues Samantha."No!" answers Miranda. This conversation makes me to remember about my grand-grandmother who had to show the red stain of blood onto her sheet after the first marriage night as a proof of virginity. For eighty years women from devoted housewives have become the chick that is "testing" and who can not live without sex. There are plenty of social and economic factors that led to this transformation but one of great importance is the screen.

Mass culture ,sex and society.

Sex on cinema is an essential part from the mass culture. The mass culture aims to fill people's spare time and to fight with boredom. When a person lacks entertainment he is not able to work well. The monotony suppresses people, makes them nervous and leads to aggression. The mass culture is the remedy for boredom. Watching a film allows people to travel, without leaving their home or the cinema saloon I have never been to Bolivia in my real life but I have been crossing it several times with Sodelbergh's Che. This is not the same as reading a book, because the reading happens in your mind and if you have never experience something you are likely to get a distorted picture of it. Words are not enough to describe feelings but actors are able to show them. The biggest advantage of the movie is that it is time saving it takes 2 hours to watch a film and 2 weeks to read a book. The most valued thing by the modern man is pleasure. Everyone strives for bliss. The mass culture tries to attract the public attention. The mass media has to conform to stereotypes because they are part of the culture. Everyone needs stereotypes to that extend that they help man to orientate himself in this complicated world. Stereotypes provide stability and help people easily to endure the changes of our dynamic society. On the other hand the mass culture has to break up these stereotypes and eliminate those inadequate stereotypes, which impede the progress of society.

It seeks for that thing that binds people together; these are the universal values like happiness, love, beauty and sex. Mass culture functions by the exploitation of new effective discovery for some period of time until there is a new one to replace it. It uses sensations, attractions and conflict issues. Everything is being commercialized there is no intimacy, privacy. Intellectuals disapprove mass culture. It is considered that the mass culture satisfies our most primitive desires, which menace the progress of humanity and lead to degradation of the man. Theodor Adorno criticizes the mass culture, according to him the mass culture is a representation of the degraded of the reality but it integrates the individual in this degraded reality. The mass culture leads to commercialisation and the loss of spiritual. Regardless the stated negative opinions, one is not able to live a life that is unmarked by the mass culture. The mass culture gave to the world the Hollywood film, the newspapers, the opportunity to watch TV and listen to radio.

Are the products of the mass culture works of or art or they are just a commercial creation, which strives for the profit and to fulfil the producer's expectations. The mass media products are commercial one. They are created to in order to be sold but the audience has to gain profit from it. In this sense the products of the mass culture (films with sex scenes) are just a business the as Adorno and Horkheimer understand business in Dialectic of Enlightenment (1954) .They satisfy the mass needs and are a way for entertainment of the modern society.

Mass culture is a trivial form of art. Everyone craves to look like the images from the screen beautiful, sex appealing and seductive. People over 40 are being discriminated; the attractive appearance is the key to success. Public opinion says which are the ideal dress size, weight, and appearance in order man or woman to be considered beautiful and to become a sex symbol. On the red carpet of the Oscars 5 days ago two of the actresses said that they were starving in order to be slender at the Oscars' night. Sex symbols should attract people's attention and cause an aesthetic pleasure. Everyone wants to see on the screen stars with well shaped bodies and pretty faces and that is what the producers seek for. The subject of erotic is being exploited for the past decade. To induce sensation, which will make them popular and even rich, producers reveal the most intimate and private moments of their stars. Producers are ready to undress everyone in front of the camera and make him or her display free behaviour. In that way the popularity of the films increases as well as the profit for the producers. Nowadays even censorship remains silent in the most of the cases and becomes more liberal as a consequence from the changes that take place in our society free people's behaviour.


Striking Sex Scenes

Since the creation of the cinema the directors and have been progressively undressing the actors in front of the camera and leaving no place for imagination by displaying more and more striking sexual intercourses .I am going to represent the process of "screen undressing " by analysing mine most distinguishable films for each decade .Sex scenes as well have the power to attract public attention on certain problems such as rape and our basic instincts. I am to begin with the kiss in Gone with the wind and end with Bruno's bopping up and down penis. [vii] 

In 1896 for the first time cinema film is presented in public. The same year is the firstappearance of a naked woman on the screen ,her name is Louise Willy and few months later she makes the first striptease .The first sex goddess is Theda Bara, who wears too provocative transparent costumes in the 20s.The first orgasm is in the cinema is in "Ekstase" ( 1933).

In 1939 the film Gone with the wind, appears the famous Hollywood kiss between Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. [viii] This kiss made people to cry in cinemas. A fragment with a hint for sexual intercourse is the staircase scene [ix] where Rhett takes Scarlett on hands and then they disappear in the dark .On the next morning Scarlett is visibly sexually satisfied. Audience understands what has happened but no one sees it.

On November 26 , 1942 was the premiere of Casablanca. [x] "Casablanca is not just one film. It is many films, an anthology" says Umberto Eco. [2] In this film there are just three memorable short kisses as an act of intimacy but Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart are one of the most popular love couples on the screen. This film represents the purest unconditional love which requires sacrifice and makes the audience to dream and feel. The love of Rick and Ilsa is touching without being naked. There is just a hint of sex when the Bulgarian girl talks to Rick. She wants to sacrifice herself and have sex with the Captain Renault in order to acquire visas for her and her husband. This social injustice is prevented by Rick who helps the husband to win the money needed for visas by gambling. Probably Rick and Ilsa had consumed their love in Paris but it is not displayed.

"I want my girl down here" is shouting the young Brando in 1951, the movie is Streetcar named desire [xi] ." He's like an animal. He has an animal's habits. There's even something subhuman about him" in that way Blanche describes Stanley. He is brutal, aggressive, sexual , a mixture of masculinity, barbarian power and arrogance . This film reveals the darkest aspects of the sex intercourse-the rape. The strength of Brando muscles takes advance over the feebleness of mentally distorted woman. The rape in "Streetcar named desire" is not as detailed as that in "Irreversible" but this does not make it less horrifying. Savageness in Brando's eyes and the broken mirror are details that one will remember for a long time. Stanley's relationship with his wife is interesting mixture of beating, passion and tenderness. The sexual intercourse between them is a way of showing true commitment instead of an animal impulse. The brutal man is kneels and then gently says "Don't you ever leave me, baby". "He was as good as a lamb" says the wife in the morning. Love transforms people. In the film there is another inappropriate behaviour Blanche (in her 30s) kisses a young boy and Kowalski states that she had a 17-year old lover.

In 1959 braless Marilyn tries to cure impotent millionaire with a 5-minute passionate kiss. "Some like it hot" [xii] is funny, sensuous and erotic. Marilyn's look while she is talking to Josephine in the train's toilet is seducing and bewitching; this look is much more imposing then a naked scene. The eyes are innocent, the lips are made for kissing and words reveal something that I do not understand because I am under the spell of her magnetism. It is difficult to watch a film with Penelope Cruz where she is not naked although her sex appeal cannot be compared to the sex appeal of Marilyn. Billy Wilder, the famous director ,in an interview gives the perfect description of the actress " She had an elegant vulgarity" [3] 

La ciociara (1960) is a drama which evokes tears in the audience. The love kiss in the grass while sirens are hauling is short and romantic like a shelter from the hostility of the world. If it was another film, not the masterpiece of, this kiss would be the most impressive scene but in Ciociara it is not of a great importance. The most imposing scene in this movie is frightening and I am not able to watch it once again. We see the mother and the daughter who are struggling against the most primitive men impulse. There is a horror in their eyes and ferocity on the soldier's faces. Victorio De Sica emphasises on women's weakness and men's brutality. Women are beautiful and pure and fragile till the men's frantic desire does not wound them then they are still beautiful but full of anguish.

Ultimo tango a Parigi (1972) [xiii] represents the ''The sex for the sex's sake". This is the most erotic film ever made because sex itself is represented as an art form. The film is bilingual because Paul wants to separate their world of sex from everything ordinary and common. This resembles me one of the most prominent Bulgarian poet Nikola Vapcharov, who used the Latin alphabet in his love letters because he believed that love should not have be offended with the common letters that he used every day. After the suicide of his wife, Paul meets Jeanne in an empty flat, which they both are looking at. Completely strangers they have sex. Their sexual relationship continues for 3 das. "Mostly, we see Paul and Jeanne together in the flat as they act out his fantasy of ignorant armies clashing by night, and it is warfare-sexual aggression and retreat and battles joined. The necessity for isolation from the world is, of course, his, not hers. But his life floods in. He brings into this isolation chamber his sexual anger, his glorying in his prowess, and his need to debase her and himself. He demands total subservience to his sexual wishes; this enslavement is for him the sexual truth, the real thing, sex without phoniness. " [4] 

Margarit and Margarita (1989) is a fascinating story of love between classmates who abandon their school and families because they want do not want to obey the rules. They love each other in a basement opposing to the socialistic world's moral. When Margarita complains that after washing her underwear she has not got another to change , Margarit says one of the most famous quotes in the Bulgarian cinema "You will not be need them for at least two hours" and then we see her smile. This act of love remains hidden from the audience because it is intimate. The next sex scene in which Margarita is forced to have sex with a party leader, who has just given her a flat to live in, is a much more detailed, the audience should see her painful expression and the vulgar moves of the leader,his unmerciful hands that go all over her young body. The second sex scene with the politician is even much more appalling because we see his face which is spotted with semen.

Basic Instinct(1992) [xiv] and with the chair scene [xv] .In this film the woman is the predator and you expect her to kill the victim in every second of it. Basic Instinct emphasises on the power of a beautiful woman to enchant and seduce men. While Sharon Stone is sitting in the chair and is being interrogated by detectives she is radiating so much confidence as if she is the one to suspect the detectives in murder. In the room are only men who are puzzled when she crosses her legs and there is no underwear. The scene shows how easily a man could be manipulated by physically attractive women. It is scientifically proven that when a man sees a charming woman his brain activity ceases for 5 seconds. In the scene called "the fuck of the century" Catherine shows dominance and when she ties Nick's hands with the white scarf he is completely helpless. The possibility that she could kill him intensifies the moment and the mirror on the roof makes the scene to look mysterious.

Todo sobre mi madre [xvi] (1999) is lacking sex scenes but it is not lacking sex allusions. In this women's movie even men are woman. It emphasises on the femininity and strikes with the display of transsexuals. A woman with penis, who could be woman's best friend and then make her pregnant. Is it unnatural? The sweat T-shirt of Brando is replaced with black dress. The AIDS which Lola transmits to Rosa symbolises the remains from the devastating masculine power.

In Bruno (2009) baby in box, sex machine ," three dildos, one gyrating, talking penis, an anal bleaching and one very pissed-off politician " [5] Scandalous guy sex scenes and behaviour are represented in 85 minutes.


In 1896 the Catholic Church condemns a screen kiss, which takes 20 seconds, as pornography. "Ekstaze" the film is made by Czechoslovakia and its import in U.S.A is prohibited. From 1930 to 1968 in The U.S.A exited code known as Hays code, which prohibited nudity, provocative dances, ridicule with religion, depiction of drug use, homosexual scenes, childbirth scenes ,miscegenation, "excessive and lustful kissing". All of the movies released in the next 30 years had to be approved by PCA (Production Code Administration).In the 1940s the Code became less severe in 1950s Hollywood producers started to neglect the Code and it was finally abandoned in 1967.

Humphrey Bogart and his wife needed 12 police officers to rescue them from the crying mob of fans in the evening of Oscars 1944 .Casablanca had captured the hearts of the audience. Today after 66 years it still ceases the breath of the romantic souls and makes women weep. It has been an inspiration for numerous of books and films, the most famous one is Woody Allen's Play it Again, Sam. Now 66 later it is the favourite film of the American President." Casablanca is unique because it crystallized and encapsulated an entire generation's idealistic view of itself. " [6] In 1944 sexuality was not displayed, love was sacred and intimate. Casablanca preserves the sanctity of marriage as well as the magic of real love.

Our grandparents watched Casablanca in the town cinema when they were teens and they still remember it. I and my girlfriend wanted to pay a visit of her grandparents who live in the country but her grandmother (age 74) was terrified by idea that we could stay there together for more than 2 or 3 hours. "It is inappropriate for a young man and girl to stay in the same house over the night" said she. When this granny sees a kissing couple she interrupts them and then criticizes their behaviour.

In 1951 Hays code did not allow scenes of wild violence. There were strong sexual undercurrents like the homosexuality of Blanches' husband ,the fact that she had killed him and her attraction to young boys ,which were intolerable with the moral of the society in 1951.That is the reason why Warner Bros had to exclude the most crucial moments of A Streetcar Named Desire, these cuts ,about 5 minutes in length, were recovered in 1993.After the amputation of those moments it was still described as vulgar and immoral.

''Brando plays up that fear in creating a monster like Kowalski, and a character that should be taken as a terrorizing rapist was instead viewed as a sex symbol by women the world over. Unfortunately for Brando he was so convincing in his role that women did end up loving him, just as Stella did.'' [7] Brando creates the image of "Bad Boy" in the mass culture.

When Marilyn Monroe was alive the press described her as another dumb blond stereotype. However her sex appeal was so fascinating that she even fascinated the president of the United States. More than half of a century she is present in men's dreams and in woman's ideals. Could you imagine that she craved to be a housewife? Marilyn is the greatest example for the devastating power of the film industry she dreamed to have children and a decent home but instead she was and will always be a sex symbol. "Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents." (Marilyn Monroe)

Sophia Loren is the only actress who won an Oscar with a foreign language film ,the novel based Ciociara. Edgar Morin in his influential study Les stars states that starlets reveal their bodies but stars reveal their souls. Sofia Loren body is seductive but she reveals the tragedy of a woman's soul. The beautiful body just intensifies the tragedy.

After the premiere of Ultimo Tango a Parigi in the dark saloon there were applause but then in the lobby everyone remained silent. People are afraid to admit that they are jealous of Paul and Jeanne who follow their most primitive instincts and of the ability of Bertolluci to convert these instincts into art. In the most prominent review of the film by Paul Kael he states that he doubts "that there is anyone whose feelings can be totally resolved about the sex scenes and the social attitudes in this film. For the very young, it could be as antipathetic as L'avventura was at first -- more so, because it's closer, more realistic, and more emotionally violent. It could embarrass them, and even frighten them. For adults, it's like seeing pieces of your life, and so, of course, you can't, you can't resolve your feelings about it-our feelings about life are never resolved. Besides, the biology that is the basis of the "tango" remains." [8] This film is not a part of the mass culture it is an example for displaying sex as an art form.

Sex scenes in Margarit and Margarita are not a commercial trick for earning money they are a reflection of the reality and a way for rebelling against the system.

Basic instinct is a perfect example for displaying sex for money. Without the sticking sex scenes the movie would be just another detective story, with them it is a blockbuster in 1992 and consequence for new social phenomenon. The chair scene provokes no underwear trend among woman. Yesterday at the disco I saw another Sharon Stone with no underwear. I though it was nice because the girl was a stranger but if she had been my friend I would have felt embarrassed.

Bruno is a mass media product which attracts public attention with sex. But in this case the sex intercourse is between homosexuals. Sasha Barron Cohen scandalizes society with this movie not only with the sex scenes and ridiculous situations but and with the screening process as well. Most of the scenes are made with hidden camera and the situations and reactions of the astonished crowd are real."The needle on my internal Laugh Meter went haywire, bouncing among hilarity, appreciation, shock, admiration, disgust, disbelief and appalled incredulity" [9] says the film critic Roger Ebert. I admire Cohen's bravery to do such film but still I am too conservative to accept it.