Sex is a killer. No, not killer as I like to think in the fun, sweaty, panting, orgasm way, but a thing in which the next victim is chosen for the sacrifice of serial killers, psychopaths, and bad TV writers with a grudge. It is irrefutable in most versions of drama, but particularly horror, that if someone indulges in the lustful idolatry of body worship that person has to either die or suffer character assassination.
Because sex is a judge of character for some dumb ass reason that I’m sure the Puritans have something to do with.
If that person is a woman, then it is assured that she is going to die, probably in a gruesome fashion that reinforces the idea that sex is a problem and she should never, ever, never get to enjoy it. After all, enjoying sex and owning your orgasm means knowing your body and knowing when to ask for things – and telling your partner when they get it wrong. This is an idea that is focused on in the adult industry and at websites similar to watch my gf. That’s bad and stuff. Those are wild feminist imaginings that must be stabbed with a very pointy knife before they gallop away like rampaging buffalo in search of a plot.
From horror, other genres have learned the trope that a person’s chastity or lack thereof somehow is wrapped up in plot progress.
Instead of something that people do, it’s something that determines who dies next and who “deserves” to be punished. Positive sexual experiences are generally shown never, and any enjoyment is quickly replaced by murder, death, and loss.
We would rather see a bloody corpse than an orgasm, and there is something fundamentally and overwhelmingly fucked up about this. Writers write women’s pleasure rarely, if ever, and usually only as a means of either showing the woman’s evilness – thereby verifying the white, sunshine-y purity of the sexless hero – or as a cautionary tale of what happens to women when they dare to seek out their own satisfaction. I’m looking at you Once Upon A Time. (Hashtag can you please let Emma Swan have sex with the man who loves her? She’s not sexless, ABC. She has a kid. Sex won’t make her less of an awesome hero.)
This love of brutal blood-soaked murder and torture over the positive images of enjoying sex is a BIG problem. (I even capitalized big so you know I mean business.) When has brutal violence gotten to be more important than pleasure? Why is a person’s sex life being judged still in 2017? Who the fuck cares what two people do in the bedroom?
Why the hell do we only consider women heroes if they appear to be disinterested in sex and orgasms on the regular?
Listen, sex isn’t the big thing American TV and movie makers want you to believe. A guy with an ax to grind, or a literal ax to sling, isn’t going to pop up because you decided to sleep with one person or a thousand. Sex is weird, awkward, funny, simple and complicated all at once, and a matter of consent always, but it is not wrong in the slightest when everyone says yes. It is simply another thing – a thing of pleasure that we should all own in our weird little ways that make us humans.
Sex should not mean death unless you’re French and prone to hyperbole. It should not be a means to slasher porn, where bodies are put on display and hung up in some weird fetishist version of violence, sexual and otherwise, against women and men. If you want to write your characters slashing up a bunch of people, ‘cause you like the genre and it’s super sauce to you, great. But you can make better choices than trying to write in some subliminal moral message about the sin of sex and the dangers of promiscuity. It wasn’t fun in the 80s when Friday the 13th decided to make it a thing, and it is really, really uncool now since, ya know, we know better and all.
Women are allowed to want sex, with men, women, and non-binary people, to not want sex, to be ambiguous, or nervous, but they do not deserve to be condemned through violence, to have their plots taken from them, or to have their characters judged based on who they do and who they do not sleep with once or on the regular.
Sex is a part of life, like buying socks, but with more noises and awkward faces (depending on how you buy socks). How we do it and who we do it with is no one’s damn business, and it’s time that we start writing stories with sex-positive story-lines that don’t cling to outdated ideals of chastity, purity, and sin.
Let’s take off that chastity belt and maybe try writing stories with plots instead of tired tropes that only seek to tell a tale that we now know is irrelevant, backwards, and deeply embarrassing to anyone who decides that it’s a innovative or good way to portray sex.
Let’s let women be heroes, who have sex in a healthy relationship. Let’s let women who are villains have sex. Let’s just let everyone have the orgasms they want without the fear of impalement and irrelevancy. Orgasms are nice. Way nicer than impalement.
Also, we all know that chastity belts chafe, so do it for the loins, writers. Your characters’ are depending on you.