In a recent post I put forward the idea that sex used in the advertising of nonsexual products betrays products of no particular distinction. At root, however, the previous post was not about advertising. Rather, it was the tip of the iceberg in a larger conversation about the decision to use (or, by extension, not use) sex in any kind of authored content.
The question is not why sex is used in commercials or authored works. We know why it’s used. Our animal brains are hard-wired for sex, apart from any additional sociological or psychological interest we may add as we grow and develop in whatever culture we happen to live in. Sex does in fact sell — meaning attract and hold consumer interest — but that’s not what I’m interested in. Rather, I’m interested in what motivates creators to use sex and its sure-fire, brain-simple appeal in any given instance, and particularly in stories. [ Read more ]