March 26, 1999
I'm worried I'm getting too much sex.
That isn't a statement that usually gets a lot
of sympathy, but let me warn you, it's not what you
A few Sundays ago I was flipping through the TV
channels. It was during that period between "I've
seen everything worth watching" and "I'm too dumb
to go to bed".
So it was once more around the dial before
heading to bed.
I started with PBS, figuring they're always good
for an old British murder mystery. Instead, it was
showing a documentary about lesbians. Most of it
was pretty scholarly - historical figures,
repression in the 50s, the Stonewall riots.
And then without warning, I'm looking at a
screen full of wiggling pink flesh. I guess it was
for the benefit of anyone who wasn't quite sure
what the qualifications for being a lesbian are.
The next channel had a rerun of Jerry Springer.
I don't know why they even pay the guy in the sound
booth. After Jerry said: "Welcome to the show," I
think I only heard maybe two more words that
weren't bleeped out.
I didn't think that the same swear word could be
used as a noun, verb, adjective and proper name,
all in the same sentence.
And then people started showing off their body
parts, sometimes as an insult, other times as a
point of pride. It was like being in front of the
baboon cage at the zoo. That kind of animal
behaviour is proof of evolution right there. Come
to think of it, maybe it proves we haven't come
At least we haven't lost the use of our
opposable thumbs so we can use the remote to change
On the French channel further up the dial I
found a movie about the life of Picasso . After
about six seconds he had his model naked and posed
in ways that make you think seriously about taking
Next was a late night call in show with a sex
therapist. She was showing off techniques to add
spice to a marriage. Using a wooden male facsimile
as a prop, she was demonstrating how a string of
pearls could be used as a marital aid. What she
did I can only compare to pull-starting a lawn
Please keep in mind I don't get any specialty
channels. None of this is pay-per-view or
satellite TV. All this skin is coming into my
basement at no extra charge.
A final flip of the channels finally took me to
a show called Sex TV. At least here was truth in
advertising. It's essentially a leering look at
the sex industry, with the obligatory visit to the
adult toy store, "hands-on" sex therapist, and
cyber-sex web site.
It's produced by the same people who make
MuchMusic and Fashion Television. They were the
pioneers of racy television. Back in the liberated
early 70s they played the "Baby Blue" movies every
They were on well after midnight and the station
broadcast so high up the dial only spaniels could
pick it up. To qualify, a movie only had to have
one feature to be a "Baby Blue" - at some point a
woman had to take her shirt off.
So Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shakespeare in Love"
would qualify. But what they broadcast sure wasn't