Tuesday, 25 November 2008

X is for... XXX

Few things are XXX these days. Movies, in fact, are never XXX. There isn't a rating called XXX. Soft porn is always 18, and if you wander into a sex shop and buy a hardcore video, the highest it will be is R18, which is basically the same certificate, except blue and in a square shape. Books aren't XXX, they're just shelved under 'erotic fiction' in a dark corner of Waterstone's with little symbols on the side to denote their contents. And pictures, no matter how far the fist goes into the vagina, can never be XXX.

Probably because it isn't defined. People use XXX as an all-encompassing term for something which is so sexually explicit it borders on offensive, but then again it's also used to describe something which is so sexually explicit that it's titillating. And then, what is sexually explicit? If you're a naïve 12-year-old, then probably anything with sex in it would be XXX. See some softcore erotica and then you'll think that lesbian softcore is XXX, because you don't see any penises when there are men involved, but you see at least a beaver... and then you look at hardcore... and on and on the mazy dance goes. If you're so dipped into depravity that you've got nothing left to see, then what is XXX for you? Three kisses?

There are sex blogs out there that chronicle their authors' escapades in, say, cybersex, which use the title "Warning: XXX Post". OK, so uttering a warning's all very well and good, but it's only cybersex, people. However explicit it gets doesn't make it XXX... or does it?

You see the problem? What I suppose I'm trying to say is... don't use the term. There are inherent weaknesses in something which is essentially an abstract concept. There are differences between simulated sex and actual sex realised, but then again the early softcore movies were made with the actors actually having sex, just shot in such a way that you didn't see anything vital, so even the borderlines there are blurred.

So, I wouldn't use the term 'XXX', because it means nothing. If it turns you on, it works for you. Don't bother your pretty little head wondering how to term it. Shut up and enjoy it, and if you still can't enjoy it, shut up anyway.

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